Can we deny the resurrection and still be a Christian?
'The simple fact is that today there are many who claim to be 'Christians'' but who do not believe in the inerrancy of the Bible or submit to its authority. One third of church of England bishops do not believe in the virgin birth of Christ or His resurrection. David Jenkins, a previous bishop of Durham claimed the resurrection of Christ was "merely a conjuring trick with bones" (p334 Brian Edwards - Nothing but the Truth)
Many of you probably saw Robert Beckford's documentaries, usually around Christmas time, in His programme 'Who wrote the Bible?' His verdict is...
'if we can find God in the imperfections of our lives, then maybe we can find Him in the messiness of the text.'
What does the Bible say about the above?...
All Scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness' (2 Tim 3v16)
Furthermore there are no less than five places in Scripture where we are explicitly commanded not to add or take away from the word of God...
(Deut 4:2, 12:32, Prov 30: 5-6, Matt 5:17-18 & Rev 22:18)
It's a bit like playing sudoku which I am not very good at, in the 9x9 grid, each of the rows, columns, and 3x3 grids, can only contain each number once. If you remove a number or add an extra one you mess up the whole puzzle! Do you get the picture? If you try to take away or add to the Bible, you are actually trying to play God as the Holy Spirit authored Scripture (2 Peter 1v20-21)
Paul dealt with the same question when he wrote to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians Chapter 15. If 1 Corinthians 13 is the chapter on love then Chapter 15 is the chief one on the resurrection!
In general the Greeks didn't believe in the ressurection. But Paul had to prove to the church in Corinth that believers MUST accept the doctrine of the RESURRECTION! Why?
- The Greeks believed in the immortality of the soul, but not the body.
- The body was seen as a source of evil, weakness and sin.
- Death was welcome as the soul would be liberated from the body.
- Resurrection was therefore not welcome as basically the soul would remain in the body.
In the first four verses Paul demonstrates that the resurrection is integral to the gospel. How can we be saved if Jesus did not die for our sins?
Jesus had to die, be buried and rise again on the third day according to the scriptures. Remember the two signs, destroy the temple (His Body) and in three days I will rebuild it. As Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days so the Son of Man will be raised!
Next in Paul's account v5-8 Jesus appeared to Cephas (Peter), FIVE HUNDRED BRETHREN AT ONCE, then James, the apostles and by Paul.
Paul explains further that if Christ is not risen then our preaching is empty and vain! Not only that but we would be false witnesses! (see v15)
Even more disturbingly if we deny the resurrection...
v17 'your faith is futile; you are still in you sins'
v18 'those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.'
v19 'If in this life only we have the hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.'
Do you want to hear Jesus say 'well done good and faithful servant' or why do you deny the Bible and My resurrection?'
As Jesus did rise from the dead, the GOOD NEWS IS...
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.' (John 3v16)
"Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved." (Acts 16v31)
'that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.' (Rom 10v9)
If you want to believe in Jesus then you must repent of your sins, believe that God sent His Son Jesus to die in our place. Invite Him into your life to be Lord and Saviour and God will do that by the power of His Holy Spirit!