Tag: death

1 Corinthians 15_16-26_54b-58     

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First things first: How we know God can raise the dead

The Bible opens with a declaration that God loves life. Genesis’ account of the origin of life does not describe the supposed long and lethargic mutation of evolution, but an explosive, noisy, springing forth of creatures at God’s command.

The water teems and bubbles with living creatures, the birds fill the sky, the land breaks forth with walking, crawling, slithering, hopping things. I assume they didn’t take long to begin making noise, looking for food, moving, snorting, rooting. Activity everywhere. Colors, sounds, and textures of every kind. Creatures ranging from bizarre to cuddly. And God loved it.

Genesis 1 provides the foundation for the biblical hope of resurrection. Were it not for God’s delight in life, his determination to bring forth life where once it did not exist, and his power to do so, we would have no hope that he is able or that he even desires to bring us back to life from the darkness and void of sin. Genesis 1 provides a thesis statement for the whole Bible:

God loves life, and he loves to give life!

And on that premise, the story continues. Read More…

1 Corinthians 15_16-26_54b-58     

iStock_000004699163XSmallemptytombIn 1 Corinthians 15:19, Paul gets in your face with this statement:

If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

In other words, if you think your walk with Christ is useful only to improve or even simply to validate this life you’re living now, you are living the most pathetic kind of life any person could live.

Why? Because “this life” for the believer is all about sacrifice, self-denial, and suffering. If there’s nothing beyond it, no reward, no blessing, no final victory, then what’s the point? What has Christ even really accomplished? If “this life” is all that exists, then, Paul says, you’d be better off–even wiser, really–to invest your time, energy, and resources in something that will make you happy NOW. Read More…

Psalm 113 (ESV)     

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The point of Psalm 113 is clear: God loves the poor and needy, and he has the power and the love to help them. But in order to really find the gospel in this Psalm we need to dig a bit into what it means to be “poor,” biblically. Most of us don’t think of ourselves as poor. We ate breakfast this morning. We’re wearing decent shoes. The car is full of gas. So we make the mistake of thinking we have no right to come to God empty-handed. We don’t want to be whiners. Yet self-sufficiency is a deadly lie.

How can we hope to be among the blessed ones (Matthew 5:3-12) when we are so very prosperous? “With God all things are possible,” Jesus said (Matthew 19:23-26). God can and graciously does bring us to our knees in a variety of ways so that we will cry out to him and be blessed. There are many kinds of poor… Read More…