(Kersten, Heidelberg Catechism, Vol.1. part 18)

The Profit of the Resurrection
of Christ

Lord's Day 17

Psalter No. 29 St. 2 & 3
Read 1 Cor. 15:1-20
Psalter No. 318 St. 3-5
Psalter No. 421 St. 6
Psalter No. 193 St. 1, 2,3

    I Corinthians 15, of which a part was read to you, is the
chapter that deals especially with the resurrection of the dead, and
regarding the resurrection to salvation for both body and soul of
the elect, the Apostle emphasizes strongly that this finds its firm
foundation in the resurrection of Christ. In the fourth verse
already where he admonishes the Corinthians to remain in the gospel
which is preached to them, Paul says Christ died according to the
Scriptures, that He was buried and that He rose again the third day
according to the Scriptures. After this he gives many proofs of that
resurrection, and then to refute those who deny the resurrection of
the dead he writes, "Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the
dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the
    Then the holy writer of the epistle to the Corinthians presents
the great significance of the resurrection of Christ for His elect.
saying that if Christ were not risen then the preaching of the
apostles was vain, "your faith is also vain". Then the Lord's
servants were false witnesses of God, and those who by His power
were raised from the dead were yet in their sins. Yea, they who had
fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
    Concerning the whole church of God of which David sang, "Blessed
is the people who know the joyful sound", and Moses cried out many
years earlier, "Happy art thou, O Israel; who is like unto thee, O
people saved by the Lord, the Shield of thy help, and Who is the
Sword of thy excellency" of all those people we would have to say,
if Christ were not raised, "If in this life only we have hope in
Christ, we are of all men most miserable." How irrefutable therefore
Paul shows the importance for salvation of the resurrection of
Christ from the dead. That resurrection is the most important
article of our religion. There would never be one sinner delivered
from spiritual, eternal or temporal death if the Lion from the tribe
of Judah had not risen from the dead. Who can arise out of spiritual
death by his own power? Does not the Lord call His own by the
efficacious application of His resurrection from the grave, "Awake
thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead?" "The hour comes," said
the Lord Himself, "and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of
the Son of God, and they that hear shall live." That spiritual
quickening is the fruit of the deliverance out of eternal death,
that the Lord Jesus destroyed for His people, when He not only paid
for them by His suffering and death, but also by His arising from
the grave.
    Finally, the deliverance of temporal death is a fruit of the
resurrection of the Lord. On the third day He arose from the grave
in which He was laid by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, and by
that resurrection He has conquered also temporal death. Even though
they shall have served God's counsel to the end, their soul and body
shall also be separated, still their death (as we have seen in the
previous Lord's Day) is no satisfaction for their sin, but a passage
into eternal life. The sting of death, namely sin, has been taken
away for God's people by the resurrection of Christ from the dead.
How foolish are they who rob the soul of all comfort by denying the
resurrection of Christ. They are like the Sadducees of old and like
those who rose up in the days of Paul and in all ages after him. In
the resurrection of Christ all those who were given Him by the
Father are saved. May it please the Lord to give us a little
experience of the power and comfort of Christ's resurrection as we
now wish to consider the seventeenth Lord's Day of the Heidelberg
    Lord's Day 17
Q. 45: What does the resurrection of Christ profit us?

A. First, by His resurrection He has overcome death, that He might
    make us partakers of that righteousness which He had purchased
    for us by His death; secondly, we are also by His power raised
    up to a new life; and lastly, the resurrection of Christ is a
    sure pledge of our blessed resurrection.

    In this Lord's Day the profit of Christ's resurrection is
discussed. Let us give our attention
    1. to the resurrection that brought about this profit,
    2. to the divine glory with which this profit was attained,
    3. to the riches that this profit contains.
    The Catechism taught us to know the Mediator in His names
(Lord's Days 11, 12 and 13), then in the state of His humiliation
(Lord's Days 14, 15 and 16) and in the three following Lord's Days
it will speak of the state of exaltation, and that in this manner
one Lord's Day speaks of His resurrection, the next of His
ascension, and the third of His sitting at the right hand of God and
His return to judge the world. The seventeenth Lord's Day then
speaks of the resurrection, and especially of the fruit of the
resurrection. In order to know that fruit better we shall first
discuss shortly the resurrection that brought about this profit.
