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Easter Sunday Special Service (English) - 21 APR 19 - Resurrection Blessing

Message by Pastor Jeevan Chelladurai

Transcript

Happy Easter to all of you.

There is something special about Easter, isn't it? There is always something special when you celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and when you experience the presence of the risen Lord. We know that Jesus rising again changed everything. Literally, it changed everything. If Jesus never rose again, we would not be here today first of all. In fact, there wouldn't be any church. There wouldn't be anything. There wouldn't be any forgiveness of sin, salvation, no nothing.

Today, we look at the church. There are so many churches just in this area, in our city, all over the world and we may take it for granted. But think about how it all started. How did a band of 11 or 12 men, ordinary guys, most of them fishermen, how did the same guys who ran and fled and hid when Jesus was crucified, how did they end up starting the greatest movement the world has ever seen, the church? And how did it flourish and thrive, even though everybody tried to put it down? The entire Roman Empire with its might and power tried to squash it but they couldn't. How did all that happen, my friend? Historians try to explain it and they're not able to find any logical explanation. Well, the explanation is very easy. Jesus rose again and changed everything. Jesus rose again, and these scared and timid men became brave, they became bold, they saw the risen Lord, and they boldly proclaimed the gospel.

So, we know that Jesus' resurrection is the thing that brings us everything. We know that but, there is a big but. And that's what I want to talk about today, that ‘but’. The truth is, oftentimes, we don't relate this truth that Jesus rose again, with our practical day to day life. We know we wouldn't be here without the resurrection and yet... Everything we have is because of the resurrection and we know that to a certain extent, but yet we don't consciously relate the resurrection of Jesus Christ with our day to day living.

 Easter is not just like another festival. Some people think everybody has festivals, Christians have Easter, that is one of the important things for them. They all go early morning and they’re dressed up and then have some special biryani and they celebrate in a special way. That's their festival. No, but Easter it’s not just a festival. Yes, it's a festival but it's more than a festival. It is a celebration of the greatest event in history thus far, the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. But it is more than that. The Bible, in so many ways, in so many places, relates the resurrection, this great event, to the practical day to day life of Christians. What do I mean by that? Let me give an example. Because Jesus rose again, tomorrow you should do better at work. That's what I mean. Now, how many people think in those terms? When you go to work tomorrow and when you do your work, the way you do it, and its effectiveness should be better because Jesus rose again? Do you think like that? Do you think along those lines? Because Jesus rose again, the way we conduct our family life should be on a different level.

This is how the New Testament approaches the whole matter. The New Testament says, because Jesus rose again, everything is now different. The way we do family, the way we do work, the way we think about everything becomes different. I want to take you to one such passage today. There are many but I'll take you to one passage which teaches us how to apply this great truth of Jesus' resurrection to everyday living. Hebrews chapter 13 verse 20 and 21. Before I read the passage, let me give you some background because it's useful to understand who this was originally written to, what they were like. The original audience, the people to whom this letter Hebrews went to originally, they were under a lot of stress and problem. They lived under very difficult circumstances. Sometimes we think, we only have it hard. All of us like to think, “Nobody is experiencing problems like me.” That's the way naturally we think. But really, if you compare our life to the life of these early Christians to whom this letter was originally written, you will find that they had a very tough life because they were originally Jews but they became Christians, they believed in Jesus.

And as time went on, they began to face more and more persecution. Persecution from their fellow Jewish brothers and sisters, and also persecution from the Roman Empire. And it got to a point, it became so bad, where they even probably contemplated giving up their faith in Jesus. People who study this, they say this is the background, their Jewish brothers and sisters began to say, “What did you get out of believingthis Jesus? You're believing in some Messiah who died on a cross? And then by believing Him, you're being persecuted today? Is this all really worth it? Look at our great Jewish heritage, the Old Testament, Moses and Aaron, and all these great guys, these prophets and priests and all the customs and rituals of the Old Testament, we have everything we need. We don't need this Jesus. What are you going around with this Jesus for? Why do you have to keep believing in Him? Leave Him and come.”

