Romans 10:9 (3)
(from a manuscript of a sermon preached on 6/12/11 at Sovereign Redeemer Assembly)
Please turn in your Bibles to Romans 10, and let’s read verses 4 through 13:
Romans 10: (4) For Christ [is] the end of Law for righteousness to everyone that believes. (5) For Moses writes [of] the righteousness [which is] of the Law: The man doing these things shall live by them. (6) But the righteousness of faith says this: Do not say in your heart, Who will go up into Heaven? (that is, to bring down Christ); (7) or, Who will go down into the abyss? (that is, to bring Christ up from [the] dead.) (8) But what does it say? The Word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart (that is, the Word of faith which we proclaim). (9) Because if you confess [the] Lord Jesus with your mouth, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from [the] dead, you will be saved. (10) For with [the] heart [one] believes unto righteousness, and with [the] mouth [on]e confesses unto salvation. (11) For the Scripture says, Everyone believing on Him will not be put to shame. (12) For there is no difference both of Jew and of Greek, for the same Lord of all is rich toward all the ones calling on Him. (13) For everyone, whoever may call on the name of [the] Lord will be saved.
The last time we were here, we went over the first part of the content of confession and belief in verse 9, which is “the Lord Jesus.” We saw that Jesus is fully God and fully man. He existed from eternity past as Jehovah God the Son, through whom the universe was created, and by whom the universe is controlled. In time, He became flesh, was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary by the Holy Spirit, was born under the law, and perfectly kept the law. He is the only mediator between God and men.
This time, the Lord willing, we will go into the second part of the content of confession and belief, which is the phrase, “God raised Him from the dead.” The “God” here is God the Father, and the “Him” here is “the Lord Jesus” from the first part. So all believers believe that God the Father raised the Lord Jesus, God the Son, the God-Man Mediator, from the dead. The first part of the content of confession and belief talks about the PERSON of Jesus Christ, while the second part talks about the WORK of Jesus Christ.
Many religionists will look at the simplicity of what is believed and confessed here and say something like this: “See, all a person has to believe is that Jesus is God and that Jesus was raised from the dead. That’s it. Don’t bring in any of your doctrine about the atonement or anything else, because all it says is that all believers believe that Jesus is God and that Jesus was raised from the dead. Anything more is adding to the gospel.” One of the ways we could reply is this: Okay, suppose someone believes that Jesus is God and that Jesus died of old age and that God the Father then raised Jesus from the dead. No substitution, no representation, just the Lord Jesus dying of old age and then being raised from the dead. Can a saved person believe that? Why not? After all, the only thing that all believers have in common is a belief that Jesus is God and that Jesus was raised from the dead. Now when you say that, you will either not get an answer, or some will concede that there’s more to it. And if they concede that there’s more to it, then their accusation that we are “adding to the gospel” comes tumbling down. It’s not just the historical fact that Jesus was raised from the dead. Others were raised from the dead, so that’s not unique to Jesus. The son of the widow of Zarephath, the Shunammite’s son, the young man laid in Elisha’s grave, the widow’s son in Luke 7, Jairus’s daughter, Lazarus, Dorcas, and Eutychus were all raised from the dead. So it’s not just being raised from the dead. The question we need to answer is this: What does “God raised Him from the dead” MEAN? What is its SIGNIFICANCE? Only then will we see the essential gospel doctrine that every believer believes and get the true meaning of this phrase in Romans 10:9.
What’s the first obvious fact regarding someone being raised from the dead? This may be so obvious that you don’t think it’s worth mentioning. If someone has been raised from the DEAD, that means that they were once what? DEAD. And if they were dead, they were alive before they were dead. So we know that Jesus Christ lived and died before he rose from the dead. That’s an essential part of the gospel, but it’s not sufficient, as I showed before. Someone could believe that Jesus Christ lived and then died of old age and then rose from the dead, but he wouldn’t believe the gospel. Now we already talked about Jesus Christ’s LIFE last time, in which He perfectly kept God’s law. But He did not perfectly keep God’s law as a private person; He perfectly kept God’s law as a SUBSTITUTE and REPRESENTATIVE of certain people, and that perfect righteousness is imputed, or charged to the account of, those people in time, so they are seen as perfectly righteous in the eyes of God’s law and justice.
