Help Harbins reach out to Dacula in Jesus’ name

Friends,

I’m excited to let you know about a brand new outreach effort we’re launching at Harbins Church.  The following details are from Hannah Sims, who is coordinating this effort.

I want you to think back to how you first heard about HCBC.  For our family, it started as we drove by the church to and from work everyday.  Though we were regularly attending another local church at the time, the community and fellowship that is a hallmark of Harbins Church could literally be felt as we drove past the church and saw numerous kids and teens tossing the football on the front lawn and high fiving on Sunday afternoons.  However, because trying out a new church is always a daunting task, we resolved to listen to the sermons online for over six months before ever walking through the doors of HCBC.

I share that story because I also want to share with you a new ministry that we are pursuing at Harbins.

Each month, our church receives an email from the county with a listing of new residents within a specified radius of the church.  From that list, we narrow down the homes located 2 miles or less from HCBC.  Next is where the fun part kicks in!  Because we know that church hunting can be intimidating (and moving is exhausting)- we as a church are eager to reach out to these newcomers that our literally our neighbors!

imagesThough there are other churches in our zip code, we KNOW that God is evident and at work at HCBC- therefore don’t we want everyone near us to be invited into the work the Lord continues to do at Harbins?!  Yes!- So, each month (moving forward) we are committed to delivering a Harbins Tote to the new residents within a couple of miles of our church.  Each tote will contain a personalized card from one of our Elders, a paper track, a DVD, and a loaf of breakfast bread.

We hope this gesture will bless newcomers in our community.  The bread is an expression of our love and hospitality.   The reusable tote will serve as a reminder of our church.  The track will quickly get God’s Word into people’s hands.  And though it all we are praying that God will use this outreach as a means of inviting our neighbors into a church where the gospel is being preached and that the Lord will draw these new residents to himself.

Up to this point, the preparation of totes and addresses to visit has been done- but here is where you can get involved!  Totes will be delivered every Sunday that we have a fellowship meal.  Our hope is that as people finish eating, they can grab a tote, as well as another couple of people and go spend 15 minutes together continuing fellowship in their car as they deliver a bag to a new resident.  Again, we are only visiting within a two mile or less radius of the church, so it will be a quick trip!

Each month there will be approximately 8 bags that will need to go out- please prayerfully consider how the Lord might use you in this ministry.

In Christ,

Hannah Sims

I am grateful to God that He gave Hannah this burden to reach outside the church walls and into the community.  I really believe this is something that God can use to bless our community and show the love of Christ to our neighbors.  If you’re interested in joining with Hannah in this outreach, please let her know.

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Demer

Top 5 reads of the week (4/17-23)

Occasionally I’d like to use the blog to point you in the direction of some other blogs and articles that I have personally found to be helpful.  Why keep the good stuff to myself when others might be blessed as well?

This week a number of outstanding posts were published by various authors that encouraged and challenged me.  I thought I’d pass them on to you for your edification.

#5 Theological Primer: The Holy Spirit– Some churches ignore the Holy Spirit. Some that claim to be Spirit-focused are in reality obsessed with unbiblical, bizarre notions about the Spirit. The American Church needs a good, balanced theology of the Spirit. This is a good, brief primer on the Third Person of the Trinity.

#4 Isolation from the Church is Dangerous-Those who need to read this the most will want to skip over this. For your own sake…please don’t.

#3 Your Hospital Visit is Coming– “I was only seventeen years old, or maybe eighteen, but that moment defined how I would engage life in a hospital. My stay would not be a jail sentence. Come hell or high water, I determined that this hospital would be, well, a gymnasium for my soul, a proving ground for my faith, and a mission field for God.” – Joni Eareckson Tada (one of my heroes of the faith!)

#2 The Soft Prosperity Gospel – “The soft prosperity gospel teaches that if you work hard for God, then He should work hard for you. Many have bought into this lie. We go to church, keep our noses clean, and do whatever extra we can. Then we hope God will do His part and bless us with good kids, a nice house, a steady job, and plenty of money. But what happens when the company downsizes? When a kid starts taking drugs? When the 401(k) shrinks? We go into private litigation in our minds because God has not kept His end of the bargain…Do you think (even subtly) that God owes you?”

