Essentials of Wesleyan Theology - Lesson 12
Significance of the Resurrection
The resurrection confirms and establishes the essential divinity of Christ. Lord signifies the unconditional claim of God of the whole universe, moral lordship, community lordship. Because of the resurrection, we have intimate personal communion with our risen Lord. (Ppt 6)
Significance of the Resurrection
I. Importance of the Resurrection in Wesleyan Theology
A. Foundation of Christian Faith
B. Connection to Justification and Sanctification
II. Historical Evidence for the Resurrection
A. Empty Tomb
B. Post-Resurrection Appearances
C. Transformation of the Disciples
III. Theological Implications of the Resurrection
A. Victory over Sin and Death
B. Assurance of Future Resurrection
C. Foundation for Christian Ethics
- By studying the Essentials of Wesleyan theology, you learn about its historical roots, key principles, and the importance of grace, holiness, and Christian perfection in this theological perspective.
- Through this lesson, you gain a thorough understanding of Wesleyan theology, its tasks, key theological perspectives, and distinctives, providing you with a solid foundation for further exploration of the Wesleyan tradition.
- In this lesson, you gain insight into Wesleyan theology's goal of pursuing holiness through sanctification, understanding the three stages and the practical implications for discipleship, spiritual growth, and the church's role.
- In this lesson, you explore the doctrine of God in Wesleyan theology, learning about His attributes, the Trinity, and His relationship with creation.
- Through this lesson, you gain a deep understanding of the Trinity from a Wesleyan perspective, exploring its scriptural basis, historical development, and practical implications for Christian living.
- This lesson deepens your understanding of the Trinity from a Wesleyan perspective, emphasizing its historical development, implications for Christian faith, and the significance of love and relationship within the Godhead.
- Gain insight into Wesleyan theology's Doctrine of Creation, its biblical basis, and the practical implications it has on understanding God's sovereignty, human responsibility, and stewardship of creation.
- Through this lesson, you gain insights into Wesleyan theology's understanding of Christ's person and work, exploring key concepts like the Incarnation, Atonement, and Second Coming.
- In this lesson, you gain insight into the incarnation of Jesus Christ, its dual nature, and its implications in revealing God's nature, redemption, atonement, and modeling holiness.
- In this lesson, you gain a comprehensive understanding of the Cross of Christ in Wesleyan theology, exploring atonement theories, the scope and application of atonement, and its impact on the believer's life.
- By studying the Cross of Christ Part 2, you gain insights into the theological concepts of the cross and the unique features of Wesleyan theology, ultimately learning how to apply these principles in your daily Christian life.
- By examining the significance of the resurrection in Wesleyan theology, you gain insight into its foundational role in Christian faith, its connection to justification and sanctification, and its far-reaching theological implications for believers.
In this class on the Essentials of Wesleyan Theology, you explore the historical background and development of Methodism, its key doctrines, and the unique approach to Scripture that John Wesley promoted. You gain a deeper understanding of prevenient grace, justification, assurance, sanctification, and the concept of Christian perfection. Furthermore, you learn about Wesley's quadrilateral of authority, his emphasis on holiness, and the impact of Wesleyan theology on social reform, evangelism, and contemporary Christian thought and practice.
Dr. Steve Seamands
Essentials of Wesleyan Theology
Significance of the Resurrection
[00:00:22] Well, I want to basically getting to this. So what business? I mean, there's a lot of material in Odin that you've read and I'm sure other kinds of things that you've read about the resurrection. I actually think, sad to say that at least churches tend to be better sometimes helping people walk through the Lenten season because it's a 40 day period. And then you get to Easter. And usually after Easter Sunday, everyone's so exhausted. On the staff and the pastor. But, you know, you have a wonderful season of that, whether you call it that or not, in your church, a time from Easter all the way to Pentecost, you've got a 50 day period there. I always found it as a pastor, a time when I could preach on the resurrection and use the stories, the post resurrection stories, which are wonderful to me, stories to kind of capture and draw that out a bit rather than just trying to preach a sermon. And oftentimes what happens is once a year on Easter Sunday, we preach about the resurrection and then that and then it gets laid to rest and we pull it out a year later. But I want to talk with you about the significance of the resurrection. The So what of the resurrection this morning? And. Aren't you? Kind of. We're going in this direction. But first of all, the resurrection confirms and establishes the essential divinity of Christ. This is the theme of exaltation. This comes through clearly in a number of New Testament passages. Acts two, This is the first Christian sermon, isn't it? On the day of Pentecost, exalted to the right hand of God, Peter says, God has made this Jesus whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.