So now let’s talk about Jesus Christ’s DEATH as it specifically relates to God’s raising Him from the dead. Why is the doctrine that “God raised Him from the dead” such an important, foundational doctrine? Well, let’s first look at another definition of the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15. Let’s read verses 1 through 8:
1 Corinthians 15: (1) But, brothers, I reveal to you the gospel which I preached to you, which you also received, in which you also stand, (2) by which you also are being kept safe, if you hold fast the Word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. (3) For I delivered to you in the first place what I also received, that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures, (4) and that He was buried, and that He was raised the third day, according to the Scriptures, (5) and that He appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. (6) Then He appeared to over five hundred brothers at once, of whom the most remain until now, but some also fell asleep. (7) Then He was seen by James, then by all the apostles; (8) and last of all, even as if to [one] born out of time, He was also seen by me.
We see here Christ’s death, burial, resurrection, and witnesses of the resurrection. Death and burial can be seen together, as burial is mentioned as confirmation that Jesus Christ actually died and was placed in a grave. Resurrection and witnesses of the resurrection can be seen together, as witnesses are mentioned as confirmation that Jesus Christ actually came back to life. So the two main points are Christ’s death and resurrection. But notice that it doesn’t merely say that Christ died. What does it say? It says that Christ died FOR OUR SINS. So that gets rid of the notion that Christ died as a private person. It then goes on to say that Christ died for our sins ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES. This means that the gospel doesn’t just allow for any doctrine of Christ dying for our sins – it was a dying for our sins ACCORDING TO GOD’S WORD – according to how GOD says that Christ died for our sins. In the same way, this passage doesn’t just say that Christ was raised from the dead – it says that Christ was raised the third day, ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES. The gospel doesn’t just allow for any doctrine of Christ being raised – it was a resurrection ACCORDING TO GOD’S WORD – according to how GOD says that Christ was raised.
In order for the meaning of the resurrection to be established, we must first establish the meaning of Christ’s death, for without Christ’s death, His resurrection is meaningless. What does it mean that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures?”
Two important concepts must be understood at the outset: SUBSTITUTION and IMPUTATION. SUBSTITUTION denotes an exchange of places. Jesus Christ TOOK THE PLACE OF certain sinners. Jesus Christ suffered ON BEHALF OF certain sinners. He REPRESENTED certain sinners. He suffered as a VICARIOUS SACRIFICE. IMPUTATION denotes a legal charging to one’s account. All of the sins of certain sinners, with all their guilt and condemnation, were CHARGED TO Jesus Christ.
Let’s turn to Isaiah 53 and read the entire chapter:
Isaiah 53: (1) Who has believed our report? And to whom is the arm of Jehovah revealed? (2) For He comes up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He [has] no form nor magnificence that we should see Him; nor form that we should desire Him. (3) [He is] despised and abandoned of men, a Man of pains, and acquainted with sickness. And as it were hiding [our] faces from Him, He being despised, and we did not value Him. (4) Surely He has borne our sicknesses, and He carried our pain; yet we esteemed Him plagued, smitten by God, and afflicted. (5) But He was wounded for our transgressions; [He was] bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His wounds we ourselves are healed. (6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have each one turned to his own way; and Jehovah made meet in Him the iniquity of all of us. (7) He was oppressed, and He was afflicted, but He did not open His mouth. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a ewe before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth. (8) He was taken from prison and from justice; and who shall consider His generation? For He was cut off out of the land of the living; from the transgression of My people, the stroke [was] to Him. (9) And He appointed [Him] His grave with the wicked, but [He was] with a rich [man] in His death; though He had done no violence, and deceit [was] not in His mouth. (10) But Jehovah pleased to crush Him, to make Him sick, [so that] If He should put His soul as a guilt offering, He shall see [His] seed; He shall prolong [His] days; and the will of Jehovah shall prosper in His hand. (11) He shall see [the fruit] of the travail of His soul; He shall be fully satisfied. By His knowledge the righteous One, My Servant, shall justify for many, and He shall bear their iniquities. (12) Because of this I will divide to Him with the great, and with the strong He shall divide the spoil; because He poured out His soul to death; and [He] was counted with those transgressing; and He bore the sin of many, and made intercession for those transgressing.
