|Christ, the first fruit|
Paul asked king Agrippa, that "Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?" Acts 26:8.
Preaching Christ’s resurrection is important for the believer now as it was before. It’s important, because that’s the only way you know you shall also be raised as he was, "For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins" 1 Corinthians 15:16-17. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul said, "If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die" 1 Corinthians 15:32.
One of the reasons another apostle had to be chosen to replace Judas Iscariot is that the new Apostle would, "become a witness with us of His resurrection” (Acts 1:22).
It makes you a Sadducee to not believe in the resurrection of Christ, or of the dead, and a Pharisee if you believe but then do not act like you believe. But, "with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 4:33), and with greater power they also affirmed the dead will rise - and it was that you hope for life hereafter. For "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable" 1 Corinthians 15:19.
Now, Colossians 3:1-3 says, "If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."
I said God made a promise, and this time the promise is not Canaan, it’s not gold or silver, "for the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost" for you are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. That’s where your life is now! The promise now is eternal life - he said, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
The promise we Christians are hoping for, serving God day and night, is that one day, we shall be raised from the dead, or be changed, "for the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth" Colossians 1:5.
Jesus is the first of the first-fruits.“....Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep [in death]” (1 Corinthians 15:20). Jesus is “the firstborn of every creature" “the firstborn from the dead” and “the firstborn among many brethren” (Colossians 1:15, 18; Romans 8:29).
I like Philippians 3:20-21 and it says,
"For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself." Hallelujah!
Paul asks the Corinthians,
"Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not." 1 Corinthians 15:12-15.
The truth of the gospel is all about; Faith, Hope and Love.
- faith in Christ Jesus,
- love for all the saints, among others things and
- your hope for eternal life.
Look forward to the joy in heaven; "Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light" Colossians 1:12.
What is the hope of the gospel? It is Eternal life!
Muzembi.org - Simple Gospel Summation