So, this writer writes in that juncture where these people are probably contemplating leaving the faith even, some of them, and he's writing to them and saying, “No, no, no, no, Jesus is not just some Messiah who died on a cross, He is right now seated at the right hand of God, and He's ruling and He’s reigning. And He's interceding for you and He is your great High Priest.” Amazing things are taught in this book of Hebrews. And he keeps teaching them wonderful things. He compares Jesus to the other great people in the Old Testament: Moses and Aaron, and he says, Jesus is better than all of them. You can’t compare Jesus with these old testament heroes. He's better, He's on a different level. He's a different class, He's the Son of God. He's even better than the angels. There is nothing to compare like Him. He does what Joshua could never do. He leads us into the real Promised Land. And he talks and talks and he encourages them. He talks about faith in Hebrews 11. We know that through faith, how they can overcome and so on.

And he comes right to the end of the book. We are right now at the very end of the book of Hebrews. He has pretty much said everything there is to say to encourage them. And he's come to the very end. There's pretty much nothing left to say. But yet he wants to say a few last words, encouraging them one last time. What does he do? Where does he look to? He points them to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He has said so much throughout the book and then finally he comes to the end of the book in verse 20 and to 21, and he says to them, one last thing, and that is... let me tell you what he says, basically, he says, “If God raised Jesus from the dead then He will do anything and everything that is good for you.” That's how he ends it. He says, “Let me tell you one last thing, if God raised Jesus from the dead, the God who raised Jesus from the dead will do anything and everything for your good.”

Now let's read that verse and look out for that concept, that idea, basic idea, the main idea there. Hebrews chapter 13 verse 20, verse 21. Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. There's a lot in this verse, I cannot possibly cover it today. But the main idea, the central idea is quite simple. It goes like this, may the God who did this, do this. May the God who did what? May the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus, may this God, the God who raised up our Lord Jesus from the dead, may He, then in verse 21, he says, make you complete in every good work. Do you see that? Basically, those two things you can see. May the God who did this, that is in verse 20, may the God who brought up Jesus from the dead do this for you, that is in verse 21, make you complete in every good work. Or the King James says, make you perfect. That's the basic idea.

Now, this is a prayer. You can see it in the way the language goes. May the God who brought up Jesus from the dead make you complete. That's like a prayer, isn't it? More accurately, it's a benediction. Like how we give a benediction at the end of the sermon. May the grace of our Lord Jesus, may the love of the... That’s a benediction, isn't it? It's a prayer, but it's also a benediction. It's a blessing that is uttered upon the people. The Old Testament priests from those days and even today the pastor, raises his hand at the end and he utters a blessing, so to speak, a benediction. He blesses the people by invoking God and by praying to God. May God's peace and love be with you. That's what this writer is doing. He's said everything there is to say, he comes to the very end, and he now wants to give them one final blessing. And he says, may the God who raised Jesus from the dead make you complete in every good work.

It's a benediction. Now, when I say benediction, immediately, people should not think it's just a formality. Sometimes today, perhaps some people may view the benediction like a formality, like an empty, traditional formality, just tradition. That's how we end the service. Instead of saying, “The end,” we say, “May the God.” No, no. Yes, it is a tradition, but it's a meaningful tradition and it's a powerful tradition. This is again, you have to view it with the Hebrew background, the Jewish background. The Jews believed in blessing very much. And they especially believed in this benediction because God taught the Old Testament priests in the Old Testament for example, in Numbers 6, He taught them how to give the benediction. In fact, He gave them the words to say. He said in the famous benediction, in Numbers 6:24, The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face to shine upon you. God told Moses, “Tell your priest Aaron to say these words. And when he says these words, I will bless them.” Verse 27 He says. “When the priest blesses the people, I Myself will bless them.”

So, the Jewish people never took the benediction lightly. They believed that when the priest raised his hands and said this, they received the blessing. It's really meaningful, powerful. Think about Isaac when he blessed his son, Jacob, it happened just like what he said. Think about it. Think about when Jacob blessed his 12 sons, it happened exactly like what he said. So, don't think this benediction business is empty formality. No, not at all. And especially because it is in the Bible. We're talking about the Word of God. There are no empty, meaningless statements here. Even if it is a benediction, it is meaningful and powerful. And this writer believes in it, and I believe in it, and you better believe in it. So, receive it today as a blessing spoken over you. All right.

