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Catechism Class. LD17A Q45 The Importance of the Resurrection 

14/02/2022

Catechism Class. Lord’s Day 17A, Q.45. 

The Importance of the Resurrection

LD17, Q45, “How does Christ’s resurrection benefit us?First, by his resurrection he has overcome death, so that he could make us share in the righteousness which he had obtained for us by his death.  Second, by his power we too are raised up to a new life. Third, Christ’s resurrection is to us a sure pledge of our glorious resurrection

The catechist goes straight to the benefits of the resurrection.  He simply assumes that all of us, as believers will be in in doubt whatsoever, about the authenticity of the biblical resurrection account.  In this ungodly gae we will assume nothing, and we shall start by asking, “Why is belief in the literal, physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus such a vital doctrine?”   READ: 1st Corinthians 15:13-20 Paul gets right to the core of the issue.  You cannot be a Christian, without a firm and convinced belief that we have a risen Saviour, who lives, eternally, and is seated in heavenly places.  Here’s why – When the literal, historical resurrection of Christ is undermined:-

1. The VITAL MESSAGE of the Christian Faith is Destroyed! 1 Cor. 15:14 What is the point of preaching the gospel, if the very message that we preach, – Christ Crucified for our salvation and Risen for our justification and soon Coming to receive His Church, – is based on a false premise? On a lie, actually, – on a lie on which a whole raft of doctrine is based. If we cannot accept the historical fact of the literal resurrection of Christ, and, as a consequence of that, the hope of the resurrection of the body, then our entire system of Christian Doctrine begins to break down, and our saving message is destroyed. 

For example, we preach:-

  • The Doctrine of New Life! We tell people to repent and turn to Christ! But to whom can they turn if the resurrection is untrue! Paul wrote in Romans 10:9 Sinners do not need to be given a set of dogmas, or presented with philosophical reasoning, they need to meet a living, risen Saviour, who will take them as sinners, and forgive their sins and regenerate them, and indwell them, and bring them into the family of God.  That requires, argues Paul, a heartfelt belief that God has raised up his own Son from the dead. Peter confirms this in 1 Peter 1:3  We preach…
  • The Doctrine of Christ’s Intercessory Work! Based upon texts like Hebrews 7:25. As believers we need a living, risen Saviour, to sustain and keep us on the Christian pathway throughout life, for a dead Christ cannot intercede for us at the throne of God’s Grace, and without that intercessory work we would quickly fall away into sin and be lost!  We preach…
  • The Doctrine of His Second Coming!  But if he did not rise from the dead, how will he return? READ Acts 1:9-11 And this world around us needs to hear that Christ is returning in glory, that time is running out, and that the material world will not last for ever, and we need to live in the light of eternity. It is the message we must preach! But it is completely dependent upon the factual resurrection of Christ. 1st Thessalonians 4:14,  
  • And we preach the deity and sinless nature of Christ who bore in his body all our sins.  But his resurrection is the proof that he is who he said he is!  God has stamped his approval upon the person and work and sinless character of Jesus, by raising him from the dead.  Romans 1:4.

Now all these are all vital beliefs, – and this is not a conclusive list – which must be clearly and consistently presented by the Gospel preacher and all depend on the fact of the resurrection!  1 Cor. 15:15  

2. The PERSONAL FOUNDATION is Undermined! 1 Cor. 15:17  If you are not convinced in your own heart and mind that you serve a risen Saviour, you have no right to call yourself a believer in Christ, for your conversion has not been effected, your life is still empty, if Jesus is a dead man, who can never remove our sins! 1 Cor. 15:16   So, if we try to exclude the literal bodily resurrection of Jesus from our belief system, from our faith, it is pointless to preach the gospel, and the Christian life is a farce, a sham.  But there’s a third destructive element which occurs as a result of disbelief in Christ’s resurrection, for the Christian’s hope is shattered. 

3. The FUTURE HOPE of the Christian is Destroyed.  Paul says, if Christ has not risen,

  • Those who have Died are Lost Forever! See the sad condition then of dead believers! 1 Cor. 15:18  All our loved ones, laid to rest in cemeteries up and down this land, and throughout the centuries, have perished! They are no more than decayed flesh and bones. They have ceased to be! What an utterly terrible consequence!
  • Our Hope is Pathetic and Futile! I once heard a preacher say that even if there was no promise of eternal life for the believer, he would still want to follow and serve Christ, for the peace of God, etc would all still be worthwhile. Perhaps so, but that’s not the point. Christ’s saving work for the believer is in the past, when we are regenerated, in the present, as he keeps us, day by day, hour by hour, second by second, and it is for the future, when we shall be freed from the presence of sin forever in the New Jerusalem. Hebrews 9:28 In heaven, when this life is ended our salvation will be complete. 1 Cor. 15:19 And there will be no heavenly reward as a recompense for this world’s sufferings there will be no righting of this world’s wrongs, there will be no vindication of the stand of the faithful Christian, there will be no mansion in glory and there will be no realisation of the treasure that Christian has laid up in heaven.  

The Christian has a great hope – a wonderful outlook on eternity! Their loved ones have a great assurance, that one day they shall rise again, and they shall meet again! All that hope lies in the FACT that we have a Risen Jesus! Let’s stay with this important subject, and in our next lesson, we shall look at the classic proofs of the resurrection, proofs that are so strong, that they would convince a court of law.  Then we’ll ask how that resurrection occurred, and for what purpose, and then hopefully, we shall be equipped to appreciate better, the benefits of Christ’s resurrection for the believer.

© Bob McEvoy February 2022

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