Jesus Christ BORE the transgression of His people. The sins of His people were IMPUTED to Him. Jesus Christ actually became GUILTY by imputation. He remained perfect in His character and conduct, but He was counted guilty because sin was imputed to Him. Let’s turn to some more passages that show this:
2 Corinthians 5: (21) For He made the [One] who knew no sin [to be] sin for us, that we might become [the] righteousness of God in Him.
Galatians 3: (13) Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us; for it has been written, Cursed [is] everyone having been hung on a tree;
Hebrews 9: (28) so Christ having been once offered to bear [the] sins of many, Christ shall appear a second [time] without sin to those expecting Him for salvation.
1 Peter 2: (24) who Himself carried up in His body our sins onto the tree; that dying to sins, we might live to righteousness, of whom [by] His wound you were healed.
What did Christ’s death accomplish? There are several words to describe what Christ’s death accomplished. One word is REMISSION. To remit means to cancel, to forgive, to pardon, to take out of the way. Jesus Christ’s death on the cross totally canceled, totally purged, totally paid the debt for the sins of everyone for whom He died. Let’s turn to some passages that show this:
Daniel 9: (24) Seventy weeks are decreed as to your people, and as to your holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make atonement for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.
Matthew 26: (28) For this is My blood of the New Covenant which concerning many is being poured out for remission of sins.
John 1: (29) On the morrow, John sees Jesus coming toward him and said, Behold! The Lamb of God, taking away the sin of the world!
Ephesians 1: (7) in whom we have redemption through His blood, the remission of deviations, according to the riches of His grace
Colossians 1: (14) in whom we have redemption through His blood, the remission of sins;
Colossians 2: (13) And you, being dead in the deviations and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all the deviations, (14) blotting out the handwriting in the ordinances against us, which was contrary to us, even [He] has taken it out of the midst, nailing it to the cross;
Hebrews 1: (3) who being the shining splendor of [His] glory, and the express image of His essence, and upholding all things by the Word of His power, having made purification of our sins through Himself, [He] sat down on [the] right of the Majesty on high,
Hebrews 9: (26) since He must often have suffered from [the] foundation of the world. But now once for all, at the completion of the ages, He has been manifested for putting away of sin through the sacrifice of Himself.
Hebrews 10: (17) also [He adds], I will not at all still remember their sins and their lawlessnesses. (18) But where remission of these [is], there [is] no longer offering concerning sins.
1 John 3: (5) And you know that that [One] was revealed that He might take away our sins, and sin is not in Him.
Revelation 1: (5) even from Jesus Christ the Faithful Witness, the First-born out of the dead, and the Ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him loving us and washing us from our sins by His blood,
Another word is REDEMPTION. To redeem means to buy, to purchase, to pay the ransom price for a possession so as to rescue or deliver that possession. Jesus Christ’s death on the cross fully bought, fully purchased, fully paid for everyone for whom He died, so all of them without exception would be rescued and delivered. Let’s turn to some passages that show this (we already read Ephesians 1:7 and Colossians 1:14 that mentioned both remission and redemption):
Matthew 1: (21) And she will bear a son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He shall save His people from their sins.
Matthew 20: (28) Even as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
Acts 20: (28) Then take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit placed you as overseers, to shepherd the assembly of God which He purchased through [His] own blood.
