The New Life In Christ

For March 20, 2022
Nicodemus was a Pharisee.1 He was also a member of the Sanhedrin.2 He yearned to meet Jesus Christ so he could talk privately—and listen. Although the Sanhedrin opposed Jesus, and that such a meeting meant social and political suicide, Nicodemus saw this as an opportunity to answer the questions: “Is what I hear about this Teacher true? Is Jesus our long-awaited Messiah?”

Jesus’ response to his esteemed guest was simple yet comprehensive,

Jesus answered and said to him, Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. John 3:3 (NKJV)

Jesus’ words may seem odd at first glance. Why not speak on world events, Roman domination, the plight of the Jewish Nation, or say something absolutely and utterly profound? Why talk about being Born Again, and why is this topic so crucial?

Scriptures can give us clues to the answer,

    • We, as humans, were created in the image of God. Our unique purpose was to have unbridled, eternal fellowship with our holy God.

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…God saw all that he had made, and indeed it was very good. Genesis 1:1, 31 (NKJV)

    • Although we were made in God’s image, we disobeyed Him and “Fell” from our holy and happy state. As a result, sin entered the world, and death through sin.

 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.” Genesis 2:16-17 (NIV)

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Genesis 3:6-7 (NIV)

For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners. Romans 5:19 (NIV)

    • The sinful plight of humanity requires the efficacious work of a Promised Redeemer.

And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel. Genesis 3:15 (NLT)

He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:3-6 (NKJV)

    • This Promised Redeemer would shed His blood for the remission of our sins.

 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul. Leviticus 17:11 (NKJV)

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God… Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!  Romans 5 1-2, 9 (NIV)

In fact, according to the law of Moses, nearly everything was purified with blood. For without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness. Hebrews 9:22 (NLT)

To illustrate our need for a Redeemer, Jesus relates to Nicodemus the story of the Children of Israel in the wilderness in Numbers 21:4-9. Fiery serpents bit Moses’ rebels, and many of them died. They asked for a remedy, and the Lord instructed Moses to create a brass serpent and raise it on a pole. Those who looked at the brass serpent were miraculously healed.

Jesus tells Nicodemus that He, likewise, would be “lifted up.” Whoever looks to Him by faith would be healed spiritually and given eternal life. Faith is our means of receiving God’s forgiveness and righteousness. This is consistent with two fundamental Old Testament Scriptures:

    • And [Abraham] believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith. Genesis 15:6 (NLT)
    • Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by his faith. Habakkuk 2:4 (NKJV)

Some have said the distance between Heaven and Hell is twelve to eighteen inches—the distance between the human head and the human heart. We may have the intellectual facts concerning Jesus Christ. But “head knowledge” is not enough. One must have “heart knowledge” through faith in Jesus as the Promised Redeemer as well.

With such a faith, we can experience a dynamic, spiritual transformation (Born Again) that makes us righteous before God and eligible to see and enter the Kingdom of God. We confess our sins before God. Then we repent or turn from the continual practice of sinful behavior. We turn from sin and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ by faith, and His Spirit makes His abode within us. He now can enable us to function according to our original design. Just as 2 Corinthians 5:17 relates, we are now “new creatures” in Christ.

As new creations, loving God and pleasing Him is our all-consuming, lifelong objective. Our new aim is to emulate our Lord and live for Him to the best of our ability for the rest of our lives. We are the “living proof” of God’s marvelous plan of redemption, whereby Jesus Christ can transform a sinful and fallen humanity into the very likeness of Christ to become the Children of God, as John writes,

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1:12–13 (KJV).

Our faith is in Christ, an everlasting, sure and steadfast hope as this old hymn attests,

My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less3

               Edward Mote (1834)

My hope is built on nothing less Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

When darkness veils His lovely face, I rest on His unchanging grace; In every high and stormy gale, My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood, Support me in the whelming flood; When all around my soul gives way, He then is all my hope and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound, Oh, may I then in Him be found; Dressed in His righteousness, alone, Faultless to stand before the throne.

Chorus
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand, All other ground is sinking sand.

