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Now that Christ is Risen

Now that Christ is Risen

What does it mean for you?

In the New Testament, the glorious news is announced to mankind, that of salvation and victory over sin and death. God offers to all people, (through the person and accomplished work of Jesus Christ on the cross, His resurrection, ascension, and glory at God’s right hand) this message or good news to all men through faith in Christ.

What that means is, God provided a way of salvation for men through the gift of His son to the world. His Son suffered as a sacrifice for sin, overcame death, and now offers a share in His triumph to all who will accept it.

The gospel is good news because it is a gift of God, not something that must be earned by penance or by self-improvement (Jn 3:16; Rom 5:8–11; II Cor 5:14–19; Tit 2:11–14). It is a way, not just about giving good advice, missing the kingdom purpose.

The apostle Paul summarizes the most basic ingredients of the gospel message (see verse below), namely, “death…burial…resurrection, and appearances of the resurrected Christ.” And this is what he says;

“Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel that I preached to you, that you received and on which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received—that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve…” 1 Corinthians 15:1-8

These verses, which were an early Christian confession, give us the heart of the gospel and shows that the resurrection is an integral part of the gospel. Paul described this as “of first importance” – a phrase that stresses priority, not time. The stress is on the centrality of these truths to the gospel message.

It’s about preserving the rituals; the Gospel teaches that God is seeking those who will worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

His resurrection gives us salvation, and hope for our own resurrection also, which is eternal life.

Salvation

Ps 69:4,9,19,21; Acts 3:19,21

The plan of salvation is;

  • Restorative in its promise
  • Redemptive in its purpose
  • Reconciling in its provision

I restored that which I took not away

How can someone restore that which he has not taken away?
If we receive wrong, we may the better bare it. By satisfaction, Christ is made to God our sin, by his blood he restored that which he took not away, he paid our debt, suffered for our offences.

Even when we can plead Not guilty, as to men’s unjust accusations, yet before God we must acknowledge ourselves deserve all that is brought upon us.

Christ is made for us sanctification, not only by putting off the honours due to God, but by submitting to the greatest dishonours that could be done to any man.

We need not be discouraged if our zeal for the truths, precepts, and worship of God, should provoke some, and cause others to mock our godly sorrow and deadness to the world.

Called to be saints

“But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (1 Corinthians 1:30)

The reason you’re in Christ is because God put you there; it is God’s plan and arrangement to make your life acceptable before him. God deliberately made it that way so “That no flesh should glory in his presence.”

Christ makes you acceptable before God, only when you put on him; i.e. his only saving wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption.

Paul said, ” Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought: But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory.” 1 Corinthians 2:6-7

Those saved are able to recognise that wisdom of God. God’s wisdom isn’t in best ideas of men – not in the old either. It’s not something you can say brilliant! It’s something when you see or hear about it you’re tempted to say how foolish, useless, nonsense and silly! Why? Because it comes hidden in foolishness. 1 Corinthians 2:7 says, “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom , which God ordained before the world unto our glory.”

1 Corinthians 1:26 says, “Notice among yourselves, dear brothers, that few of you who follow Christ have big names or power or wealth.”

What’s ordained for your glory is what the flesh and the world will despise. Religion or Judaism will despise it too.

Paul said, “Christ sent me….to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.” 1 Corinthians 1:17. But isn’t that what we would prefer these days; fiery preachers, power and wealth?
Paul said, “I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:3-5

There are things we keep practising these days not because it’s acceptable before God but because men it has a show of wisdom – e.g. traditions, tithes, etc.

Paul said; “we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory,” and that wisdom he is talking about, saying it’s great wisdom is not the kind that would come from earth, nor the kind that appeals to great men of this world, who are doomed to fall but is that that which appeals to his saints, to true wisdom which is the fear of God, to righteousness, to sanctification, and true redemption.

God chose a plan, despised by the world, counted as nothing, described as foolishness, useless, nonsense and silly so by it could bring down to nothing those that considers the wisdom of this world great. 1 Corinthians 2:11 says,”…even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”

I like this verse 1 Corinthians 2:14, “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

God put us in Christ, “…who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (1 Corinthians 1:30)

The reason you’re in Christ is also that you may be able to receive the things of the Spirit of God, yet alone to discern. It is also that you may recognise antichrist, and “the things which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.” 1 Corinthians 2:13.

“Therefore let no man glory in men…” 1 Corinthians 3:21

The priesthood

When we talk about the priesthood, first we got to know of the change that took place. The old was done away with so he could establish the new.

There is no way you can understand the new priesthood from the old; whether it’s about sacrifices and/or it’s serving God. “Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience; Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.” Hebrews 9:9-10

Hebrews 7:12 says, “For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law.”

We’ve to understand Jesus did not become a priest by meeting the old requirements of the law – he is a testator! It was by appointment.

When God sent JESUS as a new kind of priest He needed him to be priest for ever! No more he was going “…to take tithes of the people according to the law…” (Hebrews 7:5). Be careful how and whom you pay your tithes to. Actually, in the New Testament we shouldn’t pay tithes. If you do it to help the brethren then you’re lost.

If you’re compelled to then pay it to Melchizedek, i.e., a person who lives forever, is exalted into the heavens and has the power to bless you. “For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us…” Hebrews 9:24

In order to appear before God, Hebrews 8:3 says, “every high priest is ordained to offer gifts and sacrifices: wherefore it is of necessity that this man have somewhat also to offer.”

“…But into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us…” (Hebrews 9:24), with his own blood.

I love this;

“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; And having an high priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)” Hebrews 10:19-23

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