Romans 3: (24) being justified freely by His grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus,
1 Corinthians 6: (20) You were bought with a price; then glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are of God.
Galatians 4: (4) But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, having come into being out of a woman, having come under Law, (5) that He might redeem the ones under Law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
Hebrews 2: (14) Since, then, the children have partaken of flesh and blood, in like manner He Himself also shared the same things, that through death He might cause to cease the [one] having the power of death, that is, the devil; (15) and might set these free, as many as by fear of death were subject to slavery through all the [lifetime] to live.
1 Timothy 2: (6) the [One] having given Himself a ransom on behalf of all, the testimony [to be given] in its own time,
1 Peter 1: (18) knowing that not with corruptible things, silver or gold, were you redeemed from your worthless way of life handed down from [your] fathers, (19) but with precious blood of Christ, as a lamb without blemish and without spot,
Revelation 5: (9) And they sing a new song, saying, Worthy are You to receive the scroll, and to open its seals, because You were slain, and by Your blood purchased us to God out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,
Two other words are PROPITIATION and RECONCILIATION. To propitiate means to appease, to pacify, to assuage. To reconcile means to bring back into fellowship with, to make peace with. God’s wrath was fully appeased when Jesus Christ became sin for His people and suffered the just punishment for that sin. The blood of Christ made peace between God and all for whom Christ died. Let’s turn to some passages that show this:
Romans 3: (25) whom God set forth [as] a propitiation through faith in His blood, as a demonstration of His righteousness through the passing over of the sins that had taken place before, in the forbearance of God,
Romans 5: (10) For if [while] being enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life; (11) and not only [so], but also glorying in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we now received the reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5: (18) And all things [are] from God, the [One] having reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and having given to us the ministry of reconciliation, (19) as, that God was in Christ reconciling [the] world to Himself, not charging their deviations to them, and having put the Word of reconciliation in us.
Ephesians 2: (14) For He is our peace, He making us both one, and breaking down the middle wall of partition, (15) in His flesh causing to cease the enmity, the Law of the commandments in decrees, that He might in Himself create the two into one new man, making peace, (16) and might reconcile both in one body to God through the cross, slaying the enmity in Himself. (17) And coming, [He] proclaimed peace to you, the ones afar off, and to the ones near.
Colossians 1: (20) and through Him making peace by the blood of His cross, to reconcile all things to Himself; through Him, whether the things on the earth, or the things in the heavens. (21) And you then being alienated and hostile in [your] mind by evil works, but now He reconciled (22) in the body of His flesh, through death, to present you holy and without blemish and irreproachable before Him,
Hebrews 2: (17) For this reason He ought by all means to become like [His] brothers, that He might become a merciful and faithful high priest in the things respecting God, in order to make propitiation for the sins of [His] people.
1 John 2: (2) And [He] Himself is [the] propitiation relating to our sins, and not relating to ours only, but also relating to all the world.
1 John 4: (10) In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son [to be] a propitiation relating to our sins.
Thus far, we have seen that Chris’s death fully accomplished total remission, redemption, propitiation, and reconciliation. What does this have to do with the resurrection? Our passage in Romans 10:9 doesn’t just say that Christ was raised; it says that GOD raised Him from the dead. What is the significance of this? The resurrection of Jesus Christ is proof that God the Father was TOTALLY SATISFIED with the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. He was totally satisfied because Jesus Christ accomplished exactly what He set out to accomplish, which was the full salvation of everyone whom He came to save. Jesus Christ fully satisfied the demands of God’s law and justice on behalf of everyone for whom He died. Had Jesus Christ not fully accomplished salvation for everyone for whom He died, He would not have conquered death, and He would have remained in the grave. The reason Jesus Christ could not be held by death is that He had totally, absolutely defeated death in fully atoning for the sins of His people. If there is or will be even ONE PERSON for whom Christ died who is suffering or will suffer the second death, then death was not defeated, and Jesus Christ was not raised as the victor over death. To truly believe resurrection is to believe the full, accomplished atonement of Jesus Christ with which God the Father was fully satisfied that was effectual to save everyone whom Christ represented. God the Father exalted Jesus Christ at His right hand as the Savior of His people who made full purification of their sins. There would have been no resurrection and no exaltation had there been even one person for whom Christ died who would end up in hell.
