April 25, 2017
1 Corinthians 15:12-14 - 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. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
Indispensable. Some things are indispensable. For example,
• you can't drive most cars very far without gasoline; petrol is indispensable.
• you can't bake a good loaf of bread without flour; flour is indispensable.
• you can't have a fun day at the lake without water; H20 is indispensable.
Now I have a pretty good idea of what you're thinking.
You're saying something like this: "What a waste of paper and time. Those statements are incredibly obvious. Nobody has to make a big thing about matters so obvious."
I hope you're not too surprised when I confess that I agree with you.
Just as I agree the third-day resurrection of the Redeemer ought to be considered indispensable to any individual who professes to believe on the Lord Jesus -- anyone who trusts that God has forgiven and saved them.
Yes, the essential quality of the resurrection ought to be indispensable to the faith, but it's not.
As proof I would point you to a study that was commissioned by the BBC. Immediately before Holy Week, the news organization decided to do a survey of the faith of people living in Great Britain. The results of that survey were disturbing. For example, it was found that:
• only 17 percent of all people believed the Bible version of the resurrection word for word;
• only 31 percent of Christians fully believed the Bible account of the resurrection.
That's a sad set of statistics. It gets worse, much worse. The poll also found out that 25 percent of people who said they were Christians did not believe in the resurrection of Jesus.
Having seen the poll, Rev. Dr. Lorraine Cavanagh, a spokesperson for liberal Christianity, said, "... to ask an adult to believe in the resurrection the way they did when they were at Sunday school simply won't do, and that's true of much of the key elements of the Christian faith."
Well, Dr. Cavanagh has her opinion and the apostle Paul shares the Lord's view of the resurrection. Is the resurrection of the Christ an option -- something we can take or leave? Paul is clear: if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
In other words, Dr. Cavanagh is totally wrong and Paul is right. Truth is, if Jesus isn't raised, we can close down the churches, give up our faith, and go into perpetual mourning. But, thankfully, Christ is risen and those who know and believe what He has done for them have been rescued from sin, condemnation, death, and damnation.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I give thanks that Jesus has risen, the Holy Spirit has given me faith, and You have forgiven me. Now I ask You will protect all believers from thinking there is any other Gospel than the one which says, "Christ is risen!" In Jesus' Name, I pray Amen.
The story upon which this Daily Devotion is based was carried by the BBC on April 9, 2017. The website where the parent article can be found is: www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-39153121
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries