Scripture Reading: John 19:38-20:20
Resurrection and justification and atonement. You can get lost in the doctrinal theories of atonement and arguing over doctrinal points and miss the practical application of the resurrection:
1 Corinthians 15:12-14
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
If Christ rose from the dead, then general resurrection is a definite possibility and vice versa. Vain—empty, useless. If there is no resurrection we are miserable. God’s promises will never be fulfilled, which means He lied, which means He’s not powerful nor God. If there’s no resurrection, you might as well be an atheist!
1 Corinthians 15:15-17
Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
Vain—different word. Fruitless. No practical effect to deliver from sin, you are still under sin’s bondage.
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.5 For if we have been planted [grown] together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
We are spiritually raised up to new life. Death and resurrection are inseparable; to participate in one implies participation in the other. This body lends itself, is subject to sin; resurrection body is free from that, in a sense, even the regenerate believer’s body can be set free from sin.
Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
There is a real sense of our union with His death and resurrection. Resulting in living to God, not to sin.
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
This isn’t just a mind game, there is a deliverance from the power of sin that can practically be applied. Reign—as master, dictator. Don’t use your body as a subject of sin’s tyranny.
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.5 For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.6 But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
The whole purpose and intent of salvation is to bring forth fruit unto God. Either way, you have fruit! Motions—passions, impulses, emotions, stirrings that the law stirred up led to death. Oldness of letter—mechanical duty with no view of internal change or motive.
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
Believers currently have new life now when the Spirit enters. We are delivered from flesh, we owe it nothing, certainly not obedience. Kill the sin or the sin will kill you. You can’t reform the flesh, you can’t make the flesh spiritual. You must be born again, you must be raised up to new spiritual life in Christ!