Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Resurrection: An Essential to Salvation

“If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9 NKJV)

There are some passages of Scripture that seem to be so plain I can’t understand the problem. The resurrection of Christ is an essential. It is the essence of what distinguishes a Christian from everyone else who believes in Jesus. The Muslims believe in Jesus. They believe he was a great prophet. They believe he was rescued from the cross and never died. Many Jews believe in Jesus. Some even believe he was a decent teacher, although a bit too radical. They also believe he died and remains dead, just like everyone else, in their opinion. A Christian believes that Jesus “suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.” (The Apostle’s Creed) If you are not a big fan of creeds, please refer back to the first sentence where Scripture is referenced. Not a fan of the literal reading of Scripture, consider for a moment the Apostles who after having denied Jesus, became bold heralds of his resurrection, even to the point of their own martyrdom. Think they are crazy? Consider the Church for over 2,000 years, with other martyrs and the consistent and uncompromising teaching about Christ’s resurrection. Witness the power of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)’s ministry and faith as for 121 years this congregation has invited tens of thousands of people into relationship with God through Jesus Christ and thousands have responded, yes.

This Sunday is Resurrection Sunday, known by the world as Easter. Come and hear again the reasons to believe, experience the power of an empty tomb, join with brothers and sisters in Christ as together we proclaim: “Alleluia! Christ is risen. The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!”

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