July 7: A Risen People

“Buried with him in baptism, wherein also you are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who has raised him from the dead. And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has he quickened together with him; having forgiven you all trespasses.” Colossians 2:12, 13

Is Jesus alive? then the saints of God are a risen people. What a glorious character is theirs! Mystically they are risen with Christ from the tomb, and spiritually they are risen from the grave of death and sin to newness of life. One of the most fruitful causes of a feeble Christianity is the low estimate the believer forms of his spiritual character. Were this higher, were it more proportioned to our real standing, our responsibility would appear in a more solemn light, our sense of obligation would be deeper, and practical holiness of a high order would be our more constant aim. Ours is a glorious and exalted life.

Our standing is higher, infinitely higher, than the highest angel; our glory infinitely greater than the most glorious seraph. “Christ is our life.” “We are risen with Christ.” By this we are declared to be a chosen, an adopted, a pardoned, a justified, and a quickened people. This is our present state; this is our present character. We bear about with us the life of God in our souls. As Jesus did bear about in His lowly, suffering, tempted, and tried humanity the hidden essential life; so we, in these frail, sinful, bruised, dying bodies, enshrine the life derived from a risen Head—the hidden life concealed with Christ in God. What an exalted character, what a holy one, then, is a believer in Jesus! Herein lie his true dignity and his real wealth—it is, that he is a partaker of the Divine nature, that he is one with the risen Lord. All other distinctions, in comparison, vanish into insignificance, and all other glory fades and melts away. Poor he may be in this world, yet is he rich in faith, and an heir of the kingdom; for he has Christ. Rich he may be in this world, titled and exalted, yet, if Christ is in his heart, that heart is deeply sensible of its native poverty—is lowly, child-like, Christ-like.

If this is our exalted character, then how great our responsibilities, and how solemn our obligations! The life we now live in the flesh is to be an elevated, a risen, a heavenly life. “If you be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” What is the holy state here enjoined?—heavenly-mindedness. On what ground is it enforced?—our resurrection with Christ. As a risen people, how heavenly-minded, then, ought we to be! How incompatible and incongruous do groveling pursuits, and carnal joys, and earthly ambitions appear, with a life professedly one and risen with the incarnate God! But even here much heavenly wisdom is needed to guide in the narrow and difficult way.

To go out of the world—to become as a detached cipher of the human family—to assume the character, even in approximation, of the religious recluse—the gospel nowhere enjoins. To relinquish our secular calling, unless summoned by God to a higher and more spiritual service in the church—to relax our diligence in our lawful business—to be indifferent to our personal interests and responsibilities—to neglect our temporal concerns, and to be regardless of the relative claims which are binding upon us, are sacrifices which a loyal attachment to our heavenly King does not necessarily demand; and, if assumed, are self-inflicted; and, if made, must prove injurious to ourselves and displeasing to God.

But to be heavenly-minded, in the true and Scripture sense, is to carry our holy Christianity into every department of life, and with it to elevate and hallow every relation and engagement. There is no position in which the providence of God places His saints, for which the grace of Jesus is not all-sufficient, if sincerely and earnestly sought. Nor is there any sphere or calling, to which the life of Jesus in the soul may not impart dignity, luster, and sacredness. Christianity, through all grades, and classes, and occupations, is capable of diffusing a divine, hallowing, ennobling influence, transforming and sanctifying all that it touches. Blessed and holy are they who know it from personal and heartfelt experience!

Advertisements

July 3: It Is Jesus

“For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak.” 2 Corinthians 4:11, 13

What is the life of faith which the believer lives, but a manifestation of the life of the Lord Jesus? The highest, the holiest, the happiest life lived below, is the life of faith. But nature contributes nothing to this life. It comes from a higher source. It is supernatural—it is opposed to nature. It springs from the life “hid with Christ in God.” “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God.”

Here is a glorious manifestation of the life of Jesus. If we desire any evidence that Jesus is risen, that He is alive again, and that He is the life of the soul, here it is! See the faith of a child of God sifted as wheat, yet not one grain falling to the ground—tried as gold, yet not one particle lost—though in the flame, yet never consumed. And why? Because Christ lives in the soul. Dear believer! your faith may be sharply tempted—severely tried—but never, never shall it quite fail; for Jesus lives in you, and lives in you forever.