And My Favorite Post of the Week Is………

#1 Can Your Theology  Handle the book of Lamentations? – Lamentations typically isn’t a book Christians reach for when doing morning devotions. This article hits a home run in reminding us the value of absorbing the full counsel of God in the Scriptures. Don’t just stay in the “safe” parts of the Bible.

I hope one or more of these challenges, encourages, and equips you, pointing you towards Christ!

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Demer

 

What’s up with those 500 witnesses?

One of the things I appreciate about my church family is that it is full of students of the Bible who eagerly pour over the text of Scripture, not wanting to miss anything that God is saying, and wanting to understand it.  That leads to me getting great questions from our members.

Recently I was asked about the 500 witnesses who saw the risen Christ.  How specifically do they testify of the resurrection?

The question refers to the apostle Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 15,images

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)

While we are presently not in any possessions of any extant written extra biblical testimonials from any of these 500 people,  (Actually Paul says more than 500)  this does not mean that their inclusion in Paul’s letter is unimportant.  So let’s consider these witnesses.

We know very little about them.  We know they were Christians because he calls them “brothers.”

We also know that this would have taken place very early.  Paul probably wrote 1 Corinthians in the early to mid 50’s AD.  Obviously, Jesus’ appearance to the 500 would have happened earlier than the writing of 1 Corinthians.

imagesIt appears that Paul gives us a rough order of the resurrection appearances, beginning with the appearance to Peter and the disciples and concluding with the appearance to Paul.  Between those appearances, Jesus revealed Himself to these more than 500 brothers.  So this event would have happened before Paul’s Damascus Road experience.  Paul’s conversion was probably around 33 or 34 AD, which means the 500 would have witnessed the resurrected Jesus shortly after He emerged from the tomb.  So this event would have been roughly 20 years prior to Paul’s writing of 1 Corinthians.   That’s not a long time, and that’s why, according to Paul, most of these people were still alive at the time of his writing, “though some had fallen asleep.”

The significance of this is that there was ample opportunity for anyone who questioned this to go and talk to the witnesses.  Paul would have been a fool to put that number out there, especially such a large number, if he was just fabricating a story.  That would have completely opened him up to being exposed as a fraud.  John Piper explains,

“What makes this so relevant is that this was written to Greeks who were skeptical of such claims when many of these witnesses were still alive. So it was a risky claim if it could be disproved by a little firsthand research.”

But Paul’s not worried about that because he knows he’s telling the truth.

Interestingly, Paul says that Jesus appeared to more than 500 brothers at one time.  The hallucination theory has been thrown out there before regarding why people saw Jesus.  The problem is that hallucinations are very personal, individual experiences.  People don’t “share” hallucinations anymore than they share dreams.  To have hundreds of people see the same mirage is more unbelievable than the notion that they saw the risen Jesus.

Again, the number of people that Paul throws out there is shockingly large.  If he’s making the story up, it would be much safer to make that number much, much lower or not give a number at all.  The best explanation for why Paul would do something like that is simply because he’s recording what actually happened.

Paul is saying to the Corinthian readers, “Listen, the resurrection is a real, historical event.  This isn’t a fabrication.  This is not just based on my testimony.  There are literally hundreds of people who can corroborate my testimony.”

Now, I can’t specifically tell you how these 500 testified of the resurrection.  We have no information about them outside of this one reference by Paul.  On the other hand, I can tell you what they testified and continue to testify.images

The value of these 500 witnesses back then was that this was part of Paul’s strong case for the importance of the historicity of the resurrection.  The value of the 500 witnesses to us today is that Paul’s argument emphasizes the most important truth about the resurrection.  That it’s real and literal and that it’s reality matters!  Paul is not simply preaching some sort of nebulous, ambiguous, metaphorical resurrection.  He’s preaching something very specific.  He’s claiming that after three days in a tomb, a body that was once a corpse began to have life flow through it again.  A heart that had been still all weekend long now was beating again.  A brain that was completely shut down began to function again.  Lungs began to operate, inhaling and exhaling the Judean air.  A body that was carried into the tomb by others, now exited the tomb under it’s own power.  And this flesh and bone body with Galilean features was actually perceived through the physical senses of other people, over 500 people.

