WHY DO CHRISTIANS UNDERSTAND ONLY PART OF THE GOSPEL?
WHY THE RESURRECTION IS THE KEY TO THE GOSPEL
Jesus said, “I come that they might have life, and might have it abundantly (John 10:10).” Yet the average professing Christian is saying, “There is nothing abundant about my life. I know my sins are forgiven and that I am going to heaven, but what about today! I still experience doubts, fears, frustrations, and defeat. Surely there must be something more to this Christian life.” There is and it comes from understanding the fullness of the gospel. Most Christians when asked, “What is your understanding of the gospel?” respond, “Christ died for my sins.” This is only part of the gospel. Christ was also raised from the dead, and it is through His resurrection that we see the full gospel. The full gospel can be summed up like this:
Jesus Christ Gave His Life for Us ….So That He Could Give His Life to Us ….
So That He Can Live His Life Through Us.
Jesus Christ died giving His life for us. He was raised to give His life to us. It is because of this that we need to understand the reality of the resurrection. Let us begin our study and ask God to open our minds to understand the Scripture.
Now, let us have a closer look at this key verse in John 10: 10: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they might have life, and have it abundantly.” Who is referred to as the thief? It could be God’s adversary (Satan) or false teachers with teachings and thoughts contrary to Christ’s message. In contrast to the thief, what has Jesus come to do? “He came that we might have life and have it abundantly.”
How does Jesus say that we can experience an abundant life here and now? By letting Jesus live His life through us. In John 1:4 where is life to be found? “In Him was life…..” According to 1 John 5:11 where is eternal life to be found? “God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.” Could eternal life be found in Christ if He had not been raised from the dead? Absolutely not. He was raised to give His life to us.
Let us now go to the book of Acts and read the following verses regarding the central theme of the apostles’ teachings.
Acts 2:32 – “God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of the fact.”
Acts 4:2 – “…… being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead.”
Acts 4:33 – “And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus….”
Acts 17:18 – “They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.”
The central theme of the apostles’ teaching and preaching in the book of Acts was the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:14, what does Paul say about his preaching and our faith if Christ had not been raised from the dead? “….. Our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”
According to 1 Corinthians 15:17, where would we be left if Christ had not been raised from the dead? “…. We are still in our sins.”
Why is Christ’s resurrection important to you and me according to 1 Corinthians 15:21, 22? “For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.” “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.” It’s pretty obvious. Without Christ’s resurrection we would not be made alive in Him.
THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE
Jesus said to Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this? Why do you think Jesus refers to Himself as both the resurrection and the life? It is as if the Lord had said to Martha: “I am God and I have the power of resurrection and of life in My hands.” We see from these verses that those who believe in His name, even though they may die (physically), they shall live (eternally). And those who are presently living and believe in His name, they shall never die (spiritually).
In John 14:19, what is the reason we will live? Jesus said, “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you also will live.” We continue to see Him by faith – He continues to live in us and through us. Could we live and have eternal life apart from the resurrection of Jesus Christ? Absolutely not. Why do you think Jesus Christ was raised from the dead?
Now, what is the full gospel according to 1 Corinthians 15:3,4? “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures.” How much of the gospel is someone functioning on if he believes it is only “Christ died for my sins?” It’s pretty obvious, it’s only part of the gospel. What part of the gospel is missing? His resurrection. Is it any wonder, then, that so many of us are missing the abundant life Jesus promised?
In closing, many of us at least think we understand the meaning of the cross. When it comes to the meaning of the resurrection, however, our minds draw a blank. However, we overlook the obvious – Resurrection is the Restoration of Life.
Jesus Christ was raised from the dead so that we might have “Life.” The good news of the gospel is not just that Christ came to die for you, but that He came to “Live in You.” Jesus Christ did not come just to get men out of hell and into heaven – He came to get Himself out of heaven and into men.
Man is saved by the sacrifice of Jesus. He gave His life as a propitiation for our sins. His sacrifice satisfied the righteousness of God. And, because He was resurrected to life, He is able to impart that life to us, how more abundant could it be?
PS…. Some people may need to read this post a few times to let this all really sink in to grasp the Reality of the Resurrection. Understanding the Reality of the Resurrection had a huge impact on my spiritual growth and living life to the full and living it more abundantly. Every night I thank Jesus for His resurrected life that I to have life eternal through Him.
We receive life the moment we accept Him as our Savior. After we are saved, however, we find that there are various degrees of enjoyment of this life. The more we turn ourselves over to the Holy Spirit, the more we enjoy the life which has been given to us. We not only have life then, but we have it more abundantly.
F/B – Signs Of Our Times
Understanding The Signs Of Our Times.com
Transforming Power; The Work of God on Behalf of Man
Lian Muan Kim –
Koinonia Baptist Seminary -Yangon, Myanmar