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The Resurrection

April 10, 2017

If doctrine of the resurrection is lost the gospel is lost. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul defines the gospel for the church. That gospel contains four major parts: Christ died. Christ died for our sins. Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. Jesus rose again according to the Scriptures.

The resurrection is integral to the gospel. The resurrection of Jesus was a key component in the preaching of every apostle. In Acts 1 when the disciples sought for one to replace Judas they looked for one who could be a witness to Jesus’ resurrection. In Acts 2 when Peter preached on the day of Pentecost a key theme of his message was that Jesus had been raised again to life. The truth of the resurrection is found in Peter’s messages in Acts 3 and Acts 4. The vision of the resurrected Jesus in heaven is the climax to Stephen’s powerful message in Acts 7. Paul was saved in Acts 9 after running headlong into the resurrected Jesus. When Peter preached to Cornelius in Acts 10 he preached the resurrection of Jesus. When Paul preached the gospel in Antioch in Acts 13 he preached the resurrection of Jesus. In Thessalonica Paul preached the resurrection of Jesus. In Athens Paul preached the resurrection to the Greek philosophers though it earned him scorn and rejection. The gospel message always included the truth of the resurrection of Jesus.

The resurrection must be believed to be saved. In Romans 10 Paul teaches two things necessary for salvation. Confession of Jesus and belief that God raised Him from the dead. Romans 10:9 is a wonderful promise, but it is also a prescription. Confession of Jesus and belief in the resurrection are necessary to be saved.

If the doctrine of the resurrection is lost the beleiver’s power is lost. In 2 Timothy 3 false teachers are described as “having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.” The power of Godliness is God’s power that was displayed in the resurrection. In Ephesians 1:19 Paul prays the believers will know “what is the exceeding greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand.” In Hebrews 13:20-21 the letter to the Jews concludes with a marvelous benediction, “Now the God of peace that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in His sight, through Christ Jesus, to whom be glory for ever and ever.” The power of God to resurrect is connected to the power at work to transform believers. The power of God that brought Jesus alive from the grave is the power of God that is actively at work in the Christian transforming and enabbling him to do that which is pleasing to God. The Christian can serve God because Jesus lives.

Jesus is risen. The Christian must never lose sight of this precious, powerful truth.


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