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Summary: The resurrection of Jesus assures the believer that He is the Son of God in power. The message explores what this means for us as followers of the Risen Christ.

“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

“To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:

“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” [1]

If Christ has not been raised from the dead, we Christians have no Good News to declare at Easter, or at any other time. We have no message of hope if Christ did not conquer death. If Christ did not rise from the dead, our message has no hope nor is it any more valid than fanciful stories such as that of an illiterate, paedophile Arab who rode a white steed from Mecca to Jerusalem in one night.

The Apostle Paul has written, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied” [1 CORINTHIANS 15:14-19].

However, Christ the Lord did conquer death, rising from the tomb and presenting Himself alive to those whom He had called and who had walked with Him during the days of His flesh. In Him—the Risen Lord of Glory—all who believe are forgiven all sin and every transgression against the True and Living God. Those who are thus forgiven are redeemed—adopted into God’s divine family and called by the Name of the Son of God.

The Christian Faith is distinct from all the other religions of the world. Christianity is concerned with ethical living; but ethics divorced from the knowledge of God is meaningless. Christianity is deeply concerned with morality; but morality without the power of a regenerate life is a fantasy that can never be attained. Christianity is concerned with the life to come; but those who focus on the world to come while ignoring this present life are deceived at best and utterly useless to the inhabitants of this fallen world. The Christian Faith brings a message of transformation through faith in a God who conquered death and rose again to life. Those who have been thus transformed by God’s divine power no longer live solely for their own pleasure; rather, they seek to glorify Him who has redeemed them and brought them into union with Him.

The lives of the disciples were transformed. These men, terrified and cowed, were changed into lions. Threatened by theological and civil powers, they responded, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard” [ACTS 4:19, 20].

When they were threatened with beatings and hardship, they returned to their friends, where they “lifted their voices together to God,” praying for even more boldness to continue speaking of His power that was at work in them [see ACTS 4:23-31].

Thrown into prison, they would pray and sing hymns to God [see ACTS 16:25].

These men were unstoppable. One of them would write, “Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is made to fall, and I am not indignant?

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