Volume. XXVII, No. 40
Sunday, 31 March 2013


The Significance of the Resurrection of Christ


The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead not only demonstrated the truth of His teaching, but the value of His death. It proved Him to be the Son of God. It transformed discouraged and disbelieving disciples into fearless preachers of the gospel. Those who shrank back from suffering were now gladly willing to suffer and die for the cause of Christ. One new element transformed the course of history. That element was the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave.

The importance of the resurrection can hardly be overstated. We should recall that our Lord had publicly staked His credibility on one final and conclusive sign to the nation, the sign of the prophet, Jonah. Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale\'s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matthew 12:38-40)

The effectiveness of our Lord’s entire ministry hung upon His ability to rise from the grave. And lest we think of this only as a theoretical and historical issue, we must also recognize how crucial the resurrection of our Lord is to Christians today. It is an essential part of the gospel message that men must believe in order to be saved: …if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9) The resurrection is also the cornerstone of the Christian faith and our assurance of life beyond the grave: “…And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain… And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:14,17)

Jesus is the Son of God

The resurrection went beyond attesting to the integrity of Jesus in assuring men of His identity as the Son of God. And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.” (Romans 1:4) It was Jesus’ claim to be the Son of God which was the basis for Jesus’ condemnation by the Jewish Sanhedrin (Luke 22:70; John 19:7). The resurrection was God’s way of publicly overruling the verdict of the Sanhedrin and testifying that Jesus was, indeed, the Son of God, even as He claimed.

Jesus is the Saviour

The resurrection demonstrated our Lord’s ability to save. Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” (Romans 4:25) Throughout His earthly life and ministry, Jesus had spoken of Himself as the One who had come ‘to seek and to save that which was lost.’ (Luke 19:10) While the cross demonstrates the love of our Lord and His willingness to save men, the empty tomb reveals the power of our Lord and His ability to save. B.B. Warfield likens the Christ’s resurrection to His healing of the paralytic in Mark chapter two. If Christ can make a paralytic walk, can He not also forgive sins?

The Centrality of Our Preaching

The empty tomb conclusively established the credibility of our Lord Jesus Christ and His teaching. Throughout His ministry, our Lord was challenged to prove Himself to His sceptics. Many signs and wonders had been accomplished by the Lord Jesus, but His opponents persisted in their unbelief. At last, Jesus refused to grant further signs other than one final demonstration of His power; that of His resurrection from the grave (Matthew 12:33-40). When our Lord arose from the dead, it was His last sign to Israel as to His divine power and authority. His resurrection was the dominant theme of apostolic preaching.

The Basis of Our Belief

The empty tomb firmly roots our spiritual destiny in the soil of history. Many recent theologians have attempted to convince us that it really does not matter whether or not the tomb was really empty, that it is only our resurrection faith which counts. The New Testament writers refuse to speak of a faith ungrounded in history. In fact, our faith stands or falls on the historicity of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-19). Furthermore, our Lord promised His followers that the Holy Spirit would convict men of sin, righteousness, and judgment (John 16:3). The basis for the Spirit’s conviction concerning the righteousness of Christ was the fact of His resurrection and ascension: Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more.” (John 16:10) The fact that Christianity is subject to factual and historical verification opens the door for Christian apologetics. The facts bear out that Christianity at its roots is both supernatural and historical. Men need not take leaps of faith, for faith can and must be rooted in fact. While apologetics can never convince men of the truth (cf. Luke 16:31), historical facts concerning Christ’s resurrection do provide the Holy Spirit with a basis for convicting men of the truths of the gospel. Finally, the fact of a risen Saviour assures the Christian of a hope which lives beyond the grave. In the words of the apostle Paul, “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.” (1 Thessalonians 4:14)

The New Purpose of Our Living

The fact of the resurrection confronts the Christian with the necessity of godly living. Throughout Scripture we are exhorted to make our practice conform to our position. In the sixth chapter of Romans, Paul shows the folly of the Christian continuing to live in sin. We cannot claim to have died to sin in Jesus Christ without endeavouring to cease living in sin. We cannot profess to have been raised to new life in Christ without some evidence of a newness of life in our daily walk (Romans 6:1-11). Closely related to our last point, the resurrection provides the Christian with a measure of the power which is at work in him to enable him to live the Christian life. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” (Romans 8:11) God supplies the ability to do whatever He commands. The resurrection is the measure of the power which is at work in us.

Message for Non-Christian friends

The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ has much to say to the unbeliever. It demands that the claims of one who cannot be held captive by death must be taken seriously. Have you carefully considered the claims of this Jesus who yet lives, 2000 years beyond His crucifixion? Also, the resurrection of Christ is a warning to those who die apart from a saving faith in the work of the Saviour. May I remind you that the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead means that death does not end it all for the unsaved. Paul tells us that Christ’s resurrection from the dead assures all men of resurrection from physical death: For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22) The frightening reality is that those who have not come to faith in Christ must spend an eternity apart from Him in judgment (cf. 2 Thessalonians 1:9). Death is not the end for the non-Christian. Everyone will be raised from physical death, and those who have not believed in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the Saviour of men must face judgment beyond the grave: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” (Hebrews 9:27) Yet, the good news is “God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8) so that we may “be justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 3:24) So what can you do in order to receive the gift of His grace? The word of God commands us to “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.” (Acts 2:38)

Conclusion

Dear friends, salvation is trusting in the work of Christ as the sole basis of your eternal salvation. It rests upon historic facts, but goes from these facts to personal faith in the person and work of Christ on the cross. His death was to bear the penalty of sinners. His resurrection was for the justification of sinners. Would you rest in His finished work alone and be saved today?