[00:02:10] Okay. God has made this Jesus whom you crucified both. Notice those two words, Lord. Curious. And Christophe. You know the word Christophe is The word is the Greek word for Hebrew Messiah. Masha. Messiah. Right. God has made him both Lord and Christ. Pretty big. Identity words for Jesus. There acts 531 and you see in the early Christian preaching how important the resurrection was. The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior noticed the words Prince and Savior. You see how the resurrection is tied up in that exalted camp to these things. We could talk about Ephesians 119 through 23. Seated him at his right hand far above all rule and authority placed all things under his feet. You know, God raised him up, the exaltation of Christ and putting all things under his feet. Finally, Philippians two eight through 11, God exalted him to the highest place and has given him a name above every name that at the name of Jesus, what every name shall bow and every one confessed that Jesus Christ is Lord. This word, Lord is critical here, isn't it? To the glory of God, the Father. And finally, Romans one verse four Jesus Christ declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead. See that? Confirming resurrection is that which declares him to be the son of God. The underlying idea here or the theme is exaltation. The act of God in raising Jesus from the dead is an act of exaltation and enthronement. He is exalted and the Old Testament background in the Royal Psalms. There's Psalms, the second Psalm. He has put this king on his holy hell. You know that second psalm? You know why? Why do the nations rage? Because they don't want to recognize who the real Lord is and the king is.
[00:04:34] That's a great psalm. And then he says, Ask of me and I will make the nations. I'll give you the nations for your inheritance. That's a psalm about, oh, about an enthroned king. And the hundred and 10th Psalm is the psalm that says the Lord says to my Lord, sit with me at my right hand until I make all your enemies a footstool for your feet. He's both messianic King And he is Lord. He is Lord. We used to sing that little chorus. He is Lord. He is Lord. What? He has risen from the dead and He is risen from the dead. And He is Lord, the connection between Resurrection and Lordship. Now the title Curious or Lord points us to the context or the nature of Christ's exaltation. Through the resurrection. God has exalted Christ to be curious, to be Lord. Now, I don't need to tell you that this is the common New Testament title attributed to Jesus over and over again. Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God, the Father. And what distinguishes Christians from non-Christians is that Christians are those who have called upon the name of the Lord. A few passages that you can check out in your spare time, but all make this point the Christians or those who have confessed. Remember the words of the Philippine jailer. If you confess with your mouth and believe in your heart, Jesus Christ is Lord, you know you will be saved. On and on we go. We need to ask, what was the significance of this title? What was involved in the Lordship? Sounds nice, you know. Although there are some people in the church, some radical feminist that actually want to take expunge the New Testament of this.
[00:06:35] Get this out of the picture. Lord Jesus Christ is Lord. Some people who have had it, who have been lauded over. By protecting maybe men who've lorded it over women. You know, I don't want to call someone Lord, you know. Well, what's the significance of this? Is this something that we can sort of let go of and not really lose anything foundational? I think not. Walter KIRN, A finished book, The Theology of the Resurrection, suggests that this title means actually signifies two things. First of all, it signifies the unconditional claim of God in the face of the whole universe. God makes a claim. It's like a parent who tells a child, you know, don't touch that. Well, what gives you the right to tell me not to do that? Well, parents have a claim, you might say, over children, don't they? They have. They have a right to do that. Well, what right does God have to say? Don't touch that. Touch this. Do this. Don't do that, you know. Well, this title, Lord, speaks to that very issue. Walter Kenneth goes on to say that God in the face of the whole universe, first of all, has a claim to cosmic Lordship that he's the absolute, absolute creator of all created beings. The Creator does have a right. To say to the creation. This is the way you're supposed to live. This is not how you're supposed to live, you know? The claim to cosmic lordship over all creation and then curious means moral Lordship, Lordship over the conscience of human beings. God's absolute right to place moral demands upon us. One of the things I notice about the Star Wars used to be the trilogy. Now it's the there's six of them, right? Thank you.
[00:08:34] The Star Wars saga. Is that the force? Never talks back. To look. People say, May the force be with you? And the emperor might say, given to the dark side of the force, Luke or whatever, you know, And there's this force that's supposed to be there to kind of help you. Force is sort of like electricity, isn't it? It's you can kind of use it for good or. It's impersonal, isn't it? So force doesn't ever save Luke. Don't do that. There is some. Christ does do that. And he speaks, for example, to the seven churches and says, Stop that. Do this. I'm glad you're doing that. He lets us know what gives him a right. He has moral lordship. Absolute right to place moral demands on us, by the way. We don't want someone to do that, do we? I want someone to tell me what to do. We'd much rather have a impersonal force. Then a personal lord. A community lordship. Actually, I've already kind of referred to that. And that's that. That's Lordship over the, over believers, the community. He's the, he's the head of the church. Right. So he has a right to speak to the church. The venue Church of Columbus and say. I've seen your works and you're just like, you know, he has a right, doesn't he? To that Methodist church that you're pastoring. You know. Some of those folks think they own that church, Brian, I suspect. It's their church, right? No, no, it's mine. But it's because he's Lord. On the one hand, the unconditional claim he has a right to make the claim. Secondly, the unconditional absoluteness of God here. But absoluteness here, I mean here, that there is a singleness. There's an there's no there is no other.
