Cross, Resurrection

That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.

Philippians 3:10

Do we really know him (Christ), and the power of his resurrection? How can we experience the power of Christ resurrection? The apostle Paul is pressing into Christ being made more to be like Christ. Most Christians have just made it past the point of being saved by faith in Jesus Christ for the remission of sins. Many have not pressed in further to really know Christ and the power of his resurrection. The Bible speaks of continued growth for those who are saved, and this growth involves the power of his resurrection, the fellowship of his sufferings, and being made conformable unto his death. At least this is what the Apostle Paul is stating in the letter to the Philippians in Rome while he was in prison. “To live is Christ, to die is gain,” stated Paul in Philippians 1:21. The Apostle Paul wants to experience the power of Christ resurrection. The Hebrew meaning for resurrection is standing or rising.

Our standing is in Christ and our rising up from the dead is in Christ also. Jesus said that He is “the resurrection and the life,” [see John 11:25]. Our own life is made possible through the power of Christ resurrection. This resurrection power gave the victory over the power of death. It is the devil that had this power [see Hebrews 2:14] until Christ death and resurrection gave all those who believe a new standing over the power of death. The resurrection is also a part of our inheritance as a Christian for that future date. Now we have the down payment of our inheritance through the promised Holy Spirit to help us in our walk and conformity to Christ. The apostle Paul counted all things at a loss to know Christ more. Paul did not look at his personal possessions, his focus was on Christ and pressing on towards that high calling. Paul was reaching forward to his future as a citizen in heaven [see Philippians 3:14-20].

The Apostle Paul’s journey in life is the desire to know Christ, fellowship in Christ resurrection power, and being made conformable unto His death. Have we as Christians really thought about that fellowship we have with Christ and being made conformable unto His death?  For many, this is not what they had in mind.  Any talk about being made conformable to Christ or his suffering is far from what they think a Christian is.  Some just want the easy life, but this is not reality.  There are all kinds of real human suffering today.  What can we gain in life when it only brings death?  Can we have the mind of Christ? We must press toward the mark with the Apostle Paul for Christ asking to be filled with the Holy Spirit and to know Christ and the power of his resurrection. We need the Holy Spirit’s help in becoming like Christ in love, patience, and holiness. We need to continue to spiritual maturity daily knowing our standing in Christ that we have the forgiveness for our sins, and the Holy Spirit of promise to continue our walk as followers of Christ. Not that we have attained righteousness on our own, for it is through Christ that our position is in righteousness, and this is through faith in Christ only.

Charles Spurgeon expressed it this way, “that the less you value your own righteousness, the more will you seek after true holiness; the less you think of your own beauty, the more ardently will you long to become like the Lord Jesus.” The way to the mind of Christ is to know Him in a more personal way. Christ emptied himself of his status and took on the form of a servant [see Philippians 2:7]. The mind of Christ is to have love for one another, tender mercy, and compassion. As Christians we are not to create strife by arguing, quarreling, or gain self-glorification. We are to esteem others better than ourselves [see Philippians 2:3-5]. Our future is assured through Christ. Jesus said that if you believe on him, you have everlasting life, and He will raise us up at the last day [see John 6:40]. This is the power of his resurrection to gain victory over the evil one and be brought out of darkness and into His wonderful light. We barely know Him and the power of His Resurrection. Let us press in to know Him more like the apostle Paul.   If you want to read more about this subject click on the link below to read Charles Spurgeon take on the power of his resurrection written in 1889.

Cross, Faith

Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our Faith

Looking to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:2 KJV

Jesus and the cross are common symbols today for the meaning of Christianity. The Encyclopedia Britannica defines the Cross as ” a sign both of Christ himself and of the faith of Christians.” As we are nearing the time of Easter, many Evangelicals celebrate Christ’s resurrection with a special ceremony. I always find it interesting how pagan themes attached themselves to basic Christian themes and Easter is one of them that has taken root in the theme of the Cross. In truth, Easter comes from the Germanic goddess of dawn. Did you know that Easter is based on a solar calendar? It is celebrated after the first full moon occurring after the Spring Equinox. I only mention this because to some people who view American Christianity have commented how America has become Polytheistic, which means worshiping more than one God. Maybe we should take a closer look at where or what we have placed our faith in.

Thus, the title of Jesus being the author and finisher of our faith should help us on where our faith should be placed. The scriptures tells us that it is impossible to please God without faith, for one must believe in who He is, [see Hebrews 11:6]. In Hebrews chapter 11 we have this long list of examples of the way of faith up to the chapter of 12 of Hebrews and verse 2 where Jesus is mentioned who endured the cross and now is seated at the right hand of God. Jesus who atoned for our sins. Jesus who covered our sin from God’s sight. Jesus who put away sin by the sacrifice of himself [see Hebrews 9:26]. The final sacrifice once and for all Jesus is the only one who can save humanity.

To many it is foolishness, but the Apostle Paul commented that “the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us who are saved it is the power of God,” [ see 1 Corinthians 1:18]. This pleased God that the foolishness of the cross became the power of God to save humanity. The power of God for those who are saved is seen through the prayer of faith. The prayer of faith is seen through Christ who covered our sins. Christ who became the author and the finisher of our faith because of His sacrifice on the cross. Christ who is the resurrection and the life [see John 11:25]. Christ who destroys the work of the devil [see 1 John 3:8]. The power of God is seen through Christ death and resurrection.

This is our confidence, Jesus Christ who loved us so much to become our sacrifice for our sins. Jesus Christ who became the way to God, so that we may become God’s children. Jesus Christ who overcame the world and the power of the evil one who is Satan [see Hebrews 2:14]. We need to remind ourselves that we serve a living God and not a dead God. Christ is the resurrection, and the life means we have a destiny. We have an everlasting life because of the resurrection of Christ. That is why the Apostle John declared that “greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world [1 John 4:4]. We have a sure foundation in Christ Jesus. Our confession in Christ Jesus is not in vain, instead it is the power of God to break the power of sin and the control of the evil one, who is Satan. The apostle Paul tells us “if Christ be not raised, your faith is in vain,” [see 1 Corinthians 15:17]. Let us remember on Easter where, or who we place our faith in, so that our faith is not in vain. Let our heart not waver in unbelief in departing from a living God [see Hebrews 3:12]. Let us always look to Jesus, the author, and finisher of our faith, for it is the power of God.

The following worship song has been sung with exchanging the word blood with the word [Cross]. It’s the Cross that Cleanses me, It’s the Cross that gives me life. My Jesus, God’s precious sacrifice.