    The resurrection is the first step of Christ's exaltation. He
Who was so deeply humbled, Who descended so wonderfully deep to the
death of the cross, did not remain in death. Had He done so, there
would never be salvation for lost sinners. How clearly the apostle
says this in the words already quoted from I Cor. 15: "If Christ be
not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they
also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished." Christ's
resurrection is the most important part of our religion. according
to Romans 8 there is more in His resurrection from the grave than in
His death. "It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen
again." What a joyous tiding the church receives on Easter morning:
"The Lord is risen indeed." This tiding was not believed by the
disciples; it was denied by the world and yet the fact of His
resurrection from the grave cannot be denied, nor His victory over
death and hell. They tried everything to keep Him in the grave. Even
their dividing of His clothes clearly meant, "He shall never again
wear them, He doesn't need them any more, it is done with Him."
Their purpose of keeping Him in the grave for good showed more
clearly still in what the enemy did after His death. That seal on
the stone, that watch at the grave; did they not show the firm
determination to keep Him in death forever? Satan put forth all his
strength to triumph, seeing he had succeeded so far that the Son of
David had died on the cursed tree. All this, however, makes the
victory that lies in the resurrection all the more glorious. Neither
stone, nor seal, nor watch were able to confine Christ in death. He
freely humbled Himself in death, but also arose by His own power.
For the redemption of all His elect His word sounded, "Now will I
rise, now will I be exalted." The resurrection belongs to the
glorification of the humbled Surety.
    It seems as if all the circumstances under which the
resurrection took place were vying with each other to add splendor
to it. The earth quaked upon its foundations; it was involved in the
resurrection. Because of sin it was cursed, but in the resurrection
that curse was in principle rolled away from the earth. In the
resurrection is founded the new creation which shall one day cause a
new earth to be, upon which righteousness shall dwell. "For the
angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the
stone from the door, and sat upon it. His countenance was like
lightning, and His raiment white as snow." Thus the grave of the
Lord was opened with splendor. An angel rolled the stone away and
sat on it, to show that he ruled over it; no one could roll it to
the grave again; no one could even approach the stone. The
countenance of the angel was like blinding lightning. As lightning
cuts through the air unexpectedly, irresistibly and blindingly, so
the angel of the Lord appeared. Was it a wonder that the keepers
became as dead men, and fled with haste? Here the majesty of God
shone, the burning holiness, the glorified righteousness of the Lord
God. Here Satan's head is crushed, and all that opposes Christ is
destroyed. Therefore the keepers fled, and became as dead men.
    Christ is the perfect conqueror of death and the grave. With
heavenly glory He arose out of the new sepulchre in which Joseph of
Arimathea and Nicodemus had laid Him. He is the Lion out of the
tribe of Judah that won the eternal victory. He rides upon the white
horse of His victory, conquering and to conquer. He Who could say,
"Destroy this temple, and in three days I will build it up." He, Who
sure of His victory, declared that He had power to lay down His
life, but also to take it again, He arose by His own power, but He
is also raised up by the Father (Acts 2), to show that the justice
of God is satisfied for all the elect. Thus Christ is raised for
their justification. Also to the Holy Ghost the resurrection is
ascribed, which is the work of the triune God. "If the Spirit of Him
that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up
Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His
Spirit that dwelleth in you."
    Immediately a lie was spread that denied the resurrection. The
keepers were bribed and their word was believed by many of the Jews,
and the lie gained ground by many against the preaching of Christ's
resurrection. In every way the world has sought to show that the
resurrection according to the Scriptures was an impossibility. How
terrible is the foolishness of our generation in believing the lie
rather than the truth. Oh, do read the simple gospel story and lay
beside it the fancy tales of the world, which must all become
nothing and disappear. Start with the story of the keepers. They say
that they slept, and that so soundly that they did not notice that
the stone was rolled away and the body stolen. Yet they can tell
what has happened and who did it. How could they know? Why then
didn't they pursue the thieves? Why were they not punished for
sleeping on an important post? Would they all have slept at the same
time? Who believes that? The thieves must have felt quite at ease to
have removed the linen clothes before removing the body. Who can
give credence to such a keeper's story, which is proved to be a lie
especially when the keepers themselves tell the government of their
very guilty neglect?
