Text: Mark 16:19.
1. New life in the church is desperately needed today.
2. The hope of the church is Christ Himself. The basic question is, where is Jesus?
3. The answer to this question enables us to praise Jesus Christ for His position now in God's eternal plan.
B. Where is Jesus?
1. His ascension was His home-going.
a. It was His going back to His Father.
b. It was the restoration of the glory He possessed before the world was. - John 1 7.
c. Jesus longed to be there. - Matt. 21:33.
d. He talked about being "lifted up" - John 12:32.
e. He talked about preparing a place for us John - 14:3; and He announced, "I go unto my Father" - John 14:12, 28; see also 16:5, 7.
2. He is exalted to the Father's right hand. - Mark 16:19 - In Acts 2:33 Peter proclaims His "being by the right hand of God exalted."
3. In Philippians 2:9-11, Paul beautifully concludes, "Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him. . ."
4. However, Ephesians 1:19-23 even more fully describes where Jesus is and what it means.
a. This describes His victory.
b. His work was finished.
c. He was ready to sit because He had done all the Father had told Him to do. He experienced victory over Satan, sin, the world, the flesh, and death.
d. This is also His new position. It describes His sovereignty and superiority. It describes His authority. He is Lord of all, Lord of heaven and earth, the highest authority of all.
e. From where He is, what is He doing? This is the second important question.
C. What is He doing?
What kind of ministry is Jesus performing today?
1. His is a drawing ministry. — John 12:32.
a. He is drawing all men to Himself. - Acts 4:12.
b. He is doing this right now in the world, through His Spirit, through His love, through His Word, and through His people. So, from heaven He is drawing on earth!
2. His is an interceding ministry.
a. He stands between us and the Father. Romans 8:34.
b. First John 2:1-2 teaches that Jesus Christ is our Advocate, our heavenly lawyer, our Counselor. He represents us before the Father. Satan accuses us to the Father and the Father to us, but Jesus represents our case before the Father. What hope and encouragement this is!
3. His is a directing ministry. — Ephesians 1:22-23.
a. He is the Head of the body; and as the head leads the body, so Christ leads the church. He tells the church what to do.
b. As the Head He does two things for the church.
He gives the gift of the Holy Spirit, then and now - Acts 2:33, 38.
He gives spiritual gifts to believers, by which He directs the ministry of the church - Rom. 12:6.
4. His is a building ministry. — Matthew 16:18.
a. Acts 2:47 describes saved people being added to the church.
b. Acts 6:7 reveals that the Lord is not satisfied just in adding to His church, He is multiplying it.
This is His work and desire today for His churches!
5. His is a preparing ministry.
He is doing something in heaven. - John 14:2.
6. His is a sharing ministry.
a. His desire for us is expressed in - John 1 7:24.
b. The reality of this desire is expressed in: - Ephesians 2:5-6; Romans 8:28-30.
c. His victory is our victory! - 1 John 4:1 7.
All He has, we share with Him. All He does, we do with Him. His new position and ministry in heaven is our new position and ministry on earth!
1. Christ's new position is the basis of knowing victory in our Christian life.
2. We are in Him. We are identified with Him.
3. This means victory over the world and eveiy circumstance.
"Those who consecrate body, soul, and spirit to God, will constantly receive a new endowment of physical, mental, and spiritual power. The inexhaustible supplies of heaven are at their command. Christ gives them the breath of His own Spiril, the life of His own life. The Holy Spirit puts forth His highest energies to work in heart and mind. The grace of God enlarges and multiplies their faculties, and every perfection of the divine nature conies to their assistance in the work of saving souls." Ellen G. White, Gospel Workers, p. 112.