This will happen to you. You believe that? If you believe it, my friend, it will happen. Receive the blessing. So, let's begin to look at it. Let's begin to understand it. Let's begin to get into it. Number one. What does he pray for? What does he ask for? What does he bless saying specifically? How does he bless? Let's look at that first. Let's try to understand that first. Look at those words. His main petition is this. May this God... which God? The God who raised Jesus from the dead verse 20. May this God make you complete in every good work, correct? That's verse 21. That's the main petition. There's a lot in this verse but that's the main petition. May this God who raised Jesus from the dead, make you complete in every good work. The God who did something to Jesus, may He do it to you. May he do something else to you. Jesus and you. He connects the resurrection with you. How does he connect it? He says, “May this God make you complete.” You means you. Everybody say me. It refers to yourself.

So, he's talking about, may God make you complete in every good work. Make you ‘complete’, that word in the King James is make you perfect. In other translations, it is make fit. Sometimes make fit, many times. To make fit, that's a good way to understand it. Or, complete is also a good way. That is, we lack some things and he's praying for God to make us complete, or more perfect, or mature, or to make fit, try to understand it in that way. We all understand physical fitness. It’s a thing people pay attention to in the world, physical fitness. All of us are maybe in one way, a little bit fit, we may say. I don’t know. But we can certainly be more fit. Most of us can be more fit. So, it's like that. He’s praying for all of us to get more fit. He’s praying for his entire audience. The people he's writing to originally at least he's praying for them, at least he has them in mind. The Holy Spirit has recorded it for us also today. And he’s saying, may this God make you more fit. More fit in whose eyes? In God's eyes.

Different people have different definitions of fitness, but you have to ask the expert, they only know what they're talking about. Everybody will comment on fitness nowadays. But you have to go to the real expert. When it's talking about here, it's talking about God. Who decides whether we are fit? God. It's talking about, “May God make you fit in His eyes, according to His standards.” And let me say also something, it's talking about real fitness not ‘looking good’ fitness. Nowadays, there is a looking good fitness. They even have these shirts which pull in the tummy. Pulls in whatever needs to be pulled in, pushes out whatever needs to be pushed out. And finally, the result is you look fit, but the person is not really fit. Well. That's easy to do, but here this is talking about make you really fit from the inside out.  

Fit with what? Look at that verse. May He make you fit or complete in every good work. A better translation is, in every good thing. It's not just good works but anything good. That's what the verse refers to. May He make you perfect, complete, fit in every good thing. Everybody says every good thing. There are a lot of good things, my friend. Some people will say, “But it doesn't say everything. It says only every good thing.” That's like the devil in the Garden of Eden. God said, “Eat of any fruit except one.” Devil said, “What about this one?” God is saying, “There's so many good things, focus on that.” But people like to say, “But God, why not this one?” There are so many good things, my friend. God has good things planned for your work, for your family, for your spiritual life, for your every aspect of your life. God has good things planned for you.

And this verse is saying, may God make you more perfect in every good thing, including good works. Why? Why should God make us more and more fit and perfect in every good thing? So that we may do His will. Look at that, the verse says that. May He make you complete in every good work to do His will. That's the goal. We are all doing God's will only, to a certain extent we are all doing God's will. But again, the prayer is that we might do His will more. That we might do His will in every area of our life, in every corner of our life. There is God's will about your school. If you are a student in a school, God desires that you go in a certain way, you study in a certain way, you perform in a certain way, you behave in a certain way. There is God's will, my friend. If you're going to work God has a will about it. He has a way He wants things to be. If you're running a family, He has a will, He has a way that couples must interact and the parent-children interaction takes place, the relationships. God's will is there. Everything is not happening according to God's will out there in the world. And we have to as Christians, more and more do God's will, in every area of our life.

 So, he's praying that we will be made fit, complete, more and more perfect to do His will. Another translation puts it like this, it says, “May God give you the ability to do every good thing so that you end up doing His will.” Give you the ability. Everybody say ability. Sometimes ability is what we need, isn't it? May God give you everything necessary. That's what this verse is talking about, my friend. Whatever is lacking, whatever is incomplete in your life, whatever is getting in the way of your progress... by your progress I mean, you doing His will more, whatever that is, He is praying that God will bring about an improvement in that area, make you complete, make you more fit, give you the ability to do every good thing according to His will. What an amazing petition.

