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The Power Of His Resurrection

by H L Olmstead

(From the 1917 November Word and Work Magazine)

Everything in which the apostle Paul might have had confidence-he enumerates in the third chapter of Philippians—Nationality, family, religion, sect, and blameless character. All of these he sweeps aside and counts them but refuse and loss that he may gain Christ, possess the excellency of His knowledge and b& found having that righteousness which is from God by faith. Having these three things he is prepared to enter into the blessed experience of knowing Him, knowing the power of His resurrection, and knowing the fellowship of His sufferings.

Is this indeed knowing? Why not? Why explain away the force of this wonderful statement and break its power? Why not rather enter into these joys of our Lord here and now? This is real Christian experience and is in reach of all who will seek it.

The power of His resurrection—this is what the apostle desired to know, and it was one of the things for which he was willing to pay the enormous price of suffering, the loss of all things. The knowledge of this power was not something Which was for the apostle Paul alone, but was “to usward who believe according to that working of the strength of his might which he wrought in Christ when he raised him from the dead.” (Eph. 1:19-20). The apostolic prayer for the Ephesian Christians was that they might know the power.

It is not as some suppose, merely knowing about it, but knowing the power itself. It is quite possible that many who have become Christians do not know God in His resurrection power. They are self-reliant, depending upon the sheer force of their wills to enable them to have a resurrection-life. They have forgotten that we have been raised with Him and are ignorant of the blessed truth that living a life of newness in Christ is possible only through the same mighty power of God which was exercised in bringing our Saviour from the dead. The mightiest demonstration of God’s power is seen in the resurrection and the Apostle goes straight to this in order to show us what the power at our disposal really is. Upheld by his power not our own. “Guarded by the power of God through faith.” (1 Pet. 1:5). It is He who is alone able to guard us from stumbling (Jude 24) and the many miserable failures to live the Christian life are due to our lack of faith in God’s word. We may believe his word in regard to some things but our theology will not allow us to believe that we may know the power of His resurrection.

We are prone to explain such passages as this so as to mean something else other than what they plainly state. It is either too good to believe or else strikes our pride such a blow that we resent it and refuse to believe it. Such passages take us from our own human resources and throw us upon the resources of God. We need faith in order to go up and possess the land which God has given us. Overcoming is possible through faith because “greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”

-H. L. Olmstead, November 1917

 




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I can do everything through him who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13