1 THESSALONIANS 4:13-18 – But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. Therefore encourage one another with these words.”
THEME OF THE DAY: A BELIEF TO LIVE. Do you believe Jesus literally died, was buried, three days later rose from the dead, ascended to heaven and is coming back to the earth in visible form? Do I?
Of course, we do. We would remind each one another those are the truths that make us Christians. Those are the core fundamentals of our faith with the resurrection of our Lord paramount. The Apostle Paul told us “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Corinthians 15:14-19).
Yes, we do believe those facts of Christianity, but I would ask each of us a question, beginning with yours truly, centered around the most important element of our faith – the resurrection of the Lord Jesus – “What difference is that truth making in our daily lives?” And here comes the uncomfortable part within the question . . . if we are not daily thinking about the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and its application in living the Christian life, well, we are not living out the power of the Christian life. We are just being morally good people with a little religiosity sprinkled in. Now don’t stop reading, get defensive, cry “heresy” or delete today’s nugget. The power of the Christian life is found in our union in Christ in both His death and resurrection to be appropriated by faith each day.
The heartbeat and pursuit of the Apostle Paul in his life and ministry were three things. They are found in his personal testimony contained in the third chapter of his letter to the Philippians – that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death (Philippians 3:10). The greatest Christian ever to live wanted to “know Christ, experience the power of His resurrection, and be conformed into His image through suffering.” And those are to be the heartbeat and pursuit of every Christian which is only possible by the power of Christ’s resurrection lived out by every Christian.
This truth of the resurrection applied, or a belief lived, is wonderfully expounded in the sixth chapter of the New Testament letter Romans. Let me encourage us to get alone with our Bibles and do a deep dive into the first fourteen verses and pay attention to the applications of our union with Christ in His death AND resurrection. This chapter is the key to living out the belief in the resurrection of our Lord; a belief that is the power for all Christian living.
PRAYER: “Father, help me not to make the resurrection of Your Son just a truth I believe.”
QUOTE: “The resurrection of Christ is not just a truth to believe but the power of the Christian life.”
Because of Him,