Knowledge that Counts #2. “I want to know…the power of Jesus’ resurrection” (Phil.3:10).

Knowledge that Counts #2. “I want to know…the power of Jesus’ resurrection” (Phil.3:10).

There are always bad motives behind bad doctrines. But scratch the surface and it generally adds up to either apathy (the bad doctrine became a tradition), or the struggle for power and control inherent in maintaining the status quo.

False teachers were quick to challenge apostolic authority by teaching that Jesus did not rise from the dead. Which causes us to ask, given that the resurrection of Christ is the cornerstone doctrine of the church, how could it have been that anyone in the first-century church could have bought into it?

Paul laboured hard over the subject of the resurrection in 1 Corinthians 15. I think that you can be forgiven for wondering why given that we merely take it for granted that Jesus rose for the dead.

We figure that you either believe it, and call yourself a Christian, or you don’t, and call yourself something else.

Firstly, to correct everyone who had denied Jesus’ resurrection, and secondly to encourage everyone to see its true value, Paul wrote: “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins” (1Cor.15:17).

His point: No resurrection, no salvation!

We begin to get an idea of why Paul was so desperate to understand the “power” of Jesus’ resurrection when he directly connects it to his preaching: “And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain” (1Cor.15:14).

This gospel, “the death, burial and resurrection of Christ” (1Cor.15:3-4), “is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes” (Rom.1:16). To remove the doctrine of the Resurrection of Christ from preaching is to disempower all claims that Jesus made about his divinity.

Paul, who had accused Christ of blasphemy for claiming that he was the Messiah, experienced first-hand the power of the risen Christ when he met him, was saved by him and was sent by him to preach the gospel.

To this day the empty tomb continues to empower the preaching of Christ around the world.

John Staiger


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