[00:10:45] There is no other. He is the God who can tolerate no rivals. There's no other Lord but this Lord. That's why the early Christians did get into trouble with the Roman state, don't you see? Because they went around saying this about Jesus and. There was actually a no. They would say Caesar is law. He has the right, you know, But no, he he doesn't have the right to make that claim on you. Jesus does. You see why that's a threat to the state that wants to convince us that it has the right. And there's a lot of American civil religion, isn't there, that needs to be called into question. America has to bow at his feet. Not the other way around. As does every nation. Because he's Lord, there's no other rival to His Lordship and all other Lordships. All of the forms of Lordship are either derived Lordship. That his Lordship that he has given to us. You know, he gives us the right the authority to forgive sins to heal. That's derived, Lordship, isn't it? That's an okay kind of lordship as long as we remember that it's derived. But there's also a presumptuous Lordship, rebellious Lordship. The principalities in power still don't want to. You notice that the demons are the first ones to recognize Jesus when he shows up in the Gospels. We know who you are. The Holy one of God. But no one, none of them ever calls him Lord. You notice that? Because that's a word that means. But I accept your claim on me. They're trying to convince us that they're in charge here. Walter Koenig says he was curious at curiosity. Absolute Lord, His Lordship is valid for every sphere and all ages. Nothing can evade its claim.
[00:13:00] Nothing. Nothing. Nothing can evade its claim. The point, of course, in all this is that when this title is transferred to Jesus and conferred upon Jesus. In the Old Testament. Adonai was the word that the Jews used for Yahweh. Right. They wouldn't speak that word because that name was too high and holy. So every time they come to it, they. What do they say? They say I tonight, Lord. But now this gets transferred. To Jesus and conferred upon him. It means that Christ stands in the place of God, doesn't it? Basically, it's that saying that Christ stands in the place of God. As Carl Bart says, Jesus is Lord means Jesus has God. The Lord is Jesus means God is Jesus. That is also an inference from this title. What according to the to the New Testament, is the foundation of Christ, Lordship. It's a lordship which we have tried to show is bound up with his divinity. And it's it's the resurrection of Jesus Christ that establishes this once and for all. Romans one four, probably the clearest declared to be son of God by his resurrection from the dead. Acts 2 to 23 through three. It's this Jesus whom you crave. God has made him Lord in Christ. It's the resurrection. It's true that the that the disciples recognized Christ's Lordship and the days of his flesh. He was lord over nature. They saw him. His miracles. You know, who is this that can do those things? And even the evil spirits, in a sense, recognize Jesus. It's also true that the resurrection seems to in some way confer Lordship upon Him. God has made him Lord and Christ. Lordship now in a full, absolute sense. So you've got these, if you think about it, divinity of Christ, your high Christology art.
[00:15:15] Okay. That Jesus is Lord means that Jesus is God. So you have divinity declared Son of God by His resurrection from the dead Lordship and resurrection. All. Bound up together, Right? That's what we're saying here. It's time to start preaching on the Lordship of Christ. His claim, his right. You know, this is not what our culture wants to hear, what people want to hear. But, you know, he has a he has a right. To make this claim on you. You've come to this Easter, Easter cell, a Sunday service. And, you know, I don't know how it is around here, but it's still somewhat culturally okay to come to church on Easter, isn't it? More people show up, they come out of the woodwork, a third more. But, you know, it would almost be interesting for a preacher to say, here you are. Did you realize what you did? You came on Easter Sunday and this is the day we celebrate Christ's resurrection. And that's what proves he has moral lordship over you. If you take away the resurrection, obviously Lordship and divinity fall to the ground as well. These are. These are. Isn't it amazing that Christianity roots its claim in a historical event? Now there is something about the resurrection that transcends history. It's supra historical, but it's also historical, isn't it? That's one of the amazing things about biblical view of Revelation is that God no good Hindu would ever want to root the divinity in the Lordship in a historical event. In the Old Testament. You say to a Jew, How do you know that Yahweh is faithful in his steadfast love endures forever? And what is he what is he based that claim on? He bases that claim on historical event that opened the waters of the Red Sea.
