Easter Devotions: Promise, Proof, and Praise of the Resurrection. Part 3: Praise
Praise for the Resurrection
We Christians do not believe that Jesus Christ was the only one that ever rose from the dead. We believe that every death-bed is a resurrection; that from every grave the stone, is rolled away.—Charles Spurgeon
…You ask me how I know He lives;
He lives within my heart. – Alfred Henry Ackley
As Alfred Ackley wrote in his beautiful hymn of the church, the Christian knows that Christ lives because of the Holy Spirit living within the believer. How we worship Him! How we are indwelled with praise. I heard a preacher say in a sermon that “true” worship from us to Him elicits a “true” moment of praise that He gives to us.
Is there a better example of praise than that of Pentecost. Before we go further concerning this period in the birth of the church, we must understand this scripture in its context. As I learned in seminary on the appropriate way to study His word, the first thing one must do is study the text within its context. We must do this in order to avoid any confusion as we study.
After the resurrection and before His ascension, Christ told the disciples about being baptized in the Holy Spirit. It is true that every believer is indwelt with the Holy Spirit at the moment of salvation. In the case of the first believers, however, the Holy Spirit had not yet been sent to fill the hearts of the believers. That experience was called the baptism of the Holy Spirit. This happened during what Luke calls Pentecost.
While waiting together in an upstairs room, about 120 of the first Christians experienced a “mighty and rushing wind” that filled the room. Along with this came the ability of each of them to begin to speak to all of the people around them, from many nations, in their own language. This is not “speaking in tongues” as we may understand. This is the ability to witness the love of Christ to all the people around without the obstacle of other languages.
What a moment of pure worship! At this time Peter stood and preached the first sermon of the church. Their was joy and excitement among the believers. The church grew enormously every day.
Why can’t we experience just a portion of the praise that they enjoyed? Their were aspects of that moment which was reserved for those specific believers for the introduction of the church. But that is not an excuse to say that we can’t experience Him in His resurrection. It is up to each one of us on how much praise we want to enjoy. We must first ask ourselves, how much and how pure is our worship of Him.
- Keith Arp