Read: Romans 8:11 (New Living Translation)
“The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”
Jesus Christ has conquered sin and death; on the first day of the week (Sunday) He rose to new and everlasting life. He first appeared in the garden to Mary Magdalene, then to the couple on the road to Emmaus, and then to His disciples that evening as they were gathered in the “upper room”. A week later He appeared to Thomas, who had not been there earlier. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul lists the occasions and people who saw the resurrected Jesus, touched Him, ate with Him, spoke with Him, etc., including an occasion during which there were 500 people gathered who saw Jesus in His resurrected form. These appearances happened for 50 days. On the final appearance Jesus gave His followers “the Great Commission” (Mt. 28:16-20) and that remains the focus of our church’s mission statement still today.
Some believe these testimonies and the evidence they provide of the risen Christ, others don’t. My focus today is on a different group, a sub-set of believers, who believe that the Spirit of God raised Jesus to new and everlasting life, but wonder if it will be true for them when the time comes. This form of “partial” faith has a couple root causes. For some it seems presumptuous to “know” that you are going to Heaven. A humble spirit keeps them from having “assurance of faith”. For others it is more than humility, it is a matter of self-worth – they “know” they are not worthy of God’s salvation. For these folks they don’t doubt God’s existence, holiness, goodness, and power, and even that God raised Jesus – their doubt is in themselves. That is a tragic misunderstanding of God’s word, and a terrible mistake.
While it is true that none of us “deserve” God’s salvation, it is also true that God knows that better than anyone, and declares that we are loved while we are yet sinners, AND that we are saved by grace, not by our own goodness. We need to look beyond “self” worth, to trust the worth that God esteems us. Your sin and doubt are no match for the power of God’s love and grace.
The good news that we may have confidence in is this: the same Spirit that raised Jesus, will raise you as well. That is the good news and the promise of God.