[00:17:11] And our people went through on dry ground. And you say, why in the world would you base it on a historical event in the Hindu mind? History is grubby, it's dirty, it's transient, it's wasting away. I mean, you're you're saying that if this didn't happen. That that's not true. And yeah, the Christians are saying, yeah, we're saying that if John the Apostle, you ask him, prove to me that God, God is love. What does he say? Heroin is love. Not that we loved him, but he loved us and gave himself as a perpetuate. He's rooting out enough historical event that a guy died on a cross. That's how we know it. And the rest of the world. Looks like you don't want to take this wonderful truth about his love and his divinity and his and grub and grab that up and put it in in human history and root it. Well, that's one of the scandals of Christianity that it's rooted in, in an event. The reason that is, by the way. Emil Brunner has a chapter on this in one of his books. He says the reason why Christianity roots things in his in history is because guilt is historical. Guilt is historical. Right. You did it. You did it in history. And if it's going to be undone, it's going to have to it's going to have to be undone. Likewise to redeem that. You know, it's interesting. I've digressed a little bit here, but. What's the point? The point is that Easter Sunday is a great day to preach about. The Lordship of Christ. About who is this man? Jesus. Who do you say that I am? And to challenge folks that he. Is the Son of God, and that he has therefore the right to make this claim on your life.
[00:19:15] And that you're going to have to deal with him. You're going to either pay now or pay later. The point is, you've got to deal with Jesus. Because he's flawed. He has a claim. He can make it on your life, you know, And he has a right. He has a right to do that. And our culture wants to keep him in the public in the private sphere, doesn't it? But he has a right to cosmic lordship he has over the nations. And and it seems to me preach on the divinity and the Lordship of Christ. So that's a good time to do it. And it seems like that. Wonderful. Where the Thomas story kind of brings it all together, doesn't it? When Thomas says, Unless I see those things, and then Jesus shows up and says, Here. Look, Thomas And the point is, Thomas realizes that the reason why Jesus knew what he wanted was because he was alive to hear it. What he said before, his response is very much appropriate, isn't it? He says, Both my Lord and my God. My Lord and my God. Easter Sunday is a particularly appropriate time. To confront people with the basic question, and it's the resurrection that is the basic issue. Years ago, I got involved in a I was on this TV show back in New Jersey when I was a pastor on with a with a couple of atheists, you know, or two. Two of us were pastors and I had a couple of I didn't want to go for this this discussion on whether God exists or not and get into some big kind of. So basically, I just said, well, you know, it's all about the resurrection if Jesus didn't rise from the dead.
[00:21:12] I'll stake the whole claim right there. So I kept coming back to that. Well, you know, let's talk about prove that God exists, you know. Creation, you know, all the all the reasons for God's existence, all the even the existence of the proof of existence of God that Odin lays out early in the book know, I don't want to get into that. I just want to say, you know, if if Jesus isn't then hasn't been raised from the dead, then you when. But if he has been raised, then. And I it was kind of interesting toward the end of the show, this to say this is I didn't know this was going to be a discussion about Easter. But that's where we put our claim down, folks, right there. We lay it out there. And if you can prove that he didn't rise from the dead, and I think we can make some pretty good claims about why it makes sense to believe that God exists on the basis of how do you explain the change in these people? How do you explain the the existence, the coming into existence of the church? How do you explain these men who who were willing to be martyred for their faith? It's hard to believe they would have done that for a lie. Anyway, you know all that. But it seems to me the resurrection is where. It all comes down. So that's a theme I think that we need to trumpet. There's a second theme. There's the resurrection. Vindicates both both price and God's righteousness. This is a this is another theme. And I think I heard some echoes of this theme and some of the things that you all said. Let me explain what I mean by this, though.
[00:23:02] John Janssen in his book The Resurrection and New Testament theology says Easter was God's yes to the Ministry of Jesus. The Jewish leaders had basically said no to that ministry, hadn't they? They accused him of blasphemy. They had even accused him of being demon possessed. Were they right in their judgment? I mean, they're the religious authorities, right? They're the experts. So the experts have basically said, you know, just like today, we have experts that. Somebody trumpeting some new home remedy or some new non-prescription medicine, you know, that's out there. And they always get the medical doctors to come in and talk about, you know, you know, I'm saying the experts decide. Well, the experts decided what they say. Were they right in their judgment? Well, what we're saying here is the resurrection settles the matter once and for all. And it tells us that God, in effect, has reversed the injustice. They had inflicted an injustice on Jesus, hadn't they? And he has pronounced the crucified Jesus as the righteous want. The righteous one. You killed him. Peter says on that first Christian sermon to those Jews, You killed him, but God raised him. You killed him, but God raised him. Gods. Yes. To the Ministry of Jesus in raising him from the dead. The resurrection, then, is a vindication of the righteousness of Christ. The couple of other ideas that are connected to this. It's connected to the idea of the righteousness of Christ in Scripture, the vindication of Christ's followers. In the Book of Revelation, there are a number of places where don't the Saints cry out? How long? Oh, Lord, how long? I've been studying second Thessalonians in the beginning of the third chapter. Paul says, You know, this all this suffering that you're going through right now.