    The apostles who preached the resurrection story were never
contradicted. Here the lie speaks for itself. But can we believe the
disciples? Yes, certainly! For the disciples were convinced by the
risen Christ. They did not believe the resurrection; they sat with
the doors shut for the fear of the Jews. Even when the women said
they had seen the Lord, the disciples persisted in their unbelief.
'T was only women's talk. Think about Thomas. These discouraged,
unbelieving men preached the resurrection since Christ had appeared
to them and showed them His body. How many witnesses Paul enumerates
in I Cor. 15. "He was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve; after that
He was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the
greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
After that He was seen of James, then of all the apostles. And last
of all He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time."
    Let the scorner of God's Word roar with enmity against these
testimonies; let him oppose the resurrection with all his power; he
shall flee from the sepulchre, but shall not escape the judgment
that the risen Mediator shall pronounce. Nor shall he be able to
disannul the truth for which Paul could summon more than two hundred
and fifty witnesses. One day all knees shall bow before the King of
kings Who conquered the devil, Who had the power of death and Who
destroyed death for His people.
    In the resurrection of Christ that profit was brought about of
which the Catechism speaks. The faith and hope and comfort of God's
children have a firm foundation. Truly they are not built upon the
suppositions of a presumed citizenship of heaven, nor upon emotions
which can even be experienced by reprobates. Yea, we can go a step
further and see the firm foundation of the comfort of the elect, not
in their experiences but in Christ, Who was dead and is alive
    By His resurrection the benefit for God's elect church, of which
this Lord's Day speaks, is brought about. Oh, how indispensable it
is to find by faith the fountain of our life in the resurrection of
Christ. In that resurrection the full glory of the deeply humiliated
Surety and Mediator shone forth. God's people cannot live with a
dead Jesus. Christ had to arise from death so that His people can
conquer death. In full glory the Lord arose out of the grave as we
now hear in the second place when we give our attention
to the divine glory with which this profit was attained.
    In the resurrection lies the victory of Christ; He triumphed
over death and hell; He crushed the head of Satan, He Who is become
the First fruits of them that slept. In His resurrection lies the
root of all deliverance from death. By His death Christ merited
righteousness for His people. Before God's justice all Adam's
posterity are guilty, also the elect. Justice demands of them the
threefold death. But now the guilt of His people is laden upon
Christ. He was condemned by the justice of God. Therefore He had to
humble Himself unto death; but by His death the Surety has satisfied
the justice of God perfectly. He has finished the work given Him.
The justice of God is satisfied in the death of Christ. By that
death He has merited perfect righteousness. That righteousness was
perfectly sufficient for the Father to Whom He offered Himself and
had to be declared by the Judge Himself. Not an advocate, but the
judge pronounces the judgment. The Father, then, pronounced the
judgment and acquitted the Surety, and in Him all the elect when He
raised up Christ from the dead. In the resurrection, therefore,
Christ, and in Him all His people were pronounced righteous.
    The resurrection is also ascribed to Christ Himself. He is not
only raised up, but by His own power He arose and showed Himself to
be the Lion from the tribe of Judah Who was victorious. With what
divine glory did He arise from the grave. We already mentioned that
the earth quaked, that an angel of the Lord descended and rolled
away the stone from the door of the sepulchre, that the keepers were
afraid, and became as dead men, and fled with haste when Zion's
eternal King arose victorious from the dead. God's attributes are
glorified to the salvation of the elect. They shall obtain eternal
life without violating God's justice. According to His sovereign and
immutable counsel they shall praise Him perfectly in their eternal
    Through the depth of Adam's fall the Lord shall be glorified, as
His perfections now shine forth in Him who was risen from the dead.
