In Corinth, a false rumor was being spread that Jesus didn’t actually raise from the dead. Imagine that for a moment. The resurrection of Jesus is not just a small detail that, if missing, makes Christianity into a good religion still worth following. Paul says if there is no resurrection then our “faith is in vain and futile” and “we are of all people most to be pitied.”
It’s true! Without resurrection our faith is worthless. And without a real death on the cross (imagine if Jesus just passed out and got buried and was really strong so he could roll away the tomb and lie to everyone) there is no resurrection. There must be death to have new life!
Here’s why this thought is so important: So many people claim to be Christians, to be saved, but they’ve never died to sin. Their old lives are still very much alive instead of being crucified. And if they haven’t died (believed, repented, pledged Jesus as Lord) then they can’t possibly live in the new life of Christ. What would Paul say about such “faith”?
In this week’s study, we’ve looked at a lot of details (sin, the cross, repentance and baptism) but if we take a broader look at biblical salvation we see what matters most: death and new life, cross and resurrection. As Paul would later write in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
So here’s the counter-intuitive question that you need to answer if you want to experience the saving grace of new life in Christ:
Are you ready to die?
If you’re dead, then you’re ready to be made alive!
Next week we’ll look at what new life in Christ looks like. Spoiler: it’s never lonely!
Make sure you set up your next meeting with your bible study partner – you’ve got a lot to discuss!