Let us look at some Scripture passages that show these truths:
Acts 2: (24) [But] God raised [Him] up, loosing the throes of death, because it was not possible for Him to be held by it.
Acts 2: (32) This Jesus, God raised up, of which we all are witnesses. (33) Then being exalted to the right of God, and receiving the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father, He poured out this which you now see and hear. (34) For David did not ascend into Heaven, but he says, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right [hand] (35) until I place [those] hostile to You as a footstool for Your feet. (36) Then assuredly, let all [the] house of Israel acknowledge that God made Him both Lord and Christ, this same Jesus whom you crucified.
Acts 5: (30) The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you seized, hanging [Him] on a tree. (31) This One God [has] exalted [as] a Ruler and Savior to His right [hand], to give to Israel repentance and remission of sins.
Acts 13: (30) But God raised Him from [the] dead; (31) who appeared for many days to those coming up with Him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are witnesses of Him to the people. (32) And we preach the gospel to you, the promise made to the fathers, (33) that this God has fulfilled to us, their children, raising up Jesus; as also it has been written in the second Psalm, You are My Son, today I have begotten You. (34) And that He raised Him from [the] dead, no more being about to return to corruption, so He has said, I will give You the holy things of faithful David. (35) So He also said in another, You will not give Your Holy One to see corruption. (36) For having served [his] own generation by the counsel of God, David truly fell asleep and was added to his fathers and saw corruption. (37) But [He] whom God raised up, [this One] did not see corruption. (38) Then let it be known to you, men, brothers, that through this One remission of sin is announced to you.
Romans 1: (3) concerning His Son who came of the seed of David according to flesh, (4) who was marked out [the] Son of God in power, according to [the] Spirit of holiness, by [the] resurrection of [the] dead, Jesus Christ our Lord;
Rom 4: (24) but also on account of us, to whom it is about to be counted, to the ones believing on Him who has raised our Lord Jesus from [the] dead, (25) who was delivered because of our deviations, and was raised because of our justification.
Romans 8: (34) Who [is he] condemning? [It is] Christ who has died, but rather also [is] raised, who also is at [the] right [hand] of God, who also makes intercession on our behalf.
Ephesians 1: (19) and what [is] the surpassing greatness of His power toward us, the ones believing according to the working of His mighty strength (20) which He worked in Christ [in] raising Him from [the] dead; yea, [He] seated [Him] at His right hand in the heavenlies, (21) far above all rule, and authority, and power, and lordship, and every name having been named, not only in this age, but also in the coming [age]; (22) and He put all [things] under His feet and gave Him [to be] Head over all [things] to the assembly, (23) which is His body: the fullness of the [One] filling all things in all;
1 Thessalonians 1: (10) and to await His Son from Heaven, whom He raised from [the] dead, Jesus, the [One] delivering us from the coming wrath.
Hebrews 1: (3) who being the shining splendor of [His] glory, and the express image of His essence, and upholding all things by the Word of His power, having made purification of our sins through Himself, [He] sat down on [the] right of the Majesty on high, (4) having become so much better than the angels, He has inherited a name more excellent than they.
Related to this is the doctrine of quickening by the power of the resurrection and the identification of God’s people with Christ in His resurrection. Because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, all for whom Jesus Christ died and rose again will be brought to newness of life through the resurrection power of Jesus Christ. There is not a single person for whom Jesus Christ died and rose again who will remain dead in his sins. The resurrection of Jesus Christ ensured that all whom He represented will be spiritually raised to a new life in Jesus Christ. Had Jesus Christ not been raised, then no one would be raised to new life, and all would remain totally depraved, dead in sin. To truly believe the resurrection is to believe that all for whom Jesus Christ died and was raised will be raised to newness of life by the power of the resurrection and will thus be set free from sin so they no longer live in sin and no longer serve sin.
