- Parent Category: Bible Reference
- Category: What the Bible Teaches - R.A. TORREY
- Published on Tuesday, 22 May 2007 01:44
IV. THE RESULTS OF THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST. 1 Peter 1:21 RV — "Who through him are believers in God who raised him from the dead, and gave him glory; so that your faith and hope might be in God."
First Proposition: Through Jesus Christ men became believers in God who raised Him from the dead.
By the resurrection of Jesus Christ a solid foundation is laid for our faith in God. Men have been looking constantly for proofs of the existence and character of God. There is the argument from the marks of creative intelligence and design in the material universe, but the resurrection of Jesus Christ points with unerring certainty to the existence, power, and holiness of God who raised Him. On the other hand, 1 Corinthians 15:17 asserts, "If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins." 1 Peter 1:3-4, RV — "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy begat us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you."
Second Proposition: By the resurrection of Jesus Christ, believers are begotten again unto a living hope, unto an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the truth which, made living in our hearts by the Holy Spirit, results in the "new birth unto a living hope, and an inheritance incorruptible" (compare to Romans 10:9). Through our believing in a risen and living Christ, Christ begins to live in us. The resurrection of Christ also forms a foundation of fact upon which to build our hope for the future. Romans 1:4 "And declared to be the Son of God with power', according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead."
Third Proposition: By His resurrection Jesus Christ is declared (or openly designated) to be the Son of God with power.
The claim that Jesus made was that, while even the greatest and best of the prophets were only servants, He was a Son, the beloved and only one of the Father. While other faithful messengers were only servants in the kingdom of God, it belonged to Him as His own inheritance ( Mark 12:6-7). He was one with the Father, and men should honor Him "even as they honor the Father" ( John 10:30 John 5:23, RV). By raising Christ from the dead, God set His seal to this claim. Others, it is true, have been raised from the dead by God's power, but they made no such claim as this prior to their death. Jesus, however, made this extraordinary claim, was put to death for making it, that previous to His death claimed that God would raise Him again the third day. God did so and thus affirmed the claim of Jesus Christ and announced to all ages in a way more convincing and satisfying than an audible voice from heaven, 'Jesus Christ is my Son and all men must honor the Son even as they honor me." The admission of the resurrection of Jesus Christ leads logically to the admission of His deity. Acts 17:31 — "Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in resurrection by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men in that he hath raised him from the dead."
Fourth Proposition: By the resurrection of Jesus Christ, God "has given assurance unto all men, ' that "He will judge the worm in righteousness" by Jesus Christ.
Jesus claimed that God would judge the world by Him ( John 5:22, 27- 29). By raising Christ from the dead God has set His seal to that claim. If one asks how we know there is a judgment day coming when Christ shall judge the world in righteousness, we can reply, "Because I know Jesus Christ arose." The sure fact of the resurrection of Jesus in the past, points unerringly forward to the sure coming of judgment in the future. Belief in a judgment day is no guess of theologians; it is a positive faith founded upon a proved fact. Romans 4:25 — "Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification."
Fifth Proposition: By the resurrection of Jesus Christ, believers in Him are justified; that is, declared righteous.
Christ gave His life as a propitiation for believers. He "was delivered up for our transgressions." The resurrection settles it beyond a doubt that God has accepted the propitiation. The resurrection is God's declaration of His acceptance of the propitiation and is, therefore, the declaration of our justification. By the resurrection, God declares that He has accepted and is satisfied with the settlement Christ has made. I am thus declared righteous in God's sight. If we are ever troubled with doubts as to whether God has accepted the offering Christ made, we have only to look at the empty tomb and the Risen Lord.
When Christ arose, He arose as our representative: He died as our representative, He arose as our representative, He ascended as our representative, and He is seated as our representative ( Ephesians 2:5-6).
As one risen, ascended, seated, He is declared to be God's chosen and accepted one, and we are declared chosen, accepted, and righteous in Him. Romans 7:4 RV — "Wherefore, my brethren, ye also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ; that ye should be joined to another, even to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit unto God."
Sixth Proposition: It is through being joined to the risen Christ that the believer brings forth fruit unto God.
