Eye witness accounts to the resurrection of Jesus Christ have been dead almost two millennia. Yet, America’s Founding Fathers had faith to pen, sign, and ratify our supreme law acknowledging the reality of a risen King, “Done in Convention by the Unanimous Consent of the States…in the Year of our Lord 1787.”
No founder of any religion claimed that he had power to return from physical death in order to validate his teachings as divine. Yet, the absolute veracity of the One faith depends upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ as a historical fact. If Christ be not risen, we then, who believe He is risen, remain dead in our trespasses and sins (read I Corinthians 15).
If your church experience is similar to mine, on Easter/Resurrection Sunday, the meeting opens with the declaration from the pulpit, “Christ is risen!” To which the congregation replies, “He is risen indeed!” High praises go up singing Charles Wesley’s classic, “Christ the Lord is ris’n to – day, Al – le – lu ia!”
The last line in the fourth stanza of this majestic hymn bears impressing on our conscience, “Our’s the cross, the grave, the skies…”
Untold multitudes are in great expectation of the skies upon our Lord’s return. And at the same time it is no stretch of the sober imagination that multitudes will be eternally condemned who believe not the gospel of Jesus Christ though they profess to believe.
True belief is not mental assent to information. Mental assent to the resurrection of Christ is not the way into His kingdom. Faith in a resurrected Lord (Romans 10:9-10), which is revealed by the work of the Holy Spirit in you, leads one into eternal salvation—today.
Missing Ingredient in the Church
There is a missing ingredient in our churches and Christendom in general, my brother and sister. That missing ingredient is the cross. The cross, not as a doctrine to be studied as an intellectual pursuit, not as a symbol or artwork for display, but spiritual power applied to your life daily as evidence that you are saved from the dictates of fleshly desires.
The cross implies death to your self life. You can attend church meetings your entire life, sing songs, listen to sermons, give money, even be in “official” ministry and never experience the divine nature of Christ inwardly. For believers, to live on this planet is to have Christ coming out of your inner most being, not your self life, but the Christ life.
The resurrection is the result of fellowshipping in His sufferings. Unless you die, and that daily, you are not truly living life as the Heavenly Father intended—in His Son.
Without Christ’s resurrection power operating in your daily life, Easter/Resurrection Sunday is nothing more than an external religious holiday. In contrast the Scriptures reveal Christ as a risen King. As King, He has a kingdom of which those who believe God has raised Him from the dead are born-again citizens.
One Church in Your City
In His Kingdom He has a single church in each city. Hence, the New Testament letters are written to a unified church in each city.
The faith that was once delivered by the Apostles to the saints of that early church was of a nature wholly unlike what is prevalent amongst us today. It was by their united love for one another that people of faith became family under Jesus Christ as a functioning Head, not a figure head.
There is no record of the New Testament-era believers taking on another name for themselves that identified them as a commercial entity. Neither is there a church of Christ in the name of a man or woman with a revelation that contradicts the Apostles doctrine of a risen Lord. To those preaching other gospels (actually counterfeits), the Holy Spirit, speaking through the Apostle Paul, declared them to be cursed.
Friend, how many years of hearing about the resurrected Messiah need it take to walk in His power to overcome the death that is operating in you and around you? A man or woman who is born again under the good news of the resurrected King is given over to unreserved loyalty and obedience to their Lord. He’s given you life abundantly. You deserve death and eternal separation. Do you render Him allegiance by relishing other gospels where you’ve made accommodation with the world system and with worldly divisions?
Church as a Living Body of Christ
How I know the resurrection of Jesus Christ has been reduced to a cold doctrinal position rather than the world-overcoming power that it is, is that the masses have been trained to deny yielding to the Holy Spirit’s call for unity in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:1-6). Only those who’ve inwardly received Christ as Lord and believe that He has been risen from the dead will unite, fellowship, break bread, and pray together. That is a living testimony of a living Jesus to your city.
Anything less than Spirit-filled community life among God’s people is a reproach to Him in your failing to testify that Christ is risen, indeed, in your life today. Evidence of resurrection power in you is by how you relate to those in your city who also call on the one Lord. Are you relating to others denominationally, theologically, or by resurrection life, my brother & sister?
Visibly, our cities display a gospel and church life void of resurrection power. Meeting with others denominationally or theologically requires no spiritual power at all—the natural man fully accommodates. However, the gospel of resurrection power and death to self, sets the heart free to unite with others on the King’s exclusive terms—one church in the city.
This is my testimony as I preach Christ to my city of Brooksville, my county of Hernando, and my state of Florida. I appeal that His saints are His servants (ministers) to demonstrate that the crucified Jesus Christ is alive.
What evidence do you possess that Christ is alive in you today, O believer?