[00:25:21] He's because he's Thessalonians. We're really taking it. He says, don't worry, there's going to come a time when. You're going to be vindicated and God's justice is going to be meted out both on you and on them. You know, he's very clear the vindication of Christ followers. And the ultimate vindication when Christ returns to judge and to rule. And that's from Acts 17 is from the Mars Hill speech. And remember what Paul says he has appointed someone. To be the judge and he has raised him from the dead. And of course, that's where all those Greeks in Athens go crazy. Up until then, they were listening pretty. But but but the point is the vindication when Christ returns to judge. All this is bound up with the resurrection. God has fixed a day on which He will judge the world and righteousness. By a man whom he has appointed. This is 1731 and of this he has given assurance to all men by raising him from the dead. See how the. The resurrection is the ultimate vindication when Christ is going to come back and judge the future than. It's actually going to be an unfolding of what Easter means. That word apocalypse us in Revelation. It's kind of like showing something for what it already is. People miss it now. It's not establishing something new that wasn't already there. It's kind of an unveiling of what already is. And so on the basis of Easter, what happens at the end is just it just confirms what already is. We're all just doesn't know it. Right. Won't recognize it and assumes that's not true. So the resurrection is a vindication of the last judgment is, but the unfolding of the past judgment. And that judgment was declared by his resurrection from the dead.
[00:27:35] God's already decided this. Not only the right, the righteousness of Christ, but also the righteousness of God. Does the cross call the righteousness of God into question? Here's the most. Righteous man that ever lived. Jesus Christ. Everyone seems to think this guy was a pretty good guy. Hindus. Respect him. Muslims. He's one of their profits, right? The most righteous, godly person that ever was gets crucified. And it's like, Well, God, how can you just let that go? How can you just sort of let that injustice remain? Stanley Jones again, if Good Friday raised the question. What's the question? What's the point of being good if you just end up dying on a cross for it? That's one of the things that disturbs me about some of our modern movies. You know, you get in this kind of moral relativism and moral chaos and it's kind of like by the end of the movie, it's like, what's the point of being good? Everybody's just bad. And on the take. And no one's. Righteous, right? Which is a way of basically saying, so you don't need to be moral. Just whatever. If this man dies on this cross and nothing happens, it's kind of like, what the heck, right? Who cares? Why try to be good if that's what's going to happen to you anyway? If Good Friday raised the question? Well, Easter Sunday raised the man. And the raised man is the answer to all the raised questions. You know, God declares that this man is just that there is a righteous God that does reward those that walk in his ways. And what you do matters, you see. And there are a lot of people in lots of places that are being treated unfairly. And there's injustice going on in their life.
[00:29:57] They're experiencing injustice. You see, the pastoral implication of this theme here is that. If you're in one of those places and if that's where you are right now, it's. Hang on. As Tony Campolo used to preach. It's Friday, but Sunday's coming. Right. You may be feeling like it's Good Friday right now. And there's there's something in you that would say, well, just forget it. Quit trying so hard. Just quit trying to live and walk and, you know. It's not worth it. It doesn't matter anyway. Right. That's kind of what the world would like to tell us sometimes. But the message of Easter is. There is a righteous God. He did declare this man righteous and he any a conferred it by raising him. He would have just left this go. I mean, you know. Like the little boy in Sunday school. Mrs. Hanson. The Sunday school teachers. Describing the events of that Jesus went through all the injustice that was done to him at his trial, and then by pile it. And then finally he's hung up on a cross. And finally this little boy, you know, he's just getting seven or eight year old boy. He's just getting real upset. This isn't fair. This isn't right. And he just kind of blurts out. Mrs. Hansen, Mrs. Hansen, where the hell were the state police when that was going on? Well, you kind of want to say, Well, God, where were you? When that was being done to your son. Without the resurrection, you see. Then. There's no point in being moral. I grew up singing hymns. And then it discovered. Praise worship. I've kind of. So I enjoy both and appreciate the richness and. Of it all and love it all. I grew up singing a hymn called This Is My Father's World.
