The Power of His Resurrection # 3
You see, again Paul runs his flag, to the Corinthians of all people - if there was a cesspool on earth it was Corinth. He runs his flag up there in his epistle chapter 5 verse 17 where he says, "if any man ..." I love that! I never say it to myself, or pray it without getting goose bumps. "If any man be in Christ,"
if he be in Christ he is a new creation. God is not in the patching up business.He does not plug you where you are leaking; He makes man a new creation. Don't we sing it in that lovely hymn of Wesley's: "Finish then Thy new creation, pure and spotless let us be.?" Wesley was right when he said, "Justification is sanctification begun." Sanctification is instantaneous and progressive. The Christian life is process,crisis, process, crisis. Except it is uphill. If it were level it would not be so bad, but brother it's uphill. Now when a man is born again in the Spirit of God ... what does it say in Romans 6:4 and 5 ... if it really happened: "Therefore we are buried with him baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection. "And writing to the Colossians he says, "If ye be risen in Christ." The if there is not a question, it really isn't. It's a bad translation. Should be: "because you are risen in Christ seek those things which are above." When Jesus was raised from the dead He just shuffled off that coat, that cloak He was wearing and left it behind. Now if a man is a new creature of Christ all those habits are going to break away. You know why? Because habits are the clothing of the soul. And if you have filthy habits, when you are born again of the Spirit of God and become a new creation those dirty, filthy, rotten habits will drop off just like that.
I remember preaching the first day of World War Two. I was to start an eight day crusade in the head church of the Nazarene in Glasgow, Scotland. That night before the meeting they announce World War Two had begun. Well, that shattered our meetings, I'll tell you. It was a big church, I don't think we got more than fifty people, and we started to have the meeting in a side room, and I preached my heart out every night. One night I just said, "Look, if you have business to do, if you do not know you are born again of the Spirit of God, if you're still bound, and fettered, and burdened, and your consciences lashes you,and the fear of death, and the fear of judgment torments you, come and receive Christ, confess your sin, ask for cleansing ask for the Holy Spirit." And I said, "We'll wait. We won't sing. You just walk out into that side room." If I remember right three people walked out. We prayed. We talked with them. Then I looked back and saw a fine rosy cheeked Scotch boy there and he beckoned me. I went to him and I said, "hello". He said "My name is Donald Wilson," I think he said, "Ach". He went on in his Scottish way, "Mr. Ravenhill, I am not a Christian. I believe I'm a very good boy. But oh, I need Christ." So I said, "Well, that's great. If you know that it's a wonderful thing. Do you come from a Christian family?" He said, "Ach, no. My father is a communist, and he's a very, very vicious communist." "What about your mother?" "Ach, she was a Christian, but she's backsliden." I asked, "Well, how do you know?" "Ach, I know. She goes to a movies" You see, when you are born again, over in Europe, movies go right out. You never enter a movie house ... otherways you are feeding the devil's children with God's money... You are spending time there ... I'm just telling you what he said. Then he asked me about salvation. I told him what it meant. He not only got rid of his sins, he gave his life to Jesus, and Jesus became not only his Saviour, but his Lord. And also, "If you confess with mouth the Lord Jesus ..." I said, "Do you know what it means? Let me lay the cards on the table. It means that if you repent of your sins, and you take Christ as your Saviour, you go home and when you get in you shut the door and you put your arms up like this and you say to your daddy ... "Will your daddy be home?" "Ach, he'll be smoking his pipe in his chair, and reading the Glasgow Herald, and ... Ach, he'll be there drinking his beer maybe, and mother will be there." "All right," I said, "now you have a good chance. Shut the door, put your back behind it, fold your arms so you can't get out and just say 'father, I've become a Christian tonight. I've taken Jesus as my Lord and my Saviour." "Ach, ach, ach," he said, "does it mean all that?" I said, "Well, He says if you are ashamed to confess Him, He'll be ashamed to confess you before His Father in heaven." Well, I'll tell you, the meetings did not swell too much. Everybody was terrified; there were threats that we were going to be wiped out by bombing every night. Yet a couple of dozen people came.
At a latter meeting there was a man sitting there. A scared man with kind of a red thing around his neck. I just made a short appeal, I said, "Maybe there is someone here needs Christ tonight. If you do, you just walk up and walk into that room. I'll come and pray with you." This man got up, and walked into the room. I talked with him. Asked him if he knew the ... "No, no, no, ach not at all," he said, "not at all. I'm a communist." Oh, and he ranted away about communism, about the evils of this and that ... but he said, "Listen that's not the problem. I've got a wee laddie, he's not fifteen. Do you know what he did? Two nights ago he came home and shut the door and put his arms up like this and said, "Daddy, Mommy, you've got a new son. I've been saved and Jesus is my Lord and He's my Saviour. And he knocked me for a loop. I didn't want to smoke, I didn't want to drink my beer, I thought, 'what my laddie?" "My god," he said, "I should have shown him the way." "My laddie's got saved?" he said, "My laddie, where did it happen?" "Oh," he said, "there's a ..." (I think they call the English sasinack?) "sasinack preaching down there in the church and I went." "Oh," he says, "those are good folk, they are the only people have a street meeting down at the cross there. Now laddie," he said, "you'll be in good company if you stay with those people." That was a good testimony for a communist - He said, "You know, if my laddie got saved, if he needed saving, sure I need it." You know that big rough man that looked like he could have turned around and thrown me right through the building, he just bawled like a child. He said, "I am a sinner, I need a Saviour. I'll do anything you tell me." I said, "there's only one thing to do: break your heart at the Cross. Don't make any excuses. Say: 'I'm a sinner. A sinner who on Jesus rely, and come for a pardon God cannot deny,' and He'll take you in."
Well, I did not go back to that town for a few years. When I preached again in that stately church, the war was over. As we sat there the pastor,James Baxter McClagen, said to me, "Brother Ravenhill, you see that well dressed man over there on the left, the one with the while Scotch collar on and the ..." "Yes," I said. "That's Wilson." It did not ring a bell. "Wilson. Oh ..." He says, "come on. You remember the communist that got saved because his laddie stood up and testified ..." "Well, that's him. You know, he is about the strongest Christian in this church. Man, you can rely on that man, he's as sure as the dawn. And as a matter of fact, he wants you to go to their home for a meal."
(continued with # 4)