The Resurrection is Personal (1 Corinthians 15:9-11)


Have you ever installed a light fixture or appliance in your home? The most important part is powering it with electricity. If you don’t power it, it won’t work.

There are two ways to connect an appliance to your house’s power. One is to plug it into an outlet. This gives the appliance power as long as it remains plugged.

The other is to hardwire it directly into your house’s circuitry. This is when you join the wires so power flows to the appliance. It never turns off or loses power, because electricity constantly courses to it.

Filling up the Tank

Many Christians speak about their faith as if they are plugged into Jesus. They say going to church is like “charging their batteries” or “filling their tank.” It’s as if they lose their spiritual charge during the week, or burn their fuel.

When Christians say these things, they suggest God’s power isn’t constantly available to them. It’s like an outlet. They charge their faith by going to church, but their battery level starts decreasing as soon as they leave.

Hardwired into Christ

The Bible doesn’t talk about God’s grace this way. When Jesus saves us, He doesn’t plug us into Himself; He hardwires us! He says, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

A branch receives a constant supply of nutrients and life from its vine. In the same way, we receive a constant supply of spiritual nourishment and eternal life from Jesus. The power of His resurrection courses through us by the presence of His Spirit.

Least of the Apostles

Paul experienced that power personally. His conversion was dramatic, and he attributed it only to the life-changing power of Jesus’ resurrection. He includes his testimony in his presentation of the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15:

“For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect.

“No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preached, and this is what you believed” (15:9-11).

Christians tend to think God’s grace is impersonal. In other words, He doesn’t apply it to specific people but makes it equally available to all. Along with this, they see His grace as a one-time thing. We are saved by it initially but maintain our salvation by our own efforts afterward.

This couldn’t be further from the truth. Paul’s experience shows how personal God’s grace is. He basically says, “It’s by God’s grace that I am what I am, and it’s by His grace that I’ve done what I’ve done.” The power of Jesus’ resurrection defined his life!

Power Outage

It is possible for an appliance that is hardwired to lose power. This can happen during a power outage, or if it short-circuits or blows a fuse. There are ways for electricity to be interrupted.

This explains why Christians reach different levels of spiritual maturity. If God’s grace is so personal, why aren’t all of us as mature or effective as Paul? Aren’t we connected to the same power source? Isn’t the power of Jesus’ resurrection just as available to us?

Many Christians live under a self-imposed power outage. They choose not to tap into the power God’s Spirit provides. They neglect spiritual matters or short-circuit their faith through sin.

If Jesus has truly saved you, the power of His resurrection is at your disposal. It is steadily and readily supplied to you by His Spirit. Peter says, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life” (2 Peter 1:3).

Are you availing yourself of His power?

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