Sinful, fallen, human lives can change drastically in the presence of the Living Christ, and drastically changed lives, or those that are Christ-centered and Spirit-controlled will think, speak, and act in ways that will honor the Lord and benefit others.

Changed, Born Again lives have hearts that delight in the Lord. We love Him and find our truest pleasure and satisfaction—not in the tings of the world—but in being in a loving fellowship with our true and living God.

As we grow in Him. We learn that Christ has everything that can delight us perfectly. Thus, we can find our most fulfilled wishes and deepest abiding joys. And as we love Him and find our delight in Him, His perfect will is desired, as His abiding peace, joy, and tranquility fill our souls. Won’t you give your heart to Jesus and experience New Life, and be Born Again in Him? He can give you eternal peace and satisfaction in this life and the next.

What a Wonderful Savior!

And Being Fully Persuaded!

For March 13, 2022
Faith is a mystery that is essential to our relationship with God. Abraham was seventy-five when God commanded him to go to an unspecified location, and he obeyed without wavering. Such conviction in the face of tremendous uncertainty was unprecedented. No one before Abraham showed a willingness to obey God with such unrealized faith; depending on an unseen reality for his family’s survival. Thus, God rewarded him with a solemn promise,

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. Genesis 12:3 (AKJV)

Today, we still honor Abraham for spawning a nation, and a faith movement that’s still vibrant today, because as Romans 4:21 (AKJV) attests (my emphasis),

He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

Paul’s commentary of Abraham’s faith encounter with the Lord gives us two important lessons relevant to the Christian life today. The first is the steadfastness of our True and Living God, as it declares that God is immutable, and we can trust His veracity in any situation. God’s Words are true, eternal, and shall never fail, even as Jesus Himself declares,

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Matthew 24:35 (NIV)

Hear the testimony of the Psalmist,

Forever, O LORD, Your word is settled in heaven. Psalm 119:89 (NKJV)

Human resolve will only go as far as our finite human strength will take us—no further! But our God is eternal, omniscient, and omnipotent. Only He alone can keep every promise He made in the past, is making today, or will make in the future.

The Lord is wholly without change. This concept is hard to grasp for the modern mind since our lives along with all that we know (or will ever know) is capricious and ever changing.

Yet, our Lord is absolute, and without vacillation. Here is what James writes about the matter,

Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. James 1:17 (NLT)

Moreover, God is without untruth. Look at what Jeremiah attests,

But the LORD is the true God; he is the living God, the eternal King. When he is angry, the earth trembles; the nations cannot endure his wrath. Jeremiah 10:10 (NIV)

Even the greatest and noblest of us—past, present, or future—cannot make this assertion. Yet, we can still hear the voice of the Almighty resounding from eternity through His word: “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him!” Proverbs 30:5 (NIV)

The importance of living, vibrant (mustard seed) faith represents the second lesson we can learn from this passage. Abraham was a man of great faith in God; he was “fully persuaded” that God could and would do exactly what He promised to do. In Abraham’s testimony, and other people of faith… including us, we can see clearly that as we continue abiding in the steadfast promises of the Almighty God, we can know safety, and eternal peace and fulfillment.

This kind of faith would have said, if it could speak, “I believe, Lord; although I can’t see where my belief will take me; but I will believe in You, with the conviction that everything will work out perfectly.” Here is what the Psalmist again writes,

Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun. Psalm 37 3,6 (NKJV)

The story does not end with Abraham; it applies to us today.  Just as God promised and delivered on His promises to Abraham, being utterly steadfast and true to His word, God will also be absolutely steadfast and true to His promises to us today.

But to receive His blessings, we must be as Abraham.  And that is to tenaciously hold to God’s unchanging hand,

Hold To God’s Unchanging Hand1
Jennie B. Wilson (1857-1913)

Time is filled with swift transition. Naught of earth unmoved can stand. Build your hopes on things eternal. Hold to God’s unchanging hand.

Trust in Him who will not leave you. Whatsoever years may bring. If by earthly friends forsaken, Still more closely to Him cling.

Covet not this world’s vain riches, That so rapidly decay. Seek to gain the heav’nly treasures. They will never pass away.

When your journey is completed, If to God you have been true, Fair and bright the home in Glory, Your enraptured soul will view.