The editorial work of Christ has now been crowned. He triumphs
eternally, and His people in Him. He is the last Adam in Whom His
elect partake of salvation. With all those who are comprehended in
Adam, they fell when he fell. They who are comprehended in Christ
are redeemed in Him when in eternity He stood in their stead and
when in time He arose from the dead.
    Those that are comprehended in Christ must be made to partake of
that merited righteousness. No, it cannot just be picked up. A
person does not of himself come to the righteousness of Christ; by
nature he does not want to seek His righteousness in Christ. "Ye
will not come unto Me," said He Who knows the heart. It is therefore
a harmful, deceptive representation that seeks to force Christ upon
a man, that tells him to go to Jesus with his sins, to believe in
Him, and accept Him, without speaking a word of man's unwillingness
and inability to seek righteousness in Christ as the only robe that
can cover our nakedness before God. Such crying out about Jesus'
all-sufficiency and love sounds like universal atonement and the
denial of man's state of death.
    No, we do not limit God's work, nor do we urge that conviction
must be so severe and so deep; yet not in a superficial way that is
the result of a bringing up under the Word of God, man must be
taught that He is lost, and that the merited righteousness of Christ
must be applied by Him to the sinner. When Joshua, the high priest,
stood before God in filthy garments, he himself did not remove the
filthy garments, nor did he clothe himself with change of raiment;
but those that stood before him changed his garments. For that
reason Christ arose from the dead to apply to His people the
righteousness He merited by His death.
    Thus the actual reconciliation with God our Judge flows from the
resurrection. Death is the wages of sin, and by the conquest of
death sin was given its wages; in the resurrection God the Father
granted the receipt; in the resurrection the church is justified; in
the justification lies the quickening of the elect. In all that the
church obtains in Christ in this time, they must be made partakers
in Christ, if they are to draw any profit for their salvation from
Him. This will be more clearly explained in the third main point in
which we notice
the riches that this profit contains.
    We have a living Savior. He rides upon the white horse of His
victory, and brings His own out of the state of death unto eternal
life. He makes the guilty ones, those condemned by the judgment of
God, free from sin and clothes them with righteousness. This is the
first benefit from the resurrection of Christ. "First, by His
resurrection He has overcome death, that He might make us partakers
of that righteousness which He has purchased for us by His death."
He could not make us partakers while He remained in death. Therefore
He arose from the dead and works that miracle of grace in such a
manner that the soul becomes aware of it. That miracle is not
wrought outside of the soul's consciousness. Faith appropriates it
on the ground of the preceding application of Christ. Faith has its
steps; you speak of the essence and of the quintessence of faith,
but the application of righteousness by Christ is one. Either the
righteousness is applied to us, or it is not applied to us. Christ
granted it to us and therewith a ground of acquittal before God of
our guilt and sin, or we lack that righteousness and are condemnable
creatures before God. It is one or the other, a third way is
impossible. Let everyone examine himself how he stands in this
    If you ask when Christ makes His people partakers of that
righteousness which He has merited for all His elect by His death,
the answer is: In regeneration. Every regenerate person is a
partaker of Christ, is an heir by virtue of His spiritual birth; is
acquitted by God the Father because of the sacrifice of Christ, and
has a right to eternal life. I wish that men would not encumber this
simple truth with reasons derived from the conflict and victory of
faith and the consciousness of faith. The right of the regenerate to
salvation can never waver. Faith may be assaulted, but the right
merited by Christ is above all conflict, and in that right He
demands the sinner in regeneration. What other ground could have any
value to redeem men from Satan's claws than the victory of Christ
Who in His death crushed Satan's head. How could any soul receive
even one token of God's favour except on the ground that Christ has
rendered perfect satisfaction and silenced the wrath of God.
Therefore it is clear that when a sinner is quickened, Christ
applies to him the righteousness He merited by His death; in other
words, glorifies His resurrection in the dead sinner. It is
something else to embrace the applied righteousness in full
consciousness by faith.
