In his first letter to the church of Corinth, Paul spends the entire fifteenth chapter defending both the facts of Christ’s resurrection as well as the importance of His resurrection. We all know the history of the church of Corinth, the selfsame people that Paul was writing to, we know that it was a church heavy laden with sin, and if anyone had the choice there wouldn’t be many hands raised if offered a pastoral position there. If you’ve ever taken the time to diligently study both first and second Corinthians, you will have realized that the reason for all the sin, the reason the church of Corinth was so removed from the truth of Christ, is the absence of healthy doctrine. Although Paul had done his best to teach Christ, Him crucified and resurrected, others had come in after Paul’s departure and began to teach aberrant doctrine among which was the denial of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. In his straightforward and sincere matter Paul the apostle of Christ, begins to dismantle every false teaching running rampant in the church of Corinth, reminding them that if we have taken His yoke, then we must walk the path He has set out for us, and not make our own path which will lead nowhere but to destruction.
It would be wise for many of today’s cutting edge, modernized churches to revisit the letters to the Corinthians, and see that there is but one way into the holy of holies, and that way is in the Christ, and through the Christ of the Bible. We cannot worship different christs, and hope to be welcome into the kingdom of the one true Christ. We cannot make our own path toward eternity and live with the expectation that it will lead to the same destination the narrow path of faith will. Our duty is to submit to the authority and will of God, being ever aware that His word is as a lamp unto our feet, showing us the way to a greater knowledge and greater fellowship with Him.
The resurrection of Christ has always been one of the most hotly contested topics of our faith, because the enemy knows just how paramount the fact that Christ is risen is. Men have tried to uncover secret tombs wherein they claimed the remains of Jesus still rested, they’ve tried to publicize pseudo gospels that questioned the divinity of Christ, all to sow doubt in the hearts of believers as to the reality that the tomb is empty, Christ is risen, and because He has risen we have the eternal hope that we too shall likewise one day rise in Him. The reason the resurrection of Christ is so important, the reason we must believe it and teach it can be summed up in a few verses in the aforementioned chapter.
1 Corinthians 15:12-19, “Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is also in vain. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom he did not raise up – if in fact the dead do not rise. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most pitiable.”
The resurrection of Christ is the quintessence of our faith, the cornerstone absent of which everything falls apart. As Paul so aptly put it, if Christ is not risen, then all our preaching is in vain, and likewise you faith also is in vain. All our songs, all our prayers, all our hope, everything that is directly or indirectly related to Christ is ineffectual if Christ is not risen. If He is not risen, then our sins have not been forgiven, we remain dead in our sins, and all who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If Christ is not risen, then everything we believe is futile and pointless, and of all men we are most pitiable if in fact our hope in Christ does not extend beyond this present life into the life to come.
In his love for truth, Paul goes into this extended soliloquy detailing all the aftereffects of not believing in a risen Christ. Essentially he tells the church of Corinth that their entire faith, all that they believe is for naught if Christ is not risen. He hammers hope the point, this one singular truth, that men don’t fear a dead god, and hints at the notion that this was also another reason why the church of Corinth was overflowing with sin and all manner of perversion.
Christ is not a legend, He is not a myth, He is not a theory, He is not an idea, He is not a philosophy, He is the Son of God, the one who came in the flesh, who took our sins upon Himself, was crucified, and was raised again the third day.
We can easily have a protracted debate as to the day that Jesus rose from the dead, we can easily go down rabbit trail after rabbit trail, but the core issue of import is that He is risen! Christ is risen, and He conquered death! Christ is risen, and we will likewise rise with Him on that glorious day.
Since the beginning, the enemy and the world have fought against the reality of the resurrection of Christ. The enemy knows he was defeated on that great day, he knows that if we have died in Him, we shall also rise in Him, and his mission since the beginning has always been to separate us from the love of God, to sow doubt in our hearts, and to present us with different paths other than Christ Jesus.
‘Christ is risen’, the three most beautiful words to the heart of the believer. Christ conquered death, He conquered the grave, and we live today not as those who have no hope of eternity, not as those who have resigned themselves to believing that once this life is done all that remains is wormy earth, but as ones who know beyond doubt and without equivocation that Jesus is alive, He lives, and because He lives we stand in the eye of the storm knowing that faithfulness will always be rewarded, and that obedience is better than sacrifice.
With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.