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Eph 1:15 I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints 17…may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, 18 hope of His calling, riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, 19 and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20 which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand…22 gave Him to be head over all things to the church
I. Resurrection Power is the basis of our faith in Jesus Christ and our hope of being Resurrected as well.
Rom 1:4 declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
Rom 10:9 if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
1Pt 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
II. Our Future Union (w/ Christ in His glory) is Dependent upon our Present Union (w/ Christ in His death)
Rom 6:5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection
Lk 9:23-26 He said to them all, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
Heb 11:35 received their dead raised to life again; others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.
A. Our Death to Self requires both: 1) suffering loss of what we once valued for the power (security/significance), pleasure and possessions it gave us, as well as 2) sometimes scary steps of faith to follow the path Christ has marked out for us.
Php 3:7 what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. 8…for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9 and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.
B. Our Decision to Die is reinforced by our hourly decisions to sacrificially follow Christ with the fellowship of the likeminded
Php 3:12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 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, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.
Php 3:17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things 20 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21 who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.
4:1 Therefore, my beloved and longed-for brethren, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, beloved.
III. Our Power for following is Dependent upon remaining plugged into the Power of the Holy Spirit
Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
Gal 5:24 those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
A. Inner subtle Strengthening (renewal - Romans 12:1-2) precedes external abundant Performance
Eph 3:16 He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man,
20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,
2Cor 1:5 as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. 8 burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life. 9…that we should not trust in ourselves but in God who raises the dead, 10 who delivered us from so great a death, and does deliver us; in whom we trust that He will still deliver us,
B. When we are plugged in to God’s power we light up with joy regardless of the circumstances (Rom 15:13)
2Cor 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.10 I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses
Questions for Reflection/Discussion/Response:
1. Why do some people base their understanding of the Christian life on tradition rather than truth? Mr 7:7 in vain they worship Me…
2. Is it possible to share in the sufferings of Christ without initial pain/discomfort? Does the difficulty go away? How?
3. What are some indications that a person is or isn’t plugged into the genuine power of God?
4. What can we dc to better help each other experience the fullness of joy that God intends both now and in the future?