    This embracing by faith can be so lacking, that with a true
knowledge of sin, the quickened soul who has been acquitted by
Christ before God, walks about as if condemned. The inexorable
righteousness of God burns upon his soul like an unquenchable fire,
and almost no hope remains. He is distressed day and night; the
thought of being lost forever brings him into the dust of death.
although there is still an evidence of God's grace in the fact that
this condemned sinner still pleads with his Judge for mercy. Even if
Christ reveals Himself to the sinner as having perfectly satisfied
God's justice, even then the appropriation by faith is so weak that
it seems as if his guilt is still not atoned. The soul readily
admits that the sacrifice brought in the death of Christ makes full
atonement for all God's children, but the question whether he is a
partaker of that blessing causes much conflict. Although God's
promises sustain him, he feels as though there is still a gulf
between Christ and him; faith is too weak to rely upon Christ; there
is so much leaning upon his own strength that he does not lean only
upon Christ by faith.
    This is what many souls lack. We must leave all to have the
ground of our salvation in Christ alone. If by the power of the Holy
Spirit we may lose our life; if we are cut off from the fountains of
our life and our righteousness, and we become nothing but a
condemnable creature before God, then also by faith our soul shall
embrace the full salvation in Christ, and with all our cleaving to
sin yet by the application of Christ's righteousness, our soul shall
be brought by faith above the condemnation, and the acquittal of the
Father shall resound in our hearts. All this however does not take
away the fact that Christ arose from the dead in order to make us
partakers of the righteousness He merited by His death, when in the
hour of His good pleasure He awakens us to a new life. Therefore,
they who are called by Christ out of death shall not be lost,
however great their fear may be.
    That is the benefit which lies in the first place in the
resurrection of Christ for all His people whether small or great. He
makes them partakers of the righteousness merited by His death, and
no man shall take it from them, and He wants to assure them of that
perfect righteousness; yea, in every exercise of faith He drives
doubt out of their soul.
    Upon the ground then of their being partakers of His
righteousness, God the Father actually looks upon His chosen church
as the object of His favour, and the Holy Spirit works in them what
the instructor calls the second benefit out of the resurrection of
Christ, namely, that "we are also by His power raised up to a new
life." By nature we are dead in trespasses and sins, spiritually
dead. As impossible as it is for a dead person to arise by himself
out of the grave, so impossible it is for a spiritually dead person
to arise out of the grave of sin.
    For those who are bought with Christ's blood, there will come a
moment determined by God's good pleasure, when they shall be
awakened out of their sleep of death. To that end their Lord and
Savior arose from the dead. "Because I live, ye shall live also." He
awakens His people out of spiritual death. Oh, then they become
partakers of life in Him, an entirely different life than they lived
by nature. Their life is hid with Christ in God. They begin to love
God, His commandments, His ordinances and people. They would like to
live perfectly before God, and sin becomes death to them. Even if
there were neither heaven nor hell, the Lord before Whom they open
their hearts, knows they would rather die than to sin against God
any longer.
    Still their hearts are evil and sin is active within them, so
that they often ask, "Could that be consistent with grace? Is it
also thus with God's people?" But Scripture gives us a very clear
answer. Not only does the spouse say, "I am black," but in Romans 7
Paul declares to us how heavy his conflict was, and how with the
mind He served the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
But Christ is risen so that sin shall no longer have dominion in His
people, and that they should take refuge by faith in Him, Who is
their Advocate with the Father, and their Fountain of life, Who not
only awakens them to a new life, but also sustains that new life so
that it shall not die. God's people do not have life in themselves,
although they often seek it outside of Christ. There are times when
they cannot keep silent about the wonders of grace glorified in
them, but there are also days in which the stench of death emanates
out of all their experiences. Oh, then they are so distressed, even
the established people must say, "I am become like a bottle in the
smoke." Life languishes because they lack the right exercise of
faith. The cares and the delights of the world attain the upper
hand; sin becomes lively and if the Lord did not save them, they
would fall from one evil into another. They have hung their harps
upon the willows. Oh, that they were as in former days. Where is the
deepest cause? In the fact that they do not exercise communion with
the Prince of Life Who said, "Abide in Me, and I in you that you may
bear much fruit." Their picture is portrayed in Ezekiel 16 when they
became great, for this is the main lesson, that we must become
little and nothing before God.
