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June 6, 1999

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Q/A Topics:
Helplessness of crucifixion -response to: June article

Comment:

Amen! In Andrew Murray's book, The Master's Indwelling, he notes that one of the marks of a crucified man is helplessness: "When a man hangs on the cross, he is utterly helpless and can do nothing. As long as we Christians are strong and can work or struggle, we do not enter into the blessed life of Christ. But, when a man says, 'I am a crucified man. I am utterly helpless, every breath of life and strength must come from my Jesus,' then we learn what it is to sink into our own inability and say, 'I am nothing.' "

Be blessed!

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Resurrection of Christ more important?

Q.
The Bible says that if Jesus was not raised from the Dead we are still in our sins. So wouldn't the heart of the Gospel be his Ressurection. 1:Cor 15

A.
It's the "whole package". If even one link of a chain is broke, the "whole" is ineffective. Like the Scriptures in this Morsel state that purification from sin comes from Jesus blood, for "without shedding of blood there is no remission".(Heb9:22) So, His death takes the sin away. As Romans6 (June article) proclaims, we "die" with Christ on that cross... we are "buried with Him by baptism" (Rom6:4) But if we only remained "dead" on the cross, there is no benefit, is there, as Paul proclaims in 1Cor15. if that is the case, "we are of all men most miserable". (vs19) But "as Christ was raised from the dead...we also should walk in newness of life." (Rom6:4) We died with Him... we also rise with Him. (6:5)

Thus, Paul summarizes the "Gospel..in which [we] stand" (1Cor15:3-4)

Christ:

  1. Died for our sins ...according to the Scriptures
  2. He was buried
  3. He rose again the third day ...according to the Scriptures
    --and there were witnesses
And yes, when Jesus rose from the dead, He put the final nail in death's coffin.(1Cor15:25-26) "O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?"(vs55) If we remember that the "wages of sin is death" (Rom6:23,Gen2:17) it was not enough for Him to take care of the "sin". He also had to deal with the "death" part/result of the curse. The only way that God could give the "gift" of "eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord" (23b) was if He prevailed victoriously -OVER- DEATH... by being resurrected. How could God promise something to us (hope of resurrection and eternal life) if He could not even accomplish it in His own Son? But He -did- accomplish it, and as such, Jesus is called the "firstfruit". (1Cor15:20,23)

Jesus had to die. He also had to rise from the dead. We couldn't have the resurrection without death, first, either. Like that plant that is growing; a symbol of resurrection and life. We look at the beautiful lush plant growing, and we often forget that before it was a "plant" it was a seed which "died". (1Cor15:36-37) When a seed sprouts, it first gets soft as it absorbs moisture from the dirt around it. Now, as it moistens and swells a bit, if the 'germ' inside never sprouts, the seed will then rot and be worthless. But a new plant will not grow from that seed, unless it starts what would end up being the dying/decaying process. 'Can't have one without the other. Notice, it says about Jesus, "..You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption [decay]" (Ps16:10,Acts2:27) "Four days" was considered the beginning of decay. (Jn11:17,39) But Jesus was buried only three days. Very important point!

Many people want to be "Christians" without first dying. But its impossible. If the person has not "died" ...they are NOT a true "Christian". They are a fraud. A "pretender". Jesus knows those who died -with- Him. If they didn't die, He will say in that day, "I never knew you." (Mt7:23) "I do not know you from where you are." (Lk13:25b)

But another beautiful symbolism of that seed. How long is "everlasting" life? Think of the relative insignificance and short duration of that seed...as-a-seed. When it dies, sprouts, and becomes a lush plant; the 'seed' is forgotten. And many plants live for -YEARS-. And we tend to look at these present lives [seed -1Jn3:9] of "corruption" (1Cor15:50) as being so "long" and wondrous!! What we -think- we are now? ..we will become SO MUCH MORE; the "image of the heavenly" (vs38-49) when we are "changed" (vs51).

"And I saw a new heaven and a new earth. for the first...had passed away. And God will wipe away all tears...there will be no more death,nor mourning..nor..any more pain; for the first things passed away." (~Rev21:1-4) "..the former troubles are forgotten..and..will not be remembered, nor come to mind." (~Is65:16-17)

Amen!

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