Eyes That See

“I Once Was Blind”

The Centrality of the Resurrection.

I believe that the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is very much central to Christianity.  This comes from both experience and Scripture.  In my experience, I was converted to Christianity in March of 2007 on the basis of the evidence that Jesus Christ indeed rose from the dead.  The apostle Paul talks about the centrality of the Resurrection to Christianity in 1 Corinthians 15:

“And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” -1 Corinthians 15:14

“And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” -1 Corinthians 15:17-19

In 1 Corinthians 15:14, Paul makes a direct connection between the Resurrection of Jesus and our faith.  If He has not been raised, then our faith is in vain.  And this is not some atheist saying that the absence of the Resurrection would prove our faith to be in vain.  This is the man who wrote much of the New Testament. 

Then, in verse 17, he says that our faith is futile, “if Christ has not been raised.”  And in verse 18, he says that if the Resurrection didn’t happen, then the atheists (and the Sadducees) are right- when you die, you die, period.  Then in verse 19, he makes quite an interesting argument.  Verse 19 is the second half of an “if, then, if, then.”  The first half goes like this:  If Christ has not been raised, then in Christ we have hope in this life only.”  Then, you get verse 19: “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.”

So, in conclusion, “if Christ has not been raised,” then:
1) Preaching is in vain
2) Faith is in vain
3) Faith is futile
4) Dead people are dead, and not ‘in a better place’
and 5) Christians are, “of all people most to be pitied.”

Therefore, Christ having been raised is both central to Christianity and should be central to any Atheism/Christianity debate.

This is part one of what I see working out to be a three-parter, in response to a couple of comments to my recent posts.  This could change, but as I see it now, part two will be what the Bible teaches about the ramifications of whether or not Jesus was resurrected- namely what that means about God, what that means about our standing before God, what Jesus Christ did to reconcile us with and to God, and what we must do in response to these truths. And part three will be my argument that 1 Corinthians 15:4 is indeed true, namely that Jesus Christ, “was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.”

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July 13, 2008 - Posted by | apologetics, Atheism, Christ, Christianity, The Resurrection

3 Comments »

  1. Why did early Christian converts simply scoff at the idea that God would choose to raise a corpse?

    Why does Paul tell them flat out that Jesus became a spirit?

    Because nobody of that time had ever heard of the Gospel stories, which were yet to be invented.

    Comment by Steven Carr | July 13, 2008 | Reply

  2. Which early Christian converts scoffed “at the idea that God would choose to raise a corpse?”

    Where “does Paul tell them flat out that Jesus became a spirit?”

    And when were the Gospel “stories” “invented?”

    Thanks,
    David

    Comment by bigham | July 14, 2008 | Reply

  3. [...] Lord willing, will be a three-parter about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.  In part one, “The Centrality of the Resurrection,” I argued that the Resurrection is central to Christian faith, and therefore should be [...]

    Pingback by If the Resurrection Happened, Then What? « Eyes That See | July 16, 2008 | Reply


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