Matters of Faith: The Center of Our Faith

By Reverend J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv

1 Corinthians‬ ‭15:12-14‬ ‭NKJV‬‬ “Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.”‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬

For the last three days of this past week, the Association that I am affiliated has explored this scripture and the significance of the resurrection of Christ. In the Christian faith, nothing has more significance than the resurrection of Christ. It is the center of our faith, it’s core and it’s essence. Without the resurrection, preaching is empty, our faith is empty and there is no Christianity.

The 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians is written to confirm Christ’s resurrection, the purpose of His resurrection and the benefit we have received as a result of His resurrection. Paul is writing to the church to counter the false teaching that had crept into the church claiming that there is no resurrection from the dead. Paul presented the evidence that provided proof that Jesus had in fact risen and goes on to say that we too, those of us who are believers, will likewise get up from the grave.

The scripture bears witness to the resurrection. Paul writes quite boldly that without the resurrection of Christ, our faith is empty. The King James translation doesn’t say empty. It uses the word “vain.” In the Greek language, vain is “kenos,” meaning empty and devoid of truth, destitute. Whichever word you use, without the resurrection, all of the preaching, the teaching, the edifying, and the testifying is valueless and of no effect. What good would the preaching and teaching be if this life were all there is? Christ’s resurrection gives us the assurance that there is an afterlife, a life that goes beyond the grave, a new life with bodies that will never get old and never die.

Although modern and post-modern Christians have never seen Christ in the flesh, we believe it by faith. Faith is described in the Bible as “the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). The substance and evidence of the resurrection of Christ is what fuels our faith. That very special faith is the essence of our hope that we too will get up from the grave. One song writer wrote, “Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness. I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name. On Christ the solid rock I stand. All other ground is sinking sand.”

So, if you’ve ever wondered why the resurrection of Christ is the center of our faith, you need wonder no more.

God Bless +++

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at both Goodwill and The Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial &. Strategic Consulting, and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio, Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM. Listen by phone” at 626-226-1448. Be sure to Friend “Matters of Faith” on Facebook and email us at Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The Book here.

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