Serving the community since 1970

Pastor's Corner: Keep on living in the power of the Resurrection

Easter is over for another year. The baskets are stored and the candy eaten. But let's not be so quick to move on from the benefits of the cross and the power of the resurrection that are available to us everyday. We can find some of these incredible benefits in Romans 8.

It begins with an amazing declaration of one of the greatest benefits of Jesus' sacrificial death for us. [BEGIN ITAL] "There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus."[END ITAL] (Romans 8:1) The penalty for all sin for all time has been paid! So anyone who is "in" Jesus, who has made him Savior and Lord, can live without guilt and fear. We can look directly into the face of the most Holy God without shame!

The heartbreaking truth is that many have given their hearts to Jesus, yet miss out on the great joy of living in intimate friendship with God because they believe their failings and mistakes make them unworthy. Shame keeps their eyes downcast and prevents them from seeing the deep love in His eyes. It makes them believe that He won't answer their prayers because they aren't perfect. But Jesus already made them worthy based on His righteousness and sacrifice, not on their personal perfection.

A second benefit is found in verses 14-17. We have been adopted as God's children with the same rights and benefits, the same inheritance as Jesus Himself. We are free to run into His presence as a beloved, even favored child exuberantly crying out "Daddy," not a cowed, fearful son or daughter saying "Father."

Finally, Jesus' death, resurrection and, above all, his love have made us "more than conquerors." Jesus conquered sin, death and the grave. We are more than conquerors because we enjoy all the benefits and privileges of His victory, while He did all the work. Let's look at the end of the chapter!

[BEGIN ITAL]"What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all - how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died - more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: 'For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.'

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."[END ITAL] (Romans 8:31-39)

Note that our victory in Jesus does not exempt us from hardship or even persecution in this life. Instead, it assures us that God is on our side, that He will bless and never condemn. Jesus Himself is supporting our cause with intercession and nothing can separate us from His love! This is the benefit of the cross and the power of the Resurrection! Celebrate it every day this year!

 

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