Let us look at some Scripture passages that show these truths:
John 5: (24) Truly, truly, I say to you, The [one] who hears My Word, and believes the [One] who has sent Me, has everlasting life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. (25) Truly, truly, I say to you that an hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and the ones hearing will live.
Romans 5: (10) For if [while] being enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life;
Romans 6: (1) What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? (2) Let it not be! We who died to sin, how shall we still live in it? (3) Or are you ignorant that all who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? (4) Therefore, we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that as Christ was raised up from [the] dead by the glory of the Father, so also we should walk in newness of life. (5) For if we have been joined together in the likeness of His death, so also shall we be in the resurrection, (6) knowing this, that our old man was crucified with [Him], that the body of sin might be nullified, so that we no longer serve sin. (7) For the [one] that died has been justified from sin. (8) But if we died with Christ, we believe that also we shall live with Him, (9) knowing that Christ being raised from [the] dead dies no more; death no longer lords it over Him. (10) For in that He died, He died to sin once for all; but in that He lives, He lives to God. (11) So also you count yourselves to be truly dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (12) Then do not let sin reign in your mortal body, to obey it in its lusts. (13) Neither present your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as [one] living from [the] dead, and your members instruments of righteousness to God. (14) For your sin shall not lord it over you, for you are not under Law, but under grace. (15) What then? Shall we sin because we are not under Law, but under grace? Let it not be! (16) Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves [as] slaves for obedience, you are slaves to whom you obey, whether of sin to death, or obedience to righteousness? (17) But thanks [be] to God that you were slaves of sin, but you obeyed from [the] heart the form of doctrine to which you were delivered. (18) And having been set free from sin, you were enslaved to righteousness. (19) I speak as a man on account of the weakness of your flesh. For as you presented your members [as] slaves to uncleanness and to lawless act unto lawless act, so now yield your members as slaves to righteousness unto sanctification. (20) For when you were slaves of sin, you were free as to righteousness. (21) Therefore what fruit did you have then [in the things] over which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things [is] death. (22) But now having been set free from sin, and having been enslaved to God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end everlasting life. (23) For the wages of sin [is] death, but the gift of God [is] everlasting life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
2 Corinthians 5: (14) For the love of Christ constrains us, having judged this, that if One died for all, then all died; (15) and He died for all, that the living ones may live no more to themselves, but to the [One] having died for them and having been raised. (16) So as we now know no one according to flesh, but even if we have known Christ according to flesh, yet now we no longer know [Him so]. (17) So that if anyone [is] in Christ, [he] is a new creation; the old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new!
Ephesians 1: (19) and what [is] the surpassing greatness of His power toward us, the ones believing according to the working of His mighty strength (20) which He worked in Christ [in] raising Him from [the] dead; yea, [He] seated [Him] at His right hand in the heavenlies,
Ephesians 2: (1) and you being dead in deviations and sins, (2) in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the ruler of the authority of the air, the spirit now working in the sons of disobedience, (3) among whom we also all conducted ourselves in times past in the lusts of our flesh, doing the things willed of the flesh and of the understanding, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as the rest. (4) But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love [with] which He loved us, (5) even we being dead in deviations, [He] made us alive together with Christ (by grace you are being saved), (6) and raised [us] up together and seated [us] together in the heavenlies in Christ Jesus, (7) that He might demonstrate in the ages coming on, the exceeding great riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 3: (7) But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss because of Christ. (8) But, no, rather I also count all things to be loss because of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count [them to be] trash, that I might gain Christ (9) and be found in Him; not having my own righteousness of Law, but through the faith of Christ, [having] the righteousness of God on faith, (10) to know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, having been conformed to His death,
Colossians 2: (9) For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; (10) and having been filled, you are in Him, who is the Head of all rule and authority, (11) in whom also you were circumcised with a circumcision not made by hands, in the putting off of the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ, (12) being buried with Him in baptism, in whom also you were raised through the faith of the working of God, raising Him from among the dead. (13) And you, being dead in the deviations and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all the deviations, (14) blotting out the handwriting in the ordinances against us, which was contrary to us, even [He] has taken it out of the midst, nailing it to the cross; (15) having stripped the rulers and the authorities, He made a show of them in public, triumphing [over] them in it.
