The Resurrection Life

At a Resurrection Day service a pastor declared, “More has been gained in the resurrection of Jesus than was lost in the fall.” David McCasland observed,

“Each day we experience the damage caused by sin entering our world. Greed, injustice, and cruelty all trace their origins back to Adam and Eve’s decision to follow their own path rather than God’s (Gen. 3). The legacy of their disobedience is passed down to every generation. Without God’s intervention, we would be in a hopeless situation. But Jesus overpowered sin through His cross and conquered death through His resurrection.”[1]

The Scripture promises us,

“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you,
He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies
through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
(Rom. 8:11).

Does Romans 8:11 speaking primarily of our future resurrection, or the quality of Christ’s resurrection life in us who truly believe? Consider both blessings.

1. Resurrection life in the future

One of our senior citizens remarked that she knew three people who died that week. She had three funerals to attend! For the child of God, however, “We sorrow not as those who have no hope” (1 Thess. 4:13). Although grief is valid (John 11:35), the believer is consoled by the promise of a bodily resurrection at Christ’s return (Phil. 3:20,21). “To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord” (2 Cor. 5:8).

Our eternal life and present spiritual life are based on the miraculous resurrection of Christ. He assured the disciples, “Because I live, you will live also” (John 14:19). His victory over death assures us of our victory over death. “Now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (physically died – 1 Cor. 15:20).

As the firstfruits were the pledge of the remainder of the harvest, so Christ’s resurrection is the guarantee of our resurrection!

2. Resurrection life in the present

At first glance the text of Romans 8:11 seems to be focusing on this same biblical truth – the hope of bodily resurrection of the believer. The context, however, seems to indicate that the “life” promised here is the present possession of the child of God. Verse two affirms that “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”

Romans chapter eight emphasizes the wonderful, abundant life that God wants His children to experience now. This abundant life is possible because of our union with Christ at salvation (Rom. 6:1-4). We are free from sin’s dominion and the law’s condemnation! (Rom. 6:14; 8:1).

The same God who raised Christ from the dead dwells in us who believe.

“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise … the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places (Eph. 1:13,18-20).

It is this resurrection life of our Savior that we need to rely on for the challenges of daily life (Gal. 2:20; Rom. 5:10). This assures us of God’s overruling providence and unfailing love (Rom. 8:28,32-39). Let’s claim this present and future resurrection life and walk by faith!

Our Father, we are encouraged by the assurance that this mortal body will someday be transformed into an immortal one. Thank you that we can appropriate Your resurrection life for the challenges of our daily walk. In Christ’s name, amen.


[1] Our Daily Bread, www.odb.org

Copyright 1998 by John Woodward. Permission is granted to reprint this article for non commecial use if credit is given to the author and Grace Notes. Biblical quotations are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version (Thomas Nelson).

Copyright, John Woodward. Permission is granted to reprint this article for non-commercial use. Scripture quotations (unless indicated otherwise) are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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