Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Resurrection Faith

The resurrection of Christ is an unstoppable work of God in the life of every believer. In spite of life’s disappointments—regardless of how things appear—Paul was convinced that God would finish what He started: “I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ” (Phil. 1:6). For just as believers experience the death of Christ and are buried with him through baptism, we are also destined to share in his resurrection. But, it isn’t simply a matter of our body—suffering from the effects of sin—being restored, reclaimed, remade after death. As far as Paul was concerned, God had already begun to raise the dead when any person turns to Christ in faith. It was God’s design from the beginning not only to raise a worn-out body from the dead, but also to raise a broken heart from the dead, to raise a contrite spirit from the dead, to raise a corrupt mind from the dead, to raise a troubled soul from the dead. When it comes to Christ’s resurrection, nothing is left behind. When old things pass away, everything becomes new. On the last day, the resurrection will be obvious. Until then, we simply have to wait for time to catch up with the reality of what God has already done through Christ in us. Indeed, if the resurrection of Christ teaches us anything it’s this: death’s days are numbered—it’s only a matter of time till everyone sees the resurrection reign of Christ.


Matt Easter said...

Thanks for this very good post. I definitely see a need to reclaim the hope of and practical implications of resurrection in our churches.

Do we see a sense in Paul of resurrection separated from death in Christ, or are we raised with Christ only if we die with Christ?

Rodney Reeves said...


Very good question. I don't think Paul separated the death of Christ from his resurrection, i.e., there is resurrection power in being crucified with Christ. A good example of this indivisibility is 2 Cor. 4--Paul can't talk about sharing in the death of Christ without saying it will mean life for his converts.

So, I think Paul would agree with your last statement: "we are raised with Christ only if we die (and are buried) with him."