In continuing our series on the essential doctrines of the faith, beloved, I’d like to address the resurrection today. If you’ve missed the previous posts in this series I’ll link to them below. The point of this series is to edify and embolden the faithful to share the Gospel with a lost and dying cultish world. You don’t need to have a perfect understanding of all the cults teachings to speak truth into confusion. All you need is a Biblical and historical understanding of Christianity. As such, today we’ll be discussing the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This doctrine is under attack, and has been for decades, but not by the cults only. In fact, some of the cults have a Biblical doctrine of the resurrected King, while professing churches in the ‘mainline’ arena do not.
The doctrine of the resurrection of Jesus Christ is obviously referring to His defeating death, and rising on the third day. It was not possible for death to hold Him, His sacrifice was perfect, His prophecies that He would rise were true (John 2:18-22). To deny His literal resurrection is the call Christ a liar (Romans 3:4), which would make Him a sinner (Hebrews 4:15). If He was a sinner, He was not God, nor was His sacrifice perfect, meaning we are all lost without hope (1 Cor. 15:13-17). This is why the resurrection is such an essential doctrine, without proper Biblical theology in this, you remove yourself from orthodoxy, and place yourself under condemnation with no hope of salvation (1 Peter 1:3-5).
Before we move forward, I need to make some definitional distinctions. We’re going to be talking in terms of liberal and conservative churches. These terms have more than one meaning, there’s the religious meaning and the political meaning. We’re strictly discussing the religious implications, not the political. In other words, when I call a group liberal, for this context of this post, I mean those professing believers who do not believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, Word of God. Whereas a conservative professing believer would take all, or most, of the Bible to be written by men, inspired by the Holy Spirit, thus without error. In the case of the resurrection, the liberal churches do not believe it actually happened. In this way, they are in agreement with the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who teach Christ was resurrected Spirit, not in a bodily form.
While liberalism has spread to Mormonism, and Roman Catholicism, both have core doctrines that include a Biblical resurrection of Christ. Roman Catholics have left orthodoxy in the transubstantiation, or the repeated ‘sacrificing’ of Christ in the sacraments. Mormons have confused this doctrine by misunderstanding the Trinity, as do the Oneness Pentecostals. However, it is only the Jehovah’s Witnesses, alongside the liberal churches, who refuse to accept the Biblical doctrine of Jesus Christ rising bodily from the dead. This is one area where I believe the cults are not as deadly as those claiming to be born again. We know when we talk to someone knocking at our door early in the morning, nicely dressed, traveling in pairs, that we’re talking to someone who is promoting a cult. When we talk to a co-worker, relative, or friend that has been deceived by liberal teaching, but professes Christianity, it’s harder to nail down the errant theology.
I hope that this series continues to be a blessing to you, dear ones, and that you’ll be encouraged to boldly share Christ crucified, raised from the dead, as told in Gods Word. If you have not yet watched the Jeff Durbin vs. Andy Stanley debate I’m going to link to it below. They discuss the importance of Gods Word in regards to apologetics. Apologetics sounds like a term meaning we apologize for our faith, but what it is actually referring to is giving a reasoned defensive of our faith. Doing this without a proper understanding of the essentials is very difficult, doing so without believing in Gods inspired Word is impossible. Reasoning about an authority without accepting that authority is not reasonable. Have a great day, beloved brethren, and as always be good Berean’s and study to show yourselves approved.