Pastor David Weng


More Lively Hope

 

Announcements

*Kitchen Roster: No fellowship lunch or tea at Church today. Next Lord’s Day: Bro Daniel Volvricht.

*Blessed Resurrection of our Lord Jesus to all worshippers.

*Warm Welcome: Rev Dr Mark Lehman; Rev & Mrs Patrick Tan; Elder Dr Stephen Lim, Elder & Mrs Tat Luen Loke; Dn & Mrs Hou-Lian Chew, Ebenezer BPC campers; Dn & Mrs Mark Heah (Life BPC); & campers from other churches.

*Hope Bookstore & Church Library Closed.  

*A meeting of all Welcomes & Ushers will be held after Worship Service next Lord’s Day.

*Please note: Daylight saving ends next Saturday. Turn your clock back 1 hour before retiring.

*Next quarter RPG & Daily Manna available on Literature table. Donation: $1 per copy. (at Church)

Praise & Thanksgiving

1. Journey mercies: Rev Dr Mark Lehman (Adl); Rev & Mrs Edward Pauuwe (Adl/Per); Rev & Mrs Patrick Tan; Ebenezer BPC Session & campers; Elder & Mrs Tat Leun Loke; Dn Mark Heah; Bro Alfred & Sis Ruth Ngoma & Thoko; Bro Aaron & Sis Monica Tan & family; Sisters Alice Lee, Mary Ting & Serene Wong (Ald); Bro Raphael & Sis Bernadette Ng & family; Bro Houston Li (Barossa/Adl); Bro John (Darwin/Melb/Adl) & Sis Josephine Wong & family (Adl); Bro Jonathan Liao; Sisters Wendy Gong (Adl) & Corinne Teng (Per); others (including campers) who have arrived safely.

2. Church Activities, in the past week

3. God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.

4. Visitors & new worshippers.

Prayer Items

1. Health & God’s healing - Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev George van Buuren; Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe; Rev Pong Sen Yiew (S’pore); Rev & Mrs James White; Bro Colin & Sis Kathleen Creaser; Bro Len & Sis Margaret Pearson (Nursing Home); Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville); Grandpa Ki (S’pore); Bros Elton Law & Kang Fun Tan (S’pore); Sisters Margaret Hooper, Lai Kheng Chiong (KL), Choon Fong Lee (KL), Susan Varadi (Nursing Home); Mr Swee Liang Ng (Bro Raphael’s father); Mr Mang Soo Ong (Sis Gillian Ong’s father); Mr Wong (Dn Wai Kin Wong’s father); Mrs Maggie D’Mello (Dn Edwin’s mother in Mumbai) & Mrs Chuilin Yap (Malacca); Mr Tony Zhang; & others in affliction.

2. Cambodia Missions - Rev David Koo & Ministry; & Preacher Zhang (Sihanoukville).

3. Ministry in New Life BPC (London); Healing & health: Ps & Sis Ki.

4. Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions: Rev Keith Coleman, Board members & missionaries.

5. Presbyterian Missionary Union: Board & missionaries.

6. Batam Missions - Sis Ang Liang Phoa & Ministry.

7. iSketch&Tell Studio, YouTube Ministry & preparation for ordination - Pr HS Lim  (Melb, Vic).

8. Ministry in Hope BPC - Ps & Sis Weng. 

9. Journey mercies: Rev Dr Mark Lehman (Taiwan); Rev & Mrs Edward Pauuwe (Adl); Rev & Mrs Patrick Tan; Ebenezer BPC Session & campers; Elder & Mrs Tat Luen Loke (Melb); Bro Raphael & Sis Bernadette Ng & family; Bro Houston Li (Barossa/Adl); Bro John & Sis Josephine Wong & family (Melb); Sis Corinne Teng (Adl); & others who are travelling. 

10. Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.

11. Full-time Job - Sis Corinne Teng.

12. Ebenezer BPC (Melb) - God’s wisdom, blessing & guidance for Session & members.

13. Postnatal progress - Sis Kerrie Lam & Jeremiah.

14.  Australian work visas - Sisters Clara Sim & Felicia Tan (& job).

15. Australia - God’s wisdom for our nation’s leaders.

16. Believers under persecution in Islamic & Communist countries.

17. Ebenezer-Hope Family Bible Camp Committee - Speaker: Rev Dr Mark Lehman; organizers & campers. Journey mercies to and back from campsite; God’s blessing on campers.

 

 

© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
PO Box 398, Fullarton, Adelaide, South Australia 5063