Listen to God\’s Voice

Words of wisdom for today

Now is Christ Risen from the Dead

All hail the power of Jesus’ Name! Let angels prostrate fall;
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem, and crown Him Lord of all.

Let highborn seraphs tune the lyre, and as they tune it, fall
Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all.
Before His face Who tunes their choir, and crown Him Lord of all.

Crown Him, ye morning stars of light, who fixed this floating ball;
Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all.
Now hail the strength of Israel’s might, and crown Him Lord of all.

[John Rippon add­ed this verse in 1787]

O that, with yonder sacred throng, we at His feet may fall,
Join in the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all,
Join in the everlasting song, and crown Him Lord of all!

 

The words of this great hymn of the faith gives a rise to the fact that only Jesus deserves and has earned our worship. Surely one day soon we will sing that last verse before the great throng in heaven for certainly we will crown Him Lord of all! Not any of our horde of politicians who are now flocking about to try to get our worship of them, one of them really strikes me as being completely wrong with his big smile telling us to just trust him, when I will only trust Christ. I understand Christ’s command now more then ever, to lay down our arms and only confess Him before men. The one thing you can not drag away from me is the Lord Jesus, I will continue to worship Him no mater what man may say. Salvation is only found in HIM and HIS finished work.

The resurrection of Christ is one of the most well documented events of history. It is provable on both a historical level and on a biblical and scriptural level. If these events had been submitted to a modern court the jury would have to submit that Christ was indeed resurrected from the dead literally. If you take a walnut and break it and collect the pieces you have the very essence of what the walnut tree will be.
If you take the historical evidence supplied by the Apostles creed, the Nicene creed and the Athanasian creed you have in these documents the very essence of what the bible is saying. In other words what these early church elders gave in the creeds was distilled from the truth of the scriptures. It is the scriptures that are that are the certain and final truth in all maters of faith and practice. However, these creeds are valuable in proving that what happened in the early church was all centered on who Christ was and what he actually accomplished on behalf of believers.
If the truth of these scriptures is of any value then it is to fully explain the core truths of what it means to be a Christian. Not only that but if this truth is a fact, then all other maters are also absolutely truth. If the literal resurrection of Christ is a fact, then that means so is all of the teaching of scripture starting with Genesis 1 and ending in Revelation 22,.
This is a short study in Christian evidences. It entails a short study in one of the most important portions of Scripture. To not believe what is written here is to not be a Christian at all. What am I saying? I am saying that if you do not believe in the literal bodily resurrection of Christ you are not saved period. If you believe in the literal death, burial and resurrection of Christ, but deny a literal 24 hour 7 day creation you are not really a Christian. A believer has to accept that if certain truths are established that all truths that proceed from those truths must also be true. To believe that Christ arose from the dead literally, but deny that he is the creator spoken of in John 1:3 “All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.”
(Joh 1:3)
Is to really deny that He is the Christ and has indeed arose from the dead.

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
(1Co 15:1-4)

This is about the faith once delivered unto the saints, notice that the word delivered used in this passage is also used in this passage out of Jude. This use of the word delivered in both of these verses links the gospel  to the faith as a body of doctrinal beliefs. This means that when we talk about our common faith we do so as a doctrinal faith with long lasting results. It is not to be minimized or replaced with anything, but wholly and entirely preached in the world. Paul defines the gospel or faith as being the death burial and ressurection of Christ. A close study of scripture leads me to believe that Paul and Jude believed in a literal death attested to by burial in a tomb and a literal ressurection attested to by a multitude of witness’s to His ressurection. Just as going into a court room for a modern trial, you really need witness’s even if those are forensic evidence. The evidence to the ressurection are a host of witness’s, actually better then 500 of them, we will have more of that later.

Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
(Jud 1:3)

Our common salvation, this is one of the instances where the word translated other places as catholic is used, the common faith among Christians is that Christ arose from the dead. We are urged as elders to contend for the literalness and authenticity of the gospel delivered unto the saints just one time. The completeness of the work of Christ at Calvary was so great that it needed not to be repeated. The blood of Christ is so perfect that it needed nothing added to it to be effective to save a people unto His name. It was sufficient to save all humans, but effective enough to save those who believe in His name.

And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.
(Mar 15:44-46)

Two leaders of the Jewish people were involved in the burial of Christ so that they could authenticate that he was really dead. These two had everything to loose by caring for the body of Christ.  These men are Joseph of Arimathea spoken of in the verse immediately proceeding this passage: (Mar 15:43)  Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. and then Nicodemus the one that the Lord spoke to about being born again in John 3 who was secretly a believer: (Joh 19:39)  And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight. These two are the witness’s who show that Christ was really dead and not in some kind of stupor. These maters were well known by the Jews of those days so any arguments would have to be taken up with them.

The next passage is a very familiar one, because part of it was the first creed used among believers. It is to be taken in its most literal sense, that is this was not a faked ressurection, but a very literal one. After the verses above those from I Corinthians 15:1-4 the passage continues below. This is the evidence taken up of those who witnessed the ressurection of Christ. (note the passage continues along this same line of reason beyond verse 20).

And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed. Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
(1Co 15:5-20)

The Cephas spoken of here is probably Peter, since that is his Jewish name and he was the first outside of the woman spoken of in the gospel of Luke to enter the empty tomb. Peter was also present in the upper room when the Lord appeared in their midst on not one but two occasions. The first was with Thomas not present and the second was with Thomas present. At this point there were only eleven apostles, because Judas had committed suicide after having betrayed the Lord. When it speaks of the twelve it is was used in the common way that they spoke of them selves as the twelve, although there were only eleven of them at this point. I personally believe that the additional apostle added later was Paul so that he would be included among the number. So we have first the twelve apostles having witnessed the resurrected Christ. Then in addition to those there were another 500 people who witnessed the risen Christ. This makes 512 people that saw a literal living Christ after His death and burial. Then to complete the witness’s of the ressurection we add Paul to that number as mentioned before, because he had his own personal time with Christ in the wilderness.

The rest of this passage is taken up on a logical defense of the literal ressurection to combat a prevalent teaching of the day that said Christ did not bodily rise from the grave. The first part of the argument states that if we are preaching a risen Christ, then how is it that some in the church were denying the ressurection, especially considering the large amounts of witness’s to the ressurection. The second part of this argument says that if the dead cannot be raised, then that means that Christ wasn’t either.  If these two arguments are made at the same time, then everything we believe in as Christians is a lie. If Christ did not raise from the dead as we believe He did then our faith is in vain. Even worse then this we also become false witness’s since we are saying that Christ arose from the dead, when in fact along this argument He wouldn’t have. If those who have believed up to the point that Paul is writing believed on something that did not happen then they have perished. If our only hope had been to Christ while he was living on the earth, then all that proceeds from it would have made us the most miserable men ever. However Christ did arise from the dead literally and we as believers have followed the first fruits of those who have died before us. We are anxiously awaiting the ressurection to come. The truth is that Christ lives and He does because HE walked out of that grave on His own two feet so He could offer us a pardon for our sins full and free. Praise God! My savior lives!

Next in this series on the ressurection, what does this historical fact expect of us in our daily walk. To be a Christian is to be wholly committed to the gospel to the extent that we live our lives according to God’s Word. This means that to meerly believe with out the fruit of repentence in your life means you have not really believed the gospel salvation is wholy of grace, but just as the mighty oak tree comes from tiny acorns so does righteousness from faith in the gospel. For with the heart man:

(Rom 10:10)  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

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Written by tfheringer

April 14, 2009 at 12:21 am

Posted in Apostle Paul, Bible, Jesus

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