Dr. Charles C. Ryrie is the author of numerous books, booklets and Bible study articles, and was formerly professor of systematic theology at Dallas Theological Seminary, Dallas, Texas.
This brief article is reprinted from Our Hope magazine (Apr. 1952).
Although it is only at Easter time that Christendom in general remembers the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, many believers realize that it is to be celebrated every Sunday of the year. But more important than this is the realization of personal appropriation of the reality of the power of that resurrection every day of the week, yes, every moment of the day. Indeed, the Christian life cannot be lived apart from it; it is an ever-present necessity.
Resurrection Power is Personal
It is a good thing to be able to state the many infallible proofs of our Lord’s resurrection and to know with all certainty that Christ lives. But how much more blessed it is to know that Christ lives in me (Gal. 2:20). Who has ever fathomed or demonstrated by the life the meaning of this? It is not a violation of personality, for the apostle says, “Nevertheless I live.” We do not become holy robots, for each is a different instrument in His hands and yet an instrument so united with Christ that every movement is empowered by resurrection power. Lightfoot puts it this way: “When I speak of living, I do not mean myself, my natural being. I have no longer a separate existence. I am merged in Christ.” And this Christ is the risen, all-powerful One who lives in me.
Resurrection Power is Practical
But some may ask: “Can this really work … with all of the changes that have taken place since New Testament days?” The answer is a resounding and reassuring, “Yes!” For although the outward forms of evil have changed through the years, it is still the same enemy of our souls who promotes the same evil worldwide system. Actually, it is not the characteristics or manifestations of the world-system only which the Christian battles, but his antagonist is none less than the very head of that system, Satan himself. Resurrection power is not only the most practical weapon for these days in which we live; it is the only practical weapon, for it alone is capable of dealing not only with externals, but it suffices for victory over the prince of this world-system. John puts it this way: “Greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4). Although Satan and his host are rulers of the world (kosmokratoras, Eph. 6:12), our Lord is the Ruler of all (pantokrator, Rev. 1:8). This assures victory.
Is it practical? What could be more practical than power that can give victory over the prince of the world-system? This does not violate the truth of the power of Satan; it speaks of greater power. Who is the One who is within and who is greater than all the forces of evil? It is this same risen, all-powerful, personally indwelling Saviour.
Resurrection Power is Permanent
But can it last? How do I know tomorrow will not bring a change to all of this? The answer to this is the answer to a consistent Christian life, and that answer is the word of promise: “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb. 13:5). God does not violate the limitations and bounds of time when He saves us, but He does guarantee that time will not violate the permanence of the power of the Christian life. And who is this One who will never leave me? He is this same risen, all-powerful, permanently indwelling Saviour.
In the light of such truth, is it any wonder that Paul so earnestly prayed that believers might know “What is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead” (Eph. 1:19-20)? At this season especially it is our prayer also for all who read these words.