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2018-03, Newsletter: Reasons for Celebrating the Resurrection

The Gospels record the dramatic details of our Lord’s resurrection, concluding with His resurrection and final words to His disciples. Likewise, the Book of Acts describes the impact of the resurrection on the apostles and upon those who hear of it. But it is the Apostle Paul who takes on the task of explaining the implications of the resurrection, and nowhere more emphatically than in the Book of Romans. We challenge you to consider these truths from Romans as you celebrate Easter this year.

In Romans chapter four Paul tells us that Abraham’s faith was demonstrated by his belief in the resurrection. In this case Abraham had faith that were he to sacrifice Isaac, the child of promise, God would raise him from the dead. His faith was not groundless because God had already demonstrated His resurrection power in the conception and birth of Isaac. Abraham and Sarah were “as good as dead” with respect to their age and childbearing, and yet God gave them this child as He promised (Romans 4:17-22). Abraham “extrapolated” what he learned from this to another level. If God gave them this child by His resurrection power, He would also restore this child to life by the same resurrection power. This resurrection faith was not merely true of Abraham; it was true of every Old Testament saint, as we read in Hebrews 11:13-16. Paul is careful to add that Abraham’s resurrection faith was recorded for our sakes as well, when linked to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 4:23-25).

In Romans chapter 10 Paul makes faith in the resurrection of the Lord Jesus a central part of the gospel which we must believe in order to be saved (see Romans 10:8-13, especially verse 9). Indeed, if Jesus did not rise from the dead then our faith would be useless (1 Corinthians 15:13-19).

In Romans chapter six Paul presents the resurrection of our Lord as an essential element in our sanctification (Christian growth and life). He says that because Jesus died, was buried, and rose from the dead, every Christian also died and rose to new life in Him. Thus, we cannot continue to live a life of sin as we once did (Romans 6:1-14ff.). The problem that Paul presents in Romans 7 is that even though we are obligated to live a new life in Christ, we are not able to do so because sin is more powerful than our flesh (Romans 7:15-24). But the good news is that the gospel (the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus) provides us with the solution. The same Holy Spirit who raised the dead body of Jesus from the grave is the Spirit who indwells every Christian, giving life to our “dead” bodies (Romans 8:11).

Finally, the resurrection of our Lord plays a crucial role in bringing the lost to salvation. The resurrection of Christ is that to which the Holy Spirit bears witness, convicting men of the righteousness of our Lord (John 16:10). It is God’s resurrection power that brings those dead in their sins to life in Christ (Ephesians 2:5; Romans 11:15). Knowing this give us confidence to proclaim Christ, certain that He is powerful to save.

May this Easter be a blessed time of celebrating the resurrection of Lord Jesus Christ. Christ has risen!

Related Topics: Resurrection

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