An excerpt from F.J. Huegel’s Bone of His Bone:
In the first chapter of the Ephesian letter, Paul utters a marvelous prayer. He says to the Ephesians:
I do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers: that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ,
the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of
your understanding be enlightened; that you may know… what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us
And this power which is to us, for us, in us who believe – from where does it come? What actually is it? It is the “power which [God] worked in Christ when he raised Him from the dead.”
That is the matchless power which works in you – the power of Christ’s resurrection! Paul longed to have the Ephesians realize that fact.
When we come to consider the requirements of the New Testament as they bear upon the Christian life, we realize that they all presuppose this very oneness of the believer with Christ in the power of His resurrection. No one but a Christ-centered person, one with Him in death and resurrection, could possibly measure up to the ideal of Christ in Christian life and service. To love one’s enemies with that divine love (Greek agape, divine-type love) without a deep participation in the power of Christ’s endless life would no more be possible for the purely natural man than for a worm to play the role of a bird. There is not a New Testament requirement that does not immediately bring you face to face with an overwhelming dilemma. Either you must cease to move in the realm of the purely natural – find in the resurrected Christ a new life – or you must fail as a Christian. To the new life – the life that flows from Christ – the Sermon on the Mount presents no problems; it is all natural, easy, a spontaneous expression of principles already inherent. The ways, customs, language of jungle savages are no more unintelligible or impracticable to the average person today than is the Sermon on the Mount to one who has not been born again (i.e., died to the self-life to rise up with Christ in the power of a new life.)
A mere mechanical doing-as-Jesus-did will never bring you to the Christ-life. For a dead frog can be made to kick as if it were alive by the touch of an electric current, but it remains dead. Nor can my imitation of the ways of a Frenchman make me a Frenchman. I am an American, and I would have to be reborn to be anything but what I am.
You had to be born anew. That is why Christ took you with Himself down into the grave and brought you forth a new creation. He terminated your old life when there upon the Cross as Representative man He died; and He imparted to you a new life when He arose from the grave.
Christ expects nothing from your flesh. However religious its garments, however holy its appearance, however sanctified its undertakings, it still “profits nothing.” It is still only flesh. It is still only the realm of the natural. It is still self.
It is not simply Christ dying for you – it is you dying in Christ! It is not simply Christ being raised from the dead – it is you being raised along with your divine head! It is not simply you reaching out after God – it is God taking the form of man, and then, as the Son of Man, changing life’s entire process – bringing you out from the tomb charged with the divine life, resurrection life! This is the Christian faith – the faith of the apostles, the “faith of the Son of God.”
My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. (Galatians 2:20 NLT)
We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. (Romans 6:6 NLT)
For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3 NLT)
On the other side of the cross, there is always, new, divine, resurrected life in Christ Jesus.
Follow the Life!
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