The Power of the Resurrected Life (II Corinthians 4:10-11)
II Corinthians 4:10-11, “Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.”
Throughout his ministry, Paul had faced continual opposition, physical injury and even death. To that degree, he bore in his body the Lord’s death. However, it was so that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. Paul’s thought may be, notwithstanding the dangers of the ministry, that he and his associates were the messengers of the life available through Christ. It was manifest through his body as he witnessed, taught, and preached. As he had written in I Corinthians 15:31, “I die daily,” Paul faced constant threat of martyrdom. Nevertheless, he and his friends determined that the resurrected life in Christ would continually be made manifest through their presence as long as they lived. In other words, as long as he had breath, he was determined to witness of Christ.
Why is Jesus alive? Payment for sin is complete; that’s His past accomplishment (John 19:30). Someday Christ will rule the earth; that’s His future promise (Revelation 19:15). But what about today? Yes, He’s alive because He rose from the dead—but why? Yes, He’s alive because He is God—but why? Yes, He’s alive “Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.” (Acts 2:24)--but what purpose does His present life serve?
Over and over the New Testament tells us Jesus is actively making intercession for us. He comes before the throne of heaven as our mediator and He makes requests before the Father for our moment-by-moment needs (Hebrews 7:25). Today Christ lives to bring His victorious power to bear upon our character. Not only does He offer victory over sin and death and give forgiveness to all who believe, He also wants to live His life through us. That is what Christian living is all about--“that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.” (II Corinthians 4:11).
The true Christian life is Christ in you. It’s a brand of living far superior to the Christ-in-my-own-strength program, which only leads to disappointment, exhaustion and failure. Jesus is the only One who ever lived the Christian life successfully. There’s no possible way to live the Christian life in, or on, our own power. While you can seek knowledge and understanding and you can serve, worship and walk with Him, you have zero power, or personal strength, to resource true, full obedience. There’s nothing in you that can enable you to live for Him; not strength, willpower, or perseverance.
The only source of power is the exchanged life—Christ living through you. Your part is to get out of the way and let Him. When you do and people see victorious resurrected life in you, whose is it? It’s Christ’s, not yours. If people see anything worthwhile in your life, if there is anything eternal and lasting, it is the actual life of Christ flowing through you. The only true resource, the only power for lasting transformation, is Christ in you. This powerful, simple truth can absolutely change your life. Consider this a turning point, an invitation to the power of a resurrected life: Christ living in you. It begins with honesty, admitting your sin and powerlessness to live for the Lord on your own. Because of His death, once you die to yourself, “the life also of Jesus” can be manifest in you.
What in your life indicates you are living in your own strength? How is that working for you?
How might your life look if you embraced the resurrected life—Christ living in you?
Prayer, Lord, I am so weak. Every day of failed effort to live a righteous life is sore and a strong reminder of that fact. Today I turn as never before to You alone. I die to myself by faith, and today, Lord, I trust You to live Your life through me. Please help me to reflect the truth of the resurrected life—Christ in me. Thank You that You are alive to intercede for me today. In the strong name of Jesus I pray, amen.
Dr. Blackman is passionate about helping others grow in the grace of the Lord. His devotions are centered on how to grow closer to the Lord through a personal relationship.