Another essential truth is that resurrection of Jesus Christ is the firstfruit, the guarantee, the earnest of the resurrection of God’s people in final glory. All for whom Christ died and rose again will one day rise to be glorified together with Jesus Christ. There is not a single person for whom Christ died and rose again who will not be raised to everlasting life in heaven. Jesus Christ will lose NONE of those whom the Father had given Him, and He will raise them up at the last day. Had Jesus Christ not been raised, then there would be no resurrection of the dead, and all would remain in the grave. To truly believe the resurrection is to believe that all for whom Jesus Christ died and was raised will be raised to a new, glorified body in heaven that will be free from sin.
Let us look at some Scripture passages that show these truths:
John 6: (37) All that the Father gives to Me shall come to Me, and the [one] coming to Me I will in no way cast out. (38) For I have come down out of Heaven, not that I should do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me. (39) And this is the will of the Father sending Me, that of all that He has given Me, I shall not lose [any] of it, but shall raise it up in the last day. (40) And this is the will of the [One] sending Me, that everyone seeing the Son and believing into Him should have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day. (41) Then the Jews murmured about Him, because He said, I am the Bread coming down out of Heaven. (42) And they said, Is this not Jesus the son of Joseph, of whom we know the father and the mother? How does this One now say, I have come down out of Heaven? (43) Then Jesus answered and said to them, Do not murmur with one another. (44) No one is able to come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up in the last day. (45) It has been written in the Prophets, They shall all be taught of God. So then everyone who hears and learns from the Father comes to Me; (46) not that anyone has seen the Father, except the [One] being from God, He has seen the Father. (47) Truly, truly, I say to you, The [one] believing into Me has everlasting life. (48) I am the Bread of life. (49) Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and died. (50) This is the Bread coming down out of Heaven, that anyone may eat of it and not die. (51) I am the Living Bread that came down from Heaven. If anyone eats of this Bread, he will live forever. And indeed the bread which I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. (52) Then the Jews argued with one another, saying, How can this One give us [his] flesh to eat? (53) Then Jesus said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. (54) The one partaking of My flesh and drinking of My blood has everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
Romans 8: (11) But if the Spirit of the [One] having raised Jesus from [the] dead dwells in you, the [One] having raised the Christ from [the] dead will also make your mortal bodies live through the indwelling of His Spirit in you.
1 Corinthians 6: (14) And God both raised up the Lord, and [He] will raise us up through His power.
1 Corinthians 15: (12) But if Christ is proclaimed, that He was raised from [the] dead, how do some among you say that there is not a resurrection of the dead? (13) But if there is not a resurrection of the dead, neither has Christ been raised. (14) But if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation [is] worthless, and your faith is also worthless. (15) And also we are found [to be] false witnesses of God, because we witnessed as to God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if the dead ones are not raised. (16) For if [the] dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised. (17) But if Christ has not been raised, your faith [is] foolish; you are still in your sins. (18) And then those that fell asleep in Christ were lost. (19) If we only have hope in Christ in this life, we are of all men most miserable. (20) But now Christ has been raised from [the] dead; He became the firstfruit of those having fallen asleep. (21) For since death [is] through man, also through a Man [is] a resurrection of [the] dead; (22) for as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. (23) But each in [his] own order: Christ, the firstfruit; afterward those of Christ at His coming.
2 Corinthians 4: (14) knowing that He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up through Jesus, and will present [us] with you.
1 Thessalonians 1: (10) and to await His Son from Heaven, whom He raised from [the] dead, Jesus, the [One] delivering us from the coming wrath.
