Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Tuesday Devotion: 1 Corinthians 15:29 - 34

Does the resurrection power of Jesus transform your life today?

  29 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptised for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptised for them? 30 And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31 I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our. 32 Lord If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 

34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.

 Paul begins chapter 15 by telling the Corinthians they needed a reminder of the Gospel. Some of them were seriously straying away from the gospel. In this passage Paul focuses on the importance of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. We know Jesus died on Good Friday and that His death accomplishes the resurrection into heaven of everyone who puts their hope in Him. God in His mercy also gave signs of this whilst Jesus died on the Cross, when the graves of many holy people in Jerusalem broke open and they were raised from death, and appeared to many people (Matthew 27:52-53).

 Paul tells the Ephesians:

 “When he ascended on high, he took many captives and gave gifts to his people.”

 The captives are those who put their faith in Jesus from Old Testament times. They had died but because the blood of Jesus had not yet been shed, and He had not yet died and been resurrected, they had not yet ascended into heaven. They were in some kind of holding place, not suffering but waiting for their salvation to be realised. Another result of Jesus’ resurrection is that He has given us gifts in addition to our salvation!

How should this affect out lives today? Paul indicates that our response should be to focus on Jesus. “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.” (Colossians 3:1-6). Not only are we saved by Jesus’ resurrection, our Saviour instructs us to be transformed, to live by the Spirit and not by the sinful nature (Galatians 5:25). When we see Jesus, we learn His priorities which are different from human priorities. Some of the human priorities are detailed in Colossians 3:1-6.

The additional impact of being focused on Jesus is that we also live in His resurrection power. This means that our marriages and families experience Jesus’ resurrection power, our churches are renewed in resurrection power and our attitudes in our jobs are transformed by His resurrection. When we have died to sin, our lives are filled with the Holy Spirit. Our whole lives are infused with His life and dynamism. In 1 Corinthians 15: 30-32, the resurrection of Jesus inspires Paul to preach the Gospel in Ephesus and to contend with “wild animals” which is his term used to describe the ferocity he experienced of some people strongly opposed to the Gospel. As Paul lived in the resurrection power of Jesus, he became able to find the courage to risk his life for the gospel so that others could be led to Christ. Living in the resurrection power of Jesus is not an optional extra for the Christian. It is a must. It is not merely a belief in the apostles’ creed and a few scriptures. The resurrection power of Jesus is for transforming our lives in 2021.

What areas of your life are touched by Christ’s resurrection? Which areas are not? I suggest you take some time today in a quiet place to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show you where His resurrection power needs to be prioritised in your life.