Refrain:
Hold to His hand, God’s unchanging hand. Hold to His hand, God’s unchanging hand. Build your hopes on things eternal. Hold to God’s unchanging hand.

Jesus Christ is the beginning and the end of all redeeming faith. Trust in Him and the promises of God become yes and amen! (Hebrews 12:2, 2 Corinthians 1:20)

As we hold to God’s unchanging hand, even when we cannot see the outcome, we must remain encouraged; confident that God’s will is being done. And His will produces positive outcomes for His precious children—always. Won’t you trust in the Lord today? He promised He will never fail or forsake us.

What a Wonderful Savior!

We Need God’s Word Today!

For March 6, 2022
With all the confusion and disorder in our world, we need the calming voice of God guiding us more than ever. His is the voice that brings life and joy. And as we follow His commands, we can experience peace and fulfillment.

We can have many fulfilling moments that show how God loves, protects and provides for us. We grow confident that He directs our steps and will never leave or forsake us. Our Christian experiences enhance our knowledge and strengthen our faith in God and His Word, as opposed to our subjective thoughts or feelings,

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:8-11 (NKJV)

The Bible, or the Word of God, presents how Enoch walked with God, (Genesis 5:24), and shows it is possible to stay connected to God for an entire lifetime. We who follow this pattern are living demonstrations of His miraculous power. God’s Word enables us to sanctify the Lord God in our hearts, so we can give a prompt response to the hope within us with meekness and godly reverence, as 1 Peter 3:15 teaches.

Knowledge, or the Greek gnosis (Strong-G1108), denotes the information we’ve accumulated through diligent study. In our age of specialization, we require knowledge and skill to be a qualified professional. Physicians learn medicine, attorneys research law, and we as Believers examine the Word of God (Bible) to become competent practitioners of the Christian faith.

Our Lord Jesus valued Scriptural knowledge. At twelve, He was in Herod’s Temple at Jerusalem, listening to the teachers of the Law and Old Testament traditions and asking questions. (Luke 2:46) Our spiritual existence depends on Christ, the Living Word, who said,

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63 (AKJV)

The Bible helps us to grow spiritually and morally, as David attests,

Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. Psalm 119:11 (AKJV)

We cannot read this holy book as we would a newspaper or paperback novel. Instead, we must rely on God to give us the spiritual insight to interpret and apply it properly. We may pick up nuances from independent study, but we best learn from spiritually mature Christians who teach the Bible exegetically and “read out” of the Bible God’s instruction for us. The antithesis is eisegesis or “reading into” the Bible speculation and subjective opinions that produce Scriptural error, false doctrine, confusion, and controversy. We must pursue sound doctrine and teaching,

Knowledge does not take twentieth-century people back to first-century ways of living. It brings the universal and timeless truths as redemptive realities for living today. It translates the Jesus of history into the Christ of faith.1

Helping Believers draw proper conclusions from the Bible underscores the importance of Christian discipleship in a church setting. There, we can explore the Bible’s content, context, and application through Biblical hermeneutics to avoid biblical speculation and render a true reckoning of God’s inspired Word.

In the beginning, the Enemy used half-truths and innuendos to dissuade Adam and Eve from pursuing God’s words. As in Peter’s day, false teachers today deploy the same strategy by adding subtle changes to the Bible through clever phrases and speculation. Instead of drawing conclusions from the Bible’s text itself, spurious opinions are for the “itching ears” of 2 Timothy 4:3–4.

We can “rightly divide” (interpret and share) God’s Word, as 2 Timothy 2:15 instructs. God will punish us for adding or taking from God’s Word as Proverbs 30:5–6 and Revelation 22:18–19 warn us. Much like a carpenter whose screwdriver differs from a claw hammer, we can learn how each book differs from one another.

In addition, we should use a Bible version that is easy to read and understand that contains chain references, maps, and concordances. Bible dictionaries, atlases, commentaries, and other aids are invaluable in our study. Supplemental reference materials (e.g., Old and New Testament surveys, Old and New Testament, Jewish, church, and world histories, systematic theology, Christian doctrine, Hebrew and Greek word studies, dictionaries, etc.) can benefit us as well.