Oh blessed trial of faith, that manifests in, and endears to, you the life of Jesus! It is the precious trial of “precious faith,”—a faith which the more deeply it is tried, the more deeply it manifests the risen life of its Divine “Author and Finisher.”

And what, too, are all the supports of the believer in seasons of trial, suffering, and bereavement, but so many manifestations of the life of the Lord Jesus? What is our path to glory, but the path of tribulation, of suffering, and of death? Our Lord and Master, in the expression of His wisdom and love, forewarns us of this—”In the world you shall have tribulation.” And His apostles but echo the same sentiment, when they affirm that it is “through much tribulation we must enter the kingdom.”

But the life of our risen Lord is daily manifested in us. This it is that keeps the soul buoyant amid the billows, strong in faith, joyful in hope, soaring in love. Thus is Jesus the life of every grace, the life of every promise, the life of every ordinance, the life of every blessing; yes, of all that is really costly and precious to a child of God, Jesus is the substance, the glory, the sweetness, the fragrance, yes, the very life itself. Oh! dark and lonely, desolate and painful indeed were our present pilgrimage, but for Jesus. If in the world we have tribulation, in whom have we peace?—in Jesus! If in the creature we meet with fickleness and change, in whom find we the “Friend that loves at all times”?—in Jesus!

When adversity comes as a wintry blast, and lays low our comforts, when the cloud is upon our tabernacle, when health, and wealth, and influence, and friends are gone—in whom do we find the covert from the wind, the faithful, tender “Brother born for adversity?”—in Jesus! When temptation assails, when care darkens, when trial oppresses, when bereavement wounds, when heart and flesh are failing, who throws around us the protecting shield, who applies the precious promise, who speaks the soothing word, who sustains the sinking spirit, who heals the sorrow, and dries the tear?—Jesus! Where sin struggles in the heart, and guilt burdens the conscience, and unbelief beclouds the mind, whose grace subdues our iniquities, whose blood gives us peace, and whose light dispels our darkness?—Jesus!

And when the spark of life wanes, and the eye grows dim, and the mind wanders, and the soul, severing its last fetter, mounts and soars away, who, in that awful moment, draws near in form unseen, and whispers in words unheard by all but the departing one, now in close communion with the solemn realities of the invisible world—”Fear not; I am the resurrection and the life: he that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die”?—still, it is Jesus! “

July 2: The True Temple Restored

“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!” Romans 11:33

Behold this wisdom, as it shines in the recovery of lost and ruined man by Christ. Here is a manifestation infinitely transcending in greatness and glory the first creation of man in holiness. In the first creation, God had nothing to undo; no dilapidated temple to take down, no occupant to dispossess, no ruin to repair, no rubbish to remove, no enemy to oppose. But in the re-creation of man, how vastly different! The beautiful temple is a ruin—dilapidated and fallen. God is ejected; another and an antagonist occupant dwells in it, and enmity to its Creator is written in letters of darkness upon every part and over every inlet. In rebuilding this structure, all things were to be created anew. “Behold,” says God, “I create a new thing in the earth.”

It was a new and profounder thought of infinite wisdom, unheard, unseen before. Fallen man was to be raised—lost man was to be recovered—sin was to be pardoned—the sinner saved, and God eternally glorified. Now were the treasures of wisdom, which for ages had been hid in Christ, brought forth. Infinite wisdom had never developed such vast wealth, had never appeared clothed in such glory, had never shone forth so majestic, so peerless, and Divine. Oh, how must angels and archangels have wondered, admired, and loved, as this brighter discovery of God burst in glory upon their astonished vision—as this new temple of man rose in loveliness before their view!

The greatest display of infinite wisdom was in the construction of the model upon which the new temple, regenerated man, was to be formed. This model was nothing less than the mysteriously constituted person of the Son of God. In this, its highest sense, is “Christ the wisdom of God.” Here it shone forth in full-orbed majesty. Gaze upon the living picture! Look at Immanuel, God with us—God in our nature—God in our accursed nature—God in our tried nature—God in our sorrowful nature—God in our suffering nature—God in our tempted nature—yet untouched, untainted by sin. Is not this a fathomless depth of Divine wisdom? To have transcended it, would seem to have transcended Deity itself.

