‘He is risen!’ – Part 4
The significance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is of such great importance that it will be discussed in great details over several weeks. The discourse shall be elaborated under the following headings:
• Who are the beneficiaries of Jesus’ resurrection?
• What if Jesus did not rise from the dead? What if He had remained dead in the grave? What if there was no empty tomb?
• Jesus and the Holy Spirit— Implications for the believers.
• The significance and general importance of Christ’s resurrection.
• What did the resurrection prove about the true divine identity of Jesus?
• Christ’s Resurrection and His Church
• Christ’s Resurrection and His Kingdom: an unshakable kingdom.
• Christ’s Resurrection and the meaning of physical death for believers.
• Christ Resurrection and the Believer’s Hope
• Christ’s Resurrection and the significance of the Lord’s Supper.
• Christ’s Resurrection validates His promise “I will come again.” (Jn 14:3)
• Christ’s post-ascension re-emergence in the Book of Revelation
Who are the beneficiaries of Jesus Resurrection?
Since the beneficiaries of Jesus Resurrection are only those who believe in Him, it is critical to digress briefly to clarify this word “believe.”To believe in Jesus Christ is not just a matter of believing that He exists— even demons know that (James 2:19; Mat 8:28,29). To believe (Gk pisteuō Jn 3:16) includes three main elements: (a) a sure conviction that Jesus Christ is God’s Son and the only Saviour for lost humanity; (b) a self-surrendering fellowship with and obedience to Christ (cf Jn 15:1-10; see 14:21); (c) a fully assured trust in Christ that He is both able and willing to bring you to final salvation and to fellowship with God in heaven.
“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name” (Jn 1:12) “received…believe.” This verse depicts clearly how saving faith is both the act of a single instant and an ongoing attitude of a lifetime. (1) To become a child of God, one must “receive” (Gk elabon, from lambanō) Christ. The aorist (past) tense here denotes a definite act of faith. (2) Following the act of faith, there must be a continual action of believing. The word “believe” (Gk pisteuousin, from pisteuō) is a present participle, describing continued action and indicating the need for perseverance in believing. In order for one to be finally saved, true faith must continue after the initial act of accepting Christ (Mat 10:22; 24:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Heb 3:6, 12-15).
“sons of God.” People have the right to become the adopted children of God, only if they are believing in the name of Christ. When they receive Him, they are born again and become God’s children (3:1-21). Not all people are “sons of God.”
“believe.” It is important to note that John never uses the noun “belief” (Gk pistis). Yet, he uses the verb “believe” (pisteuō) 98 times. For John, saving faith is an activity, something that people do. True faith is not a static belief and trust in Jesus and His redeeming work, but a loving, self-abandoning commitment that constantly draws one near to the Lord Jesus Christ in spiritual intimacy (cf. Heb 7:25).
When the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas the most important question one could ask, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved? (Acts 16:30). The apostles’ response is, “Believe on the Lord Jesus” (v. 31). (1) To believe in the Lord Jesus is to focus our faith and commitment on the person of Christ.
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