Arminian Today

A Jesus-Centered Arminian Blog

Justification and the Resurrection

Who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
– Romans 4:25

The importance of the resurrection can never be understated in Christianity.  Unlike Islam which bases its foundation the teachings of their prophet Mohammad and somewhat on the teachings of the Quran, Christianity bases its foundation on the person and work of Jesus Christ and in particular His resurrection from the dead.  The book of Acts demonstrates this reality, that the resurrection was central to the teachings of the Apostles.  The Apostles understood that if Jesus was not risen from the dead, they had no faith.  Even in Acts 1:22 Peter states that the replacement of Judas as an Apostle would have to be one who was an eye-witness to the resurrection of Christ.  On the day of Pentecost, Peter preached the resurrection of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:23-24).  In Acts 3:15 Peter and John declare again that Jesus is risen from the dead.  In Acts 4:10 Peter preached before the very Jews whom he had been afraid of several weeks earlier and now he is preaching boldly that Jesus is risen from the dead.  And it goes on and on the same throughout the book of Acts.

In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul the Apostle spends nearly the entire chapter dealing with the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  He builds his case that if Jesus is not risen from the dead then we are still dead in our sins before God (1 Corinthians 15:17).  Paul ends his arguments on the resurrection of Christ by pointing out that if Christ is rinse from the dead then this guarantees our resurrection as well (1 Corinthians 15:5-58).  The resurrection of Christ is our foundation.

What is amazing is how Paul, in Romans 4:25, builds the fact that Jesus’ resurrection brings our justification.  We often speak of the cross of Christ and we speak of the importance of Jesus’ death on the cross for our sins as does Paul at the beginning of verse 25 but the reality is that without the resurrection of Jesus, we are still dead in our sins.  If Christ is not risen, our sins were not atoned for.  If Christ is not risen, God passed over the sacrifice of Christ.  If Christ is not risen, He would not be our sinless Savior who gave Himself as a propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:1-2).  The death of Jesus cannot be overlooked for it was on the cross that our sins were nailed and forgiven (Matthew 26:28; Ephesians 1:7).  Isaiah the prophet made it clear in Isaiah 53:5 that Jesus would pay for the sins of others.  He would be the Lamb of God who takes away our sins (John 1:29), the Savior of the world (John 4:42).

And then we come to Romans 4:25.  Here Paul clearly states that the resurrection is where we were justified.  Why?  Because if Jesus was not raised from the dead, He died for His own sins.  The wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).  God said in Ezekiel 18:4 that the soul that sins shall die.  Jesus never sinned.  He lived a perfect life of obedience unto the Father (1 Peter 2:22; cf. 2 Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15; 1 John 3:5) so that His death was for our sins.  His very purpose was to come and die (Matthew 1:21).  And yet the resurrection guarantees that the Father has accepted the sacrifice of the Son for our sins.  Jesus’ resurrection proves that His blood was (and is) sufficient for our sins (1 John 1:7).

As we enter into the Passover season, let us, as disciples of Jesus Christ, make every ambition to exalt Jesus as the risen one.  His death was vital for our forgiveness but His resurrection guarantees that we are truly forgiven and justified before God.  The resurrection of Christ is the foundation of our faith, the cornerstone of our salvation, and it is the basis for our assurance of our salvation.  We have ample proof given to us in the Gospels that Jesus is alive and He will return (Hebrews 9:27-28).  I long to see Him face to face (1 John 3:1-4) and behold the One who died for me and was raised for my justification.    

Written by The Seeking Disciple

03/27/2012 at 10:28 AM

2 Responses

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  1. Hello

    Could you let the chap who runs the Sounds of Thunder/thundersounds blog that his comments box thingy is not working, and that is why he is getting no comments to his excellent posts?

    I think that you are tech savvy enough to know how to contact him, cos I can’t work out how to do it.

    Sorry that this is nothing to do with your post.


    03/27/2012 at 1:49 PM

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