The Banner Of Truth 2014
Thou hast given a banner to them that fear thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth. (Psalm 60:4 )

"Thou hast given a banner to them that fear Thee, that it may be displayed because of the truth" (Ps. 60:4).


The Resurrection's Benefits
By Dean E. Boelt
"A little while, and the world seeth Me no more; but ye see Me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in My Father, and ye in Me, and I in you." (Jn. 14:19-20).

The present benefits of our Lord's resurrection are spiritual life and living hope. When He said, "Because I live, ye shall live also," He referred not only to the coming bodily resurrection of the saints, but to their present life unto God through Him, as well. And to our "living hope" of His second coming, with its completion of the salvation of which we now have the firstfruits. As Peter declared, the hope is begotten and sustained in us "by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead" (I Pet. 1:3, ASV).
Thus, our Lord's resurrection, His subsequent ascension to heaven, and enthronement there at the right hand of God, is the cause of our regeneration and continued spiritual life. "Without Me, ye can do nothing," He declared (Jn. 15:5). That saying has no more vital application than to our newness of life in Him and our walk in the Spirit. A theology, or doctrine, therefore, that is not Christ-centered to the core is not of God, and certainly cannot avail to accomplish God's purpose in and through an individual, a congregation, or a group of them.
The Means of Reception. Such being the case, the means by which we receive the spiritual benefits of our Lord's resurrection and exaltation are vital. We must be aware of and fully use them, if we are to have the proffered blessing. There is nothing at all automatic or unconditional about it.
We are identified with Christ, in both His death and resurrection, as well as in His enthronement, by faith in Himself and the Father. That faith, of course, expresses itself in obedience to the gospel, by our submission to the requirement of baptism, having repented of our sins, and verbally confessed Christ before men. That being done "from the heart," or sincerely (Rom. 6:17-18), we were then "united with Him" in His death and resurrection (v. 5, ASV), or raised "with Him," as it is put in Ephesians 2:4-6 and Colossians 2:12: 3:1.
As Ephesians goes on to say, we are "made to sit with Him (God) in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus" (ch. 2:4-6, ASV). That is all done, of course, by our "faith in the working of God, who raised Him (Christ) from the dead" (Col. 2:12-13, ASV). So are we saved—united with Christ—by grace through faith, as Paul is careful to point out and emphasize (Eph. 2:4-6, Tit. 3:5-7).
The Power Involved. That is how one comes to be associated with Christ's resurrection and enthronement—by unfeigned faith in and implicit submission to Him. In that spiritual unity with the risen and reigning Lord, one is "furnished completely" unto the newness of life and walk to which he is committed (II Tim. 3:17, ASV).
So Paul's earnest desire to know Christ, "and the power of His resurrection." He was ready to submit to the exacting conditions of that knowledge and experience (Phil. 3:7-10). In that spirit, the Apostle obtained his desire, and fully used the resurrection power, to God's glory (I Cor. 15:10; Col. 1:28-29). Thus also, of course, may any and all today do, who are willing to identify with Christ on the terms which He imposes.
It needs to be recognized that the work of God, as to that of both the individual or the group, can only be done by the power of God—that of Jesus' resurrection. Any other concept of the situation makes Christ of "no effect," as Paul would say (Gal. 5:4, cf. ch. 2:20), and renders the resurrection and enthronement unnecessary. Those trying to operate independently of personal union with Him should give due consideration to that circumstance.
Hence, the only gospel for "the here and now," as some are wont to say, that is valid, and can be effective, is the true gospel of Jesus Christ—which spiritually delivers one from the bondage of here, and does it now. If people are to be turned "from darkness to light," and so from "the power of Satan unto God," as Jesus said (Acts 26:18), it must be by spiritual illumination and appropriation of the might of the reigning Lord (cf. Col. 1:12-14).
It simply cannot be done by sheer moral determination and attempted adherence to a code of conduct, though it be that given by God. That is an essential lesson for all legalists to learn—and the legalists are not confined to any one religious sect of the day.
The Way It Operates. It is the exclusive way resurrection power operates, in the sanctification of people, and their enablement to do God's work, that appears to constitute the stumbling block to its reception. Being that of the exalted Christ, the power is not of the world order; in fact, it is contrary to that order. So He declared, "Not as the world giveth, give I unto you" (Jn. 14:27; cf. ch. 16:33).
The resurrection power is for nonconformance to the world. Yea, it is for the complete subjection of the world to the will of God by those who have and wield the power (Rom. 12:1-2; II Cor. 7:1; 10:3-5). As the Lord Himself overcame the world (Jn. 16:33), so His risen and enthroned life is imparted today to those who will receive it for the selfsame purpose—to overcome the world (cf. I Jn. 5:1-5).
Divine power is given to foster and sustain "all things that pertain unto life and godliness" (II Pet. 1:4-6), not for adaptation to the present cursed world order. That is an immutable truth today's compromising church so badly needs to recognize. Only those who are willing to use Christ's power for that purpose—to oppose the world, the flesh, and the Devil—will be endued with it. People can pervert the Word of God, but His power, dispatched from heaven, cannot be perverted.
A prominent use of our participation in Christ's reign with God is that of the espousal of divine truth and the reproof of religious error. Since the Father is the "God of truth" (Ps. 31:5); the Son is the "faithful and true Witness" (Rev. 3:14; cf. ch. 1:5); and the Spirit is the "Spirit of truth" (Jn. 14:27), a certain consequence is inevitable. It is that the power of the Godhead is applicable in the championing of divine truth.
In view of the many and serious errors in religion today, it is apparent that there is a vast field for that ministry. Let us, therefore, receive the resurrection wisdom and power of our blessed Lord, and go forth in His Name to the work confronting us. —Noted and Recorded by Fred O. Blakely

"Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;  and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately" (Lk. 12:35-36).