Our Resurrection Hope

PMT 2014-047b by Don Strickland.

1Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.

Having gone to my childhood home for a visit, I was surprised to see a patch of bare ground in the front yard where a large oak tree had stood. The tree was one of the last original trees on my parents’ property (only a hickory in the back yard remains). Though the tree looked mostly healthy on the outside, my dad was told it was diseased and needed to be removed. Now that piece of my childhood is just a memory.

One of the things I loved about that old tree, and something my mom loved about it too, was the patch of resurrection ferns that inhabited the area where the main branches grew out from the trunk some 10 feet above the ground. In a continuous cycle, every 3-4 days the shriveled ferns would renew themselves into bright green leaves only to shrivel again a few days later. I remember that they had been “resurrected” the day my mom passed away.

Salvation, Heresy, Assurance: An Exposition of 1 John (10 CDs)
by Ken Gentry
20 sermons on 10 CDs .
First John is a much neglected epistle that deals with crucial issues explains salvation,
warns against heresy, and demonstrates the assurance of salvation.
In these twenty sermons you will dig deeply into this glorious epistle

What a wonderful reminder to me of mom’s true condition. As the hearse carrying her lifeless body pulled out of the driveway, I looked up and saw the fern proclaiming life after “death”.

As the verse points out, it is through the resurrection of Jesus Christ that actually gave us the hope we now have. And that hope is not hibernating, or shriveled as the fern does in its cycle. It is a living and active hope.

Our faith is not tied to a personal or subjective feeling or experience. If the object of one’s faith is not true, it doesn’t matter how sincere one’s faith is.

As D. A. Carson has written, “In the Bible it is right to trust this God with the future, not because of what we do not see or know, but because of what we have come to know of this God – including such truth as the fact that God raised his own dear Son from the dead for our justification” (Christ and
Culture Revisited, p110). The object of our faith – the One in which we have faith, is trustworthy.

Jesus is the first fruits of the resurrection to which we look forward (1Co 15.23). Because He rose after death, we have God’s assurance that so will we. So Paul wrote, “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised” (1Co 15:13). But since He has been raised, His resurrection proves that there will be a resurrection of the dead for us. It proves God is true to His Word. We trust God for the future we cannot see because of the complete trustworthiness of God’s unchanging character. The author of Hebrews said it well, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Heb 10:23).

As you reflect upon the meaning of Christ’s resurrection, give praise to Him who’s death by the Father’s plan gave you life, and who’s resurrection represents the Father’s stamp of assurance upon your hope. Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Heb 11:1)

Church Censures (1 CD)
In this sermon Dr. Gentry presents the biblical case for church discipline.
An important message in the contemporary evangelical church, which generally holds as its motto:
“Let bygones, be bygones.” Christ’s church is the historical manifestation of his kingdom.
And his kingdom has structure, a government with disciplinary powers.
See more study materials at: www.KennethGentry.com

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