Reading & Easter Message

Reading & Easter Message April 12, 2020

Bob Revnell, Trustee & Elder
Reading | Matthew 7.15-29

We’re focusing on the last portion of the Sermon on the Mount.  We began in Matthew 5 and continued through chapter 7, where the Sermon on the Mount concludes.  Jesus gives the Disciples, the crowd, and the religious leaders some basic warnings.

There are 2 gates, 2 roads, 2 kinds of prophets, 2 kinds of Disciples, and there are 2 foundations to be built upon.  Each of these is either with Jesus or against Him.

Matthew 7.15-29


Reading & Easter Message

Pastor Jared Ingle
Easter Message | Romans 8

It’s Easter and the airwaves are jammed with Pastors offering encouragement.  I’m honored to join their ranks and share one of my favorite Resurrection Scriptures.  This is not a Scripture about the story of the Resurrection.  This is a Scripture about how the Holy Spirit makes the Resurrection real to us

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you. Romans 8.11, NRSV

I’m going to share some ideas about this Passage.

i. “We” not “Me”

Every time Paul uses the pronoun “you,” it is plural.  So if we want to receive this Word, we think of us plural . . . We Not Me.  This is a call, a renewing of the community of faith, bringing us to life now.[1]

ii. Two Views of this Verse

Historically, there seems to be two views.  1) The Holy Spirit resurrects Jesus Christ and one day the Spirit will resurrect us.  2) The Resurrection power of the Holy Spirit is at work in our lives now.

iii. NOW and Not Yet

Sometimes a prophetic passage is fulfilled in the Now and Not Yet.  This is a way of saying that both views are probably correct.

In this passage, the Holy Spirit will resurrect our bodies on that great day to come, the Not Yet.

The Spirit is also using His resurrection power in to give us new life in the Now.

Most Early Church Fathers believe that this involves both the Now and Not Yet.  John Calvin interprets this statement as spiritual life that we have Now.[2]

iv. Making a Case for the NOW

Guy Duffield & Nathanial Van Cleave believe Paul is talking about the Now.  I’ll summarize just 3 of the many points they make.[3]

But you are not in the flesh; you are in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.  But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. Romans 8.9-10

First, we have present victory over the flesh, or the lower nature.

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you. Romans 8.11

Second, Paul is speaking of our “mortal bodies,” not dead bodies.  Mortal means that we will die someday.  It means we’re not dead yet, so the verse implies . . . God will give strength and healing to the believer Now.

So then, brothers and sisters, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh – Romans 8.12

Third, Paul again talks about our current walk in the Spirit vs. the flesh.

This is a prophetic Passage, but there are also some strong applications for the Now.

v. If We Believe in the NOW, Then We Must Face New Life NOW

How does this lead us to new life? Let’s review two key verses:

But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you. Romans 8.10-11

Basically, there’s a salvation progression here.  1) What Jesus has accomplished for us can be applied to us by the Spirit.  2) Jesus Christ then lives in us and makes us righteous.  3) The Spirit applies the work of Christ to our temporary lives.  4) What Christ does for us, the Holy Spirit embodies in us.[4]

Jesus Christ and the Spirit are both producing Resurrection life, new life in us NOW!

vi. If We Believe in the NOW, Then We Believe in Daily Victory

We choose daily to die to the flesh and live in the resurrection.[5]  Clark Pinnock, a well-respected Theologian from last century says:

“The Spirit’s task in atonement is to form Christ in us and change us into his likeness.  The task is to reverse the power of sin in us until death itself is overcome and we can share in the glory of God.”[6]

This is the same principle for Spirit-filled living . . . Spirit baptism.  It’s a daily renewal, a daily filling, and a daily indwelling of the Spirit.  It’s spiritual union with Christ through the power of the Spirit.[7]

The resurrection power of the Spirit gives us victory in Christ daily!

vii. If We Believe in the NOW, Then We Become Part of the Story

We become part of the Christ event . . . His story . . . the Gospel.  In some way His story becomes our story, His resurrection our resurrection.

Sometimes when someone is trying to attest to the truth of a story, they use the idiom “With God as my witness!”  In some way, it’s supposed to add veracity to the story.  Well, the Holy Spirit actually is our witness.

it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, Romans 8.16

The Spirit is our witness that we’re part of the ongoing story of Christ.[8]

As an Invitation

What do you believe?  Is this just another great Scripture for . . . someday . . . someday when everything will be set right?  Or does this Scripture also apply NOW?

How do your beliefs shape the way you’re living NOW?

Let me assure you, the resurrection power of the Spirit is at work in our lives NOW!


JVI | the set | 04.11.20
JVI | the set | 04.11.20

Connect:

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notes:

[1] Thomas C. Oden, Classic Christianity: A Systematic Theology (New York: Harper Collins, 1992), 707.
[2] John F. Walvoord, The Holy Spirit: A Comprehensive Study of the Person and Work of the Holy Spirit, 3rd ed. (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1958), 102. [3] Guy P. Duffield and Nathaniel M. Van Cleave, Foundations of Pentecostal Theology (Los Angeles: Foursquare Media, 1987), 132, 288. [4] Salvation progression adapted from Polycarp, referenced by Oden, 564. [5] Ambrosiaster referenced by Oden, 665-666. [6] Clark H. Pinnock, Flame of Love: A Theology of the Holy Spirit (Downers Grove, IL: IVP Academic, 1996), 106. [7] Origen referenced by Oden, 654. [8] Origen referenced by Oden, 459.

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