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prov·o·ca·tion - something that provokes, arouses, or stimulates. pant - to long eagerly; yearn. a collection of thoughts intended to provoke and inspire. these posts are hoping to encourage people to think, especially Christians, and pant even harder for the waterbrooks of the Lord. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, I welcome your perspective and encourage your investigation on these matters.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

The Significance of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ: The "Therefore" of 1 Corinthians 15

Yesterday, I wrote about the significance of the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ in reference to the “therefore” of Hebrews 10. Today, I would like to briefly write about the significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ in reference to the “therefore” of 1 Corinthians 15.

Paul explains that virtually everything in Christian depends on the resurrection. In a word, resurrection means vindication. Paul shows us where such vindication takes place:

  • Because of the resurrection, our preaching is not in vain (vs. 14)
  • Because of the resurrection, we are speaking the truth (vs. 15)
  • Because of the resurrection, our faith is not futile (vs. 17)
  • Because of the resurrection, we are no longer still in our sins (vs. 17)
  • Because of the resurrection, those who are asleep will not perish (vs. 18)
  • Because of the resurrection, we have nothing to be pitied over (vs. 19)
  • Because of the resurrection, we shall be made alive in Christ (vs. 21)
  • Because of the resurrection, every rule, authority, and power is being destroyed (vs. 24)
  • Because of the resurrection, all things are brought into subjection to God (vs. 27-28)
  • Because of the resurrection, we can face danger at every hour (vs. 30)
  • Because of the resurrection, we can face death every day (vs. 31)
  • Because of the resurrection, we can fight “wild beasts” (vs. 32)
  • Because of the resurrection, we have more to live for than to live a normal life (vs. 32)
  • Because of the resurrection, we shall be raised imperishable (vs. 42)
  • Because of the resurrection, we shall be raised in glory (vs. 43)
  • Because of the resurrection, we shall be raised in power (vs. 43)
  • Because of the resurrection, we shall be raised to a spiritual body (vs. 44)
  • Because of the resurrection, we have bear the likeness of the second Adam, the image of the man of heaven (vs. 45-49)
  • Because of the resurrection, we shall be changed (from perishable to imperishable, from mortal to immortal) (vs. 51-54)
  • Because of the resurrection, we have victory over sin and death through the Lord Jesus Christ (vs. 55-56)

Paul has effectively laid out the case that from the beginning to the end, all of Christianity lies in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave. Truly, He is the resurrection and the life! “Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet he shall live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26). Those who believe this will also treasure the significance of the THEREFORE and be encouraged to:

  • Be steadfast
  • Be immovable
  • Be always abounding in the work of the Lord
  • Know that in the Lord, your labor is not in vain (vs. 58)

O be encouraged, friend, to live because of resurrection. Let the words you speak, the deeds you do, and the life you live be vindicated on that great day when you shall be changed into his likeness and see him as he is (1 John 3:2). Let me conclude with a word from Dr. Mohler’s recent commentary:

“The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the vindication of the Gospel and the eternal sign of the atonement accomplished on the cross. The resurrection was recognized by the disciples as God's sign that Jesus was indeed the incarnate Son, that His messianic claims were true, that His preaching of the Kingdom of God would be realized, and that His sacrificial death was sufficient for the salvation of sinful humanity.”

Christ was no victim, and neither are we! Nay, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us (Romans 8:37). May we carry in our bodies the death of Jesus Christ so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh (2 Corinthians 4:11). And may the significance of the “therefore” in 1 Corinthians 15 be a resounding declaration to live for the resurrection!

“When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. You will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” Luke 14:12-14

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