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If there is one event that Christianity relies on more than others, it is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. John Stott once said, “We live and die; Christ died and lived!” And that “died” and then “lived” is what our Christian faith is about.

Soteriology: The Bodily Resurrection of Christ

Photo by Bruno van der Kraan on Unsplash

As I study books of the Bible, one literary feature I look for is a “pivot.” A pivot is where you see the a significant theme shift or change in the book. One example of a pivot is in the book of Daniel when King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that no wise man or magic astrologer could interpret. So Daniel is brought in front of the mighty powerful and high ruler of the known world, King Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel says, “There are no wise men, enchanters, magicians, or future tellers who can reveal the king’s secret. But there is a God in heaven who reveals secrets, and he has shown King Nebuchadnezzar what will happen in the future.” (Dan 2:27-28, emphasis added). 1 That’s a pivot: power from the earthly king to power to the heavenly king.

The pivot of Christianity is the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Old Testament predicted, the Gospels described it, and the book of Acts and New Testament letters explained what it meant. Let’s do a study of the resurrection. 

SOTERIOLOGY
The Bodily Resurrection of Jesus Christ
(Acts 1:3)

I. BODY, NOT GHOST

First steps in studying the resurrection of Christ is to notice that the Bible describes him as having a real physical body. In other words, Jesus was not a “ghost.” Jesus’s interaction in the Gospel of Luke with two people walking to Emmaus tells us that Jesus had a “body” and was not a “ghost.” Jesus had appeared to these two people, was walking with them (Luke 24:15), talking with them (Luke 24:17-27), but they did not recognize him (Luke 24:16).

A. Held Bread and Broke It

Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. Unless otherwise noted, all translations are from the New Living Translation

While a kid I was a fan of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It was one of my favorite movies and toys. As powerful and amazing as these adult-sized turtles were, there was always one thing that could prevent them from protecting themselves or others. If they happened to fall on their backs, there was no way for them to get up. The sometimes quipped, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” rings true for a turtle that falls on his back. He truly can’t get up.

Within the topic of sin, every single person is figuratively a turtle: I’ve fallen and I can’t get up. We are sinners 1 headed for hell and we can’t do nothing about it without Christ’s intervention. Let’s look at how all of humanity is fallen, lost, and dead.

 Hamartiology - Fallen, Lost, and Dead

Photo Credit: The Bible Revival

HAMARTIOLOGY
Fallen, Lost, and Dead

I. MAN’S LOSTNESS

The fact that man is lost can be seen in man’s mind, his heart, death, and Satan.

A. The Mind

The apostle Paul discusses how man’s mind is lost in his letter to the believers in Ephesus,

So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, (Eph 4:17–18a, NASB, emphasis added)

The “Gentiles” that Paul is talking about here are those that live in whatever way they want. They have no set of religious values that they follow and attempt to use to live a Godly lifestyle. In essence, they are confused. Their minds are full of darkness. Continue Reading…

Notes:

  1. “Every sinner is totally destitute of that love to God which is the fundamental requirement of the low (Deut. 6:4f; Matt. 22:37); that he is supremely given to a preference of himself to God (2 Tim. 3:2-4); that he has an aversion to God which on occasion becomes active enmity to him (Rom. 8:7)); that his every faculty is disordered and corrupted (Eph. 4:18); that he has not thought, feeling, or deed of which God can fully approve (Rom. 7:18); and that he has entered upon a line of constant progress in depravity from which he can in no wise turn away in his own strength (Rom. 7:18). Depravity has infected the whole man-mind, emotions, and will.” (Henry Thiessen, Lectures in Systematic Theology, pp. 191-192)

This is my final post in the summary doctrine series. Today we look at what it means for people to respond to the Gospel and what happens to those who do or don’t accept the Gospel message. Like my other posts, I’m using the Evangelical Free Church of America’s statement of faith as a guide.

A Summary of the Doctrine of the Gospel and Hell

Gustave Dore’s “New Jerusalem”

Response and Eternal Destiny. Article #10. We believe that God commands everyone everywhere to believe the gospel by turning to Him in repentance and receiving the Lord Jesus Christ. We believe that God will raise the dead bodily and judge the world, assigning the unbeliever to condemnation and eternal conscious punishment and the believer to eternal blessedness and joy with the Lord in the new heaven and the new earth, to the praise of His glorious grace. Amen.

I. BASICS OF THE GOSPEL MESSAGE

A. The Gospel Message Continue Reading…