January 25, 2023 – This I Believe – Resurrection

Today we will continue looking at the Apostles’ Creed: 

I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

Today we are talking about the doctrine that, to me, is above all other Christian doctrines. This is the belief on which Christianity rises and falls. This is the foundation of the faith. The resurrection. This is the very foundation of the Christian faith. Paul says this in 1 Corinthians 15: 14-19:

14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. 17 If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. 19 If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

If Christ has not been raised, our preaching and our very faith is in vain. If Jesus was not raised, our hope, our life, everything is misplaced. This is the hope of Jesus. Life has triumphed over death.

In the cross our sins are atoned and paid for. In the cross, our sins are forgiven. In the cross, sin is defeated. Well, what is the penalty of sin? Romans tells us that the wages of sin is death. That is what sin brings and what sin causes. Death. Sin results in death. As Paul tells us, in the first Adam, all men died; in Jesus, all men can live (1 Corinthians 15:22). In the empty grave, death is defeated. No longer must we fear death, no longer must we be bound up in death, and no longer must death hang over us.

The resurrection has destroyed death! We are an Easter people. This is the hope of our faith. Not only have our sins been forgiven, but we can live; we can live fully and freely now.

You are forgiven, yes, but you can live today. And forever. Death no longer has a hold on us. Death has been defeated. The power of sin has forever been done away with. Sin, death, and the grave have forever been destroyed.

The empty grave, the resurrection, that is what our entire faith, hope, and life and built upon.

He is risen, He is risen indeed! May we rejoice in the hope, the power, and the truth of the resurrection!

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