But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. -1 Corinthians 15:57
Victory through Our Lord Jesus Christ
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We cannot produce, control, or manipulate resurrection. Left to ourselves, we have no power over death. Likewise, all our good efforts cannot earn or produce eternal life. But as we talk of thanksgiving, the greatest gift that we already have is the victory from sin and death. This stands as the ultimate statement of God to mankind; God is leading His people forward into victory through faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation is all of grace - from beginning to end. And it is grace brought to us completely through Christ. It is a gift freely given to us through the grace of Christ. Our hope is exclusively in God's hands.
As a result of Christ's death and resurrection, we are presently being conformed into Christ's image and we will one day be completely transformed in the likeness of his resurrection glory. Jesus Christ is our mighty and merciful king. His might is displayed in his victory over sin and death, we have been delivered from the power of death, and it no longer holds us captive. His mercy is revealed and gives us his victory - a gift of grace, undeserved and unearned. The impact of Christ's victory begins in the present and continues on until it is complete. We way we must respond to God's grace is worship. And this worship should result in obedience to the heavenly vision.
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:19
God, a Great Provider
Like any good parent, God would never give us what He knows would harm us. His intent is to help us develop Christlikeness so that we become salt and light in the world. The sovereign Lord is the great Provider. The hand of God's provision is also open to us in our time of affliction. When we're in deep suffering, we hold on to the promise of the Holy Scriptures that God will supply all our need. God's "riches in glory" are inexhaustible. He really means for us not to worry about our future.
What we "need" and what we "want" are not always the same thing. God differentiates between our needs and our wants because He knows that where our treasure is where our heart is also. But the concept of "need" has to be considered according to God's will. He wants us to know that this world is not our home and that part of what we need is to shift our focus to the eternal life while still living this one. God is concerned with every part of our being: spirit, soul, and body. As the facets of His character are infinite, so the ways God provides for us are beyond anything we can ask or imagine. God does not promise here that He will supply all our desires or wishes, but He promises that He will supply, and fulfill all our needs. If we seek God in earnest with our hearts and minds, we will be encouraged, and comforted that our God will supply all our needs.
By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. -1 Corinthians 15:2
The Gospel that Saves
What saves us is what God did for us in Jesus. We know from other scriptures that when we believe with our heart that God raised Jesus from the dead and we confess Him as Lord, we are saved. But if the gospel we hold to doesn't reveal a resurrected Jesus, then we are believing in vain. If we fail to keep foremost in our minds Jesus Christ's literal, physical, visible resurrection, we will not be saved from despair and misery. Without the reality of bodily resurrection, our Christian service would be a waste of time. Jesus is not a dead martyr, he is a living King. He's not on the cross, he's on the throne!
Jesus didn't die merely to purchase our future salvation; he died so that we might share and experience his abundant life here and now. Let's make a commitment to let nothing make us relinquish our trust and dependency upon that hope, that Gospel by which we are saved. We have believed in the gospel and therefore our conduct should be based on that. There is no other name, no other Gospel, no other message that can give us salvation. Let's hold firmly to this faith, this trust, in God's grace given to us in Jesus.