If it died, can it live again? God says yes. How? By resurrection. Christians see resurrection as a fact. Fact: God raised Jesus from death. Fact: God will raise those in Christ from death.

Resurrection is a fact, but it is more than a fact. That fact introduces us to the resurrection principle. The power that raised Jesus' dead body is the power that functions in the resurrection principle. The person who believes the fact of resurrection trusts the resurrection principle.

What is the "resurrection principle"? God can bring to life that which has died. For example, a person becomes aware of the evil. He finds it enticing and appealing. He indulges in evil by surrendering to temptation. The result: he spiritually dies. He separates himself from God. He abandons God for a godless life.

Spiritually, can he live again? God says yes. Jesus' blood atoned for all sin. Redemption in Christ is available to anyone. How can he be spiritually alive again? By resurrection. Each person baptized into Christ places his confidence in and hope for forgiveness in the resurrection principle. He is given newness of life by being resurrected with Christ (Romans 6:3,4).

Faith, repentance, and baptism activate the resurrection principle. Can a mind destroyed by pornography or materialism or selfishness or vanity or resentment come to life again? Yes. Can emotions destroyed by adultery or godless pleasures or rage or exploitation come to life again? Yes. How? By resurrection in Jesus Christ.

Can a ruined life be restored? Is that not evident in Jesus' ministry? Did he forgive prostitutes? dishonest, abusive tax collectors? people known as "the sinners"?

The resurrection principle is activated when sin is destroyed by forgiveness. The principle continues as God recreates the person in Christ. Later, after physical death, the fact of resurrection occurs. Just as Jesus was resurrected to live with God, the forgiven person is raised from physical death to live with God.

The fact of resurrection verifies the resurrection principle. The resurrection principle prepares the believer to live with God. Christians allow God to resurrect their minds and hearts now so that He can resurrect their bodies later.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 23 August 1998

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