There are many liberal “Christian” scholars and theologians who claim to have some sort of belief in the Bible and Christianity on the one hand, but on the other hand deny that Jesus literally and physically rose from the grave.  The importance of the resurrection story, they say, is that Jesus, though still dead, continues to live on in our hearts and our memories.  Jesus served as an example of love and the resurrection story, though just a story, contains true moral and inspirational principals for our lives today.  I just read the following on a website dedicated to “Progressive Christianity.”

” There are many alternative ways to view the resurrection in a spiritual light, or a purely mythical light to convey a lesson, or a metaphorical light of the rebirth we all have when we give of ourselves for others.  There are so many fulfilling, inclusive, and enlightening ways to experience Easter in the light of Christ once we move beyond the idea of a physical resurrection.

It is amazing to me the amount of mental and rhetorical gymnastics “progressive Christians” go through to give meaning to a resurrection that wasn’t really a resurrection.

However, if the bodily resurrection of Christ did not occur, then what’s the point of Paul listing a series of witnesses who really saw the risen Lord?  If the resurrection of Jesus is just a fairy tale that can provide us with some moral inspiration and encouragement, then he doesn’t need to concern himself with the historicity of the resurrection and it’s over 500 witnesses.  But the reason why Paul emphasizes witnesses is because he is trying to tell us that whether or not the resurrection is literal actually does matter.

Paul, seeming to be speaking to liberal, progressive “Christians” today, identifies the core problem of their belief with laser precision.

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. (1 Corinthians 15:12-15)

But it gets worse.  If there is not a literal resurrection, if there was a mass hallucination among over 500 people, if the disciples concocted some bizarre story about a resurrection or were simply trying to say that Jesus, though dead, lives in our hearts…. if that’s the point, then we’re all doomed.  Paul goes on to say,

…if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Corinthians 15:17-19)

imagesIn other words, if the “progressives” are right, you’re in Hell. Game over. Death is still victorious which means death is your destiny because your sins haven’t been dealt with. If Christ is still in the grave it proves that He’s a sinner just like the rest of us because the wages of sin is death. He can’t pay for our sins if He himself has sin. If there’s no payment for sin, then we’ll all pay for it in Hell.

This is why Paul is eager to lay down a case for the literal, bodily resurrection of Christ. Whether or not you’re forgiven hinges on it.

Thankfully, the liberal scholars in academia are dead wrong.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,” it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. When all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all. (1 Corinthians 15:20-28)

There is a lot at stake in whether or not the resurrection is real.  There is much riding on whether or not those 500 witnesses, and Paul, and the disciples, are right. It’s not just heaven for you that’s at stake. It’s a New Creation, a restored universe, an overthrow of demonic, AntiChrist rulers and authorities and powers, and a Cosmos that is in subjugation to Him. Whether or not these things will happen hinges on whether the resurrection has happened.  We should thank God for these 500+ witnesses.  They remind us of the significance of the reality of the resurrection, and point us forward to the reality of what is to come at the end of the age.

While the people of Paul’s day could talk to the 500 eyewitnesses for evidence of the reality of the resurrection, we don’t have their specific testimony today. But we have a better word. We have the words of Jesus Himself. We have the promises of a Man from Nazareth who, during His earthly ministry, got everything right. He accurately predicted what would happen to Him. He predicted that one of His disciples would deny Him down to the hour. He predicted all His disciples would abandon Him. He prophesied His betrayal, His arrest, and even the exact manner that He would die. He predicted that three days later the tomb would be unoccupied. There was nothing that came from His lips that proved to be false. He said things would happen, and they happened. There is only one being in the universe who can speak and all things happen according to His Word. If He has been thus reliable so far, how foolish we would be to dismiss what He says about what is to come,

“…you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.” (Matthew 26:64)

imagesIf His resurrection is real, literal, and physical, so will be His return.  And at the end of the age, all of mankind will stand before this Man, and real knees will bow and real tongues will confess that Jesus Christ is really Lord to the glory of God the Father.  Praise God that the tomb is empty and that Jesus did not stay dead!

