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I want to know the power of his resurrection

Pastor Bill Baltz

“I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.” (Phil 3:10) The resurrection is said to be the central affirmation of the Christian faith. Jesus came, suffered life here, was tortured to death, and was raised on Easter Sunday. Knowing Jesus clearly involves the power of the resurrection.

Paul notes the importance of sharing in “His sufferings.” Many believers miss this point believing the Christian faith provides freedom from hardship — a common, misleading teaching. Both Paul and the rest of the early church, knew that living for Christ included sharing in both the joys and struggles of life just as Jesus did. Paul personally endured hardship despite his faithful life spent serving Christ. Those times can be the best of times, experiencing Jesus’ power as His Spirit walks beside us.

Jesus said his mission — purpose for coming was “that we might have life, and (in addition) have it more abundantly.” (Jn 10:10) It’s very important to note that the word “have” is in the present tense – not the future. Being raised as Jesus was, we can be promoted to a life eternally with our Lord, but beginning now, not just waiting until we die. That “abundant life’ comes with the “power” of being raised up. Paul identifies with dying to self in a world of sin and temptation, so he can be fully raised in power and victory as Jesus did.

So, what comes next? What do we do? Disciples (learners) like us should follow the pattern of Jesus’ disciples being promoted to being apostles (a messenger, one sent). During the 40 days after Easter (a biblical number symbolic of testing, and proving) Jesus took the disciples through a 40-day period of testing and preparation. I like to think of it as “the time when He was “turning over the family business.” Jesus left them with 2 key instructions. The first was “Go and make disciples of all nations (peoples)” (Mt 28:19). He added the second command — “wait … I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Lk 24:49) I love the word for “power.” It’s dunamis which is the root word of words like. “dynamite, dynamo and dynamic.” It is not just power, but miraculous power or marvelous works.

There’s our answer! There’s what comes next! There’s what we do! Wait, anticipate, look forward to the power of the Holy Spirit coming and being “clothed (changed) from on high.” We’ve passed through 3 of the 4 most significant days of the Christian year. And now, we look forward to Pentecost Sunday and celebrate the promise coming of the Holy Spirit, our Comforter and Guide into our lives and changing how we are “clothed.”

Pastor Bill Baltz is a member of the Carson Valley Ministers’ Association.