As I sat there listening to the resurrection message, the strangest thought occurred to me.
We are all familiar with the life of Jesus. We know about the prophesies foretelling His coming, His immaculate conception, His birth, we know some portions of His life, His ministry, His message, His teachings, His temptation, His betrayal and His crucifixion. We know that He rose on the third day and we know that He appeared to multiple people before His assentation.
We are familiar that He irrevocably changed the world, that He is alive today and that He is at this second interceding for us with God our Father.
We know all of this, but there is one thing we do not know. We don’t know what happened in His tomb. We just know that He was buried, and we know that He was resurrected. Then it struck me…
He was resurrected!!!
1 Timothy 3:16 (NIV) - Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.
If we read an analysis of this scripture, theologians contend that God the Father raised, Jesus was the one being raised, and God the Father used the Spirit to perform the raising of Jesus. This is in keeping with other New Testament interactions that Jesus had with people. In these instances, God willed and provided the capability, using Jesus as an instrument (through His faith and obedience) which allowed the Spirit to perform the action.
Why would this specific element be so intriguing to me? Why would it matter? What difference could it possibly make?
1 Corinthians 15:20 (NIV) - But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
The 1 Corinthians 15:20 scripture contends that Jesus laid the path for us, humans, to follow. This changes the way we look at the next scripture.
John 14:6-7 (NIV) - Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”
From this viewpoint John 14:6 tells us an almost hidden secret. It confirms that God the Father will continue using the Trinitarian method to interact with us humans. God the Father, therefore, allowed Jesus’ sacrifice to include all people into the Spiritual realm by providing us access to the Holy Spirit, which we “qualify for” through personal or individual acceptance of the resurrection of Jesus.
Confirmation can be obtained from the scriptures below.
Colossians 3:1-4 (NIV) - Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
Romans 8:9-10 (NIV) - You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.
If we then believe in the resurrection, and we believe that Jesus took our personal sins on Him, obtained forgiveness and set us free, then we are truly saved, our lives forever changed, and we have inherited everlasting spiritual life.
We must understand that we obtain spiritual resurrection at the point of acceptance of Jesus. Our mortal and earthly being dies at that moment and we start living spiritual lives. We stop being humans that have a soul and become a soul that is occupying a body.
We are then able to allow the Spirit to dwell in us.
Luke 11:9-13 (NIV) - “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
We must request the Holy Spirit from God. God the Father, because we have received forgiveness through Jesus, will grant us the presence of the Holy Spirit.
Acts 5:32 (NIV) - We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.”
There is a condition to not only receiving the Holy Spirit but in retaining Him, it is obedience to God, His Word, His Will and His plan, direction and direction for our lives.
1 Corinthians 6:11 (NIV) - And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Hebrews 10:10 (NIV) - And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
You are sanctified when you can be used for the purpose God intended. You are sanctified, therefore, when you live according to God's design and purpose for your life. What is God’s plan for your life and mine? Why did God consider you as precious before you were born? Why did God choose you?
2 Thessalonians 2: 14 (NIV) He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NIV) - So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV) - And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.
There are major themes in living our sanctification. We must accept that we were intentional, chosen, selected, wanted and loved before we were born. Secondly, we must understand that everything exists to glorify God. Thirdly we need to follow the example set by Jesus and strive to become more and more like him every day. Practically we need to strive to follow Jesus’ example every day and love your fellow man like this:
Romans 15:2 (NIV) - Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.
Romans 15:5 (NIV) - May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,
Romans 15:13 (NIV) - May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
While we do this, we can strengthen our faith in God, our love for God and learn how to love everyone around us by doing or practising these “labours”.
• Pray – The type of prayer highlighted here extract yourself from the world and have a dedicated and personal conversation between you and God.
• Read the Bible – We must understand what we believe in. We can achieve this by personal reflection, fellowship, attending church, participating in faith-based activities, but most importantly read the Bible is the very word of God.
• Practice Thankfulness and Gratitude - Don’t underestimate the importance of thankfulness and gratitude because a thankful heart is a changed heart. Expressing thanks is a form of worship because it comes from the heart.
• Be Forgiving – Forgiving comes with practice. It is a habit that we need to acquire, nurture and grow until it becomes second nature like any other good habit.
• Reflect on Your personal sin – Don’t concentrate on specific past sins only, but rather focus on the overall state of your heart. Replace your evil and selfish desires, which reveal the true state of your heart, with the thoughts and acts pleasing to God.
• Extend a Helping Hand - Be sensitive to any issues, problems, temptations and people (believers or not) may experience. A kind word or helpful gesture from you could make all the difference in their lives.
• Behaviour Is Your Most Powerful Witness - The world will hold us to a higher standard because we are believers, use your more positive behaviours, and actively minimise or reduce your negative actions.
What we should all strive for is…
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (NIV) - There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work. Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines.
Psalm 84:11 (NIV) - For the Lord God is a sun and shield; the Lord bestows favor and honor; no good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless.

Author's Bio: 

Anton van den Berg is a normal person. I have no specialized theological training but I have led a life of hard and tough lessons. Like silver, I had to be taken to the furnace to get rid of a lot of impurities. In that process, I have learned to let certain things go, and to attach to other values. These posts represent some of the pivotal growth-moments in that journey. I hope that it would assist you on your journey in some way. May God Almighty, His Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit be with you.