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God Wants Us to Know the Power of His Resurrection

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God Wants Us to Know the Power of His Resurrection

Ephesians 1:13-23

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - May 19, 2013

(Revised from sermon preached at McClendon Baptist Church - Nov. 1, 2009)

*I know my wife. Except for the Lord, I know her better than anybody in the world knows her. I know the schooling she has had, the jobs she has held, and the honors she has won. I know her mother and her brothers, where she lived growing up, and the name of the family dog she had as a kid.

*In addition to all of the facts about my wife, I know her life. I was there when she gave birth to our 3 children. I was there when her daddy died.

-I know her hurts, habits, hang-ups and happiness.

-I know her quirks and her pet peeves;

-What makes her laugh; what makes her cry.

-Her work and her worries; her strengths and her sins.

*I could tell you how God has worked in her life, and how she has worked in my life to bless me beyond measure. I have known my wife in a close, personal way for almost 40 years.

*Church: That's the way Jesus wants us to know Him and the power of His resurrection. Think about God's resurrection power as we look into His Word today. (1)

1. First: His resurrection power is available.

*God's resurrection power is available to you and me. He makes the infinite power of His resurrection available to anyone who will trust Jesus as their living Lord and Savior. That means believing in Jesus' death on the cross for our sins, believing in His crucifixion and in His resurrection.

*As Christians, we believe what God's Word says about Jesus back up in vs. 7. We believe that "in Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace."

*The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to people who had believed in the Lord. As he said in vs. 13&14:

13. In Him (i.e. in Jesus) you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,

14. who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

*It is vitally important for us to understand that when we receive Jesus, we receive the power of His resurrection. From that moment on, we are in Christ as a partaker of His crucifixion and resurrection. Paul explained this to Christians in 1 Cor 12:13, where he said: "By one Spirit we were all baptized into one body (i.e. into the Body of Christ) . . ."

*This reality of Christians being in Christ is so sure that in Ephesians 2, Paul said:

4. . . God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

5. even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),

6. and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

7. that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

*Christian, you already have the power of Christ's resurrection in your life. When you have Christ, you have the power, because right now you are in Christ. That's why when Paul prayed for these Christians here in chapter 1, he did not pray for them to get the Lord’s resurrection power. They already had it!

*So Paul prayed that they would know the resurrection power that they already had in Jesus Christ. Starting in vs. 16, Paul said:

16. (I) do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:

17. that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,

18. 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,

*There in vs. 18, Paul prayed for them to know 2 things:

-The hope of God's calling...

-And the riches of the glorious inheritance we have in Jesus.

*But starting again in vs. 19, Paul prays that we would know:

19. . . 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 in the heavenly places,

*Christians: God wants us to know the resurrection power that we already have in Jesus Christ. When we receive the Risen Christ as our Savior, we also receive His resurrection power! That makes sense, because in John 11:25, Jesus said: "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live."

*So God’s resurrection power is available to anyone who will trust Jesus Christ as their living Lord and Savior.

*Bruce Howell told about a Muslim man in Africa who became a Christian. That was a very risky thing for him to do. Some of his friends asked him, "Why have you done such a thing?" And the new Christian answered, "Well, it is like this: Suppose you were going down the road and suddenly the road forked in two directions. You didn’t know which way to go, but there at the fork were two men: One dead, and one alive. Which one would you ask to show you the way?" (2)

*That man chose Jesus Christ: The one who is alive, the one who is alive forever! You choose Jesus! You choose the living Lord and you will have the power of His resurrection. God's resurrection power is available.

2. And it is invaluable.

*The resurrection power of Jesus Christ is invaluable! It is priceless beyond compare. Paul knew how valuable it was in Philippians 3:8-10 where he said:

8. 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

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,

*We also get a sense of how valuable the resurrection is to us here in vs. 15-16, where Paul said:

15. Therefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints,

16. do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers.

*Paul was willing to pray without ceasing for these believers, because he wanted them to see the value of Christ's resurrection.

[1] The power of Christ's resurrection is certainly essential for eternal life.

*It is life-giving, and there is no hope without it. Paul spoke about this truth in 1 Corinthians 15:12-20, where he said:

12. If Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?

13. But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.

14. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is vain and your faith is also vain.

15. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up if in fact the dead do not rise.

16. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen.

17. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!

18. Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.

19. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

20. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.

*The power of His resurrection is essential for eternal life.

[2] And it is essential for the everyday life of a Christian.

*The power of His resurrection gives us peace through the hardest times of life.

-The power of His resurrection gives us strength when we are weak.

-And it makes us usable for the Lord. It makes us usable as His servants and His witnesses. It makes us channels of His power and blessing.

*We clearly see this power at work in the disciples after Jesus rose again. So Maxie Dunnam said: "The proof of the resurrection is not (just) the empty tomb. It is the incredible transformation in the lives of the disciples. They remained ordinary men after the resurrection, but they began to live extraordinary lives. Something had happened to them. . ." Now they were living on the resurrection side of the cross!

*Mark Trotter explained: "There was a line right down the middle of their lives: Before and after. Before the Resurrection when they despaired about this life. They were sure that death and not life was in control of things. But after the Resurrection, no matter what happened to them, they were convinced that love is the strongest power in this world. They were convinced that death is not the victor." (3)

*That is the value of His resurrection. The power of His resurrection is essential for eternal life, and for our everyday life in this world.

