Is Your Faith in Vain?

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A Blogged Bible Study entry for John 20:

Was Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead? If not, then why do you call yourself  Christian? Your faith is only vain imaginings:

Now if Christ is being preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say 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 futile and your faith is empty.

Also, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified against God that He raised Christ from the dead, when in reality He did not raise Him, if indeed the dead are not raised.

For if the dead are not raised, then not even Christ has been raised.

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is useless; you are still in your sins. 

Furthermore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. 

For if only in this life we have hope in Christ, we should be pitied more than anyone.

~1 Corinthians 15:12-19

Do you doubt that Jesus was raised from the dead? Thomas doubted:

Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he replied, “Unless I see the wounds from the nails in His hands, and put my finger into the wounds from the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will never believe it!”

Eight days later the disciples were again together in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”

Then He said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and examine My hands. Extend your hand and put it into My side. Do not continue in your unbelief, but believe.”

Thomas replied to Him, “My Lord and my God!”

Jesus said to Him, “Have you believed because you have seen me?  Blessed are the people who have not seen and yet have believed.”

~John 20:24-29

The resurrection is the pivotal point of faith in Jesus Christ.  It is the very definition of faith:

What is faith? It is the confident assurance that what we hope for is going to happen. It is the evidence of things we cannot yet see. ~Hebrews 11:1

Do you have faith? Do you believe?  This is the Gospel of Salvation — the faith that is NOT vain…

Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel that I preached to you, that you received and on which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message I preached to you – unless you believed in vain. For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received – that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. ~1 Corinthians 15:1-6

Do you believe Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried and resurrected?

Do you believe the gospel that is able to save your soul?

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13 responses »

  1. I went over 1st Cor. 15 last night with The Misfits. Heavy stuff, but Paul has quite a line running through that chapter:

    1. The Resurrection of Christ.
    2. The Resurrection of the dead.
    3. The Resurrection bodies we will have.

    It made for a fascinating study after writing about John 20. And of course I love the parallels between seeds and plants, our natural bodies and our spiritual bodies.

    And Paul explains the reasoning quite simply, that our decaying, aging bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.

    It reminds me of watching a 21-year-old kid solve a Rubik’s Cube in less than a minute (which I saw earlier this week). It seemed very complicated and random, like there was a great mystery to his mind, until he explained that he had memorized the formula for solving the puzzle. And it was all a matter of algorithms. So there is no more mystery to solving what was once a complicated puzzle.

    Just like there is no real mystery to eternity. Once we realize the “formula” of The Gospel. 😉

  2. I kind of thought you did, Joe! 😆 I didn’t look into that passage any further, sorry. Too many other things took precendence. Anyway, your explanation made sense to me. (Not that that’s the final authority…you know what I mean.)

    It’s very heavy stuff, Nor. I love that chapter, but there’s a LOT to get through. I love the part about the seed dying in the ground and being raised to something you never could have imagined:

    What you sow will not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare seed – perhaps of wheat or something else. But God gives it a body just as he planned, and to each of the seeds a body of its own. ~1 Corinthians 15:36-38

    I look at an acorn and can’t imagine that the potential for a mighty oak lies within. But plant it, let it die, and in resurrection it becomes a majestic glory. Makes me really wonder what we will be like on the other side of this bare seed we’re living in today.

    Yeah, the “formula” for belief. It makes sense once you have eyes to see.

  3. I used to doubt before I let him take over my heart. Now I see the evidence of his resurrection in my life every day.

    As always wonderfully written Michelle.

    Peace and love sister.

  4. Wow! Michelle, this is very good, and I love I Corinthians 15 actually read it today after Nor told me they looked at it last night…I find it amazing that it all boils down to Believe! What starts as something that sounds complex and hard to understand..turns into..Just believe..I believe!

  5. Hey, Darla! It really is amazing that it all boils down to belief! And there isn’t any way to pursuade belief, you know? Either you do, or you don’t. I’m so glad I was given the gift of faith.

    The evidence surrounds us, doesn’t it, Carl? But yes, when giving my heart completely to Him, when I chose to bow down before Him, a new sense of understanding took over. Without having read C.S. Lewis (his illustrations are wonderful) I already knew this was not reality, only the shadowlands.

    That seed analogy hits me again. The potential in a seed…that’s where we are…right now…not yet what we will become. Amazing!

    Carl, I don’t know how your date and time keeps showing for tomorrow…??? Oh well, I know you came on Friday…I’m definitely NOT psychic. 😕

  6. I should have added that I don’t understand the “formula” that God is going to use to transform our mortal bodies into immortal bodies. But, like that kid and the cube, I know He has it all figured out.

    So the mystery is no mystery once you know it can be done.

    (Well, except for me. Everybody knows I am THE mystery in Blog-Land!)

  7. I have been a Christian now for close to 50 years, I am 65. Has my belief changed in 50 years? YOu bet – a deeper faith than before and I expect my faith – and love – to deepen as I grow in my relationship with Him.

  8. I will leave it to God to understand the mystery of our transformation from this life to the next…AND to understand the mystery that is you, Nor. 😉

    Don’t you love the deepening of the faith, Papa? Sometimes it’s painful, what He takes us through to reach the depths He desires — and I’m so far from the depths He desires — I know this life will have many more trials before it’s all said and done. But it is comforting to be in the hands of a loving Father who only desires our best good. Thanks for coming by, Papa. I always enjoy hearing your insights. 🙂

  9. Sorry I’m always late over here, Mic. Paul has such good teachings on the resurrection. “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is useless; you are still in your sins.” Indeed. It is not enough only to have the sin nature die. We must live … and that only through the power of the resurrection. Love you!

  10. I know you’ll always come at some point, Annie. 😉

    Living through the power of the resurrection…

    …that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

    Life comes through death. It really is amazing how upside-down God’s thinking is to us. You know?

  11. Totally upside-down. I think, perhaps though, as we learn more and more of Him, we start to see things from His perspective, and then the whole thing flips for us too – then we see things God’s way, and everything else seems upside=down! 🙂 Whatcha think?

    lol. I’m a little sleepy, so I typed that whole thing with my eyes closed – including tags. No mistakes! lol!

  12. I think you’re right. Eventually it does start to make sense and it’s difficult to understand why everyone isn’t seeing it the same.

    Also, I think you need sleep. 😉 But very good typing skills, Sparkle!

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