But it's a very difficult thing, isn't it? Think about it. Is this a prayer that can be easily answered? Most people won't even have the guts to pray something like this. I mean, most people will just pray for like a car or a job or something. He's praying saying, may God make you perfect, complete, fit in every good thing, so that you end up doing His will more and more. What a mind-blowing petition. Not only that, he is not only praying for one person to change, he's looking at his entire group of believers, a big audience, and he's saying, “May this be true of all of you. May God do it for all of you.” By all I don't mean people out there in the world. All doesn't mean all people. All means believers. That word ‘you’, make ‘you’ complete. You see that? Make you complete, in English it says you but in the Greek it's plural. It's a plural you, referring to all the believers. This applies to every true believer today, my friend. This passage is a blessing that applies to every true believer, and it says, “May God make you complete in everything to do His will.”

Do you think that can be easily answered? That seems impossible, doesn't it? How can every believer become more and more mature and perfect in every good thing? So, to do God's will, it sounds like something impossible to achieve, doesn't it? Can we all true believers be made complete, be made perfect, be equipped in everything good? We have so many imperfections and flaws and things we lack. Will all this change? Will all this improve? Will we become more perfect? Will we become more equipped and do God's will more? Will it happen to all of us? Is this even possible? Is this a crazy idea and a petition and a blessing?

Maybe this is just some grand conclusion. Like people say, “This is the problem with the preachers, they always give these grand ideas, conclude very grandly. And then finally, we are left to live life in the real world.” This is one of those kinds of things where he's bringing the letter to a grand conclusion. But really, it's not going to happen. No, my friend. He believes it will happen. That's the reason he prays like that. That's the reason he’s blessing, he believes this will really happen to the people he's writing to. And he says, “May this God do this to you.” How can he have the guts to pray something like this? Think about it. Where does he get the guts to pray such a grandiose petition? How does he think that God will answer something like that? If you ask him, he will tell you very simply, “It's very simple. Yes, it looks difficult but it's very simple. Listen, if God raised Jesus from the dead, then He will do this also.” That's all.

That's the message today, my friend. If God raised Jesus from the dead, He will do this also. When we look at the petition it looks impossible, difficult, unrealistic. But he is not looking so much at the petition, he is looking at the resurrection. This is an argument from the greater to the lesser. He's saying basically, if God can do this great thing, He can do this smaller thing. Okay. Now what is great and what is small according to him? We may think great is every believer changing, becoming more and more mature, doing God's will, more and more. That sounds very difficult and great for us. But what he's saying is, no, no, no, the greatest thing is God raised Jesus from the dead. And I'm praying that this God who did the impossible, the greatest thing this world has ever seen, may do this is also, this lesser thing. For Him, this is a lesser thing. Every true believer changing is a lesser thing than the resurrection of Jesus Christ. That is how much He values the resurrection. That is the extent to which He sees the glory of the resurrection. He's aware of it. Even we pray like this, to a certain extent. We’ll think about something God has done great in our lives.

How has God done anything great for you? Anything? Yeah. You remember any great incident, great deliverance, some unforgettable moments, unforgettable salvation. God has saved us, rescued us. And when we are in trouble, we think of those times, don't we? We say, “God, You did this that time for me. That time You did this, now do this also. You did such a difficult thing for me. Now, please do this.” We pray that prayer with confidence, don't we? And many of us even appeal to,  if we can’t think of God doing anything in our life, we say things like this, have you noticed, “Oh God, You created the heavens and the earth. The God who created the heavens and the earth, the God who said, ‘Let there be light.’ God, You do this for me. There is nothing impossible with You.” But very few people actually pray like him. He's saying, “May the God who raised Jesus from the dead.”

It's very interesting. In the Old Testament, you will find a lot of prayers like that. Like what? In the Psalms, the Psalmist will pray saying, “God, you created the heavens and the earth. Now do this for me.” Another prayer in the Old Testament is, “God you split the Red Sea. Now do this for me.” In the New Testament, also, you see things like that. But you also see one very new prayer which the Old Testament saints did not know anything about. That is God, you raised Jesus from the dead. Now, do this for me. You look at 2nd Corinthians chapter 1, Paul is teaching like that. He's saying, we have a God who raises the dead. He’s thinking about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Some of the New Testament authors, the resurrection of Jesus Christ seems bigger than anything before. They see its glory, its greatness, and they are able to relate everything in life to that, and derive power out of that.

