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Wednesday, April 23, 2014
"The Centrality Of Christ's Resurrection"
Raised By God's Power!
to us read this
a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the
gospel of God, which He promised beforehand through His prophets in the
holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was descended from David
according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power
according to the Spirit of holiness by His resurrection from the dead,
Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and
apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of His
name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to
Jesus Christ" (Romans 1:1-6)
the years following the French Revolution, there was a great turning
away from the Christian religion similar to what we are witnessing
today here in America and in other western nations. A certain man named
concocted a new religion which he thought was far superior to
Christianity, but he had trouble convincing others to follow him.
help, he went to the great diplomat Charles de Talleyrand for advice. Talleyrand's advice was simple. "To ensure success for your new religion, all
you need to do is have yourself crucified and then rise from the dead
on the third day."
This week we are examining the centrality of the resurrection as expressed in each major section of the New Testament.
Today we examine the centrality of the resurrection in Paul's
epistles also known as the Pauline Epistles.
initially had to get used to that term "Pauline Epistles". All through
my childhood my Mom had a very good friend named
Pauline Harding. In fact I am told she changed my diapers! That's a
photo of me with her when she was in her nineties shortly before her
death. (Yes I am very tall and she was very short!) Years ago I wrote a
message about the impact her husband had on my life simply titled "Mr.
Paul wrote thirteen epistles (letters) all beginning with his name,
"Paul..." His first epistle, in the order of Scriptures, is Romans and it
doesn't take him long to state the foundation of the resurrection. In
verse three he states, "His resurrection from the dead." All though his teachings we have many references to the resurrection, a truth he considered "of first importance".
In 1 Corinthians 15 he states the crucial necessity of Christ's resurrection to the Gospel. "And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins" (1 Corinthians 15:17).
As William Newell states, "The gospel is all about Christ. Apart from
Him, there is no news from heaven but that of coming woe!"
"The resurrection furnishes the most conclusive and irrefutable evidence
of Jesus’ divine Sonship. By the demonstration of His ability to
conquer death, a power belonging only to God Himself (the Giver of
life), Jesus established beyond all doubt that He was indeed God, the
Son." (Precept Austin commentary)
resurrection is in a sense God's "exclamation point" to the good
news of the resurrection life available in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
Paul saw the resurrection as the foundation of our new life in Christ. "If
then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above,
where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on
things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have
died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is
your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory"
Today and every day let us proclaim the words of a song that we may
tend to sing only on Easter Sunday but is always true:
He lives, He lives,
Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life's narrow way.
He lives, He lives,
Salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives?
He lives within my heart.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Father, the permanence and sting of death was removed when You raised
Christ Jesus from the dead. Had You sent ten thousand angels to rescue
Him from the hands of His enemies and thwarted His execution on the
cross we would not know of Your awesome power according to the Spirit
of holiness by Christ's resurrection from the dead. Though Satan
plotted Your plan prevailed, and because of that, we who believe are
now raised with Christ, who is seated at Your right hand. You have set
eternity in the hearts of people and because of that we can set our
affections on things above causing us to be homesick for a place we've
never been. Where You are is where we long to be. In Christ's Jesus' name we pray. Amen.
afternoon we stopped by to visit with our friends Gary and Raleyne Conner whom we
came to know when pastoring in northern Pennsylvania some 25 years
ago. They now live in the Palmyra area close to White Oak Display, a
company we serve as
chaplains. We referred to Gary's study in Acts in yesterday's message.
Raleyne taught school for 43 years, retiring just two years ago from
Milton S. Hershey School.
Gary is retired from his practice as an orthopedic surgeon but
continues to be an ardent student and is learning Aramaic, the language
spoken in Israel at the
time of Christ's ministry here on earth. Gary showed me an
Aramaic/English Interlinear New Testament which was very interesting.
You read the sentences from right to left which takes some getting used
to, kind of like driving from the right side of the car rather than the
left when traveling in England.
recalled this very meaningful photo with the Conners taken 25 years
ago in January 1989 when they escorted some very ill children from Guatemala to
the US for healthcare. Raleyne is holding a baby who was to undergo surgery for a cleft palate. Brooksyne is standing beside Marvin,
a six year old boy who suffered from papillomas of the larynx. He was
the second of four children we hosted from Guatemala (Ester coming
along five months later and still with us today since she had no
family.) We cared
for Marvin for several months on two different occasions. We also
his mother and siblings when we visited his home
in Guatemala. Marvin is now grown, married with children and faithfully
serving the Lord! We have been in regular contact with him for about
ten years now as he found us through Daily Encouragement after losing
touch for many years. Marvin was not only frightened but very, very ill
struggling for each breath and his airway was blocked by papillomas.
The doctor thought it amazing that he was alive in his serious
I called Raleyne last night to ask about the photo. She shared an experience she recalled when bringing him up from
Guatemala and I requested that she write it
out and share it with us!
"This is my memory of Marvin. It is very clear since I told his
story to hundreds of school children when we studied about Guatemala.
My husband and I had combined a trip to Guatemala
with acting as accompaniers to children flying alone to the United
States for surgery. At the Guatemala Airport we met two families,
one of which was Marvin's. A slight boy, he was terrified of
these strangers about to whisk him away from his family in a huge
airplane. His relatives were there also to encourage him.
mother, a slim and lovely young woman stood with tears quietly running
down her face. Dad, in pressed blue jeans, held his hand and walked him
over to us. With Marvin beside us, we began to board the plane. After
a few steps, Marvin looked back over his shoulder, floods of tears
bursting out. Dad came running, kneeled down, held him in his arms and
whispered to him. This dear child straightened up, nodded his
head, wiped away his tears and sorrowfully but bravely continued on his
way. So courageous. We waved good-bye as long as we could.
of his medical condition, Marvin had a very difficult time
eating (swallowing). When we arrived at the Dallas Airport, he
must have been
hungry. In the restaurant we all ordered hamburgers. When the plates
were placed in front of us, I began to eat. Then I looked over at
Marvin---All by himself he was giving thanks to God for his meal.
Hands clasped, head bowed, lips moving---depending on God." How
interesting in light of his inability to understand a word of English.
It goes to show that in some instances our actions speak louder than
Here's a story we wrote about Marvin in 2011.Marvin taught us "En La Cruz" when he heard us singing it in English, "At the Cross"
* "Mr. Harding" A message about impact from Pauline's husband.
Today's Suggested Music and Supplemental Resources
This week we will share songs that have blessed us about the resurrection of Christ.
"He Lives!" (song and hymn history) Video
"Christ The Lord Is Risen Today" Video (traditional) Video (a bit more contemporary)
"Power Of The Cross" Video Steve Green
"Easter Song" Video Matthew Ward
"See What A Morning" Video Getty/Towend team I (Brooksyne) really appreciate the Biblical resurrection account being
recounted in such detail and colorfully presented in this song by the
Gettys and Stuart Towend, one of 12 hymns they collaborated on, based
on the core beliefs as articulated in the Apostle's Creed.
"I'll Rise Again" Video Dallas Holm
"Christ Arose" Video Daniel Thornton
"Because He Lives" Video Gaither Vocal Band
"He Arose" Video Stone Church choir
"He's Alive" Video Don Francisco
"He Gave His Life" Video Vocal Union
"There Never Was A Pulpit Like The Cross" Video Vocal Union
to Stephen &
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am created by God to bring
Him glory. Through God’s Son, Jesus Christ, I have been
redeemed and I make it my life’s goal to honor God through my
faith and obedience and prepare myself and all whom I may influence for
the weak things in the world,
That no flesh will glory
in His presence."