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Ressurection Power

Scripture: Philippians 3:7-14; Text: Philippians 3:10

A passage like this can actually be frustrating to a minister. The problem is there is so much that blesses our hearts and not enough time to preach it all out to you. There are so many lessons that are invaluable to God's children and I wish I could understand them fully and share each one with you. If you want to know more, then give this passage further study and as you do so, pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you and give you spiritual understanding.

Let us back up to the preceeding verse, verse 9, and get the foundation upon which we build as we study verse 10. The foundation or basis of it all is God's grace. (1). Paul writes about being "in Christ," which is because God chose us in Him (Ephesians 1:4). (2). He tells of "righteousness" that is not our works. It is in fact righteousness that is "of God." In other words, this righteousness has been imputed to us from Christ (Romans 4:6). (3). He informs us that "faith" is involved too. It is not our faith IN CHRIST, but is the FAITH OF CHRIST. Christ has faith in the Father as we have faith in Him. The faith we have is a gift from Him (Galatians 5:22).

Having laid the foundation, let us move on to our text, verse 10. It too is made up of basically three ideas. First there is the concept of knowing Christ. (2) There is the statement of the resurrection and (3) there is a statement about His sufferings. We are going to study the power of His resurrection, but before we can get into that idea, we must quickly look at that which leads up to it. Our text begins with Paul expressing an earnest desire to know Christ. We must know Him before we can properly appreciate His resurrection power. But what does He mean here when he desires to know Christ?

The word "know" is a verb that almost always in scripture means, to have a personal knowledge of the person, in this case Christ. Looking back in the Old Testament, it was often used to describe the deepest and most intimate relationships of people. In Genesis, it referred to sexual intimacy between Adam and his wife Eve. They had an intimate PHYSICAL relationship, so here the idea is that we may have a deep SPIRITUAL relationship with Christ. We may know Him deeply and personally. There are many ways to know something. We may have a mental knowledge, as we do of historical events. While we know they were real events, they are not personal events. Thus we know them on an intellectual level.

We can actually know about Christ in that way, that He lived almost two-thousand years ago. Paul was not saying he wanted to know ABOUT Christ, but that he wanted to know HIM. We can know about Him through the testimony of the scriptures (John 5:39). However, to know Him takes the grace of God and we call that "eternal life" (John 17:3). Once grace through the new birth has made Christ real to us, we need to seek further to know Him better (Hosea 6:3). If we follow Jesus as did His desciples, then like them, we will get to know Him better and better as the years go by. To know Christ, shoud be the theme of our lives. Like Paul, we should never be content with a HEAD knowledge, but desire to have a HEART knowlege of Him. This knowledge is "experimental" and is indeed an enriching experience.

Having understood Paul's desire to know Christ, we can now move on to consider His power. You see, to truly know Christ, should give us a desire to know all we can about Him and that includes the POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION. This is power that we really need to understand as Christians. There is so much talk today about various forms of power, such as political power or military power. This power is more important than all others that may be mentioned.

When Paul wrote of the resurrection of Christ, He did not approach it as merely a historical event. He says it as something which was an integral part of knowing Christ. After all, Christ died and was resurrected. If you know someone very intimately and personally, you are aware of things that have happened to them. They are not just a body of cells that you learn to identify, but they are the composite of all they have experienced. Since Christ was raised from the dead, to know Him was to know the power of His resurrection. The resurrection of Christ was in reality a display of His mighty power. Have you ever thought much about His power? Let us think about it for a few moments now since Paul has called our attention to it.

We all need to recognize that Jesus has power: (1). Over Nature. The elements of nature are powerful forces, but they are not equal to His power. Jesus not only CONTROLLED nature (Matthew 8:26), but He CREATED nature (John 1:3). (2). Over Disease. There are so many miracles that our Lord performed, where He healed the sick. A man lame for 38 years was healed (John 5:8), and a man born blind was given sight (John 9:7). The list could go on and on, but let these suffice to show that He has power over diseases. (3). Over All Flesh (John 17:2). That not only includes man as His highest creation, but all the animal kingdom too. Remember that He caused the animals to come by "twos" into the ark instead of by herds. Though we are to have dominion over the animals, God has dominion over us. He works His will and none of us can stop Him (Daniel 4:35). (4). Over Satan. Under God, the devil is the greatest power on earth, but Jesus is mightier. His miracles proved that He could undo the power of satan to afflict people (Acts 10:38). The first prophecy of Christ revealed His superior power, for satan would bruise His heel, but Christ would bruise satan's head (Genesis 3:15).

