Derek Prince - Paul Didn't Take His Salvation For Granted. So Why Do We?
Now I want to speak about the importance of the resurrection. We cannot overestimate the importance of the resurrection of Jesus. It is the decisive fact of the history of the universe. The whole history of the universe, not just the human race... revolves around the fact of the resurrection of Jesus. First of all, it was God’s vindication of Jesus. Remember, two courts had condemned Him to death: a secular Roman court... an a religious Jewish court. And when He was buried He was under... that condemnation but when He rose God vindicated His Son. This is expressed in Romans 1:3-4: Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord who came of the seed of David... according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God with power... according to the Spirit of Holiness.
A Jewish phrase of saying... the Holy Spirit because actually the Hebrew for the Holy Spirit... is the Spirit of Holiness. Some translators don’t realize that Paul... was writing in Greek but thinking in Hebrew. Declared to be the Son of God with power by the Holy Spirit... by the resurrection of the dead. So when Jesus came forth out of the tomb... God said, I’ve reversed those unjust decisions. I’ve vindicated my Son. He never sinned, there’s no cause for death in Him... and by my Holy Spirit I’ve raised Him up. It’s interesting, I shouldn’t go into this too long, but all the vital crises... of the redemption involve all three persons of the Godhead. The conception of Jesus was by the Father... through the Spirit to bring forth the Son. The ministry of Jesus, Peter says, God the Father anointed Jesus... with the Holy Spirit and with power.
The Father anointed the Son with the Spirit. The death of Jesus: He through the eternal Spirit offered Himself to God. The Son through the Spirit to the Father. The resurrection of Jesus: The Father by the Spirit raised the Son. And the final statement... at Pentecost, Jesus received from the Father the gift of the Holy Spirit... and poured it out on His disciples. You see how totally the tri-unity... of the Godhead is involved in every major stage of redemption. If I may say it reverently, it was like no one of the persons of the Godhead... wanted to be left out in this glorious visitation of the human race. God is much more interested in us than we realize. To me that speaks volumes. The whole Godhead was totally involved in every major phase... of the process of redemption. All right. Now then, the resurrection of Jesus is the basis for our justification. If He wasn’t raised we’d still be in our sins.
Paul says in Romans 4:25-26: Jesus was delivered up to death for our offenses and raised for our justification. If He hadn’t been raised we could not be justified, we’d still be in our sins. And then he says about salvation in Romans 10:9-10: Romans 10:9-10: If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart... that God has raised Him from the dead you will be saved. For with the heart... one believes to righteousness... and with the mouth confession is made to salvation. If you do not believe in the resurrection you cannot be saved. It is essential for salvation. Unfortunately there are multitudes... of professing Christians who don’t believe in the physical resurrection. None of them can know the peace and joy of sins forgiven, no matter... what position they may occupy in the church. Then the resurrection... is the guarantee of Christ’s power to save us.
In Hebrews 7:25 it says this: Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God... through Him (Jesus) since He ever lives to make intercession for us. If Jesus was still in the tomb, how could He save us? But because He’s... at the right hand of God, atoned for our sins and all authority... in heaven and earth has been given to Him... He’s able to save us to the uttermost. I love that phrase. Somebody said from the guttermost to the uttermost. There’s no limit... to the power of Jesus to save. He has all power. Then, and this again is very important, the resurrection is the completion... of our redemption.
Listen, our destination ultimately is not heaven. That's wonderful, but that’s just a stopping-off place... because while our spirits are in heaven... our bodies will still be moldering in the grave. That’s not a complete salvation. Jesus died for the whole person. His salvation includes spirit, soul and body. That salvation is not complete... until the resurrection. Paul was very clear of this. He says in Philippians... chapter 3... verses 10 and following: The aim and purpose of his whole life is: That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship... of His sufferings, being conformed to His death if by any means... I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. He wasn’t concerned about getting to heaven; his ambition was to attain... to the resurrection from the dead.
Thank God when we die our spirits... will go to heaven but that’s not the completion... because our bodies are still unredeemed. Paul set his sights on the resurrection and he said something very powerful. He said, If by any means I may attain to the resurrection. Paul didn’t take for granted that he would attain to the resurrection. Dear brother and sister, you will not drift into the resurrection. If you’re drifting you’ll end somewhere else. It requires a real solemn commitment and determination. I’m sorry to say that I meet thousands of Christians who really don’t take... this sufficiently serious. If Paul had to say, If by any means I may attain... to the resurrection, who are you or I to say: we’ll get there anyhow? Are we on the same spiritual level as Paul? Probably not. But even Paul didn’t take it for granted.
He said again in the next verse: Not that I’m already attained... or am already perfected but I press on that I may lay hold of that... for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended, but one thing I do... forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things... which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call... of God in Christ Jesus. Paul was single-minded. He said, I haven’t arrived, I haven’t attained, at the time he was speaking. But he said, There’s one thing I do. I press toward the goal. I’ve got one supreme ambition and determination... to be there when the dead are raised in Christ. And when you think what that’s going to be like... it would be a shame to miss it. It really would. I mean, it’s not possible... for our limited minds to conceive the glory and the power... that will be released when these weak, corruptible bodies are suddenly... and gloriously transformed into a body like that of Jesus.
Isn’t that wonderful? It is to me. In fact, I just have to stop and ponder over it for a moment. Romans 8:23 also says this. In other words, salvation isn’t complete until the resurrection. Romans 8:23, it says in verse 22: The whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Then it says: Not only they but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit... even we ourselves groan within ourselves eagerly waiting... for the adoption, the redemption of our body. Let me ask you, is that true of you? You have the firstfruits of the Spirit. Are you groaning within yourself? Are you eagerly waiting? What right do you or I have to suppose that God deals with us on a lesser level? The baptism in the Holy Spirit is not given just to have a good time. It’s given to prepare us for what lies ahead. I feel such a sense of solemnity right now.