Terry R Baughman is Lead Pastor for LifeChurch in Gilbert, AZ. See his complete bio at trbaughman.com
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Sown in Weakness
Raised in Power
Terry R. Baughman
“So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:42–44 NIV).
Before a resurrection there must be a death. Before a new beginning must be an ending. Even the Good News began with a tragic story. In the midst of the narrative one must trust the Author and the Finisher to plan the plot and write the conclusion of the sacred drama.
The Cross of Christ is the symbol of suffering as well as the celebration of victory over sin and death. Jesus humbled Himself to the role of a servant as He surrendered to death and poured out His life. (See Philippians 2:7–8.) Jesus saw the ultimate positive outcome of such a humiliating death and willingly submitted to its painful suffering. The writer of Hebrews said, “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1 NIV). The joy of the cross was not its pain, but rather the victory that would be achieved by His sacrifice. He knows the end from the beginning and the conclusion of every story.
The Gospel is more than a tale of sorrow and the ability to prevail and rise above the suffering; it is a story of redemption from the curse of sin, of the power of the blood of Christ to cleanse from every iniquity, and the hope of everlasting life given to all who put their trust in Jesus. The Gospel is the good news of salvation for the lost world and the promise of a born again experience. Christ’s promise is more than life hereafter, it is the promise of new life in the here and now!
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is not just a historical tale, it is a reality to every believer who finds the source of power in a message of sacrifice. It is more than believing that Jesus died, was buried, and in three days He rose again to life. It is a tale of application. We too are challenged to follow in His steps. We identify with Christ in every way. We die to sin as we repent of our error and surrender our lives to follow the Master. Our baptism is a personal identification with the burial of Jesus as we call on His name in baptism. We rise to walk in new life through the power of the resurrection as we receive His Holy Spirit!
Recognizing our sins and our failure is an important step to being reconciled to God. Luke said, “Repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47 NKJ). That was also the conclusion of Peter’s message on the Day of Pentecost, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:38 NKJ). Strength comes from weakness, and forgiveness follows repentance.
Paul wrote about the resurrection power and likened the process to a seed that is sown in the ground. As the seed dies new life springs forth and the miracle of growth stems from the burial of a dry seed. Our bodies are sown unto a more glorious eternal resurrection, “The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. … it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power” (1 Corinthians 15:42–43 NKJ).
“We were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4 NKJ).