Torch, Spring 1979

r I race. Christ died for all sin so that doomed sinners might be saved. His resurrection is the power that conquers sin in our lives. "Reckon . . . yourselves . . . alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let no sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lust thereof" (Rom. 6:11, 12). The resurrection of Christ is vital to our victory over sin, for "if Christ be not raised, ye are yet in your sins" (1 Cor. 15:17). By the power of His resurrection, Satan is a defeated foe. "Having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it" (Col. 2:15). He bruised Satan's head (Gen. 3: 15) and thus destroyed the devil who had the power of death (Heb. 2:14). The God of peace will bruise Satan under the believer's feet (Rom. 16:20); therefore, no Christian need give "place to the devil" (Eph. 4:27). Instead, we can and should resist Him (James 4:7). An old beekeeper tells of finding a snake on the floor of a hive. The snake had crawled into the hive and was stung to death. Unable to remove it from the hive, the bees sealed over the intruder with wax. The wax prevented contamination in the hive. By the resurrection, Christ "stung" that old serpent, Satan, to death and gave the Christian the power to keep him from ruining and contaminating his soul. The evil ruler of this world has been condemned and, as a result, the believer's victory has been guaranteed (John 16:11). The world united to crucify Christ. Pilate put a sign over His cross written in Greek (the language of the learned), Latin (the language of the government), and Hebrew (the language of religion). All three united to take His life. By the power of His resurrection, that world has been conquered. He said, "I have overcome the world" (John 16:33). His resurrection is the seal to the provision of His death, He "who gave himself for our sin that he might deliver us from this present evil world" (Gal. 1:4). Since in Christ the Christian has conquered the world (that is, "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life"), he is not to love it, but live a life separated from it (1 John 2: 15-17). For a Christian to continue to live like the world is either to deny or ignore the power of Christ's resurrection. Years ago, Arthur Hedley wrote, "Our great need is to experience the power of His resurrection. We need this power to overcome self; to master sin; to triumph over pride, prejudice, jealousy, envy, avarice, impurity, impatience, bad temper; to walk in holiness and love; and to win souls for the Saviour. Our Lord waits for us to lay claim to this power." When we are willing to submit our all to Him, recognizing Him as the Lord of our lives, then the old life of defeat shall go and we shall be "strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might" (Eph. 6:10). An artist painted two pictures of Christ. The first showed the Saviour as the patient, understanding, gentle and forgiving Lord that He is. The Christ of the second picture, however, appeared unlovely and almost ugly. The portrait revealed impatience, discontent and anger, which was inconsistent with what the Bible teaches about Him. In explaining the difference between the two pictures, the artist said, "The first Christ is the one we see in the gospels, but the second is the Christ I see today mirrored in the lives of people who, except for their name, would never be recognized as followers of the Saviour. Like my picture, these Christians are only caricatures of Christ." We Bible-believing fundamentalists are right in defending the faith, denouncing error and refusing to cooperate in any ecumenical meeting with those who deny the vicarious death of Christ and His bodily resurrection. We are not right when we are filled with bitterness, criticism, prejudice, jealousy, lust and spiritual deadness. When these traits characterize our lives we deny the power of His resurrection which we so loudly profess to believe. Are we then any more effective in our witness for Christ than those who blatantly deny His bodily resurrection? Dr. Jeremiah is Chancellor of Cedarville College. 7