The next step in the unfolding of this Divine wisdom is the spiritual restoration of man to a state corresponding in its moral lineaments to this Divine and perfect model. This is accomplished solely by “Christ crucified, the wisdom of God.” And here, again, does the glory of God’s wisdom shine in the person and work of Jesus. Every step in the development of this grand expedient establishes His character as the “only wise God,” whose “understanding is infinite;” while it augments our knowledge, and exalts our views of the Lord Jesus, as making known the Father. Here was a way of salvation for perishing sinners, harmonizing with every perfection of Jehovah, sustaining the highest honor of His government; bringing to Him the richest glory, and securing to its subjects, as the rich bequest of grace, happiness eternal, and inconceivably great.

Oh, how truly did God here “work all things after the counsel of His own will”! How has He “abounded towards us in all wisdom and prudence”! In Jesus’ sacrificial obedience and death we see sin fully punished, and the sinner fully saved—we see the law perfectly honored, and the transgressor completely justified—we see justice entirely satisfied, and mercy glorified to its highest extent—we see death inflicted according to the extreme tenor of the curse, and so vindicating to the utmost the truth and holiness of God; and yet life, present and eternal life, given to all whom it is the purpose and grace of the Father to save. Tell us, is not Jesus the great glory of the Divine wisdom?

June 28: Jesus Wept

“Jesus wept.” John 11:35

PERHAPS to some whose tearful eye may glance on these pages, the most touching and endearing chapter in our Lord’s life of varied and affecting incident is that which portrays Him in Bethany’s house of mourning, and bending over the grave of Lazarus—thus illustrating His peculiar sympathy with the bereaved. It would seem as if Jesus loved to visit the haunts of human woe. “Lord, if You had been here, my brother had not died,” were words bursting from the lips of the two bereaved sisters, which seemed to chide the delay of an interposition, which might have averted their sad calamity. And why that delay? Would it not seem as if one reason was, that the cup of woe was not yet brimmed, and thus the time for the richest display of His human sympathy and Divine power had not yet come? But when death had invaded that happy circle, had cast its shadow over the sunny home, and the sorrow of bereavement was now bursting each heart—lo! Jesus appears, gently lifts the latch, and enters. And who has passed within that dark abode of grief? The Creator of all worlds, the Lord of angels and of men, robed in a real, a suffering, and a sympathizing humanity, to mingle with the daughters of sorrow.

Returning from the house of mourning, we follow Him to the grave. Groaning in spirit, He asks, “Where have you laid him?” And then it is written—and oh, never were words more full of meaning—”Jesus wept!” The incarnate God in tears! Oh marvelous sympathy! such as earth never before saw, and such as heaven in astonishment looked down to see. But why did Jesus weep? Was such an expression of sensibility in keeping with the occasion? Was He not about to recall His friend to life again? And did He not know, that before the sun had declined an hour, He should have robbed death of his victim, and the grave of its prey, restoring gladness to those bereaved sisters, and the sunshine of joy to that desolate home? Most assuredly. And yet “Jesus wept!”

Oh, it was sympathy! Those tears were the outgushing of a sensibility He could not repress, nor wished to conceal. Moved by His own loss, He was yet more deeply moved with the loss of Martha and Mary. He stood at that grave, as though He were the chief mourner, upon whom the brunt of the calamity had fallen; and there were no tears flowing at that moment like His. He wept, because He was human—He wept, because He was bereaved—He wept, because others wept. It was a sympathetic emotion, that now agitated to its center his whole soul. Behold Him who makes His people’s sorrows all His own!

Bereaved one! that speaking, weeping Brother was born for your adversity! Though now in glory, where no tears are shed, He still sympathizes with the sorrows of the bereaved on earth—yes, sympathizes with yours. Into all the circumstances of your present calamity—the irreparable loss it has entailed, the deep void it has created, the profound grief it has awakened, the painful changes it involves, the sable gloom with which, to your bedimmed eye, it enshrouds all the future of life—He fully enters. And though, when the storm-cloud of Divine vengeance was darkling above His head, Gethsemane and Calvary full in view, not a nerve quivered, nor a tear fell—yet, lo! He comes and weeps with you, and breathes the soothing balmy influence, of a human sympathy over the scene and the sadness of your sorrow. Christian mourner! the weeping One of Bethany is near you! Christ is with you, Christ is in your sorrow.

