Friday, November 02, 2012

The power of his... death!

[Some] teachers tell us that we must live in the light of the resurrection.  All God's power is being made available to us and we need to appropriate resurrection power.  But in the New Testament it is the cross, rather than the resurrection, that is the model for Christian living.  Jesus said that if we were not prepared to take up our cross daily, we could not be his disciples )Luke 9:23).  The cross speaks of death, not resurrection power.  Paul writes like that about his own life and ministry: we always carry around in our bodies the death of Jesus, he says (2 Corinthians 4:10).  When he goes on to speak of the life of Jesus being revealed, he says 'death is working in us but life in you.'  Again, he says of himself 'even to the present hour we both hunger and thirst and we are poorly clothed' (1 Corinthians 4:11).  The evidence of resurrection power in the life of the believer, according to Paul in Philippians, is that we share in his sufferings (Philippians 3:10).

Perhaps I may illustrate from my own life in a way that every Christian should understand.  There have been two major miracles in my life: the first is the one that plucked me from sin and washed my clean, took me out of the Kingdom of darkness and placed me in the kingdom of God's own dear So.  the second miracle is the one that has kept me, and keeps on keeping me, there!  For the Christian life is not always easy, and my own flesh reacts against its discipline; and yet, by grace, here I am.  And you too; if you are a Christian, you have known the same two miracles. 

There is, of course, more to come.  But it is 'not yet'.  There are things which we cannot have now not because we do not have enough faith, but because God reserves them for the life to come.
(from my 'Why, Lord?', page 69, published by Day One)


Anonymous said...

I am curious to know why Gary you do not put your Calvinistic teachings of belief on your Church website. I could only find the FIEC Statement of Faith. I find this somewhat a little deceptive. If you are a Calvinist preacher and state comments proud of this then please would you be open and honest with others in your Church and open to the world who view your Church website.

In Christ
Mrs White

Gary Benfold said...

Dear Mrs White
The FIEC statement of faith is what all members of the church are required to believe - it is the Church statement of faith, and as such it is on the church website. My own convictions are not hidden in any way; my sermons and my books - as well as my blog - hide nothing. I do indeed stand with the same theological convictions as - for example - Lloyd-Jones, Spurgeon, Whitefield. I've never sought to hide it, and can only hope that you don't realise how offensive your suggestion of dishonesty may be. (Furthermore, anyone who knows the FIEC at all will know that the vast majority of its leadership in recent years has also been Reformed.)

'Mrs White' is really no better than 'anonymous' as an identifier; if you wish to comment further, please be open and honest with others who read the blog and tell us who you are.