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Demer

Should our church be like the early church?

The modern church is struggling in many ways.  In today’s churches we see division, strife, disunity, and conflict.  We see theological problems, hypocrisy, bad leadership, Christians who let us down, heinous sin, and lovelessness.images

We also see many professing Christians abandoning the church in discouragement and frustration over these issues.  People are frustrated because the church is so messy.  In fact, it is not uncommon today to find people who say, “I love Jesus but not the Church.”

For those of us who love the Church, this is a difficult trend to witness and a difficult sentiment to hear.  Naturally, we ponder ways we can “do church” better and create the kind of environment where people will be more likely to stay connected.

Recently I heard from a concerned Christian who, in response to the current trend of professing Christians abandoning the church, asked me to share on whether the church founded by Christ is truly reflected in the mainstream church today.  Her request was followed by a thought that many of us, myself included, have had.  She said, “Sometimes I wonder if today’s church really looked like the early church, if so many would be thinking this way or leaving the church.”

That’s a good thing to ponder.  And I appreciated the opportunity to consider that.  But, after such consideration, I concluded that if today’s church looked like the early church we would still have a problem.  Let me explain.

It’s obvious to nearly all believers that all churches fall short in fully living up to God’s good design. So even the best and healthiest of churches will be a work in progress and will disappoint people.

imagesWe often talk about wanting to look like the early church. I know what we mean by that and there’s a good desire in that. There are many things about the early church that were admirable, not the least being that many of the early churches stood firm for Christ and the gospel in the midst of intense persecution.  In addition, we see things like an explosion of gospel growth in the Jerusalem church, the concern for Gentile missions with the church of Antioch, and the extreme generosity of the churches of Macedonia, helping those in need though they themselves were poor.

With that said, many times we modern believers tend to romanticize the early church and make it seem more pure than it was. Actually, life within the early church was pretty challenging.

In the early churches you find lots of messes. Sexual immortality (1 Cor 5:1), lying (Acts 5:3), greedy people and drunkards (1 Cor 11:20-21), quarreling, jealousy, anger, hostility, slander, gossip, conceit, and disorder (2 Cor 12:20), anti-gospel segregation (Gal 2:14), tension between church leaders (Phil 4:2), church division, (1 Cor 11:18), false teachers who cause church schisms (1 John 2:19), heretical teachers creeping in and leading people astray (1 Pe 2:1), cold lovelessness (Rev 2:4), legalism (Gal 3:2), toleration of false teaching (Rev 2:14-15), sharp disagreements between leaders (Acts 15:39), licentiousness, the occult (Rev 2:19-24), and much, much more.

Make no mistake, the early church was filled with these sort of things!  In other words, the early church struggled just like the modern church. I’m pretty convinced we’d experience many of the same frustrations and challenges if we were members of the church in Corinth or Galatia or Ephesus as we would in a typical Bible believing church today.  And yet we’d be just as challenged by God to remain in those churches in spite of the flaws. People leaving the church is not a modern problem. This was happening in the early church. That’s exactly why the author of Hebrews urges believers to not stop meeting together as some are in the habit of doing (Heb 10:25). As early as the 1st century, there were already people who were pulling back from the church.

Ultimately, we as believers need to remember that when we yoke ourselves to a local fellowship it will be hard because we are yoking ourselves to people just like us. Stubborn, proud, flawed, but growing people. The great calling that God puts upon us as believers is to remain connected to other people in the local congregation despite the fact that we struggle to love one another as we should. The world would tell us to give up and find easier people to hang out with, but that’s not the way of Christ. We are to bear with one another in our weaknesses (Rom 15:1), we are to carry one another’s burdens (Gal 6:2), we are to love one another when we let one another down (Eph 4:32), and we press on together as broken and flawed people, committed to one another, slowly growing over time, and demonstrating the truth of the gospel that His blood really has unified us and brought us together (Eph 2:13-16), sticking together even during the tough times because that’s how Jesus treats us (1 Cor 13:7).images

