(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 Beloved, 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 dead?" 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 Catechism. 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. I 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 forevermore. 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 II 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 felicity. 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 III 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 matter. 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: Application "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 themselves? 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 .