Thursday, April 24, 2014

Living Hope

What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we've been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven--and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you'll have it all--life healed and whole.  1 Peter 1:3-5  (MSG)

In this week after Easter it is only appropriate that we focus on the hope we have in living because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.  Today we discover the way God brings this hope into our lives.  The living hope comes by the new birth. The translations use the words new birth or born again. There is no hope for eternal life unless a person is born again by the Spirit of God.  A person has to be regenerated and made into a new man before he can ever live forever.

Jesus replied, "I assure you: Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." "But how can anyone be born when he is old?" Nicodemus asked Him. "Can he enter his mother's womb a second time and be born?" Jesus answered, "I assure you: Unless someone is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. Whatever is born of the flesh is flesh, and whatever is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I told you that you must be born again. (John 3:3-7)

The living hope comes only by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Jesus Christ was raised from the dead to live forever in heaven with His Father. How does His resurrection give us the hope of living forever? By three things:

1.    First, God has proven that He has the power to raise the dead. There should never be any question about this; for God, if He is truly God, has unlimited power to do anything.  But His power to raise the dead and to keep them from ever dying again is now proven beyond all question: it is proven by the fact that He has raised Jesus Christ from the dead and exalted Him into heaven never again to die.

2.    Second, the fact that God raised Jesus Christ from the dead proves that Jesus Christ is exactly who He claimed to be: the Son of God who came into the world to save men.  God would have never raised Christ if He had been a liar and deceiver.  Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world; therefore, God raised Him from the dead.

3.    Third, Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the Perfect Man who lived a sinless life when He was upon earth.  Therefore, He stands before God as the Perfect Man.  What this means is most significant.  Being the Perfect Man, what He has done is acceptable to God.  When He arose from the dead, His resurrection was the perfect resurrection.  Therefore, it can stand for and cover every man’s resurrection.  If we are in Christ—if we really believe in Christ—then God can count us in the ideal resurrection of Christ.  God can raise us up to live with Him forever and ever just as He did with Christ.  Remember why—because Jesus Christ arose and has given us the ideal and perfect resurrection, and the Ideal can stand for and cover the resurrection of all others.

Let the scripture speak for itself: If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.  Romans 8:10-11


Scripture to Claim:
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.  2 Corinthians 5:17

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