Friday, May 8, 2015

EmmDev 2015-05-08 [Apostle's Creed] the resurrection of the body

the resurrection of the body

If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin--  because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. 8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.         (Romans6:5-8)
Having spoken about God (Father, Son and Spirit) and the church, the creed ends with three personal assertions:
  1. The forgiveness of sins (we looked at this yesterday)
  2. The resurrection of the body
  3. Life everlasting

These three personal assertions are crucial for a vibrant spiritual life. The forgiveness of sins is our reminder that our imperfections do not have the final say. As we journey with God, His gift of forgiveness covers the gap between His righteousness and my failures. Without the gift of forgiveness I would become discouraged and demoralised.

The resurrection of the body is also important. It confirms our forgiveness and our faith in a physical resurrection infuses this life with value and importance. What we do in this life really matters. There were a group of false teachers in New Testament times, the Gnostics, who said that you could do what you liked with your body and with the world because heaven was purely spiritual and so the physical didn't matter.

But resurrection means that our lives here matter and it makes working for justice, humanitarian causes and environmental issues important and significant.

But more than that, resurrection is the hope that counters the fear of death. Death is the ultimate roadblock. All of us reach it, and without the hope of resurrection, life seems pointless and futile and cynicism and hopelessness threatens.

This was even more significant in New Testament times where Christians were being persecuted and martyred for their faith. Yet the church grew and prospered - why? Because they believed in resurrection and faced death with faith, hope and courage.

Having heard of the recent terrorist attacks at a university in Kenya (just a little up the map from us) where Christian students were executed, the hope of resurrection has become very real to me again.

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