SUBJ: The integral connection of
the resurrection of Christ to regeneration (the New Birth) and the
living hope of believers.
AIM: That we might be the more in
awe of Christ and the power of His resurrection and that we might be
more caught up in the life we have because of His resurrection.
INTR: We come again to the
observance of the day of our Lord’s resurrection. We do so with the
realization that the things the world draws attention to are realized in
a living hope in believers and is the cause of ongoing celebration in
1. Our concern is with more than a mere historical event such
as July 4th in that while history records the event, it is the Holy
Spirit who reveals the wonder of that accomplished on Calvary and
realized in the resurrection of our Lord.
2. We should pray that
those engaged in the religious imagery would indeed come to know our
Lord in that resurrected life.
3. There is an unmistakable connection
to the experience of true believers and the resurrection as declared by
Paul: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the
fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
deaths of many have been witnessed, some in similar appearance to that
of Christ. But, only with Christ do we witness resurrection from the
dead. Given the reason and manner of His death, His resurrection is the
best news of all.
I. The Blessed God and Father of Our Lord Jesus
1. He is so declared as our covenant God with Christ in all
the issues of redemption.
2. The desire of true believers is to Bless
God – that is to declare and rejoice in the revelation of His majesty,
His wonderful works, His infinite glory, to attribute to Him alone the
ability to save.
3. This is He who has acted in mercy to distinguish
a people unto Himself (see vv. 1-2).
1) Compare Blessed be God, even
the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God
of all comfort; 2 Corinthians 1:3 AND Blessed be the God and Father of
our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings
in heavenly places in Christ: Ephesians 1:3.
2) Mercy is everywhere
seen in salvation: from its determination in eternity to its
consummation in Glory!
4. The abundance of mercy seen in what is
1) It is easy to express unworthiness even regarding
material provision and blessing.
2) It is not so easy in reckoning
the eternal weight of Glory (see 2 Corinthians 4:17).
5. It is
especially so as we see what is given us here:
II. The reason we
may bless God
1. Is that He hath begotten us.
1) Regeneration (the
New Birth) is either neglected or perverted by the masses.
2) This is
owing to, that like all the expressions of mercy, it is of grace and by
3) The thought of many is that it is the result of a
decision and this text and many others clearly denies any such idea.
2. It is not merely a conditional promise; not is it a mere change of
3. The declared necessity of it (Ye must be born again) demands
a work from above:
1) Spiritual identity is given
2) Christ is
formed in us
3) We are made partakers of the divine nature and so
constituted as separate from the world.
4. And it is unto a lively
(or living hope) indeed
1) Hope as an experienced provision of grace
(now abideth faith, hope, and charity).
2) Described as living, there
is a sensed relationship with Christ by which we are truly alive and
connected with eternity in Him.
3) It is thus we experience spiritual
reality – He is alive and in us forever more.
4) Such hope is
spiritual, holy, and heavenly!
III. By the Resurrection of Christ
1. Christ self-identifies as risen: I am he that liveth, and was dead;
and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell
and of death. Revelation 1:18.
2. The Apostles (Peter here speaks as
an eyewitness to the resurrection) declare it.
3. In understanding
all that proceeds from the resurrection of Christ, if Christ had not
risen all before declared and the hopes of the ages would have been
declared null and void – but Christ arose!
1) Without it none are
2) By it (having merited it by virtue of the cross) the elect
ones are and shall be raised in that there is nothing to hold them
4. By His resurrection Christ not only enabled the
resurrected life of the saints, He became the exemplar of resurrection:
1) Having been found in the process of the crucifixion and cut off from
the Father and
2) Physically dead at the hands of men
impossible occurred – He was raised from the dead: And what is the
exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to
the working of his mighty power, Which he wrought in Christ, when he
raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the
heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and
dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also
in that which is to come: Ephesians 1:19-21.
5. Where He was is where
we were and so we are delivered from death and the fear of death and
have been raised up together with Him and made to sit together with Him
in heavenly places.
6. May we then with Paul ever turn towards Him
with the aim: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection,
and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his
death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.
7. The end of it all in the purpose of God is
the promise that follows in vv. 4-5.