Thursday, August 28, 2008

Balance that Brings Power

The aggravating experience of driving in a car with tires that are out of balance makes driving less appealing.

Likewise, I believe, that over many years the message delivered by the Church of Jesus has been out of balance making it less appealing to non-Christians and to Christians as well.

Paul states: "if Jesus has not been raised from the dead, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is in vain...and if Jesus has not been raised your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. If we have hoped in Jesus in this life only, we are most to be pitied.
I Corinthians 15:12-19

Here is where we need to consider carefully what is being said.

I am not undermining the infinite value of the message of the cross. The words of Jesus in addition to the statements of Paul to the Corinthians, regarding communion forever establishes the cornerstone position of the atonement!

That said, Paul makes a further case that it is the power of the resurrection that displays the glory of the cross.

You will remember that the followers of Jesus, after His death, were huddled in a secret room cowering at the slightest noise at the door. All of that changed in a moment with the news that Jesus was no longer in His grave.

For too long, the followers of Jesus have been cowering within the confines of their various churches.

The vibrancy of the first century church hinged upon the resurrection:

Acts 1:22 one of these should become a witness with us of His resurrection.
Acts 2:31 and he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ
Acts 4:2 because they were teaching the people and proclaiming Jesus the resurrection from the dead

Acts 4:33 with great power the apostles were giving witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus
Acts 17:18 because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection
Acts 17:32 Now they heard of the resurrection of the dead
Acts 23:6 I [Paul] am on trial for the hope and the resurrection of the dead!
Acts 24:15 a hope that there shall certainly be a resurrection of both the righteous and the wicked
Acts 24:21 "for the resurrection of the dead I [Paul] am on trial before you today
Acts 26:23 that the Christ was to suffer, and that by reason of His resurrection from the dead He should be the first to proclaim light

So it comes down to this: What have we done with the resurrection?

As you approach your prayer time this week, I encourage you to take a few moments to ask Jesus to show you the power that resides within His resurrection.

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