Pastoral Exhortation - Series of 2011

Christ’s Resurrection Foundational To The Christian Faith

Written by Rev (Dr) Prabhudas Koshy Sunday, 24 April 2011

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The resurrection of Christ is foundational to the Christian faith. It is perfectly right to say that if there was no resurrection of Christ, Christianity is yet another spurious religion. Consider the following biblical reasons why Christ’s resurrection is very essential to the Christian faith.

No salvation to those who reject Christ's resurrection

In fact, the New Testament insists that belief in the bodily resurrection of Christ is a necessary condition of the Christian faith - no one who rejects the resurrection of Christ is a regenerated person. This insistence is found in verses such as Romans 10:9 – “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”

If we reject Christ’s resurrection:

  1. Old Testament prophecies about His resurrection must also be rejected. For example, in Psalm 16:10, it was predicted that Jesus’ body will not decay – “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption” (cf. Acts 13:34, 35). The Apostle Paul wrote that Christ resurrected according to the Scriptures – “he rose again the third day according to the scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:4; cf. Luke 24:45, 46). Rejecting Christ’s resurrection would mean rejecting the infallibility and inerrancy of the Bible.
  2. It would amount to calling Him a liar. Christ Himself predicted before His death that He will be resurrected. In Matthew 20:19, we have one of His predictions about His resurrection - “And shall deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify him: and the third day he shall rise again” (cf. Mark 9:9; 14:28; John 2:19-22).
  3. It would mean we reject His deity. Christ’s resurrection is a proof of His deity. In Romans 1:4, we read, “And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (cf. Psalm 2:7; Acts 13:33).
  4. We will have no forgiveness of sins. His resurrection confirms our forgiveness. “And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17).
  5. We will remain accused, guilty and under God’s condemnation. His resurrection is the ground for our justification. Romans 8:34 says, “Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us” (cf. Romans 4:25).
  6. We will have vain faith or no faith. His resurrection guarantees the efficacy of our faith. “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14).
  7. We will have no blessed hope (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:19). His resurrection ministers hope to believers, even in their death. 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 says, “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.”
  8. We will have nothing glorious to preach or our preaching will be in vain. His resurrection provides meaning and purpose to the preaching of the Gospel. “And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14).
  9. It would mean all those testimonies of men and women are lies. His resurrection has been believed and testified by innumerable people. The Bible records the names of many who have seen the resurrected Lord. For example, Mary Magdalene (Mark 16:9; John 20:18); the women (Matt 28:9); Simon Peter (Luke 24:34); two disciples (Luke 24:13-31); apostles except Thomas (John 20:19, 24); apostles, Thomas being present (John 20:26); apostles at the sea of Tiberias (John 21:1); apostles in Galilee (Matt 28:16,17); about five hundred brethren (1 Cor 15:6); James (1 Cor 15:7); all the apostles (Luke 24:51; Acts 1:9; 1 Cor 15:7); Paul (1 Cor 15:8).
  10. It would mean worship on the first day of the week or the Lord’s Day is unbiblical. His resurrection is the reason for Christians worshipping on the first day of the week. He was resurrected on “the first day of the week” (Mark 16:9; John 20:19; Acts 20:27; 1 Cor 16:1-2).

Much more can be written on why it is a serious error and even blasphemous to reject Christ’s resurrection. Nonetheless, the above facts adequately show the importance of believing in His resurrection.

We are not only to believe but also to preach boldly about Christ’s resurrection. This is demonstrated in the frequency and enthusiasm with which it is preached by the apostles and the preachers of the early church (e.g. Acts 2:31; 4:33; 17:18; 26:23). In the preaching of the Gospel, the resurrection of Christ is the key to bringing hope for all who desire salvation.

 

Greetings from Rev Paul Cheng

 

Dear Pastor Koshy and church session,

Greetings to you in the name of our Lord!

Firstly, I want to thank Pastor Koshy for availing himself to attend, officiate and preach at my ordination. My heart is really touched by the message and I pray that I will remember to take heed and to put the message into rightful application, and always to remain faithful to the Lord in my personal walk and service for Him (Psalm 27:4).

Secondly, I want to thank Gethsemane B-P Church for the love gift and the letter of encouragement. I have learned much during my days of labouring with all of you. I have and will always cherish the time spent in Gethsemane B-P Church. Only God knows how much I missed the Gethsemaneans and may the Lord bless all the ministries that you are labouring in His name.

I will continue to uphold the church and the Session in prayer. Till we meet again, take care and God bless.

In Christ,

Paul Cheng