10 Essential Truths About the Resurrection of Jesus By Ken Samples

(Adapted from Chapter 10, Kindle Location 1512-1522 of the very helpful book by *Kenneth R. Samples, Without a Doubt: Answering the 20 Toughest Faith Questions, Grand Rapids, Baker, 2004,)

 Ten Essential Truths About the Resurrection of Jesus Christ

The following ten points convey essential theological information about the resurrection of Christ and reveal its Christological implications.

(1) The resurrection is the ultimate confirmation of Jesus’ identity as the divine Messiah, Savior, and Lord (Rom. 1:3-4; 14:9). It proves that Jesus is who he said he is. By raising Jesus from the dead, God the Father vindicated Jesus Christ’s redemptive mission and message (Matt. 16:21; 28:6). The resurrection confirms the truth of everything Jesus said.

(2) Because Jesus Christ rose from the dead as a man—with a physical body as a part of his human nature—he permanently identified with humanity and is the God-man forever. The resurrection was not a flight from the human condition but rather its glorious restoration and fulfillment.

(3) When God raised Jesus Christ from the dead (Acts 2:24; 3:15) all three members of the Trinity were involved: Father (Rom. 6:4; 1 Cor. 6:14; Gal. 1:1; Eph. 1:20), Son (John 10:17-18; 11:25; Heb. 7:16), and Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:11). The resurrection confirms God’s full involvement—as Father, Son, and Spirit—in salvation.

(4) The resurrection designates Jesus Christ as the forever-living head of the Christian church (Eph. 1:19-22). The historic Christian church therefore worships and takes direction from a living Savior.

(5) Christ’s resurrection power is active in, and ensures, the believer’s eternal salvation (Rom. 4:25; 10:9-10; Eph. 2:5-6; Phil. 3:10). The gospel message of salvation in Christ rests on the truth of the resurrection.

(6) Christ’s resurrection power is available to empower all believers as they seek to live in obedience and gratitude to God (Rom. 6:12-13). The debilitating power of sin over mankind has been broken by the resurrection.

(7) Christ’s resurrection is the pledge and paradigm for the future bodily resurrection of all believers (1 Cor. 6:14; 15:20; 2 Cor. 9:14; Phil. 3:21; Col. 1:18; 1 Thess. 4:14). Just as he rose, believers will also rise.

(8) Christ’s resurrection is the answer to mankind’s greatest existential predicament, being stalked by death. Here in death’s shadow, the resurrection provides hope, purpose, meaning, and confidence in the presence of death (John 11:25-26; Rom. 14:7-8).

(9) The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the major theme of the apostles’ original preaching and teaching (Acts 1:22; 2:31; 4:2, 33; 17:18), and the chief doctrinal tenet of the New Testament as a whole. “He is risen” is the confessional cry of the early church.

(10) The truth or falsity of the Christian gospel rests squarely upon the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Cor. 15:14-18). Christianity’s truth-claims can be tested through examining the facts of Jesus’ historical resurrection from the dead.

*About Ken Samples In his own words: “Growing up, I wrestled with unsettling feelings of meaninglessness and boredom, driving me to seek answers to life’s big questions. An encounter with Christian philosophy in Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis led me to examine the New Testament and finally believe that Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God, the Lord and Savior of the world. From then on, I pursued an intellectually satisfying faith.

I began studying Christian philosophy and theology voraciously. I earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy and social science from Concordia University and an MA in theological studies from Talbot School of Theology. For seven years, I worked as senior research consultant and correspondence editor at the Christian Research Institute (CRI) and regularly cohosted call-in radio program, The Bible Answer Man, with Dr. Walter Martin.

Today, as senior research scholar at science-faith think tank Reasons To Believe (RTB), I love using what I’ve learned to help others find the answers to life’s questions. My goal is to encourage believers to develop a logically defensible faith and to challenge skeptics to engage Christianity at a philosophical level.

I’ve written two books for RTB; a third is currently in the works. Without a Doubt provides clear, solid answers to tough questions encountered every day. Topics range from the deity of Christ to religious pluralism, from evolution to moral relativism.A World of Difference places the Christian worldview—as summarized in the Apostles’ Creed—under a microscope and then compares and contrasts it with four other major worldviews: naturalism, Islam, postmodernism, and the pantheistic monism of Eastern religions.

Both my books are available in the RTB web store and on Amazon.com. I’ve also coauthored Lights in the Sky and Little Green Men with RTB founder Dr. Hugh Ross and national security expert Dr. Mark Clark. My weekly podcast, Straight Thinking, is dedicated to encouraging Christians to utilize sound reasoning in their apologetics. Subscription to Straight Thinking is available for free through RTB’s web site, as well as iTunes. You can also hear me and my fellow RTB scholars offer unscripted answers to listener questions on the I Didn’t Know That! podcast.”

Book Review: The Cross Is Not Enough by Ross Clifford & Philip Johnson

The Cross Only Has Meaning Because of the Empty Tomb

 As a pastor for over twenty-four years now, I am amazed at how fresh and new and exciting the depths of my understanding of the gospel keep getting – largely due to books like this one. This insightful book offers a very refreshing and much needed look at the necessity of a paradigm shift in our thinking through the lenses of the resurrection rather than through the cross as the appropriate symbol of the church in today’s world. In this book the authors make the very effective case that the resurrection is the lynchpin upon which Christianity stands or falls: without it – there is no atonement for sin, no justification by faith alone, no empowerment for living a holistic life, and no basis for ethics, spiritual growth, human rights, and missions.

One of the most important contributions this book makes is how they cogently and with convincing evidences show how a theology of the resurrection was in the thoughts and heart of the worldview of the most missional Christian of all time – the apostle Paul. The authors also demonstrate how resurrection theology is present in all of Biblical revelation. This book is not so much a case for the evidence of the resurrection, but a case for the necessity and reality of our belief and application of the ramifications of the resurrection for all of life.

I immensely enjoyed this book and will be adding it to an increasing list of books that I will be reading on a yearly basis to remind me of the importance of the resurrection lenses through which I should be seeing all of life each and every day – until Jesus returns – of course, made possible because of His literal bodily resurrection from the dead. As a result of my reading of this book I believe and feel even more empowered and equipped to live out and share the past, present, and future realities of the gospel consisting of the death, burial, resurrection, and return of Jesus Christ the Lord.