Let me take a few moments to talk about the glory of the resurrection. If we can see the glory of the resurrection, we too will be able to say like this writer with confidence, “May the God who raised Jesus from the dead do this for me.” And everything is included in ‘this’. Did you notice that? Everything good. In your work, in your family, in your finances, everything regarding your life is included. Whatever your need is, if it is according to God's will, my friend, if it is to make you more perfect or more fit in God's eyes, you can pray that prayer and say, “God, You raised Jesus from the dead. You do this for me.” But you can pray that prayer with confidence only when you realize the greatness of the resurrection. So, let us try to meditate on the greatness of the resurrection.

What happened in the resurrection that was so great? Many people understand the greatness of creation because they can see it with their eyes. They see the sun and the moon and the trees. But people don't understand the greatness of the resurrection because they don't see it with their eyes. But what is so great about God raising Jesus from the dead? Let me say a few things. One, when God raised Jesus from the dead, He defeated the greatest, most powerful enemies. God has defeated many enemies in the history. If you look, God's people have so many enemies. The Old Testament, so many nations came against Israel with their kings and armies, and God defeated every one of them, whenever Israel got God's help. The best example, probably the most stellar example is the Red Sea. The Red Sea incident, God split open the Red Sea and he drowned Pharaoh and the entire army in the Red Sea. What an amazing incident that is. Just imagine it. This is not just a fable, or a story, it is a real incident, where God took the greatest empire on the face of the earth that day, the Egyptian Empire, its king, its army and drowned them in the Red Sea by splitting it open, and his people walked on dry land. What a display of power!

And oftentimes, that's why the Old Testament saints will look back to that and say, “God, you did this. Something great. Now do this for me.” But let me tell you, what God did in raising Jesus is even greater than what He did in splitting the Red Sea. How? Just look at who got drowned or who lost, or who was defeated? In the Red Sea, who was defeated? Pharaoh and his army. In the resurrection of Jesus, who was defeated? The devil himself was defeated, death itself was defeated. Kings can be defeated, armies can be defeated, but who can defeat death, my friend? Up to the time of Jesus, and even since then, nobody has ever defeated death, like Jesus defeated death. You may say, “Well, other people rose again.” That's true. There are plenty of incidents of people rising again from the dead. But guess what? They all died again. Take Lazarus, Jesus raised him. And the story ends there in the Bible. But the real story is he died again. That is not here but it happened. And he was buried again. And nobody has raised him yet. One day he will be raised. What I mean to say is, you cannot compare any other resurrection with the resurrection of Jesus. It stands unique in all of history because of this one reason, He never died again and He never will and He never can. He has defeated death totally and fully. And God has done it by raising him from the dead.

So, death has been defeated, the greatest enemy, the most powerful enemy, the enemy no one can escape has been defeated in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The devil has been defeated; do you know that? The devil is a defeated foe today. Yes, he's still moving around, he still comes at us but do you know he's a defeated foe? He’s a powerless foe. He just talks a big talk, says a lot of lies, he’s an expert deceiver but he has no real power. You just open your mouth and say, “In the name of Jesus, I resist you devil. You flee from me,” and he will be gone just like that. He's a defeated foe. And one day soon, God will totally wipe him out. He's already mortally wounded, fatally wounded. There is no changing his fate anymore. His death is coming soon and already is pretty badly wounded. That's the condition of the devil.

The greatest enemies have been defeated. The devil has been defeated, death has been defeated, Hebrews 2:14. So, the point is, if God has defeated the greatest enemies in the resurrection of Jesus, will He not help you to defeat the enemies that stand against you, my friend? Against your progress, against your improvement, against your being made fit, against your being made complete? You might say there are opposing forces. Nothing is working, nothing is changing, nothing is improving. But, my friend, if death was defeated, can’t this be defeated? That's the point. If God did this, this is much greater, He can also do this.

You may wonder, sometimes, “How will I be made perfect and complete? How will I become better? Some of these habits and some of these character flaws seem to go way back 10 years, 20 years, is it even possible to change?” Like some people say, “Don't believe all this business, that change is possible. Nobody changes.” Have you heard people say that? “Nobody changes, everybody remains the same.” My friend, that sounds very impressive. Sounds like great wisdom. Wow. So, wisdom of this world is opposed to the wisdom of God. Hebrews writer is saying, may the God who raised Jesus from the dead, may He change you. May He complete you. May He remove those character flaws. May He make you better in every way, in every good thing to do His will. It is possible. Everybody say it's possible. If Jesus rose again from the dead, anything is possible.