Through diligent study of God’s Word, we learn we are not of this world. God has a plan for us He will complete in His proper time. Six doctrines tell of His incredible purpose in grace.

    1. God is the one true, living God. He expresses Himself as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. The Father creates, sustains, and rules Heaven and earth. The Son is Mediator, Redeemer, Savior, and Lord. He secures our atonement by His death and resurrection. The Holy Spirit quickens, comforts, guides, unites us in Christ, guarantees our victory over the Enemy, and secures our place in Heaven.
    1. Jesus Christ is the center of our Christian community. As our Prophet, He inspires us and guides the trajectory of our lives through the biblical accounts of His life and teachings. As our Priest, He forgives, purges, and removes our sins. As our King, He governs our hearts and minds through His Spirit and Word. In Him, we unite, because He is the center of our love, gratitude, and faith.
    1. Our Sin Nature (Sin). God created us in His image to have eternal fellowship. Because of our disobedience, we fell from our innocent state to become sinners. We are without God’s righteousness and are amenable to wickedness. Alienated from God and subject to His condemnation, we need a Savior.
    1. The Bible is the Word of God. Inspired individuals penned His sacred words to disclose His divine truths to fallen humanity. It contains principles for human conduct and opinion. It unites the Old Testament, which reveals God’s eternal standards through His Law, with the New Testament, which reveals our reconciliation to God through Christ. As we read, study, memorize, and apply its principles, we grow into his productive people of faith and grace.
    1. The Church: As one body in Christ, Christians are the “called out,” or in the Greek ekklesia (Strong-G1577); a people who are distinct from the world. We unite in prayer, worship, fellowship, Bible study, service, and accountability. We observe its ordinances and rituals that strengthen us. Christian Baptism symbolizes our death to sin and our resurrection to new life. In the Lord’s Supper, we use bread and wine to commemorate the Lord’s death, and show our dependence on Him for our spiritual life, and looking forward to dining with Him in Heaven as He promised.
    1. In the World to Come, our Lord will descend from Heaven to occupy a new Heaven and earth without sin, Satan, or things defiled. A final separation will occur where those of us who trust in Christ will share eternal bliss in Heaven. There we will have His eternal peace, rest, and comfort. Those who have not come to Christ will face eternal torment and separation from God in Hell.

Why not try living by God’s Word—the Bible—for His direction and prosperity instead of relying on our own insufficient thoughts and ways, that lead to frustration and failure? Our desire should mirror those of the ancient King David,

The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, and in keeping them there is great reward.  Psalm 19:7-11 (NKJV)

What a Wonderful Savior!

What A Wonderful Savior!

For February 20, 2022
It is in Chapter Fifteen of First Corinthians where we can find the core of the Gospel by which all Christians find our purpose, identity, liberty, and eternal hope (my emphasis),

Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 (NIV)

The idea of “equal atonement” is troublesome for the modern mind to capture fully. Not concerning Christ’s saving efficacy as His sacrifice remediates all our sins forever. His commitment to give Himself freely and willingly for the comprehensive salvation of every man, woman, boy, and girl—past, present, and future—is yet impossible to fathom. Such an action is not a normal human response, especially toward someone we feel is “less desirable.”

Sacrificing for a loved one is conceivable when expressing our love for them or protecting them is our motivation. However, choosing to sacrifice our lives for an enemy or someone who dislikes us is extremely hard to envision or practice in real time. History has shown there may be certain situations where we would risk life and limb for someone we might not necessarily care for.

During the Second World War, for example, cultural issues fostered adversarial relationships that fragmented our troops occasionally. Although these valiant men and women may have been divided, they proved themselves more than willing to sacrifice for their adversary’s greater good by fighting and dying to spare the world from the universal tyranny of the Axis powers.

Fast-forward eighty years to our current international pandemic. Some have replaced noble altruism with a cold-hearted malevolence thorough modern day “germ warfare.” Imagine the depths of depravity for one to create a microorganism that indiscriminately targets innocent victims with underlying health issues and/or acute pre-morbidities. Moreover, some who should adhere to the Hippocratic Oath, to “do no harm,” by protecting and improving our overall health and safety, would instead politicize and withhold the vital, life-saving technologies and medical remedies that have been shown to treat illness.