June 25: A Heavenly Reunion

“After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands; And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sits upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.” Rev. 7:9-10

WITH the unveiled sight of the glorified Redeemer, will be associated the certain reunion and perfected communion of all the glorified saints. We are far from placing this feature of glory in an obscure distance of our picture of heavenly happiness. A source of so much pure and hallowed enjoyment now, surely will not be wanting nor be more limited hereafter. It is a high enjoyment of earth, that of sanctified relationships and sacred friendships. The communion of renewed intellect, the union of genial minds, and the fellowship of loving and sympathizing hearts, God sometimes kindly vouchsafes, to smooth and brighten our rough and darksome path to the grave. But death interposes and sunders these precious ties. And are they sundered forever? Oh, no!

We shall meet again all from whom in faith and hope we parted—whom we loved in Jesus, and who in Jesus have fallen asleep. “For we believe that through the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved even as they.” Heart-breaking as was the separation, it was not final, nor will it be long. The time-piece we wear upon our people reminds us at each second, that the period of our reunion is nearing. Yes! we shall meet them again, in closer and purer friendship. They wait and watch for our coming. Do not think that they forget us: that cannot be; and thinking of us, they love us still. The affection they cherished for us here death did not chill; they bore that affection with them from the earthly to the heavenly home; and now, purified and expanded, it glows with an intensity unknown, unfelt before. Heavenly thought is immortal. Holy love never dies. Meeting, we shall know them again; and knowing, we shall rush into their warm embrace, and sever from them—never! “I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who are asleep, that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if ace believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” What a soothing, sanctifying thought—what a heaven-attracting hope is this!

In our anticipations of the coming glory, we must not overlook the glorified body of the saints. The first resurrection will give back this “vile body,” so changed that it shall be “fashioned like unto Christ’s glorious body.” We have two examples of what this “glorious body” of our Lord is. The first was at His transfiguration, when the “fashion of His countenance was altered, and His face did shine as the sun, and His clothing was white as the light.” The second was when He appeared to John in Patmos, arrayed in such glory that the apostle says, “When I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead.” Fashioned like unto Christ’s glorious body, will be the glorified bodies of the saints. No deformity, no wrinkle, no defect whatever, shall mar its beauty. “It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. And as we have borne the image of the earthly, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” “We shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

Risen

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.” 1 Corinthians 15:20

The resurrection of Christ is the pledge and earnest of the glorious resurrection of the believer. This great event—the crowning bliss of the church—has long been as a star of hope, on which the eye of faith has loved to gaze.

Continue reading “Risen”

January 8: The Power Of His Resurrection

That like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. Rom. 6:4

THE resurrection of Christ is a vital doctrine of Christianity. It sustains an essential relation to the spiritual life of the believer. Viewing it in connection with the union of Christ and His people, the two facts become identical—standing in the relation of cause and effect. Our Lord, in His great atoning work, acted in a public or representative character. He represented in His person the whole elect of God, who virtually were in Him, each step that he took in working out their redemption. In His resurrection from the grave this was preeminently so. The Head could not be resuscitated apart from the body. Christ could not rise without the Church.

Thus, then, the new or the resurrection life of Christ, and the inner or spiritual life of the believer, are one and indivisible. Now, when the resurrection of the Head is spiritually realized, when it is fully received into the heart by faith, it becomes a quickening, energizing, sanctifying truth to each member of His body. It transmits a power to the inmost soul, felt in all the actings and manifestations of the spiritual life. Blessed are they who feel, and who feel daily, that they are indeed “risen with Christ,” and who find every new perception of this great truth to act like a mighty lever to their souls—lifting them above this “present evil world”—a world passing away.

Perhaps no circumstance connected with the resurrection of Christ conveys to the mind a clearer idea of its bearings upon the happiness of the Church than the part which the Divine Father is represented as having taken in the illustrious event. His having committed Himself to the fact at once stamps it with all its saving interest. “Whom God has raised.” “Like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father.” “If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead.” By this act of raising up His Son from the grave, the Father manifested His delight in, and His full acceptance of, the sacrifice of Christ, as a finished and satisfactory expiation for the sins of His people. So long as Jesus remained in the grave, there was wanting the evidence of the acceptance of His death; the great seal of heaven, the signature of God, was needed to authenticate the fact.