What's so great about the resurrection? Another thing. Let me tell you something else. When God raised Jesus from the dead, He stopped and reversed a very powerful law that operates in the entire universe. Like the law of gravity operates very heavily in earth, when you go to different planets it’s different and so on. But this law I’m talking about, they say it operates in the entire universe and it even starts in physics and all as the second law of thermodynamics. Basically, I don't know the complicated version of it, the real version. I know the very simplified version. Simplified version goes like this, if you leave anything to itself, it will get worse and worse, and it will become more and more disorderly and chaotic, and it will go to utter ruin. How do you like that?

There is a law. If you leave a house just by itself and don't do anything, what will happen? You get messy, dirty. If you leave it there for thousand years, it will fall down. You know what I mean? That's what the law says. The law says, “If you leave anything without doing anything to it, it will just get worse automatically.” If you leave a field just by itself, it will grow thorns and thistles. Automatically, it will get worse and worse. It'll become chaotic. If you want a good result, you have to work hard. When they teach the law they say, “You can reverse it by expending a lot of energy.” The room gets dirty by itself but you can reverse it by taking the broom and cleaning it. But you have to expend energy.

So, like this, always we are fighting this law. Everything is going to disorder and chaos and we are spending energy every day and fighting and pushing it back and back. But these people who teach the law, they say, “In the end, it's all useless anyway. No matter how much you resist, anyway you will die in the end.” And then the body decays, degenerates, decomposes, goes to nothing. Yeah, we can resist it but we don't have power to resist it completely. And they say, “This law operates in the entire universe. And one day the entire universe is going to go to...” This is what they teach, the extreme version of it.

What did God do when He raised Jesus from the dead? He suspended that law. This law that is operating in this fallen world, He put a stop to it right there and He said, “You people are saying everything will get from bad to worse and go to utter ruin and decay and decompose.” God takes the body of Jesus that was laid in the tomb, that should have gone to decay. And He gives it life again, raises it up and reverses this whole law. People are saying, everything will go from bad to worse, God shows, “I will make everything go from better to best. From the worst to the best, I will take it.” That's what He did. People would have thought Jesus is dead and gone. He’s laid in the tomb, the Roman seal is placed on the tomb, there's no going back, you can't reverse death. But that's exactly what God did. In the case of Jesus, He reversed this powerful law and He gave Him life. Not only that, He takes Him to a level that He wasn't there before. Listen to this. It's not just reversing, He supersedes it.

Jesus goes to a state that was higher than what He had before. A better body, a better life, a better state. Everything.

Why am I talking about all this? Remember, it applies to our practical life. Sometimes this outlook is there in the world. Anyway, everything is going from bad to worse. And we feel like even we are going from bad to worse sometimes. “God, what is happening? Things they don't seem to be getting better. In fact, it's going in the opposite direction.” My friend, look at the resurrection of Jesus, it went to the bottom most point and then God turned it around, and made it the best again. If He can do it in one instance for Jesus at the resurrection, why can't He do it slowly for our character? That's all I'm saying. I'm not talking about instantaneous change for us. In fact, I don't think that's possible because some people will go like that, they’ll think instantaneously everything. No. Instantaneously, gold falling, instantaneously, all kinds of things.

Yeah, I do believe in some things instantaneously. For example, when Jesus returns, our body will be instantaneously made new. But this change that we're talking about today, this being made perfect and made complete, is a slow process. But the point is, if God can do instantaneous reversal of this law, why can't He reverse it slowly in our lives? That's all I'm saying. Is that too much to ask? No, my friend. That's what He's praying for. He's saying, may the God who raised Jesus from the dead, do this for you.

One more thing about the resurrection, the glory of the resurrection. The resurrection is the beginning of the new creation. The resurrection is not an ordinary thing. It is connected to the new creation. In fact, it begins the new creation. Why do I say that? What is new creation? All of us as Christians have a hope. What is the hope? That one day, God will create a new heaven and a new earth. You have that hope? I hope you do. Because otherwise, you are most to be pitied if all you have is this world. God is planning a new world, a new heaven and a new earth. How many of you know that's going to be better than the world we live in today? There's going to be no evil in that world. Can you believe it? No corruption? No evil. Don't have to be afraid when you go out at night. Can you imagine a world like that? It's amazing. That is the world God has planned. That's where he’s taking us. These people are saying everything is going bad to worse. God is saying no, no, no. The best is yet to come.