What happened to our compassion for those who are absolutely marginalized and vulnerable among us? Where is our concern for the “least of these” (Matthew 25:40)?

I am saddened by the barbarism plaguing human hearts now. Truly, our Enemy, Satan, is at work in the callous and malicious disregard for human dignity witnessed in the indiscriminate killing and violence directed at the unborn and helpless, the calculated euthanizing of the weak and aged, and the exploitation, abuse, trafficking, oppression, and savagery expressed towards anyone and everyone who falls between those two demographic extremes.

Ultimately, we have reduced our precious, God-given human life to mere dollars and cents.

Our heartlessness is most unfortunate because technology, education, politics, military, and industry do not make our country great. It is our faith in God, and the Judeo-Christian values we embrace and uphold that allows God’s divine favor, as the Scriptures attest, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.” Proverbs 14:34 (NKJV)

Ours is not a perfect nation; no nation is, especially with sin and entitlement issues, running amuck as they are today. Nevertheless, there was a time in our not-too-distant past when we understood right from wrong, and we intuitively maintained a line of demarcation between what was morally good and morally bad. Unfortunately, we have blurred that line by our existential relativism. Our existentialism celebrates our human subjectivity while our relativism denies the existence of all absolute truth,

Dress as you will, fornicate with whom you will, infect whom you will, wear clothes, or go naked as you will. The only right is what is right for you, and the only wrong is that which produces pain or inconvenience for you. There is no law, no principle, no proper course of action of any kind, so go with the vibes! Whatever is your thing, do it.1

God’s Word (Bible) and His Helper (Holy Spirit) no longer inform our public discourse. Instead, whatever feels good or gives us pleasure—at this very moment—is what governs our conscience and behavior.

Oh, what sorrow and despair await those of us who insist “evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter.” Isaiah 5:20 (NLT) There are far too many people who live for the here and now: “three-score and ten, and the most toys win!” Howbeit, there is a vast eternity beyond the grave, and we must acknowledge Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior in this life to avoid eternal peril,

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? Matthew 16:26 (AKJV)

Proud, self-righteous human endeavors will never invoke God’s favor, as does Calvary’s Cross. It’s never been about us; it’s about Jesus Christ, and our faith in Him vitalizes our being, position, conduct, and eternal destiny. Those who don’t profess Him as such today will face Him as the Eternal Judge tomorrow.

But we who love Him, and whose faith begins and ends with Him, He is our hope, peace, expectation, and glorious reward. Galatians 3:11 reads, “The just shall live by faith,” and 2 Corinthians 5:7 states, “We walk by faith, not by sight.” James 4:6 tells us that God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble—does He ever! Like airplanes on a runway before takeoff, we cannot fly without our Eternal Pilot at the controls. With humble, reverent, and sincere faith in Him, we shall reach our glorious final destination safely.

Additionally, a civilized people must exercise vigilance and due diligence to promote and secure the moral and spiritual well-being of our fellow countrymen and women,

The freedom of God is exercised and illustrated in His government of His moral creatures. It has pleased God to create intelligences possessed of moral freedom and to make their ultimate destiny contingent upon the right use of their freedom.2

God has endowed all of us with the sacred trust to preserve civility, decency, and goodwill for people with whom we work, serve, and live. We should foster a congenial atmosphere since we have grown and matured beyond our childish self-interests to pursue things that are in everyone’s collective best interest. We who have so matured understand if we persist in raucous discord, no person will be spared from hostility and violence.

At some point, we must ask this question with the utmost sincerity, What kind of world do we want for our children, and their children?

Therefore, with our non-absolute, selfish, proud, twenty-first-century minds, it is extremely difficult to imagine how Jesus Christ, a person in perfect health, and with all His faculties, would spend His precious time teaching and demonstrating—thorough His death, burial, and resurrection—eternal lessons that would forever shape the character and conduct of His Followers around the world, as He did.

