In an interview with Dr. Paul Copan, Christian apologist Lee Strobel was told: “Everything about the Christian faith hinges on the resurrection. If Jesus really was resurrected from the dead then this vindicates his claims that he really is the unique Son of God. And if he’s the unique Son of God, then we can rely on his teachings being true. And so when we add things or subtract things from his teaching, we’re in error, because we believe something that doesn’t correspond with reality.”--The Case for Christ Study Bible p. 1550.
How seriously do we take these core teachings of Jesus?
1. There is no sinner that Christ is unwilling to receive.
“... whoever comes to me I will never drive away.” John 6:37
2. There is no sin that we repent of that He is unwilling to forgive.
“... every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men.” Matthew 12:31
3. We can only be forgiven as we manifest His spirit of forgiveness towards our offenders.
“...if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14,15
4. The way we respond to the needs and suffering of others is the way we respond to Christ.
“'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me…. whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.” Matthew 25:40, 45
5. Obedience to Christ’s commandments is the true sign of discipleship.
"He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me." John 14:21
6. It is impossible to follow Jesus with a divided heart.
"He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.” Matthew 12:30.
We believe the resurrection is not myth, not fiction-- it is a fact, it is reality. I want to repeat something from the above quote from Copan, “...when we add things or subtract things from his teaching, we’re in error, because we believe something that doesn’t correspond with reality.”
When we doubt that Christ will receive us or forgive us or someone else, we doubt “reality.” When we separate our relationship to Christ from our attitude towards others we doubt “reality.” When we think it is possible to be a Christian without absolute surrender we doubt “reality”.
Friends, I want my confidence in all of Jesus' teachings to be just as strong as my confidence in His resurrection don’t you? And concerning His resurrection I want to experience what Paul experienced and longed for: “... that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection…” Philippians 3:10 for the only way to live a life of absolute surrender to Him is in the power of His resurrection! (All Scripture quotations are from the NKJV) .