1 Thessalonians 4: (14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will also bring with Him all those who have fallen asleep through Jesus.
1 Peter 1: (3) Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, He according to His great mercy having regenerated us to a living hope through [the] resurrection of Jesus Christ from [the] dead, (4) to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and unfading, having been kept in Heaven for you (5) [the ones] in [the] power of God being guarded through faith to a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time;
Finally, the resurrection of Jesus Christ proves that He is the Son of God, the very God-man, who is now alive and will come a second time. Had Christ not been raised, it would have shown him to be a mere man, and there would be no return of Christ. To truly believe the resurrection is to believe that Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man, who will come again to judge the world.
Let us look at some Scripture passages that show these truths:
Acts 17: (31) because He set a day in which He is going to judge the habitable world in righteousness, by a Man whom He appointed; having given proof to all [by] raising Him from [the] dead.
Romans 1: (4) who was marked out [the] Son of God in power, according to [the] Spirit of holiness, by [the] resurrection of [the] dead, Jesus Christ our Lord;
Galatians 1: (1) Paul, an apostle, not from men nor through man, but through Jesus Christ and God [the] Father, the [One] raising Him from [the] dead,
Now let’s compare this resurrection, the true resurrection found in the gospel, to the resurrections put forth by two false religions that come in the name of Christ.
Consider the resurrection of the “christ” of universal atonement. The “christ” of universal atonement died for everyone without exception. Firstly, what does the resurrection of this “christ” signify? It signifies that their “god” was satisfied with less than full remission of sins; their “god” was satisfied with an “atonement” that did not actually accomplish the salvation of anyone, that did not fully satisfy law and justice, that was actually a failure for all for whom this “christ” died who end up in hell. It signifies that death was not fully conquered, since many of those for whom this “christ” died will suffer the second death. Secondly, the resurrection of this “christ” did not ensure that all whom he represented will be spiritually raised to a new life. The power of this resurrection does not quicken all for whom this “christ” died and rose again. Millions for whom this “christ” died will never be brought from spiritual death to spiritual life. Thirdly, the resurrection of this “christ” did not ensure and guarantee that all whom he represented will be resurrected to everlasting life in heaven. This “christ” is not the firstfruit of all whom he represented. There are some for whom this “christ” died and rose again who will burn in hell for eternity. The resurrection of the “christ” of universal atonement is a sham, a fake, a fraud, a counterfeit.
There is another group of people, this time who claim to believe the doctrines of grace, who also deny the one true resurrection. These are people who say that a regenerate person remains totally depraved, remains a slave to sin, and is not a new creature. They say that the heart of a regenerate person remains deceitful and desperately wicked. They say that regenerate people continue to live in sin and even continue to confess a false gospel in their flesh. These people deny that the old man was crucified with Christ and that all regenerate people have risen with Christ to newness of life by the power of Christ’s resurrection and are new creatures in Christ. To them, the resurrection does not ensure that God’s people are set free from sin and enslaved to righteousness while they live here on earth. They deny the resurrection as much as the universal atonement advocates do.
Those who are saved confess the Lord Jesus with their mouths and believe in their hearts that God raised Him from the dead. They believe that Jesus is God, the sovereign controller of the universe, the God-man mediator, who will come again to judge the world in righteousness. They believe that God the Father was totally satisfied with the work of Jesus Christ on the cross, because Jesus Christ fully satisfied the demands of God’s law and justice, fully conquered death, and fully accomplished the salvation of everyone for whom He lived, died, and rose again. They believe that all for whom Jesus Christ died and rose again will be brought to newness of life through the resurrection power of Jesus Christ, ensuring that all whom He represented will be spiritually raised to a new life in Jesus Christ and will be set free from sin so they no longer live in sin, no longer serve sin, and are no longer totally depraved. They believe that all for whom Christ died and rose again will one day rise to be glorified together with Jesus Christ in heaven. They believe in the Sovereign Redeemer. Amen.