Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Implications of the Resurrection

The resurrection of Christ is the great center point of the Christian faith, the thing on which our faith is based. But is it just a significant historical fact, important as an apologetic proof, or does it have practical impact in our lives? The resurrection states, first of all, that Christ has conquered death. This does not just apply to Him, but also to those who are His people (John 14:19; Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:20-24). This means the fact that life is virtually 100% fatal (leaving aside the strange cases of Enoch and Elijah) has an escape clause. We do not have to face life and death with the fear that we can expect only total desperation and an incurable end (1 Corinthians 15:51-56; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Hebrews 2:14,15). Now this is made possible by the fact that Christ on the cross paid the price for all we have done wrong (1 Peter 2:24,25; Colossians 2:13,14; 2 Corinthians 5:21). And by rising from the dead, He showed this debt had genuinely been paid (Romans 4:23-25; 5:10; Hebrews 9:27,28). For we are sinners (Romans 3:23; Jeremiah 17:9; Isaiah 64:6), who are forgiven by putting our faith in Christ (Acts 10:43; Romans 4:4,5; Ephesians 2:8,9) and who can live in the light of that forgiveness (Romans 8:31-39; John 3:18; 2 Corinthians 2:14).   

Further, if we have trusted Christ for salvation, we have died and been raised with Him to new life (Romans 6:1-11; Galatians 2:20; Colossians 3:1-4). Therefore, we are to live our lives for God, motivated by what He has done for us (2 Corinthians 5:14,15; Romans 12:1,2; 1 John 4:19). This is not based on our ability, but on what Christ has worked in us (2 Corinthians 3:18; Philippians 2:13; Colossians 1:29). The result of this is that we should become those who live for God and what He wants (Ephesians 2:10; Titus 2:11-14; 1 Timothy 4:7.8).

And ultimately, it shows that Jesus was who He claimed to be (Romans 1:4; Acts 13:33-39; Matthew 12:39,40). That He was God, who had come in this flesh to save us from our sins (John 1:1-18; Philippians 2:5-11; Hebrews 1:8). This makes a huge difference in our view of God. That God is not someone who sits up in some ivory tower looking down on us. Rather, the Father sent His Son to save us (John 3:16; Romans 5:6-8; 1 John 4:9,10), and the Son went to seek and deliver us from judgment (Luke 19:10; 15:1-10; Matthew 9:12,13). And we are to love and follow a God of this sort, so that we might be like Him (Ephesians 5:1,2; Romans 8:29; 1 John 3:2,3). Therefore, we can live our lives in the light of the fact that we live for the One who has conquered sin, death, and hell.

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