In one of the most beautiful prayers in the whole Bible,  Jesus prays for the unity of the Church.  He prays that we Christians “… may all be one…so that the world may believe that you have sent me…and loved them even as you loved me. (John 17:21-2)

Jesus is not naive.  He prays this fully knowing and understanding that believers will still battle sin, have disagreements, and disappoint one another.  Jesus, in His prayer, is demonstrating an expectation that in spite of these things, we would agree with Jesus’ prayer and seek to strive towards a loving unity anyway, while knowing that we won’t experience such oneness in it’s perfection until we ourselves go to heaven and are sinless.

The Spirit of Jesus, speaking later on through the Apostle Paul, says that we are to be eagerly striving to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Ephesians 4:2-3).

Such eager striving among believers in the church is not just for our benefit, but for the benefit of an unbelieving world.  Again, Jesus prays for our unity “…so that the world may believe that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.”  

imagesIn the end, the solution to the struggles in our churches is not to look to the imperfect early church but to the perfect gospel.  This is what the Apostle Paul did when Peter, out of fear of the Jewish Christians, segregated himself from the Gentile believers.  Paul immediately responds to Peter in a “gospel-informed” way, recognizing that Peter’s conduct was “out of step with the gospel” (Gal 2:14).  Paul’s point was that it is the gospel that should instruct us on how we should treat other believers.

As our churches begin to mature and grow in regards to how we treat one another, then it will become ever clearer to a watching world that God has loved us even as He has loved Jesus (Jn 17:23).  Our love for one another is the evidence that we have really received God’s love.  And God has ordained that it is through the mechanism of the local church that believers are to learn to love one another.  But we will never learn love as God intends and we will never signal to the world the truth that God sent Jesus and that we have received His love if we all bail on the local church.

We will never get it 100% right this side of heaven. Lord knows I haven’t in my own life.  I have made many mistakes and have acted “Un-Christian like” to believers over the years. I am learning and growing and sometimes failing myself.  I am sure you could say the same about you.  But regardless, one of God’s main means for sanctification happens in the context of Christian community in the local church.  Indeed, one reason we aren’t to give up the habit of meeting together is for the purpose of stirring up love, good works, and mutual encouragement (Heb 10:24-25). God knows we won’t do this perfectly, but He tells us to do it anyway.  He knows how best we should grow and glorify Him.  While there are a handful of genuine reasons to withdraw from a local church (i.e., leaders denying the gospel or biblical authority, issues of conscience regarding certain teachings or practices, geographic distance is too great, moving away, etc), there is no reason for a believer to not seek out other brothers and sisters and join with them in the context of a local church.  The New Testament knows nothing of a “church-less” Christianimages.

None of this means we should be content with real problems in our churches, but the worse thing Christians could do is withdraw from the church.  Not only is such a move detrimental to our own spiritual growth, but it also cuts us off from ministering to a fellowship of local brothers and sisters, being an agent of the positive change we desperately want to see in the church.

Therefore,

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:23-25)

Grace and Peace,

Pastor Demer

 

 

 

Resurrection and Redemption

The following is based upon the Adult Bible Study that I led on Easter Sunday:

The Theological Implications of the Resurrection

If when Jesus said, in John 19:30, “It is Finished” redemption was indeed finished, why then was the resurrection necessary? Have you ever wondered that? Well, one answer is that the resurrection was the visible proof that the work of redemption was finished. The empty tomb showed that the atoning sacrifice of Christ was indeed accepted by God. It is was His seal of acceptance and approval. The resurrection, therefore, is part and parcel with the crucifixion, the other side of the proverbial coin. But there is more to it than that.

empty-tombWe must also understand that the resurrection itself actually does something for us. It plays a vital part in our redemption. There is a subtle in danger lurking in our churches whereby we fail to focus sufficiently on the resurrection itself. Our understanding of depravity naturally leads us to focus greatly on the cross and all that Christ suffered for our sake, but we cannot let a necessary focus on the cross unintentionally cause us to lessen our attention to the resurrection and what God did for us through it.