As if these were not enough reminders of His power, Paul has reminded us of yet another. He told us that Christ has power over death. To the long list of His miracles, His power over death is added. He not only healed the sick, mulitplied the loaves and fishes, walked on the water, turned water into wine, but He also raised the dead. On three separate occasions, He invaded the realms of death to rescue victims. Matthew 9:25 tells that He entered the home of Jairus to raise his daughter. Luke 7:14 tells us that He stopped a funeral procession to raise a widow's son. John 11:43 tells us that he raised a friend and loved one named Lazarus. In these three attempts to raise the dead, His rate of success was 100%. Why? Because He has power over death.

Christ can be seen as the Conqueror of death by three things. (1). He has the KEYS of death (Revelation 1:18). Just as a jailer has keys that open the cells and security guards have keys that open the doors of the building, so Christ has the keys of the grave and death. He has the keys because He has the power over death. (2). He will someday DESTROY death (1 Corinthians 15:25- 26). It is the final enemy and He has already gained the victory over it. It is sentenced to wait the execution as someone waiting on death row. Death has no hope of ever changing the final outcome, it is already determined. (3). He is going to release us from death (John 5:28-29). Even now He is working in the hearts and souls of people and by the new birth is quickening them from death in sin, to a newness of life. This wonderful experience is but a foretaste of what is to come. He will return and will raise to life our dead bodies, by the same power that raised us from death in sin. That glorious day is getting closer all the time.

His own resurrection is indisputable proof of His power over death and his ability to do all He has promised. Everything that God promised in the sacred pages of the Bible is contingent upon His power. He either has power to do so, or He does not. The Bible declares that His power is sufficient. Jesus said that all power belongs to Him (Matthew 28:19). The fact is that in the Bible, His resurrection and power are inseparable. Jesus said that He had power to lay down His life and take it again (John 10:18). He certainly laid down His life according to Luke 23:46. Jesus also took life again and was raised from the dead, and we now celebrate that fact. It was prophesied in Psalm 16:10, Paul preached it in 1 Corinthians 15:4, and Jesus proclaimed it in John 2:19. Jesus is risen from the dead and that is the POWER OF HIS RESURRECTION. It took greater power than we can comprehend, to accomplish the resurrection, but praise God He has that power.

CONCLUSION To what conclusion are we to come, because of this wonderful knowledge? Well at the outset we saw three ideas set forth in the test. We have considered the first two and now we are brought face to face with the third. Paul said we also have a "fellowship of his sufferings." That is the first conclusion we are to draw. By the power of His resurrection, we became partakers of His sufferings. That is, we had a part in all He suffered. All God's elect were represented in Christ when He suffered and died on the cross. He took OUR sins and died for them and for us (1 Peter 2:24). His death and resurrection are vital for our salvation (Romans 4:25).

There is a second conclusion that we are to draw. In the following verse, Paul expresses a personal hope for resurrection. The power of His resurrection is our guarantee that we too shall be resurrected. He is the assurance of our resurrection, for if He could raise Himself, he certainly can raise us (John 14:19). More than that, we all have loved ones who have preceeded us in death, they too shall be raised (1 Corinthians 15:17-18). Think of it, if Christ did not have power to be resurrected, then we are not saved from our sins. Also, if He is not resurrected, our loved ones are gone forever and we will never see them again. It is so very important to our peace of mind, that we draw this conclusion.

Finally, we are to conclude that if He has power to raise us from the dead, He must have power to fix all the rest of our problems and supply all our needs. If He has that kind of magnificent power, then there is nothing outside the realm of His power (Ephesians 3:20). Paul said that he was following after some spiritual endeavors. He was pressing toward a certain mark. It was the prize of God's high calling. It all seems too far away at times. We want to do better , to become better people. But we just fail and fail until we become discouraged. Here is the encouragement you need. Reach out again, but this time realize that it is not in your power to succeed. Trust Him, seek His help, and remember that he rose from the dead. He has the power to strengthen you and enable you to succeed and gain the victory. When He gives you the grace to do so, then remember to give Him the glory (2 Corinthians 12:9). We all need the reassurance the power of His resurrection can give. So rejoice in it today and in all your tomorrows rely upon that power to do great things too, in His kingdom and for His glory. After all, it is the power of HIS resurrection.

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This page last updated on June 7, 2014