[00:32:14] And to my listening ears. All nature sings and round me rings the music of the spheres. There's the verse that says, This is my father's world. Oh, let me never forget. That though the wrong seems oft so strong. God is the ruler yet? Without the resurrection, though the wrong seems off so strong. You know. God is the ruler yet? And this is a message to a lot for a lot of people who are feeling sad upon and pushed down and. Hang in there. So that's another theme. And now we get. To the third theme. God's powers are made available for our weakness. I think you kind of we're picking up on this one, Rob, when you talked about dying and rising with Christ, you know that the resurrection is actually something that we participate in. The first two of these are kind of, you might say, objective in the sense that they're outside of our experience. God raise Jesus from the dead confers lordship on him. That's true, whether you believe it or not, or experience that or not. Right. It's just out there. Vindication. That's. Okay. But this one now, this one is actually more subjective. This is how we participate in the resurrection and experience the resurrection ourselves. This is a wonderful theme, isn't it, that we ought to proclaim that the resurrection of Jesus is not just something that happened to him. It's something that can happen to us that we can experience and share in that resurrection. And there's lots of scriptures. The one that you mention, I think, indirectly. Rob Romans six If we have been united with him in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. And then I love Romans 811. And if the spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you.
[00:34:21] He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his spirit who lives in you. Ephesians 119 His incomparable comparably great power for us, who believe that powers like the working of his mighty strength. He's saying this power. I want you to know this power, he says. This is a prayer infusions, one that you might know the hope that the revelation that the hope that is in you and the inheritances that he has in the Saints. The third thing is about the power. That's available to us who believe. And then he says, And that great power is like the power that God exerted when he raised his own son, Jesus, from the dead. That's power that powers is, is, is in us. And then in chapter three, he prays the same thing that you might know the height, the depth, the length and the breadth, you know, of this power and this love of Christ. He's actually praying and wanting them to participate in that. Lastly, here, you've got Colossians three. Since then you have been raised with Christ. Set your hearts on things above. Philippians three. I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection. Share in the Fellowship of Sufferings. And then first, Peter. One speaks about praise be to the Godfather of our Lord Jesus Christ, and His great mercy has given us new birth. Into a living hope through his resurrect the resurrection of Christ from the dead. And then the benediction of the book. If you've got a Bible there. Read Hebrews 13, verse 20. This is the benediction. It's actually one of our former seminary presidents who was actually the president when I was a student at Asbury. He used to love to close a worship service with this benediction.
[00:36:08] 1320. May the God of peace, who, through the blood of the eternal covenant, brought back from the dead. Our Lord Jesus, a great shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may he work in us. What is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ, to whom we glory forever and ever. And that notice the resurrection who brought back from the dead. The connection to that and what he's worth, what he works in us and how he how he equips us. All these verses say in one way or another that the resurrection of Christ is something you and I can share. And. And I want to submit to you that in the world that we live in, that's full of defeated, dejected, disillusioned people. This is a note in the Easter message that we need to sound loud and clear. I think if we do, it won't fall on deaf ears. It's good news. I like the way James Stewart puts this. The identical divine energy. Which at the first at first took Christ out of the grave is available still. Available not only at journey's end to save them, they save us on the hour of death, but available here now to help us live. But the same power which on that day shattered death is now given us for life. To vitalize the most depressed and disillusioned and defeated man or woman into a resurrected personality and a conquering soul. Yeah. Actually, this is what makes the Christian life a joy, that it's Christ in us living his life through us, living his resurrected life through us that enables us to be more than conquerors, and that enables us to walk in his ways. You see a kind of overlap, don't you, between the resurrection and rheumatology? Because we usually we might to talk about the Holy spirits presence in us.
[00:38:13] As being responsible as working in us. The Holy Spirit is the spirit of the rest of the risen Jesus and His function toward us. Christ is more than just more than that, but close relationship between the Spirit and the resurrected Christ. Right. Close relationship in Scripture. And sometimes the Holy Spirit is called the Spirit of Christ. My point being, maybe you've got some slides on that. Do you have some stuff that I've skipped over? I don't really want to go there because of time, but the point is that it helps us actually to. It's good to keep your understanding of the Holy Spirit closely. Connected to your Christology. That will help to ethically and morally ground your Christology. You're no mythology. How do you know? Someone says, The Spirit told me to do that. The spirit moved me. If it's not making you look like Jesus or act like Jesus or do like Jesus, it probably isn't the Holy Spirit, right? And if you don't have that grounding a connection or tie your number to colleges sometimes can go off and it loses its moral and ethical grounding and you can get yourself into trouble. That's why this is it's important. I like what Juergen Maltman says, and maybe this is. The Holy Spirit is forever linked backward and forward, past and future to Christ. And he says the experience of the Spirit is never without the remembrance of Christ. You know, he always seeks to glorify Christ and never without the expectation of his future. So the Spirit points us back to Christ. But he also cries out in us, What is the spirit in the bride say? At the end of the Book of Revelation. The spirit and the bride say, Come, Lord Jesus.
