Thursday, March 31, 2016

Timeless Truths: What Christians believe about… #4-The Resurrection (Part 1)

12. What Christians believe about… #4-The Resurrection (Part 1)
March 31, 2016
All Scripture quotations are from the NIV.

With Easter Sunday just behind us, the next two Timeless Truths blogs focus on the miracle that separates Christianity from all other religions—Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

What Scripture says about the afterlife should shape with life for us. Scripture is clear about the existence of an afterlife.

SHEOL (Hades)
  • The place of the dead.
  • Not Hell. Just a place without life where dead bodies go.
  • Not a State of Unconsciousness
  • Not Removed from God's Jurisdiction
  • Hebrews hoped their descendants would inherit the land
  • The Old Testament lacks references to eternal life because it is before the resurrection of Christ.

New Testament
Jesus resurrection is documented in all Gospels.
Matthew 28:1-20; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-49; John 20:1-31.
Luke ends and Acts begins with more validation of Christ’s physical presence in Jerusalem after his death. Luke 24: 50-53; Acts 1: 1-11

In I Corinthians 15, Paul provides 58 verses on the resurrection.
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
I Cor 15:3-4
This makes it clear that Jesus was raised from the dead. But there is much more to the resurrection than what is celebrated on Easter Sunday!

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
1 Cor 15:12-14
Resurrection is not for Christ alone; it is for all. Where a person spends the afterlife is their choice.

17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.
1 Cor 15:17-18
Resurrection is the essential hope for our faith.

58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
1 Cor 15:58
Paul assures us that the afterlife is coming. He admonishes all who hear/read his words to live like there is a tomorrow. That takes more than faith; it is an intentional act.
Saving faith is a faith that works through love.

Thanks to Rev. Beverly Stanton Cook for the central teachings used in this blog.

Next Thursday's Timeless Truths Series: What Christians believe about… #4-The Resurrection (Part 2)

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