That is the resurrection life, you have to die to get it. You have to die to enter there, we die to our sin, we die to ourselves, we die to the opinions of man. And we die to the old world, we die to fear of spooks and demons and devils, and prove the truth of the text. Greater is He that is in you, Then he that is in the world.
Man by study will never find God. The man who trusts the workings of his own mind or the minds of other men will never see the city of God. Man, on the merits of his character, will never walk the golden streets. What a man is, what a man does, or how a man lives has nothing to do with his salvation. On the basis of how good he is, the best man on earth has no more help of heaven than the worst man on earth. Man who trusts in its own character, his own moral goodness, it’s only a modern Pharisee with eyes blinded to the truth.
At this very moment, as you read these words, all things are being made new. How you choose to be a steward of this moment is up to you. Never take this precious gift of newness for granted. Choose to cherish the potential of ‘all things new’, through the power that His resurrection gives you. Relationships strained, mistakes made, sins you commit, bring them to the cross. Treasure the gift of newness he grants you every day.
One response was given by the innkeeper when Mary and Joseph wanted to find a room where the Child could be born. The innkeeper was not hostile; he was not opposed to them, but his inn was crowded; his hands were full; his mind was preoccupied. This is the answer that millions are giving today. Like a Bethlehem innkeeper, they cannot find room for Christ. All the accommodations in their hearts are already taken up by other crowding interests. Their response is not atheism. It is not defiance. It is preoccupation and the feeling of being able to get on reasonably well without Christianity.
We name the name of the One who… makes fear and anxiety themselves tremble with fear and puts them to flight. We name the One who overcame fear and led it captive in the victory procession, who nailed it to the cross and committed it to oblivion; we name the One who is the shout of victory of humankind redeemed from the fear of death—Jesus Christ, the Crucified and Living One.
Perhaps the most difficult task for us to perform is to rely on God’s grace and God’s grace alone for our salvation. It is difficult for pride to rest on grace. Grace is for other people – for beggars. We don’t want to live by a heavenly welfare system. We want to earn our own way and atone for our own sins. We like to think that we will go to heaven because we deserve to be there.
Many Christians thinks it’s all right if they pattern after Jesus in a sort of way. They imitate Him, and they do the things which He did; that is, they outwardly do them. They perform kind acts, and they do other things which Jesus did. But the secret of Christianity is not in doing, the secret is in being. Real Christianity is in being a possessor of the nature of Jesus Christ. In other words, it is being Christ in character. Christ in demonstration. Christ in agency of transmission. When one gives himself to the Lord and becomes a child of God, a Christian, he is a Christ man. All that he does, and all that he says from that time on, should be the will and the words and the doings of Jesus just as absolutely. just as entirely, as he spoke, and did the will of the Father.
The Church is always preparing us to die and go to the sweet by and by. All that is well and good but what some of us need is the Church to show us how to live the abundant life in the nasty now and now! It is time to be the light in the darkness of the night! People need to see the light in us! Otherwise Jesus would have saved us and took us on to heaven when we were born again! You are here for a reason! Arise shine!
The caterpillar, a worm, goes into the cocoon — a chrysallis, in which the root word, appropriately, is “Christ.” And it emerges a butterfly, completely transformed. The old has passed. The new has arrived. It was once weighed down by gravity; now it can fly. Christians are once under the reign of sin, but now we can live in freedom. And you can also see why it’s so painful to me that so many Christians don’t understand this? When I hear a Christian say, “I’m just a sinner saved by grace,” I want to say, “that makes as much as a butterfly saying, “I’m just a worm with wings.”
Ah! the bridge of grace will bear your weight, brother. Thousands of big sinners have gone across that bridge, yea, tens of thousands have gone over it. I can hear their trampings now as they traverse the great arches of the bridge of salvation. They come by their thousands, by their myriads; e’er since the day when Christ first entered into His glory, they come, and yet never a stone has sprung in that mighty bridge. Some have been the chief of sinners, and some have come at the very last of their days, but the arch has never yielded beneath their weight. I will go with them trusting to the same support; it will bear me over as it has borne them.