But the thing is, that world, that new heaven and new earth is not only going to be better than the world we live in today, it's going to be better than the world God created in Genesis chapter 1. Listen to me. You know the world God created in Genesis chapter 1? That's an amazing world, it’s paradise. No sin, no Satan, no death, no evil, no bad thing, only good. God saw it was very good. But this new world that God is going to create is going to be better than that world. You know why? Because in Genesis 1 there was only one small problem. What was that? There was the possibility of sin entering. That's all. Sin was not there. But the possibility for sin to enter was there. And sin did enter, death did enter, the devil entered, spoiled the whole show.

In the new world that God is going to create, there is no possibility of death entering, sin entering, the devil entering. There is no possibility of evil entering. That is the world that God is going to create. Do you believe all this, my friend? This is what we believe. That is the new creation. When we say a new creation, the total new creation is that. New heaven, new earth better than even Genesis 1. No possibility of bad, no sorrow, no pain. Now, why am I saying this? We looked forward to that day when God will make the new heaven and new earth. But listen to me, God has already begun the new creation work. That's what resurrection is about.

Resurrection is where the new creation has already happened to Jesus. Jesus is the first person to experience new creation. Why? Because He didn't go back to His old life, He had a good life, 33 and a half years of ministry, perfect life. But He didn't go back there, did he? He didn't receive His old body again; He had a good body. I’ve never read of Jesus ever been sick. But he didn't go back to that body. That old body - they beat it and bruised it and flogged it and killed him on the cross. But the new body that Jesus has today, nobody can beat it, nobody can flog it, nobody can put him to death. That's the new kind of body has. He has a new existence, a new body, a new life, a new condition. Way better, higher than His old earthly condition. Can you see what God did in raising Jesus from the dead? He didn't just take Him back to the old, He took Him to the new. It is not creation; it is new creation. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the beginning of the new creation.

The new creation has already begun. If you just keep looking at these trees and this world out here, you will only see the old creation. My friend, look at the glory of the risen Lord Jesus, you will see the new creation already. Already it has begun. He is the one who experienced it first. Guess who experienced it next? You. Now, you didn’t experience it the same way Jesus experienced it. Jesus became all new in one second, instantaneously. But we didn't become all new. We are new on the inside. We are a new creation in our spirit being. Man is spirit, soul and body, tripartite being. We are not body; body is like our house. Our spirit lives inside our body. Nobody will look at my house and say it's me. So, in this earth, God has given us this house. One day will come when we will vacate this house and go to another house. Then God will raise up this body and give us a brand-new house.

Glorious body. You understand? This is a house. It's like a house, the body. The Bible says, our spirit has already become new. It's a new creation. Why do I say that? If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation. That's what the Bible says. Old things have passed away, behold, all things have become new. How did all things become new? Where did all things become new? In the spirit, all things became new. If you are a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, you are a new creation on the inside. One day, your body will be made new instantaneously. But from now until then, your mind needs to be made new every day. Your mind needs that daily renewal, isn't it? Romans 12:2, by the renewing of our mind, we should be transformed.

Are you following my friend? I’m sorry, if I'm going too fast. What I'm saying is, Jesus experienced new creation, fully, completely, holy, instantaneously. We don't experience it like that, we've already experienced in our spirit, we are going to experience it in our body. And we are right now experiencing it in our mind or soul. That's what we're talking about. This change that we're talking about today, this being made complete, is a mind renewal, my friend, that only leads to deep change. Resurrection is the beginning of new creation.

If God has begun the new creation, won’t He continue it? I said all this to simply say that God did something very great in the resurrection of Jesus. There is no question whether or not He can change us. He can and He will. Perhaps, you may say, “Well, yes, I know He can. But, really will He? Will He really do it?” Let me give you some reasons why He will do it. One reason is right here in the passage. We are only asking for Him to change us so that we can do His will. We don't want to do something else. We want to do His will. If you want to do His will and you ask Him, “Lord, change me so that I can do Your will.” Will He answer that prayer? 100% He will answer that prayer. Say, “Lord, I want to do Your will more in my work, more in my school, more in my college, more in my family, more in my this and that in my spiritual life.” You watch what happens, my friend.

