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The Core of Our Faith

April 3, 2013

What is the most important aspect of the Christian faith? What is the absolute core, the thing that simply cannot be removed without the whole structure collapsing?

Paul is quite clear on that matter: it’s the resurrection. If Jesus has not risen from the dead, he claims, “your faith is futile” and you are still “in your sins” (1 Cor 15:17). Nothing else matters as much as that. You may be inspired by Jesus’ parables, or spend a lot of time defending the doctrines of our faith, or enjoy a particular liturgical tradition; if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, it’s all in vain.

Some people don’t like that. Maybe they like practising their “religion” for its own sake, whether it’s true or not. Or maybe they think helping the poor and fighting for justice is what Christianity is really all about. Or maybe it’s just never occurred to them that the resurrection is so crucial.

But it is. Don’t ever downplay its significance: if Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, Christianity is pointless. Our faith depends totally on whether Jesus defeated death or not. It’s not about feeling good (the gospel doesn’t necessarily give you an easy life!), or about living a decent life (most people do, whether they are believers or not). It’s all about God visiting this planet, dying for our sins and rising again in power, thereby proving that our sins can be forgiven and that the power of sin and death has been broken. Jesus’ resurrection is the greatest miracle God ever performed, and it contains an eternal hope and promise for each one of us – for everyone who will accept and receive it in faith. Let’s never forget that Jesus rose from the dead and conquered death – and that by his grace, we can all share in that victory!

David

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From → Christianity, Faith, Jesus

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