Friday, March 11, 2011

Then All Who Belong to Christ Will Be Raised

1Cor. 15:13-23 NLT 
   13  For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. 15 And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. 16 And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! 19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world. 
   20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. 
   21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.

In a few weeks we will be celebrating Easter again this year. Praise God that we still can celebrate the resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Praise God that in spite of the atheists and economic promotions about bunnies, candy, baskets, and hidden eggs to hunt, we have a large number of folks in the world who worship a risen Lord and Savior, if only this one weekend. Some may not realize what they worship but the participate anyway. We who do realize whom we worship should pray for and encourage others who don't have full understanding of their fledgling faith as yet.

Paul's logic is flawless in this passage particularly. To deny the truth of Christ's resurrection would be to deny the truth of Christ as Messiah and Savior. To deny the truth of Christ the Savior would be to deny the truth of human frailty, sin and fallenness. To deny human sin would be to deny the truth of God. To deny God would be pure foolishness and carry the most horrific of eternal consequences.

The Resurrection is true. Christ the Lord and Savior, ruler of all creation for eternity is true. Eternal life with God through faith in Christ is true-- the greatest of all truths. Verse 23 raises the promise that you and I who believe in Christ will be resurrected with new created bodies upon Christ's return.  Next unfolds a brief introduction to the rebirth of creation under God's fulfilled plan. I encourage you to take it all in by faith and rest in God's peace for your eternal future.

Your servant

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