        "The poor and needy He shall spare,
        And save their souls from fear;
        He will regard the poor man's cry
        When other helpers fail."
    Life is in Christ and of His fulness His people receive grace
for grace. For that purpose He rose from the dead as the great
Prince of Life. He shall maintain life in His people, so that they
shall never die, but shall be prepared by Him to eternal salvation,
of which God's people receive a sure pledge in the resurrection of
the Lord.
    The Catechism refers to this as the third fruit of the
resurrection of Christ, when it says, "Lastly, the resurrection of
Christ is a sure pledge of our blessed resurrection."
    Lord's Day 22 speaks specifically of the resurrection of the
body and life eternal. Therefore at this time I shall make only a
few remarks. All people shall one day arise from the dead when
Christ shall come upon the clouds. No one knows when that day shall
come, but the moment shall come, so unexpected when the trumpet
shall sound, "Ye dead, arise, and come to judgment." Then all people
shall be placed before God's judgment seat, the million times
million from Adam up to those which shall still be living on earth
when the Lord shall appear on the clouds. He shall then take His
elect unto Himself in glory, and cast all the rest into the lake
that burns with fire and brimstone to all eternity.
    Oh, that day, that day of judgment! Unutterable will be the
judgment over all those who have never learned to kneel before King
Jesus, but it is just as impossible to express the salvation for
them to whom the benefit of the resurrection of Christ as named by
the instructor shall apply, namely that His resurrection is a pledge
of their blessed resurrection. Their resurrection shall be a blessed
resurrection. They shall enter eternal glory with both body and
soul. When they die their soul shall immediately partake of
salvation. They have served God's counsel and are taken up in glory.
In this life they already have a foretaste of it; for they shall not
meet a strange God, nor an unknown Savior, and it will not be a
strange heaven that they shall enter, although they have seen but a
little of that perfect glory, and have tasted but a little of that
perfect joy. But that little is so great that they become sick with
love, and they long to depart and to be with Christ, which is far
better. Then their soul enters perfect bliss.
    The Lord Jesus has also purchased their body and in the
resurrection their soul and body shall be reunited. Then it shall be
a glorious body, and no inhabitant of that heavenly city shall say
"I am sick." All those purchased by Christ shall be like unto His
glorious body; no lame, no blind, no deaf, no maimed shall be there;
in complete perfection they shall serve and praise their God and
King in soul and body eternally, and reign with their Lord forever.
The resurrection of Christ is the sure pledge of that blessed
resurrection. However much God's children are beset with fears in
this life, they have a sure pledge in the resurrection of Him Whom
death could not hold, and Who already entered heaven with soul and
body, calling to His people, "If I go and prepare a place for you, I
will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there
ye may be also." God's people have one pledge in the resurrection of
the Lord, and one pledge, namely the Holy Spirit in their heart. Oh,
they may sing what we now shall sing, Psalter No. 422, St. 1:
    "My mouth shall sing for aye Thy tender mercies, Lord," etc.
    Thus in the resurrection of Christ lies His perfect victory
which He obtained for the salvation of His elect, but also for the
destruction of His enemies. By nature we are all enemies. Have you,
my dear hearer, ever learned to see your enmity? We are willing to
confess that we are dead, spiritually dead, and that only by grace
can we be saved, that we can do nothing to our salvation, but have
you ever learned to see your impotence as a fruit of your
unwillingness? Or do we try to hide behind our impotence and
secretly cast the blame upon God if we are not saved? Thus with open
eyes we go to our eternal destruction. Is there in Him Who crushed
the head of Satan and conquered death no divine power to awaken us
out of the state of death? He is the Rock out of which the living
waters flow. But who flees to Him? When Hagar's eyes were opened to
see the well when Ishmael was in danger of dying of thirst, she went
and filled the bottle with water; but which of us go to the Fountain
that is opened for the house of David and for the inhabitants of
Jerusalem? Not one.
