Monday, April 4, 2011

The Under-Emphasis of the Resurrection

I am currently reading "Raised With Christ" by Adrian Warnock. After my series of posts at the beginning of last month this quote seems fitting.

Most of us are not intentionally neglecting the resurrection.  We do appreciate its importance and value it highly.  But the resurrection has not been explored as fully as many of the other doctrines and has not been given the attention it deserves.
Paul states emphatically that without the resurrection we would still be in our sins.  Without the resurrection we are lost and there is no hope!  There is no salvation without a living Jesus.  We need the resurrection to have its power-generating effect inside of us if we are born again... We need a change within us that only the resurrection can produce...
The degree to which we neglect the resurrection is also the degree to which we neglect to think about Jesus as he really is, now.  Jesus is enthroned in heaven and is reigning inside every believer.  His powers are limitless, and he is at liberty to do as he wishes... The world seems blind to the Bible's description of the resurrected Jesus, full of power and authority.  This description is highly offensive to the world.  But to worship Jesus as the artists have portrayed him, instead of as the Son of Man in all his glory, is nothing short of idolatry.
To meditate on the reality of the risen Jesus promises to be of great benefit to us.  Hope, optimism, enthusiasm, and certainty are likely to result.  Angst, uncertainty, and complexity, as well as attempts to deny ourselves legitimate pleasures in an attempt to carry our own cross, might be the result if we neglect to meditate on Christ's glorious victory over death.  This kind of condemnation and legalism is widespread in the church today.  In the modern world, many accuse the church of being dead.  This impression will merely be confirmed if they only hear us preaching about a Jesus who was crucified for them, speaking about him and acting as though he is still dead.  Colossians 2:6-4:1 contrasts the legalism of religion with the resurrection life that is ours in Christ Jesus.  Without setting our minds on our living Master in heaven we will never be able to live as God intended.

What's interesting is that he connects a lack of focus on the resurrection to legalism within the church.  In my previous posts I made the point that I feel like we don't focus on Christian living enough because we are afraid that we will introduce legalism and because we do not teach the resurrection.  But maybe it would be more appropriate to say that to teach Christian living without a proper understanding of the resurrection MUST result in legalism.  We have properly recognized that in the modern evangelical movement, but rather than correcting it by teaching Christian living AND the resurrection, we now teach neither Christian living NOR the resurrection.  And so we are left with something far short of the gospel of the Bible.

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