In His shoes, we would be consumed with pleasure, fulfilling our selfish desires, visiting exotic places, or completing unfinished tasks on our “bucket list.” Not so with Jesus Christ. He knew He would die on the cross for the sins of the entire world—even those who hated and/or refused to believe in Him. Yet, He spent His precious time sharing critical lessons with others (and us). Can’t we trust in Jesus, surrender to Him, and follow His example by living beyond the parameters of our own sin and selfishness for the benefit of all (and for His glory)?

What a Wonderful Savior!

Jesus Got Up From The Grave!

For April 4, 2021
All humanity was in spiritual peril. Sin and death bound us, where there was no escape. But, Jesus’ single magnificent act would change the course of our future once and for all.

Up to now, Jesus Christ was like any other person who has ever spouted lofty ideals, performing magical tricks, and leading a group of misfits and non-conformists. This behavior was seen before. (Although raising the widow’s son, Jairus’ daughter, and Lazarus from the dead were spectacular accomplishments.)

He was approximately thirty-three years old, give or take—a relatively young man—cut down in the prime of His life. His claim to be God in human flesh, (or the Son of God), along with His claim to be our only means of redemption were without validation to this point. Then, something happened that distinguishes Him from anyone who has ever lived.

Jesus Rose from the Dead!

Through His resurrection, God glorifies the Son and validates His authority over Satan, sin, and death, making Him the most significant person who has ever lived, and it ensures us that He will not disappoint those of us who put our faith in Him,

By any and all standards, Jesus Christ has always been regarded as the greatest figure in human history. On any list of the world’s greatest men, we always find at its head Jesus of Nazareth. Regardless of whether or not men acknowledge Him as Savior and Lord, they must pay tribute to Him as the world’s outstanding man. 1

Many refer to Jesus as a prophet or teacher. Some say He was a good man who died tragically. If death was all there was, we would be hopelessly lost. But, praise the Lord! Jesus’ death is not all that there was to know about Him. He also rose from the dead, and He left behind an empty tomb. Although some have tried, we cannot ignore the implications of this historical fact.

    •  The empty tomb validates the Lord’s claim to be the Son of God or God in human flesh and that He, the Helper, and the Father are one.

I and my Father are one…I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper…the Spirit of truth…I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you (John 10:30, 14:16-18 NKJV)

    • It confirms God has approved Jesus Christ’s atoning sacrifice for our sin and solidifies the new and abundant life we have in Him forever.

For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in Him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son (John 3:16-18 NIV).

    • It shows the Father answered His prayer to be glorified most emphatically.

Therefore God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Philippians 2:9-11 NIV).

    • It proves and assures we will also experience a glorious resurrection, just as He has,

And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God (Job 19:26 AKJV).

    • It assures us we can pray, read/study His Word, abide by His commands, trust His promises, attend church, observe His ordinances, serve others, and strive toward spiritual growth knowing our actions are productive,

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain (1 Corinthians 15:58 NIV).

The foundation of our Christian faith is the actual bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. Because of it, we sorrow not as others who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13),

This is but natural, as Christianity must stand or fall with the resurrection. Christ “rose from the dead,” has always been a cardinal article of faith in the Christian Church; for the defense of the faith and comfort to the Believers. The difficulties that beset denial are found in: (a) the impossibility of explaining the empty grave; (b) the attitude of the enemies of Christ after the resurrection, revealing their helpless confusion; (c) the Disciples’ sudden transition from hopelessness to triumphant faith; (d) the founding of Christianity in the world, which can be rationally accounted for only in view of the fact that Christ actually rose from the dead.2

Our Christian faith, history, and theology derive from the idea that Jesus Christ rose from the dead physically. Along with the Disciples we, His Followers today, universally accept this as fact. And despite the two thousand years of skeptics, our Christian faith has never been a product of “lies, fraud, hallucinations, and sick minds.” Courageous, clear-minded Saints of God continue to die for their faith in the Lord because they know Him to be authentic and eternal. Christian faith stands or falls with the resurrection of Jesus.3

Our Lord willingly died to pay for our sins, and He triumphantly rose for our justification. He ascended into Heaven, where He now sits at the right hand of God, interceding for us. Soon, He will return for us, and we will be with Him forever in His peace and love. Won’t you trust Him today?

Jesus is risen…He is risen indeed!

What a Wonderful Savior!

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