The line between what is historically true and what is written by the dominating voices of the day is being progressively blurred. With time it’s becoming more difficult to believe news reports of things that have occurred even recently since history is being used as propaganda to support and promote political agendas.
This is not simply a current phenomenon, but something that was happening in the first century church. Paul writes to the Corinthians, “Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.” (1 Corinthians 15:12-13)
With an emphasis towards making Christianity available to the masses, there is a temptation to soften the gospel with more politically-correct terminology designed at avoiding confrontation and offence. Paul confronted that notion directly.
“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised and on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.” - 1 Corinthians 15:3-5
Stating that this information was of “first importance,” Paul laid the groundwork for the simplicity of the gospel message. Furthermore, in the letter to the Romans he states, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16) and then in 1 Corinthians 1:18, “For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”
Not only was the death, burial and resurrection a true historical fact to Paul, but he staked his entire message and life on it. 1 Corinthians 15:14 says “and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.”
Believing by faith the historically accurate account of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection is how we enter into a true relationship with the God of the universe. Anything else is simply wishful thinking. Christ is truly our hope.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” - 1 Peter 1:3
Blog by Franz Martens of CrossWay International Baptist Church.
Published on 31. March 2021 from Berlin, Germany.
Photo by Bruno van der Kraan on Unsplash.