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Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2010

Christ's Resurrection And The Gospel


"Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel." - 2 Timothy 2:8.

As Paul had suggested in the above verse, the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is an essential element of the Gospel that we believe and preach. Let us meditate on how the resurrection of Christ make the Gospel a glorious truth in the hearts of everyone who believes it.

The resurrection of Christ, being an essential element of the Gospel, tells us that the Gospel is the Gospel of a living Saviour. We do not bid a sinner to the crucifix, the dead image of a dead man. Neither do we send penitent men to a little baby Christ nursed by a woman. Nothing of that sort. Behold, the Lord that liveth who was dead and is alive for evermore. We bid you this morning to the resurrected Lord who hath the keys of hell and of death! Behold, "He is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25). I say we have a living Saviour, and is not this a glorious feature of the Gospel? 

The resurrection of Christ, being an essential element of the Gospel, tells us that the Gospel is the Gospel of a powerful Saviour. Notice next that we have a powerful Saviour in connection with the Gospel that we preach; for He who had power to raise Himself from the dead, has all power now that He is raised to save us from sin and hell. He, who in His resurrection vanquished death, now lives to help us to be conquerors in our lives. He, who burst all the bonds of grave, can assuredly deliver all His people from their graves when He returns for them. You and I need a Saviour, strong and mighty, and we have such a Saviour in Christ who rose again from the dead. What a blessed Gospel we have to preach - the Gospel of a living and mighty Christ, who hath Himself returned from the dead, leading captivity captive (cf. Ephesians 4:8). 

The resurrection of Christ, being an essential element of the Gospel, tells us that the Gospel grants us complete justification. And now notice, that we have the Gospel of complete justification to preach to our hearers. We do not come and say, "Friends, Jesus Christ by His death did something by which men may be saved if they have a mind to be, and diligently carry out their good resolves." If that's the message we preach, then we can offer no perfect salvation, for such a philosophy has been pursued by people only to have their attempts miserably fail. But we say that Jesus Christ took the sin of His people upon Himself and bore the consequences of it in His own body on the tree, and He died. Having died, and so paid the penalty. Now He lives again for all whom He died. All His people, whose sins He bore, are free from the guilt of sin. If you wonder who are these people, the answer is all those who believe on Him. Whosoever believeth in Jesus Christ is free from the guilt of sin. Our Lord Jesus took the sin of His people, and died in the sinner’s stead, and now being Himself set free from death, all His people are set free in Him, their Substitute. This doctrine is worth preaching. "But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God" (Romans 4:24-5:2).

The blessed Gospel of Jesus is not that He has made some little opening by which we have a slight chance of reaching pardon and eternal life if we perform our spiritual duties diligently for many years. On the contrary, the Gospel of Jesus is that He has performed perfectly the work entrusted to Him by the Father to finish the work of redemption of His people. He made an end of sin and brought in everlasting righteousness, and whosoever believeth in Him is not condemned, and never will be.

The resurrection of Christ, being an essential element of the Gospel, tells us that the Gospel is the Gospel of Hope. Once again, the connection of the resurrection and the Gospel is this; it proves the eternal safety of the saints, for He has the power to deliver them from the dominion of sin and death. It is written, ". . . Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him" (Romans 6:9). It is also the same with the believer: if you have been dead with Christ and are risen with Christ, death has no more dominion over you; you shall never go back to the domineering elements of sin or eternal death. You shall never become what you were before your regeneration. You shall never perish, neither shall any pluck you out of Jesus’ hand. He has put within you a living and incorruptible seed which liveth and abideth for ever. He says of himself, "The water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up unto everlasting life" (John 4:14). Wherefore hold fast to this wonderful Gospel, and let the resurrection of our Lord be the pledge of our own final perseverance.

Conclusion: For more than thirty times, Paul talks about the resurrection, and occasionally at great length, giving whole chapters to the glorious theme. The more I think of those wonderful descriptions of the implications of Christ’s resurrection, the more I find delight in writing and preaching about His resurrection. The glad tiding that Christ is risen is truly an essential element of the Gospel as much as the doctrine that He came for men to present His blood as a ransom.

If angels sang glory to God in the highest when the Lord was born, I feel constrained to sing about His resurrection from among the dead. Let us sing in praise of our risen Lord, the wonderful hymn of His resurrection.

Up from the grave He arose,

With a mighty triumph o’er His foes;

He arose a Victor from the dark domain,

And He lives forever with His saints to reign:

He arose! He arose! Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Pastoral Exhortation