One way to understand at the dynamic relationship between the cross and the empty tomb is to see that what was finished at the cross was applied at resurrection of Christ. Christ’s righteous life and death accomplished our redemption. Christ’s resurrection, however, is the application of that redemption. Redemption means “to be bought out of bondage and set free.” The purchase was made at the cross, the application was secured at the open tomb.

Hang with me a bit as I try to show that Jesus’ death and resurrection and inseparably linked, and then I will share with you six aspects of our redemption that would not be possible without the resurrection.

Hebrews 2:9 reads, “But we see him who for a little while was made lower than the angels (incarnation), namely Jesus, crowned with glory and honor (resurrection) because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.”

From this text and others, there is a sense in which we can say that Christ’s resurrection was His own redemption. As 100% human, His righteous life and death bought Him out of bondage to the curse of death that all mankind was subjected to and freed Him to resurrection and eternal life. The curse of death was the just sentence for sinners, but Christ being without sin was freed from the sentence and thus the grave had no claim on Him and could not hold Him. Jesus’ perfect life and substitutionary death fulfilled God’s law, satisfied God’s justice, and therefore deserved to be rewarded with resurrection to eternal life.

The word “because” in Hebrews 2:9 shows that Jesus’ suffering and death was the ground of His resurrection. Jesus’ righteous life and substitutionary death satisfied the demands of the law. God was therefore legally bound by His own justice to raise Jesus from the dead.

Now look at Hebrews 13:20: “Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant…” Don’t miss the significance of little words in the Bible, in this case the preposition “by.” God brought Christ back from the dead “by” the blood of the eternal covenant. Christ’s blood was, therefore, instrumental in His resurrection. His blood was the causal means of His resurrection. In other words, the shedding of Christ’s righteous blood made Him legally deserving of, and ensured His own resurrection.

Similarly we see in John 12:24 these words of Jesus: “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” The death of a seed is the source and cause of its new life. In the same way, our Lord’s righteous death is the source and cause of His own resurrection to eternal life. We see something similar in Phil 2:8-11.

849-crown-of-thorns-nails-600x399On a theological note, this means that the atonement is definite. It accomplishes something. The resurrection proves that Christ’s blood definitely produces resurrection and life. This means everyone for whom Christ bled and died will definitely be raised to eternal life with Him. None of Christ’s blood fails to accomplish life because it is powerful to redeem. That means that not a drop of Jesus’ blood was spilled uselessly. It saves all whom God intends to save. If any of Jesus’ blood would have fallen to the ground uselessly, then theoretically the resurrection could potentially never have taken place. But the blood was righteous therefore it had to produce vindication which means the grave could not keep Jesus in it’s clutches, it had to release Him because every drop of His blood was righteous.

So what does this mean for us? Well, it means that for us the death and resurrection of Christ simultaneously accomplishes and applies every aspect of our redemption. For, if we are united to Him, then His death is our death, and His resurrection is our resurrection. Romans 6:5: “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his.” So we have to see that our full redemption could not have happened without the resurrection. Here are six ways that the Bible shows us that the resurrection was necessary for our redemption:

1. Without the resurrection we wouldn’t have regeneration

Ephesians 2:4-5: “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved”

1 Peter 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead”

2. Without the resurrection we wouldn’t have repentance

Acts 3:26 “God, having raised up his servant, sent him to you first, to bless you by turning every one of you from your wickedness”

Acts 5:30-31 “The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins.”

3. Without the resurrection we wouldn’t have justification

Romans 4:24-25: “It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”

1 Corinthians 15:17 “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”

4. Without the resurrection we wouldn’t have sanctification

Romans 6:6-11 “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”

Romans 7:4 “Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God.”

5. Without the resurrection we wouldn’t have perseverance

Ephesians 2:6 “…and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus”

1 Thessalonians 1:10 “and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.”

6. Without the resurrection we wouldn’t have glorification

Philippians 3:20 “But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.”

Colossians 3:3-4 “For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

All the key elements of our redemption are ensured by, not only the cross, but also by the resurrection. Redemption purchased at Calvary, applied at the Garden Tomb.