Resurrection Power

Rising from the dead was not an ordinary occurrence before or during Jesus time on the earth; it is still not. In order to accomplish such a thing, it takes power, lots of it. Jesus Christ was able to rise from the dead because, being God, he had the power within him to do so. Or perhaps it is better to say he had the power never to die, as his immortality is part of his deity.

"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."  The fellowship of his suffering is something that Christians have been experiencing from the days of the Apostles. There is no way to get around the natural enmity of the life of Jesus with the world, the flesh, and the Devil, and those who decide to live the life of Jesus every day will experience the consequences of this enmity whether they want to or not. This is not to say that every trial that a Christian goes through is a result of this spiritual warfare; it is not right to ascribe to God our own folly. However, adversity is something that Christians find quite a lot of in their walk with and towards God.

But what about the power of his resurrection? Doesn’t that just apply in the life to come? Paul wrote while he was living on this earth, and he wanted to know this power while on this earth. How can this be?

First of all, when Paul wrote and lived on the earth, the resurrection of Jesus was a historical fact, just as it is today. The event had already taken place. To have made the event a reality, it took literally resurrection power to do it. Since Jesus lived after the resurrection and followed this by his ascension into heaven, this power was still in existence. Jesus continued to be and, being God, had infinite power.

Having infinite power, which included his own resurrection and that of others, it is reasonable to say that Jesus Christ has power to accomplish things not as great as the resurrection of the dead, such as healings, miracles, and other supernatural acts. We can then say "…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

We can conclude from this that when Paul speaks of the resurrection power, he speaks of something that is not reserved for the last day, but is a part of the portion that we have in Christ Jesus.

This is something that, while it may not be exclusively Pentecostal in nature, is very much a distinctively Pentecostal emphasis. Theologians had spoken about God’s infinite power, and about the nature of the resurrection, both Jesus’ and ours, for centuries. But it takes the move of the Spirit to put the two together and then to apply all of this to our everyday lives on this earth. It was God’s intention that we as his believers walk each day in the power of his resurrection, power that comes only from him: "Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right (authority) to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God."  When Pentecostal preachers go on about "resurrection power," they are not just blowing smoke or trying to induce their hearers to run the aisles; they are speaking of one of the greatest facts the Christian life has to offer.

We will spend more time on this later. We see, though, that the power of the resurrection is another necessary prerequisite to Pentecost. We also see that this resurrection power is not something just for our death but for our life as well, and not only just a part of our life, but also an expansion of it.

From Born to be Alive.

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