But when the Father released the Surety from the dominion of death, he annihilated, by that act, all legal claim against His Church, declaring the ransom accepted, and the debt cancelled. “He was taken from prison,”—as the prisoner of justice—the prisoner of death—and the prisoner of the grave; the Father, in the exercise of His glorious power, opens the prison door, and delivers the illustrious Captive—and by the door through which He emerges again to life, enters the full justification of His whole Church; for it is written—”He was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.”

A more important truth—where all are of infinite moment to the happiness of man—is not found in the Word of God. As it forms the keystone to the mighty arch of Christianity, so it constitutes the groundwork of spiritual life, upon the basis of which the Holy Spirit of God quickens the souls of all, who are “the called according to His purpose.” It was a knowledge of this truth which awoke the ardent desire of the apostle’s soul, “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection.”

October 4: Risen From The Dead

“But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.” 1 Corinthians 15:20

The resurrection of Christ is the pledge and earnest of the glorious resurrection of the believer. This great event—the crowning bliss of the church—has long been as a star of hope, on which the eye of faith has loved to gaze.

Who does not recognize the doctrine of the resurrection, and trace the yearning of his soul for this glorious event, in the expressive and touching words of Job?—”There is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease. Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground; yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.” How strikingly and beautifully significant is this figure of the resurrection! His faith grafted upon the doctrine, see how his heart longed for the arrival of the event—”Oh that You would hide me in the grave, that You would keep me secret, until Your wrath be past; that You would appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time” (not the appointed time of his death, as some interpret it, but of his resurrection, for this is the event he is now anticipating), “will I wait until my change come. You shall call”—oh! how sweetly will fall the sound of the archangel’s trumpet upon the ear of those who sleep in Jesus!—”You shall call, and I will answer: You will have a desire to the work of Your hands.”

But, if possible, in terms yet more distinct and glowing, the holy patriarch announces his faith in this doctrine, and expresses his ardent longing for this event—”I know that my Redeemer lives, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God; whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.”

The hope to which the resurrection of the Lord has begotten the believer is termed by the apostle a “lively,” or, as it may be rendered, a “living hope.” Its life springs from the resurrection-life of Christ, just as the same glorious event imparts quickening to the whole Christian economy. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which, according to His abundant mercy, has begotten us again unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” Thus the believer, and he alone, can adopt the language of his Lord, as he resigns his body to the dust—and oh!

Let it be the epitaph of all who sleep in Jesus—”MY FLESH ALSO SHALL REST IN HOPE.” A living hope, based upon the resurrection of Jesus, smooths his suffering pathway to the tomb; hope dissipates its gloom, and kindles within its somber recesses an immortal radiance; and hope—the beacon of the sepulcher—throws its bright beams across the dark waters of eternity, revealing in all its glory an “inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fades not away.”

Observe how closely the two events—the resurrection of Jesus, and that of the believer—are interwoven one with the other. “Now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first-fruits of those who slept.” “Every man in his own order: Christ the first-fruits; afterwards they that are Christ’s at His coming.” What was the meaning of the first sheaf, which, under the law, was commanded to be presented before the Lord in His temple? Was it not to be considered as an earnest, a pledge, and a pattern of the future harvest, ripening for the sickle? So was the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

In like manner He burst from the grave, the “first-fruits,” the earnest, the pledge, and the pattern of a future and a glorious harvest. As surely as He rose, so surely shall all His people rise. As certainly as the first golden sheaf has been presented in the temple, and waved before the throne of God, as certainly shall the “blade, the ear, and the full corn in the ear” be sickled in and gathered home, “and not the least grain fall upon the earth.” “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.”

June 23: Our Downward Tendency

“That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection.” Philippians 3:10

Of the downward tendency of our hearts we are, alas! but too conscious. We need an antagonistic principle- something to counteract the overworking influence of an ungodly world. Where shall we meet with it?

We answer, in the power of Christ’s resurrection, felt, realized, and experienced in the soul. This is the argument of Paul: “You are a risen people, risen in union with Christ. If this be so, then seek after heavenly mindedness, setting your affections on things above.” What a heaven-attracting power, then, has this glorious truth! What is Christ? He is alive. Where is Christ? He is in heaven, at the right hand of God, as my head- my representative- my forerunner- my treasure- my all. Then, let me rise!

