Resurrection (1)!

The way, the truth and the life!
The way, the truth and the life!

The Christian believes the glorious resurrection, and looks forward to it as the object of a sure hope, only because he believes in Christ, crucified and raised. The two are inseparable. Only through the resurrection of Christ does he know, by faith, that there is a resurrection of the dead; and only because he is, by faith, united with Christ, is he assured that he, personally, shall have a part in the resurrection unto eternal life. Apart from Christ, it is impossible to anything about this mystery. Without him there is no hope of glory. The Apostle so argues in Corinthians that to deny the resurrection implies a denial of the resurrection of Christ: “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” (1Corinthians 15:12-17). He argues from the opinion held by some, that there is no resurrection of the dead, and exposes the dire consequence of such a position. For they, that deny the resurrection of the dead deny, by implication, the resurrection of Christ. It wasn’t that they held that Christ had not risen, they excluded him from their argument. But Paul wants them to see the impossibility of this position. So he argues, from the effect, the resurrection of the dead, to its cause, the resurrection of Christ. The underlying idea is that the resurrection of Christ and the resurrection of the dead are inseparably connected as cause and effect. The cause must needs produce the effect. It follows then that, if the alleged effect, the resurrection of the dead, be not true, the cause also, the resurrection of Christ must be denied. If Christ be raised, his resurrection must surely have the fruit of the resurrection of the dead. Hence, if the dead rise not, Christ is not raised. His resurrection is the resurrection of the dead in principle, outside of his resurrection, there is no resurrection at all.

(© James R Hamilton)
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