[00:40:18] Maranatha. Right. It's kind of like the Spirit is taking you back. Remembrance to Christ or pulling you forward. Come, Lord Jesus. There's this link here as all I'm allowed to try to say here. And it's good to keep that together. The resurrection means. Fourthly, that Christ is our constant companion. It's a little different. Closely related to the point that we've just been making here. Here are thinking not so much of power that's made available to us. We participate in his risen life and powers made over to us. But here I'm thinking about the intimate personal communion that we have with our risen Lord. On account of the fact that he's dead? No, he's not dead, is he? He's alive. So that I'm thinking about the amassed road experience. And their encounter with this personal. Man. Jesus, the presents. And don't they say, didn't our hearts burn within us when he walked with us on the road? Paul over and over again speaks of his intimate person to person relationship with Christ. For me to live is Christ, I want to know Christ. Don't you love what Jesus says after he gives the Great Commission, or it's really we think of it as part of the Great Commission. After he says, Go into all the world and don't forget. I'm with you always. I'm with you, all of us, even to the end of the age. So this business of the personal presence of the Lord with us. James Stewart gets eloquent in talking about this. Was it empty rhetoric when David Livingston said it was not just himself who went tramping through darkest Africa? It was David Livingston and Jesus Christ together. Was it fever or delirium when Samuel Rutherford wrote to a friend from prison? Well, Jesus Christ came into my cell last night and every stone flashed like a ruby.
[00:42:43] He goes on. Basically, this intimacy of communion with Christ is Faith's cardinal conviction in every age. There was that kind of schmaltzy old. Gospel song that people who studied worship and hamnett, they said, Oh, it's kind of, you know, sentimental and. Maybe it didn't make it into your hymnal. And yet. Folks in a typical church. Old church love to sing it. You know that in the garden. I come to the garden alone? While the deal is still. On the roses. And the joy we share, you know, and it's about meeting Jesus in the garden. And it goes on and he walks with me and he talks with me and he tells me I am his own. And the joy we share is we. Terry, there are none other is ever known this just this simple person writing about this experience of intimacy with Jesus. And he's our constant companion. Aren't you glad you can just hang out with Jesus? And be with Jesus and he's there with you and, you know, like he shows up to Paul at that one point toward the end of his ministry when he's been kind of kicked around and he remember, been mistreated and he's on his way now to hang out in jail for a while after he's been just about killed in Jerusalem. And there's that one scene where Jesus shows up to him one night and says, wait, oh, hang in there. You're doing okay. You're a member of believers themselves had kind of said, Paul, we think you're crazy going to Jerusalem. But even had prophetic words, didn't they? Agaba takes him by the belt. So this is going to happen to you, you know, and say there are biblical commentators. I think Paul really kind of blew that one.
[00:44:42] You should have listened, you know. So you must have been kind of depressed and discouraged. Because actually even the Christians in Jerusalem kind of bail on him. He's sort of out there on his own and. But Jesus shows up in the prison cell. Kind of. So the resurrection means that Christ is our constant companion. I think that's a message. I think that'll preach. The resurrection is foundational for the nature and mission of the church. So far Exaltation, vindication, participation, companionship. Those are the four words that kind of, in a sense, summarize what we've said. But now we throw in another word community. This is another important aspect of the Easter message. It was the resurrection, which in the power of the spirit, call the Christian community into being. I think it's good to to balance companionship kind of thing I was just talking about because that's kind of personal and individual, just me and Jesus, you know? I have him and he has me. And you ask me how I know he lives. He lives within my heart. We used to sing that one. Yeah, that can lead to a kind of a mysticism. Just you and Jesus now are. There's a community dimension here as well. The resurrection is foundational for the nature and mission of the church. The nature of the church. What is the perhaps the main metaphor in the New Testament for the church? It's the body of Christ. What does that mean? The body of Christ. It's our connectedness to him. But who are we connected to? I mean, you know, if he's dead. As opposed to being alive. Doesn't that metaphor have a completely different kind of meaning? You see how what church is is actually predicated upon the notion of resurrection.
[00:47:02] He is alive, right? He can be the head of the church and wear his body. Here you have, I think, the difference between that, which is an organization and an organism. What's the difference? Between an organization and an organism. Organization, a group of people that maybe are all sort of gathered around drunk driving. Ocean may have a founder that we write, but what's our relation? Well, maybe where we've lined ourselves up with the goals of the founder that they had for this organization. Well, is that kind of what the church is, you know, who lived and died? He said some things and believe some things that we think are pretty neat. So we ought to line up and do what he said and we're trying to follow in his footsteps. Is that what the church is? Well, yeah. The church is trying to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and live the life. But wait a minute. No, it's not just. A group of people who all think they ought to try to be like Jesus. So every week the preacher gets up and says. Okay, folks, try real hard this week. Be like Jesus. And tries to sort of. Pump people up. Psych them up. Maybe entertain them, maybe remind them. Well, yeah, that's part of. But. But. No, no, no. Wait up. It's an organism, right? You know what characterizes an organism? All the cells. Share a common life. So what's the common life? In this equation for the church. It's the resurrected Lord. It's his life, isn't it? So we can talk about the body of Christ that his very life. You see, if you don't have resurrection, then what you've got is an organization. It's no different than. The Lions Club or any other human organization that's there for that may have good purposes and all that.
