You can have resurrection life: A classic message from Billy Graham

There is no doubt on this Easter, that [in the words of historian Barbara Tuchman]: “Our standards have shriveled to a point where phoniness is now accepted. From television to magazines, advertising has created a culture in which nobody expects either to say or to listen to or to hear the truth.”

The Bible teaches that the root cause of our problem goes back to the Garden of Eden. It is called sin. Sin is basically rebellion against God.

As a result of the disease of sin, men and women are spoken of in Scripture as being dead in sin. Paul said to the Ephesians, “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience” (Ephesians 2:1, 2).

He said as a result of this deadness we walk after “the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others” (verse 3).

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When we talk about death, we automatically think in terms of bodies and funerals and graves. This is physical death. But this is not the only kind of death. The Bible speaks of spiritual death.

The Bible teaches that every person is a body, a soul and a spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

An animal has a body. An animal has a soul in the sense that it has personality. My wife and I have two dogs at home. They get angry; they love; they beg; they grieve; they get happy; they get lonely; and they each have their own unique personality.

However, there is something that God has placed in humans that animals do not have. A human is a spirit indwelling a body.

The Bible teaches that you may be physically alive, and you may be soulishly alive, but spiritually dead. The Bible says, “she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives” (1 Timothy 5:6).

Jesus Christ came to earth to give us what we needed more than anything else in the world. What does a dead person need more than anything else? A dead person needs life. A dead person needs eternal life. He needs spiritual life. And Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life” (John 10:10).

“Most of you will admit that something is missing in your life, but you probably will not admit that you are already a living dead person.”
—Billy Graham

There are thousands who, as far as God is concerned, as far as eternity is concerned, have no appetite for God; no activity that resembles God’s holiness, righteousness, and justice; and no awareness of God. You live as though God does not exist. Most of you will admit that something is missing in your life, but you probably will not admit that you are already a living dead person.

When we read our newspapers and watch the news on television, we know that something is dreadfully wrong, not only with American society but with the whole world. Death is all around us.

Now what does a dead person need? A dead person does not need a good example. He does not need just encouragement. He does not need better living conditions. He does not need a change of environment. He does not need more education.

Many of our intellectuals have grown completely disillusioned by the human race. The reason they have been disillusioned is that they have failed to understand that the problem with the human race is a spiritual one.

If a person is dead, you cannot expect anything from him. And if you don’t expect anything from him, you will not be surprised nor disappointed at anything that happens. The only thing a dead person needs is life!

If people are spiritually dead, there is only one thing that they need; and that is spiritual life! Jesus said the reason He came into the world was to give people this life, and life “more abundantly” (John 10:10).

On that summer day when He stood outside the tomb of Lazarus and wept, He said to that small group of people gathered around, “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). That was the greatest claim that any man has ever made in the history of the world.

Either Jesus Christ was the greatest liar who ever lived, or He was the greatest con artist who ever lived, or He was a mental case—or what He said was truth.

Then to prove that He was the Truth, He said to the dead man, “Lazarus, come forth” (John 11:43).

If you are outside of Christ, you are a dead person. The place of your spiritual deadness is your daily existence. Your physical body is the tomb of your spiritual death.

Lazarus came forth (verse 44). And Jesus today is calling you out of your deadness. He is asking you to respond to His offer of life. He wants to live within you. He wants you to commit your life to Him in order that His life and all the power of His resurrection might be released in you through the Holy Spirit. That could happen to you today.

What do you have to do? First, you must repent of your sins. Now you do not as a dead person have the ability to repent. But God will give you the ability to repent if you will say Yes to Him. He will also give you the ability to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your only Savior.

We cannot save ourselves. We cannot pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps. We can only put a little ointment here and a little ointment there to try to help us. But we’re spiritually dead—physically alive and soulishly alive, but spiritually dead. We need life that only Christ can give by His resurrection. And He offers it to us today if we will come to Him by repentance and faith.

Will you receive His offer? It’s free. You can have life and live more abundantly. And you don’t have to wait until you get to Heaven to get this spiritual life. You get it right now. The Holy Spirit comes to live within, and the Holy Spirit stays there for eternity. ©1976 BGEA

Scripture quotations are taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version.