The only living, doing, or accomplishing in the Christian life that is acceptable to God is through union with the risen Christ. Through union with the' crucified Christ, we get our pardon, our cleansing from guilt, our justification, our perfect standing before God. Through union with the risen Christ, we get power for life and fruit. One reason why there is so little life and fruit in many professedly Christian lives is that there is so little knowledge of the risen and living Christ. Paul tells us that we were raised with Christ through faith in the working of God, who raised Christ from the dead ( Colossians 2:12). We are raised with Him to walk in newness of life ( Romans 6:4). This is the truth which baptism symbolizes ( Romans 6:3-4). We will not know the full power of Christ's resurrection until we attain resurrection ourselves ( Philippians 3:10-11). "He that raised up Jesus from the dead shall also quicken our mortal bodies by His spirit which dwelleth in you" ( Romans 8:11). But "the power of this resurrection'' in our moral and spiritual lives, begetting "newness of life," and "fruit unto God," we may know even now, through being "joined to him who was raised from the dead." Romans 5:9-10 — "Much more then, being justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son; much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life."
Seventh Proposition: Through the life of Jesus Christ, believers shall be saved.
The life here spoken of evidently does not refer to the example of Christ, but to His life, which is the outcome of His resurrection. (Compare to John 14:19 — "Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.") The salvation spoken of here evidently does not refer to salvation from the guilt of sin (i.e., pardon and justification). That has been spoken of in the preceding verse as already secured "by his blood." It is a salvation in the future — "shall be saved by his life." By comparison with the previous verse, it is evidently salvation from the coming wrath. The life of Christ that is the outcome of the resurrection secures this for us. This life will have its perfect manifestation in the coming of the Lord ( Colossians 3:4 RV; 2 Thessalonians 1:9-10). Romans 8:34 "Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." Hebrews 7:25 — "Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them."
Eighth Proposition: Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ we have an ever-living high priest at the right hand of God to continually make intercession for us, and who is therefore able to save to the uttermost (or "unto all-completeness").
Salvation is begun by the atoning death of Jesus Christ; it is continued by the resurrection and intercession of Christ. We have not only a Savior who died and so made atonement for sin, but also a Savior who rose and carried the blood into the holy of holies — God's own presence — and presents it there, and who lives and pleads our case in every new failure. 1 John 2:1 — "My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (Compare to Luke 22:31-32 — "And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.") John 11:42 — "And I know that thou hearest me always."
Herein lies our abiding security and our assurance of the ultimate perfect completeness of Christ's work for us and in us.
Note the believer's triumphant challenge in "Who shall lay anything to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth?
It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us." Ephesians 1:18-20 — "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places."
Ninth Proposition: Through the resurrection of Jesus Christ we have an illustration and proof of the exceeding greatness of God's power toward us.
If we would understand and know what God can do in and for us, we have simply to meditate on the resurrection of Jesus Christ, looking to God to give us "a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him" ( Ephesians 1:17). 1 Thessalonians 4:14 "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him." 2 Corinthians 4:14 "Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you."
Tenth Proposition: The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the guarantee of our own resurrection.
We know that God will raise us up because He raised Him up. We are so united to Christ by faith that if He rose, we must. If the spirit of Him who raised Christ from the dead dwells in us also, He that raised up Christ from the dead will also quicken our mortal bodies by His spirit that dwelleth in us ( Romans 8:11). The resurrection of Jesus Christ has robbed death of its terrors for the believer ( 1 Corinthians 15:55-57). Acts 13:32-33 — "And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee."
Eleventh Proposition: The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the fulfillment of the promise made to the Fathers.
QUESTION: What was the promise made to the Fathers that the resurrection of Christ fulfills?
ANSWER: Acts 3:25 — "Ye are the children of the prophets and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed." (Compare to Genesis 22:18; 26:4; 12:3; Galatians 3:16; Genesis 3:15.) The risen Christ is the seed in which all nations shall be blessed by Him turning them away from their iniquities. Acts 3:26 — -"Unto you first God, having raised up his son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities."
Furthermore, resurrection is the substance of the promise made to the Fathers ( Acts 26:6-8; 23:6). And Jesus, the resurrected one and first fruits of them that sleep, is the fulfillment of this promise. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the guarantee of the fulfillment of all the promises of God: First, because it declares Him to be the Son of God with power, and thus endorses that the promises of the Bible ( Luke 24:44) are the sure words of God. Second, it reveals God's ability to keep His word and also His mighty power to us. He that keeps His word in raising the dead can surely fulfill all His promises (Compare Acts 13:38-39 — "therefore").
If we wish to know that all the promises of God are yea and amen in Christ Jesus, we have only to look to that most marvelous fulfillment of God's word and promise that has already taken place — the resurrection — and see in that the guarantee of the fulfillment of all. If you are ever tempted to think any promise of the Word too large and that you must discount it, remember that Christ is risen and that therein you have a proof and illustration of the "exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe."