[forthright] If There is a Resurrection

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Fri, 10 Apr 2009 06:50:55 -0700 (PDT)
Forthright Magazine 
http://www.forthright.net 
Straight to the Cross

A story of friends. A study of salvation. 'Discovering
the Kingdom of God,' by Tim Hall.
http://forthrightpress.com/#KingdomOfGod


COLUMN: HEAVENLY CONNECTIONS

If There Was a Resurrection
 by Tim Hall

"If? Are you questioning whether or not Jesus Christ
was raised from the dead?” That might well be the
reaction of some after reading the title of this
article.

We're in that time of the year in which Christendom
celebrates in various ways Jesus' resurrection. Though
our methods of honoring that event may differ, we are
in agreement with the groundbreaking (no pun intended)
nature of it. No, we're not questioning whether Jesus
was raised from the dead. We're convinced it really
happened.

What we question is that which Paul questioned: Has
there been a resurrection from the dead in our lives?
Can evidence of that resurrection be found?

Here is how Paul phrased the idea: 

   "If then you were raised with Christ, seek
   those things which are above, where Christ
   is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set
   your mind on things above, not on things on
   the earth" (Colossians 3:1,2, NKJV). 

But how could we have been raised? We've never died 
- have we?

In the previous chapter, Paul noted the death that
should have taken place:

   "Buried with him in baptism, in which you
   also were raised with him through faith in
   the working of God, who raised him from the
   dead. And you, being dead in your trespasses
   and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he has
   made alive together with him, having
   forgiven you all trespasses" (Colossians
   2:12,13).

We all inevitably choose sin (Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8).
In doing so we choose death, separation from God. But
Jesus' death on the cross and subsequent resurrection
made possible our resurrection, Paul said. Some of us
have responded to that opportunity. In baptism we laid
to rest the old way of life (sin), and were raised to
walk in a new path (righteousness).

Here's the problem: Some who have gone through the
vital acts of obedience do not show the difference that
a resurrection should make. Their language is still
laced with profanity; their values still reflect a love
of sinful pleasures; their interests continue to be
primarily selfish. Have these really been raised from
the dead?

A nearly-identical passage is found in Romans 6. Paul
again compared our conversion to the death, burial and
resurrection of Jesus. Note especially verse 4:
"Therefore we were buried with him through baptism into
death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by
the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in
newness of life."

Why did God raise us from the grave of baptism? So that
our lives would be new.

As we contemplate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from
physical death, let's not fail to contemplate our own
situation. Have we followed through on the pledge we
made at baptism?

----
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