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The Lord’s Day

April 5, 2015

“The Family-Part 6” (CE lesson) and “The Power of His Resurrection” (sermon) are available on SermonAudio.

Sermon Summary: What do you have to do to appropriate the power of Christ’s resurrection? Answer: Nothing! How do you know that the power of Christ’s resurrection has come to you? Answer: 1) When you recognize the utter ugliness of your best accomplishments. 2) When you desire to gain nothing in this world but Jesus Christ. 3) When you find yourself pressing “toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Sermon Title – Text: “The Power of His Resurrection” – Philippians 3:8-14

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having omy own righteousness, which is from the law, but pthat which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
Not that I have already attained, or am already uperfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Call to Worship: John 5:24-29

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, tbut has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. (NKJV)

Reading from the Law: 1 Peter 1:3

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, (NKJV)

Commentary: Note first the Great Mercy of the Father. The Father isn’t the big bad meany in the sky, hurling thunderbolts down upon us. We are saved because of His Great Mercy! Great Mercy — undeserved, unmerited, you could say, demerited — we deserved not to get it. But God, by His free choice and inscrutable will, has caused us to be born again.

Next, there an emphasis on what God has made alive: We were made alive in the spirit by being born again, through Christ’s being made alive in His resurrection, and this has resulted in a hope that has been made alive.

Now, having been born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, let us join Peter in saying Blessed be God; giving Him thanks and all the glory for His great mercy upon us.

READING OF THE GOSPEL: Ephesians 1:18-20

the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when hHe raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, (NKJV)

Commentary: Here we read the latter part of the apostles Paul’s prayer for the Ephesian believers. In this portion Paul prays that “the eyes of their understanding will be enlightened. That the Spirit of God himself would provide them wisdom and understanding of what God has done for them as well as a proper appreciation for all that He has done. When Paul refers to the hope of their calling here he is not just referring to an outward calling but to the effectual calling of God through the Holy Spirit that saves us. As Paul speaks of God’s power is he uses expansive terms such as “exceeding greatness of his power”, and “His mighty power”. He wants them to understand, that the same power of God that was able to resurrect Christ from the dead, is the same power that raised them and us from death. We were dead in our sin and trespasses when God through His power resurrected us from death. Commentator Charles Hodge compares our salvation with Christ resurrection like this, “The resurrection of Christ is both the type and the cause of the spiritual resurrection of His people, as well of their future rising from the grave in His glorious likeness.” We finish this passage with Paul telling us that not only was Christ raised from the dead, but God also sat Him at His right hand. This is the place of honor and dominion.

Benedictory Reading: John 11:25-26

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (NKJV)

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