Pray like this. God, You raised Jesus from the dead. You do this for me so that I can do Your will. Now the reason is right here in this passage. We not only ask so that we can do His will, we ask so that we can give Him glory. Look at verse 21 the way it ends. After saying He will make you complete in every good work, working in you, what is well pleasing in His sight through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. This prayer is connected to the glory of God. When God makes us more and more complete and perfect and equips us, guess who is glorified? He is glorified. When we do His will, He is glorified. So, we are asking only so that He will be glorified. Will He do it? Yes, He will do it.

Let me give you another reason. This is connected to the resurrection itself. When God raised Jesus from the dead, He not only proved that He can change us, He proved that He wants to change us and the time for change has come. Yes. Listen to me. The resurrection is not only an announcement that God can, it is an announcement that God will. People may look at God and say, “God, I know you can, but will You?” The resurrection is a big yes to that. He says, “Yes, I will.” And in fact, it says more than that. It says, “In fact, I have already begun changing. I'm already in the process of doing this work of new creation, making things new.” God has begun the work of new creation, will not continue it, my friend. Will He not continue it? He will continue it. You are living in the new creation time. Don't just look forward to the new heaven and new earth. You are already living in the new creation time. It's like the early morning sun rays. They pierce through those gaps in the windows, and it's already bright. It's not fully bright. There's a little bit of darkness this, but there's enough light that has pierced in and it's going to get brighter and brighter and brighter.

The resurrection is the early morning sun rays. It's come up. Now there is no going back. There's no stopping it. It's only going to get brighter and better. And it's going to a grand future, my friend. This is what the resurrection did. It began the new creation. Will He do it? I'm trying to say He will do it in so many ways. Yes, He will do it. Another reason is He has been doing it for the last 2,000 years. You may think I'm talking about something; I'm not talking about something new. He's been doing it for the last 2,000 years. Just look at the history of Christianity at the number of people He has changed, at how many crores and crores of believers have changed the entire, societies have changed through what began in the resurrection. Just look at the world today, my friend.

People say again, the worldly way of thinking goes like this, “The world is getting worse and worse.” No, I say from the time Jesus entered the world, the world has been getting better. If you ask me. I know. In some ways it's getting worse. But in many ways, it's been getting better. I'll give you a small example from what happened last week, the election. So many people went out to vote. What an amazing sight that is, an amazing idea. Just the fact that all these people from various different walks of life, backgrounds, status, and all that they're coming together, they all are equal. When it comes to the election, the rich and the poor, the educated and the uneducated, they've all got only equal power, they've all got only one vote. Have you thought about that? It kind of equalizes everybody, doesn't it? It’s an amazing democracy. My friend, there was no democracy before Jesus entered this world. There was no idea that all men are created equal before Jesus entered this world. There was no dignity for human life, I can go on. Christianity changed that. For the first time, the slave and the owner sat at the same table and took communion from the same cup. I'm only saying this to say God has been doing this for 2,000 years.

Finally, let me give you one last reason that He will do it. He is already doing it for you. Look at yourself. He's already doing it. Sometimes we don't even realize what is happening to us because we're caught up in the busyness of life. Take a moment, think about yourself, think about how you were 10 years back and think about how you are now. Is there change? Is there improvement? Are you being made more fit in the eyes of God? He's already doing it to you, my friend. I'm only saying by paying more attention to it, He'll do it more. You will see greater change, a greater level of change. It's like this, if we just go about our normal routine, we will have a certain level of fitness anyway. If you just avoid lying down in the bed and get up, and just walk here and there, just go to work and come just stay busy itself, you'll have a certain level of fitness without even paying much attention to it. But if you pay attention to it, and say I want to get more fit, let me go exercise in the morning. Let me do this in the evening. Let me eat right. If you pay more attention, guess what? You will get more fit, more quickly in a very great way. You want to know what I'm talking about.

Well, it's like that. Even if you never pay attention to this verse, God will still make you fit. He’ll still lead you. He still has His ways. But you pay attention to this and you pray like this man here. Say, “God, you raised Jesus from the dead. Make me fit for every good work so that I may do Your will.” And you watch what happens, my friend. Your fitness will go through the roof. You will do God's will. You will glorify God more and more. That's what we want.

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