[00:49:19] Without the resurrection. It's foundational for the nature of the church as an organism, as the body of Christ. Dietrich Bonhoeffer. When he was 21 years old. We were talking about this yesterday. Writes in his doctoral dissertation, The church has Christ existing as community. The Church of Christ existing as a corporate person. Corporate personality. Not just as an individual kind of person. Like when he walked around, but now he's existing. He's existing in this thing, right? He's living in it. So the nature of the church. What about the mission of the church? Think about our worship. What is Matthew 1820 say? Where two or three are gathered in my name. They're my in their midst. Right. So worship we come together not just to. Celebrate his memory, but. Gather around his living this living person who was there in our midst. Right. And is it no wonder then, that it's not long? You can't get out of the old the New Testament, can you, before they've already made this sort of shift from Sabbath to Lord's Day. In the Lord's Day as the day of resurrection, because he's in our midst. I was in the spirit, says John. I'm on the Lord's Day. When I got this. Revolution. And then think about the nature of preaching. The nature of prophecy. What is it? According to Revelation one and Revelation 19. Anybody got that from? The spirit of prophecy is what? The spirit of prophecy is. It's the testimony of Jesus, isn't it? So preaching prophecies is Jesus speaking. To his church, Right? Just kind of like he doesn't Revelation two and three. He speaks to his churches. Somehow what I've got to understand when I if I'm called to that preaching task, Lord Jesus, I want to somehow more than me prepare a sermon.
[00:52:02] I do want to do that, but I want to hear your voice so that you can speak to your people. And the good news is that he speaks through the preaching of the word. He speaks through that to people, doesn't he? We believe that that's still going on. Q So you see how the nature of preaching is grounded in the resurrection, otherwise it just becomes what well, a human being talking about. Try harder. We got a Nike hat. Just. Just do it. Come on, now, Wait up. It's more than that. Jesus himself. And you get to enter into his life and he gets to do it through you. It's that act of passivity thing. It's for saving his life and then letting him live it through you. It's a receptive, but it's active, isn't it? Even the Lord's Supper. The text. There is a they may have road story. He was known to us in the breaking of the bread. And Christians debate about. This is what's the meaning of the is. You know, all the different views on the Lord's Supper. But I don't know what your view of the Lord's Supper is, but I do believe that somehow Jesus shows up through those that His presence is communicated. People experience Jesus. They feed on him. They. He encounters them in the breaking of the bread. But all that stems from the fact that he's alive. And then our work. The Great Commission. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. What confirmed that on him? It was. It's his resurrection. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations. And then you notice the bookends of the Great Commission. They're both related to the resurrection, aren't they? The all authority and heaven.
[00:54:11] We talked about exaltation and then the last one. And surely I will be with you, all of us, as he's alive. Resurrection, therefore goes, is bookended by those two things. That's the only way we'll ever go, right? If we get this and understand it. So I think I quoted this before last month when we were talking about entering into the Ministry of Jesus Christ, because it's really his ministry ongoing through us. When God said to Hudson Taylor, I'm going to evangelize inland China, and if you'll walk with me, I'll do it through you. I remember hearing a guy say one time who'd been involved in a particular ministry to reaching a particular city. And he said, you know, the Lord spoke to him and said, I want to use you to reach the city for for me. And then the Lord said to him, And you weren't my first choice. But it's like I'm on a mission. Have you noticed that? You know, God doesn't wait around sometimes till we decide to get on board with him? If you don't do it, he'll find. He'll find someone out there that's foolish enough to. They may not be the kind of vessel. I may have more baggage than you do, and you could maybe do it better, but. But they maybe have the one thing that you don't have, and that is that you're that they're willing to be obedient, you know? I love that I'm going to evangelize in China. And if you walk with me, I'll do it through you. And he's still on that mission. If you read books like Jesus in Beijing or if any, you read The Heavenly Man. That book will blow you out of the water. I challenge you to read that one just by Pastor Yun or in a.
[00:56:12] It's basically one of the Chinese House church leaders. Who wrote that book. It's kind of like reading the book of Acts. Brother. Younger. Brother. Young. Brother. Young. It's a powerful book. And it's a call to radical discipleship and radical Christianity. I don't know if we'd have that book. This guy started something, though, you know? Hudson. Taylor. China. China. Inland Mission. And then all the house Church leaders. Love this guy and praise him because they say he's. What we're doing is just a continuation now of what he began.