    Oh, I pray you, do not flatter yourself with false arguments
derived from your bringing up or from impressions you sometimes have
in your heart, but see your unwillingness to be saved in Christ. May
your guilt cause you to bow before God under the sentence of death,
that both your inability and your unwillingness might become the
cause of your eternal condemnation to which you have subjected
yourself and from which only He can save you Who arose from death so
that His people might live with Him forever. Let there remain among
us, both old and young, the consciousness that the Lord Jesus is the
perfect Savior, because He not only merited salvation, but also
applies it to His people. For that purpose He rose from the dead.
    Oh that He would shoot an arrow from His bow and strike your
heart, before your unwillingness to be saved by Him shall increase
your condemnation in the day of judgment, before you cry out, "If
only, if only I had," when the day of grace is past. Oh, children,
young men and young women, do not postpone your conversion. All of
us, both old and young must say with Isaac, "We know not the day of
our death," and God's Word calls to us, also today, "Haste thee,
escape for thy life." No, indeed, your work, your praying, your
reading, your church attendance, do not bring you into heaven, but,
they are the ordained means with which God works that which makes us
partakers of salvation in Christ. How happy is that people to whom
the merited salvation is applied by Him Who has swallowed up death
in victory.
    They are risen from death with Christ because of the atonement
by their Redeemer and the actual imputation thereof by the Holy
Ghost. That new life is shown in their hating sin and their loving
God and His commandments. Tell me, are you a stranger of those
characteristics of that new life? Yet they feel themselves so
unhappy when that liveliness is gone. If they could but see and
accept that Christ rose from death for them! But He is so hidden
from them, and they lack the appropriation by faith. Is that not the
soul sickness of many? Their salvation lies firm in Him Who lives
forever, but do they not often fear that they are deceiving
    May the Lord teach us to understand more and more that the
ground of our salvation lies outside of ourselves and only in Him
Who could not be holden of death. Was that not your joy and your
hope when He revealed Himself to you? He will do so to His poor and
needy people when they give up all hope of themselves. No, they do
not see Him with their natural eyes; Paul was the last one to see
Him thus on the way to Damascus. Spiritually God's people see Him by
faith as the Prince of life. Could you ever forget that time and
place? Did not you, concerned people, have to learn to understand
more and more that He is risen to apply the salvation He had merited
by His death? We cannot lay hands on Him, even though they call from
the pulpits, "Just believe and accept Jesus." Are your arms not too
short? The application precedes appropriation. The Lord does not
share His work with us. We must come to an end with all our desires.
Oh, how dark the way to be saved in Him then becomes. They cannot
deny what God did to their soul, and yet they cannot accept Christ
as their own. What will become of them?
    Their way becomes more and more impossible. They are an enigma
to themselves; they sit with their doors shut. Are there not such
among us? Alas, they are standing in their own way. If they were but
cut off from their life before the judgment by of God, they would
receive the acquittal in Christ. Oh, people of God who are no
strangers of that, tell who the Lord is for His people to arouse a
holy jealousy for those who have not experienced it. May the Lord
keep us from being proud of grace received. It is not in that, but
in Christ lies our life. Oh, how we must die from day to day, die in
ways of darkness, in the workings of sin in us, in tribulations in
the flesh, in crucifying the world, in wrestling with Satan, and in
many more deep ways God leads His people, so that Christ alone will
be their life, that they may experience the rich comfort out of the
resurrection of Him Who swallowed up death in victory. The Lord make
us free from the fear of death, and cause us to live in the blessed
expectation of the glory which is prepared for us. Soon we shall
have finished the race, and our soul shall be taken up to Christ,
our Head. Yea, more, the day of the resurrection nears. The world is
ripening itself for its judgment, but then all those people
purchased by Christ shall enter eternal glory with both soul and
body, and our vile body shall be changed that it may be fashioned
like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is
able to subdue all things unto Himself. The Lord grant us to live
near to Him for it is good to be near to God. Amen.

(continued in part 19...)

file: /pub/resources/text/ipb-e/epl-02: krhc1-18.txt