Romans 8:11 NIV
And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.
I would like to officially announce the launch of a new form of communication for followers of Jesus, called “Resurrection-Speak.” Resurrection-Speak is a form of communication in which our words, actions, and calendars reveal to everyone around us that we are a people who are raised with Christ (Rom. 6:4; Col. 3:1), and who plan to live forever.
One of my favorite bands, Switchfoot, wrote a song called “Afterlife” some time ago. In the song are these lines: “And I wonder why would I wait till I die to come alive? I’m ready now, I’m not waiting for the afterlife . . .” Resurrection-Speak is the kind of talk that comes out of a person who is living, as Irenaeus of Lyons put it, “fully alive” in the presence of the Father.
We are raised with Christ now, we are filled with the Spirit now, we are motivated by a new and living hope now. Our baptism imaged it in a way that is more than a symbol. Symbols are simply pictures of ideas. Baptism is a sacred action; it is an action that, as Evelyn Underhill put it, actually does something. Like the exchange of a wedding ring or a welcome embrace, when you and I were baptized, it did something in us—it performed a work within us—it marked that we were no longer dead in sin; we were raised with Christ.
Resurrection-Speak is full of faith, full of hope, and full of love (1 Cor. 13:13). It sounds shockingly assured of things we hope for, confident of things that are unseen by the naked eye (Heb. 11:1). Resurrection-Speak comes from a heart that is so aligned with the New Creation ahead that it injects its promises into the now without even thinking.
The prayers for others that emerge from someone who practices Resurrection-Speak have a ring of spiritual authority, and reveal a more-than-a-conqueror faith (Rom. 8:37) behind it. Those prayers don’t sound like waffling attempts at poetry, well-intentioned to comfort but based more on the sincere compassion of the pray-er than on the steadfast promises of God (2 Cor. 1:20).
If the “Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead” lives in you (Rom. 8:11), then the Spirit gets to do the talking, the acting, and the planning. Would the Father communicate continual worry, despair, anxiety, or fear in the face of challenging situations? Would the Father communicate the sorry story that hope is elusive, God’s intervention is sporadic, or sin is an option? Would the Father plan a calendar that doesn’t include seasons of prayer, caring for the poor, or gathering to worship with the saints?
Along with you, my mortal body needs some Spirit-ual life right now. I’m not “waiting for the afterlife” to be-up, show-up, or to sing-up the faith that has been strengthening believers to be like Jesus for millennia.
Holy Spirit, teach us the art of Resurrection-Speak—until our lives match up with your promises.
Jesus, I receive the Holy Spirit. You have said that I will live forever, in your loving presence. Come, Holy Spirit, help me live my life in light of the eternity that is ahead. In Jesus’ name, amen.
How do your words, actions, and calendar reveal where your hope lies? Is there anything you could change in any one of those categories that resonates more fully with the reality that you are a new creation, a raised-from-the-dead disciple of Jesus?
For the awakening,