Posted by: dhkrause | April 25, 2014

New Life in Christ

Paul teaches in Romans 6 that because of Christ’s atoning death and resurrection believers can now walk in “newness of life”:

Romans 6 (ESV)
3 Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Being identified with Christ, Paul exhorts us to now consider ourselves “dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus”:

Romans 6
Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Paul’s teachings are always based on the words of Jesus. John 13:3 states that Jesus knew “that he had come from God and was going back to God”. He loved his own who were in the world to the very end, even expressing this by washing their feet at their last supper.

John 13 (ESV)
Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end. During supper, when the devil had already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray him, Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he had come from God and was going back to God, rose from supper. He laid aside his outer garments, and taking a towel, tied it around his waist. Then he poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel that was wrapped around him.

Just before raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus told his sister Martha:

“…I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die…” (John 11:25-26 NKJV)

This was a threefold promise: (1) that he was about to raise Lazarus at that very moment, (2) that he would one day raise from the dead all believers who had died, and (3) that believers who are living then will never die.

Jesus repeatedly predicted his own resurrection. He declared in John 10 that he was laying down his life for his sheep – that he had “power to lay it down and power to take it again”:

John 10 (NKJV)
14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. 17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.”

The Resurrection is God’s “Amen!” to this promise that Jesus spoke.

In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul summarizes his gospel, and then lists some of the “more than five hundred” witnesses to Christ’s resurrection:

1 Corinthians 15 (ESV)
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

 Later in this chapter, Paul refers to Christ’s resurrection as “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep”, and explains that “the last enemy to be destroyed is death”:

1 Corinthians 15 (ESV)
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. … 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

Ken Raggio writes in his article, “Evidences Of Jesus’ Resurrection”, “Peter and the apostles were forceful and unapologetic. They believed that Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection was a fulfillment of Bible prophecy. Furthermore, they believed that Jesus Christ was the heir to David’s throne as King of Israel. [In Acts 2,] Peter was so convincing that the multitudes begged his further instructions.”

Acts 2
37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Jesus declares in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” In John 10:10, he says, “I am come that they might have life, and have it more abundantly.”

When we repent, believe and obey, God makes all things new, both here and now, and eternally in Christ:

 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. (2 Cor. 5:17 NKJV)

David Krause, dhkrause@neteze.com, https://compellinglove.net/, 4/20/2014


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