Reflections from the Pastor
“He arose from the dead...!”
It’s part of the creed which expresses what we believe. We believe in the preposterous!
And just as amazing is the miracle that happens within us: We too arise from the dead! And I’m not talking about that time when our bodies breathe their last breath. Christ brings new life into our dead spirits when we join Him at the cross.
We who were once dead in our sins should experience the power-filled life of God’s Spirit within us! The Apostle Paul wrote to us in the bible about his own experience: My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. (Galatians 2:20)
Christ lives in me! That is the spiritual reality for Christian believers – because of Easter! The power of God working through the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the most incredible miracle ever!
The Bible reminds us that we were “dead” people because of the sin nature within us. And if we dare to remember, there was a time when we lived in sin, controlled by our sin nature. Read Ephesians 2:1-6 with me. The first paragraph describes all humankind who lived in the world; the second paragraph reports the fantastic new birth brought to us from God!
1Once you were dead because of your disobedience and your many sins. 2You used to live in sin, just like the rest of the world, obeying the devil – the commander of the powers in the unseen world. He is the spirit at work in the hearts of 3 those who refuse to obey God. All of us used to live that way, following the passionate desires and inclinations of our sinful nature. By our very nature we were subject to God’s anger, just like everyone else.
4But God is so rich in mercy, and He loved us so much, 5that even though we were dead because of our sins, He gave us life when He raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) 6For He raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.
Already we have a place in the heavenly realm! Already we have citizenship in heaven and a place at God’s table!
Are you able to confirm how different you are because of your devotion to Jesus? Do you have a new sense of hope and optimism because you are no longer “subject to God’s anger?”
Rich in mercy and with a depth of love that is beyond anything we’ve ever known, God pours into our hearts a different kind of love, joy and peace, patience, kindness, and so much more. We can know that there is a new presence or a new force within our soul.
But we can still be troubled; the old sinful nature is defeated, but not dead within us. We may still feel the tug to do our own thing, to serve our selfish desires. But don’t be disheartened. Every Christian experiences the ebb and flow of temptations and sin from time to time. Just know that if you have a heart for God – you will be led by that passion to Him, continuing in a posture of prayer and confession, humbled before the God who reclaims our lives from darkness and death!
Thank God for His Easter miracle!
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Steele Memorial United Methodist Church
P.O. Box 346
733 Shaw Street
Barboursville, WV 25504