Shall not my affections soar to their best beloved? Shall not my heart be where its treasure is? Shall I set my mind upon things on the earth, when my Lord rose out of the earth, and ascended above the earth, and bids me rise and follow Him in faith, in spirit, and in love, until He calls me to come away to Him entirely, that I may be ever with Him and behold His glory?

If I am indeed risen with Christ, then let me evidence it by my increasing spiritual-mindedness. Christ, who is my life, is in heaven- why should I needlessly be buried in the earth? Why allow- as I appear to do- that there is an object upon earth whose claims to my love are paramount, whose beauty to my eye is greater, whose attraction to my soul is stronger, than my risen, ascended, and glorified Lord? Is there upon earth one who loves me as Jesus loves me? Is there one who has done for me what Jesus has done? Is there one who is doing for me now what Jesus is doing? Is there one who is to me such a friend, such a brother, such a counselor as Jesus? No, not one!

Then, why should not my thoughts be more with Him? Why should not my heart cling closer to Him? Why this vagrancy of mind, this truancy of affection, this wandering of desire; why this forgetfulness, coldness, and cleaving to earth, when my Lord is risen, and I am professedly risen with Him?

Oh, to feel more sensibly, more deeply; more constantly the power of His resurrection! Lord! I detect my heart settling down on creature things- objects of sense and sin. My business is a snare- my domestic blessings are a snare- my friendships are a snare- my position is a snare- the too fond opinion which others entertain of me is a snare- my grace, my gifts, my usefulness, through the corruption of my heart, are snares.

Lord, place beneath my soul the mighty lever of Your resurrection, and lift me towards Yourself! Oh, let me feel the earth-severing, the heaven-attracting power of Your resurrection-life! Having been buried with You by baptism into death, sincerely would I now rise with You, like as You were raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father; that I might walk with You in newness of life, until I reach You in the realms of glory.

June 22: Resurrection Life

“The God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus.” Hebrews 13:20

How beautifully the apostle associates the two blessings! He is now truly the “God of peace” – the pacified God, the reconciled Father; and the evidence of it is His raising up His dear Son from the grave. Thus what a bright view does this truth unfold to us of God!

When we retire within ourselves, we see much to engender dark views of, and distrustful feelings towards, Him. But when faith travels to the grave of Jesus, and we see it empty, we have such an overwhelming evidence of the perfect reconciliation of God, of His thoughts of peace towards us, that instantly faith triumphs, and all our gloomy, trembling apprehensions of His character vanish and disappear. He is the “God of peace,” because Jesus is a risen Savior. And in proportion as you lay hold by faith of the resurrection-life of Christ, you will have that pillar to sustain you upon which rests the whole fabric of salvation.

The peace of God will fill your heart, as you know from experience the power of the Lord’s resurrection in your soul. The power of Christ’s resurrection, in fact, lies in a sense of pardoned sin, in our apprehension of complete justification, in the living hope of eternal glory. Jesus saves to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him, because he is a risen and a living Savior, and ever lives to make intercession in behalf of all His people.

Oh, deal believingly with a risen Christ! The same resurrection-power which brought back to life again the Head of the Church is exerted in effecting the spiritual resurrection of the Church itself. The true believer is already risen. He was once dead in sin, and entombed in the grave of his iniquities. But a power- the same which awoke the death-slumber of Lazarus- has darted from the tomb of Jesus, and has quickened Him to a new and a deathless life.

Oh, were we more directly to trace the mighty energy of the Eternal Spirit in our souls, raising us from the region of death to life and immortality, to that stupendous fact of redemption- the resurrection of Christ from the dead- how would it exalt our views of its importance, and fill our souls with its glory!

What must be the power of our Lord’s resurrection, that can even now awake the profoundest sleep of spiritual death! When the Spirit of God puts forth His own grace to raise a soul from the grave of sin, oh, forget not it is in virtue of a risen, living Savior.

Despair not of the spiritual life of any, though they may have laid in the grave so long as well near to have quenched all hope of their conversion, since Christ has risen from the dead, and is alive, to give life in answer to the prayer of faith. “The second Adam is a quickening Spirit.”