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Living In Grace

A Christ inspired work dealing with American Christian Culture in the New Century.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Powerful Gospel and the Resurrected Christ

Romans 1:4 (New American Standard Bible)
who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord.


1 Corinthians 15:1-6 (New American Standard Bible)

The Fact of Christ's Resurrection

Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. 3For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the Good News that
 the only begotten Son of God         ( John 3:16 ) was crucified, buried, and raised on the third day according to the Scriptures to save those that would believe.  Without the resurrection we have nothing upon which to base our faith and the hope that is within us is vain. There are some tenets of the Christian Faith that are unapologetically at the core of our beliefs and should be universally accepted: Among those is the bodily resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The resurrection is the power of God manifested in this world once and for all to demonstrate to everyone for all eternity His amazing grace and the power of His Will.  Without the resurrection we have nothing other than a moralizing  first century Jew with a severe case of narcissism who was crucified at the hands of His brethren and the Roman authorities.  How much influence could one man, who never lead an army or wrote a book, have upon the world and especially Western Civilization if He was still in the ground?  I say none at all and His resurrection proved to sinful man that they have encountered Someone above and beyond what they could ever hope or dream of.

Jesus, who is the God-man, was fully aware of His fate from before time began and condescended to take on flesh so that the Gospel could be fully realized through the death, burial, and resurrection of the only One worthy to redeem man from the curse of sin.  In Isaiah 53:4 the prophet declares, " surely he has  born our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. " God, was involved from the outset in His ( Jesus' ) crucifixion: It was not a surprise, a misstep in the economy of God, or the triumph of the enemy over the Anointed One, but was rather Jesus knowingly and willingly giving up His life for the believers   ( John 15:12-17, 10:17, Matthew 26:24, Mark 14:21, Luke 22:22, John 17 ).


Romans 1:4 (New American Standard Bible)
who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Jesus, through His resurrection, declared with power who He was  those closest to Him proclaimed this resurrection to the masses.  It was only after having seen the resurrected Christ and  with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit that they had the  power necessary to proclaim this marvelous truth in a hostile world ( Acts 1:7, Acts 4:33 ).  It was upon having seen this resurrected Savior that Thomas, bowing before Him, said, " My Lord and my God " ( John 20:24-28 ) and Saul of Tarsus transformed into the Apostle Paul ( Acts 9 ).  This same Paul, who as Saul persecuted the Church, wrote in Philippians 3: 10, " That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, " to attest to the power of the resurrection found in the Gospel of God.  The followers of Christ, who had only weeks prior had deserted Him, now stood not only in the streets of Jerusalem but travelled throughout the world proclaiming His death and resurrection as seen in the following:

  1. Acts 2:36 Therefore let all the House of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ-this Jesus who you crucified.
  2. Acts 4:10 let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead--by this name this man stands here before you in good health
  3. Acts 17:18 And also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, "What would this idle babbler wish to say?" Others, "He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities,"--because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.
  4. 1 Peter 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead
  5. Colossians 1:23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

1 Corinthians 4:20
For the kingdom of God does not consist in words but in power


There was nothing that hindered the proclamation of the Gospel, but why? They spoke their words as directed by the Holy Spirit in Power.  In the Power of God's Kingdom and Grace.  Paul wrote to the Thessalonians that, " Our Gospel did not come to you in words only but also in power and the Holy Spirit and with full conviction " ( 1 Thess. 1:5 ).  They believed what they saw and they proclaimed it with the authority of the Holy Spirit.  They, including Paul, spoke it while imprisoned ( Ephesians 6:20 ), threatened ( Acts 4 ), and while in exile ( Revelation ).  As Peter wrote, " for we did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made known to you the Power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty " ( 2 Peter 1:16 ).  They saw Him and they were forever changed by His Amazing Grace through the power of Gospel. 

Have you met the Risen Christ?  Has He given you the power to proclaim His Gospel to the world?

2 Corinthians 7:10
For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.

Pray today that the Lord of Creation may grant you godly sorrow that leads to repentance so that you too may know the power of His resurrection

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2 Comments:

Anonymous Mark@3-foldCord said...

"There was nothing that hindered the proclamation of the Gospel, but why?
They spoke their words as directed by the Holy Spirit in Power."



There was, and still is plenty of opposition that tries to hinder the proclamation of the gospel...but I do agree that when the power of the Holy Spirit is working through a believer mere words become anointed words of power. Light will always dispel darkness but the key is knowing how to make your life-light shine, and how to build inroads to a lost and dying world. Jesus demonstrated the act of meeting people where they are and manifesting the power of God through HIS life and Actions. Paul was also a master at ministering to people in their current state as well.


I believe that America is currently one of the toughest mission fields in which to set up shop. Churches are to be the bastion of hope to a dying world, yet some have lost their first love and have adopted a business model approach that seems to value symbolism over substance. We need a rebirth of the church of Acts which develops and fosters family and discipleship instead of relevance and drive-by evangelism. Loving and meeting people where they are is still the key....and while we do this we present the gospel and disciple them
into Christians with substance!


Great post Luther.

May 9, 2011 at 7:29 PM  
Anonymous Luther@Living In Grace said...

" There was, and still is plenty of opposition that tries to hinder the proclamation of the gospel. "


I guess it is more about perspective and hindsight being 20/20. The key word is TRIES to hinder as nothing can thwart the will of God or the proclamation of His Word. The first Christians faced cultural obstructions ( Jewish and Greek society ), political forces ( Roman persecution ), and extreme religious prejudice ( Pharisees and Saducees ) but nothing stopped the building of the church. Their efforts to stop the church only magnified the message of hope beyond this life.


" I believe that America is currently one of the toughest mission fields in which to set up shop "


your telling me? I live in the bible belt where 95% or better are " christians ". It is very nearly impossible to witness to people who were " saved "as a child but are most likely a false convert who has never produced any fruit.

May 9, 2011 at 9:50 PM  

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