Friday, September 26, 2008


The Importance of the Resurrection: What if Jesus has not been resurrected from the dead?

There cannot be an atonement without it (1 Cor 15: 1-17)
There could not have been an ascension without it (Acts 1: 9-11)
No Ascension means there is no foundation for the local congregation (Eph 4: 10-13)
There is no sending of the Holy Spirit by Jesus (John 7: 37-39;14:26;15:26;16:7).
There is no new birth/ supernatural regeneration (John 3: 3-7)
Jesus cannot fulfill the role of our advocate and priest (1John 2:2; Rom 8:34).
Jesus is a false prophet (Deut 18:22; Matt 12: 38-40).
Jesus could not be installed as Son of God (Rom. 1:4), as universal Lord (Rom. 14:9; Eph. 1: 20-21; Phi. 2: 9-11), and judge of the living and the dead (Acts 17:31).
There is no return without it (Zech 14:1-21). Just as Jesus ascended in a physical sense, he will return in the same way.

Defining Resurrection

Resurrection is completely different from reincarnation which is a many-times event. Reincarnation is also categorized as a rebirth of a soul into a new and different but still physical and mortal body. Resurrection is a one-time event where the believer receives not a second body but a transformed body. In resurrection, there is continuity between our present bodies and the transformed body to come.

Resurrection is not resuscitation. There are three resuscitations in the Gospels: Luke 8:49-56; John 11:38-44; Luke 7:11-15. Lazarus was resuscitated. He went on to live on in his old mode of but still had to face a second death. However, Jesus was not resuscitated, but resurrected, he was changed. His body was transformed into what Paul calls a glorified body. He never died again. Therefore, it is important to remember that Jesus is not the only one in human history that has been raised from the dead ( if we call it resuscitation), but he certainly is the only one that has ever been resurrected!

Resurrection is not Translation. Elijah and Enoch did not die but were simply translated to heaven (2 Kings 2:11; Genesis 5:24). Translation is defined as the bodily assumption of someone out of this world into heaven while resurrection is defined as raising up of a dead man in the space-time universe.

Resurrection is not the same as paganism- a vague, shadowy semi-self or ghost survives and goes to the place of the dead, the dark, gloomy underworld. The myths of dying and rising gods in pagan religions are merely seasonal symbols for the processes of nature and have no relation to historical individuals.

We as believers now live in a resurrection state. For after noting that God “made us alive together with” Messiah (this is a past event), Eph 2:5 says: “by grace you are now in a state of salvation” (indicating a present resurrection state).

Under Plato’s influence, the Christian church has often affirmed the “immortality of the soul” in the sense that the soul of every person, by divine fiat, will survive death and exist forever. Although the concept behind these phrases is biblical, that is, that human beings do not cease to exist, either at or after death, there is no biblical precedent for attaching the terms “immortality” to the word “soul.” Immortality is never predicated of the “soul”; “this mortal body” is destined to “put on” immortality (1 Cor 15: 53-54). It is not by birth, but by grace and through resurrection that immortality is gained.

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