-God's resurrection power is invaluable.

3. And it is knowable.

*As Christians we can know and experience resurrection power in a tangible way. We can see it with our spiritual eyes. This spiritual knowledge was the main thrust of Paul's prayer in vs. 16-20.

*Please listen again, where Paul said:

16. (I) do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers:

17. that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him,

18. 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,

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 in the heavenly places,

*Please notice again that Paul did not pray for these Christians to get the Lord's resurrection power. They already had it. And Christians, so do we!

*But how well do we know the power of His resurrection?

-Paul prayed for them to spiritually know and see the power they already had.

*It actually reminds me of "The Beverly Hillbillies." Most of us probably remember that classic TV comedy. The lyrics to the theme song tell you what you need to know. Some of us could probably sing it by heart:

-"Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed

-A poor mountaineer, barely kept his family fed,

-Then one day he was shootin at some food,

-And up through the ground came a bubblin' crude.

-Oil that is, black gold, Texas tea.

-Well the first thing you know ol' Jed's a millionaire,

-Kinfolk said Jed move away from there

-Said Californy is the place you ought to be

-So they loaded up the truck and moved to Beverly.

-Hills, that is. -- Swimmin pools, movie stars. (4)

*A few years ago Forbes Magazine rated Jed as #5 on their list of the 15 richest fictional characters. Forbes estimated that Jed Clampett had a net worth of 7.7 billion dollars! (5)

*The point is that Jed was worth that much all along. He just didn't know it.

*And most of us Christians have no idea of the spiritual power that belongs to us, because we belong to Jesus. How well do we know the power of His resurrection?

*This spiritual power is invisible to us from a natural point of view. But here we see that it becomes more visible to us through prayer. Resurrection power also becomes more apparent to us the more we know the Lord. So in Philippians 3:10, Paul declared, "I want to know Him and the power of His resurrection."

*The more we actively and continually seek to know the Lord, the more we will see His resurrection power at work in our lives.

-God's resurrection power is knowable.

4. And it is unstoppable.

*The resurrection power of Jesus Christ is invincible, unstoppable! We get a feel for the scope of His power in vs. 19-21, where Paul talked about:

19. . . 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 in the heavenly places,

21. far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

*John 10 tells us that before He died on the cross for us, Jesus told His followers:

11. "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

15. As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

17. Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again.

18. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.'' (John 10:11, 15, 17, 18)

*Then after Jesus went back to Heaven, the Holy Spirit came down on the Day of Pentecost. And as Peter preached, in Acts 2:22-24, he said:

22. "Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a Man attested by God to you by miracles, wonders, and signs which God did through Him in your midst, as you yourselves also know

23. Him, being delivered by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death;

24. whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it."

*Or as the New Living Translation says: "God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life again, for death could not keep him in its grip."

*I like that! Death could not keep Jesus in its grip! Death could not keep Jesus in its grip, because He never deserved to die in the first place. But Jesus did die. He died for our sins. 1 Peter 2:24 tells us that Jesus "bore our sins in His own body on the tree."

*Jesus died for our sins, but death could not keep Him in its grip! Death did not have the power to hold Jesus. And we rejoice in the power of His resurrection.

*Pastor Bill Bouknight told about an Easter Sunday in their church. That day, one of their Sunday School teachers quizzed her kids about the resurrection. And one of the questions she asked was this: "Why did Jesus rise from the dead?"

*One bright little boy replied, "Because it wouldn't have been much of a story if he hadn't." And Pastor Bill said: "That little boy is absolutely right. Everything about our faith depends on the resurrection. Without the resurrection, Jesus would be nothing more than a dead hero. The history books are full of them. But the Good News of resurrection is that Jesus Christ has blazed a path for every believer into eternity. . ." And even now this risen, powerful Christ is at work in our world. (6)

*Could the soldiers standing guard in Jerusalem keep Jesus in the grave?

-Not a chance!

*Could the massive stone in front of His tomb keep Jesus in the grave?

-Not a chance!

*Could Satan keep our Lord in the grave? -- Not a chance. All the powers of hell could not keep Jesus in the grave one second longer than He planned!

*His resurrection power is unstoppable! And this resurrection power belongs to you, if you belong to Him. Open your heart to believe in Jesus today. You can call on the Lord to save you and He will. Jesus will forgive your sins and give you eternal life, guaranteed by the power of His resurrection.

*But Christians, let me ask you again: How well do you know the power of His resurrection? God wants us to know it better. God wants us to know Him better.

*Let's draw closer to Him, as we go to God in prayer.

1. The basic idea for this testimony came from sermon: "The Resurrection" by Coty Pinckney - Community Bible Church April 3, 1994

2. From a sermon by Bruce Howell, The Gospel vs. Religion (Found in SermonCentral sermon "I am Resurrection and the Life" by Martin Dale - John 11:25-26)

3. Both quotes adapted from Sermons.com sermon "This Is Eternal Life (Easter Message)" by Maxie Dunnam - John 17:1-5 - 2006

4. wikipedia.com & bussongs.comsongsbeverly_hillbillies_tv_show_theme.php

5. http://www.forbes.com/2006/11/20/jed-clampett-money-tech-media_cx_mn_06fict15_hillbilly.html

6. Sermons.com sermon "All You Need to Know About Heaven" from Bill Bouknight - John 14:1-14

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