Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | August 29, 2019

“if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. … But now Christ has been raised from the dead”

Today’s devotion comes from Acts 1:12-26.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+1&version=NASB

I quote only the following verses.

“Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a Sabbath day’s journey away.  When they had entered the city, they went up to the upper room where they were staying;  that is, Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas the son of James.  These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.

Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us— beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.”  So they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus), and Matthias.  And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.”  And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias;  and he was added to the eleven apostles.”  Acts 1:12-14 and 21-26.

————

Of all the qualities to be an apostle that would be singled out as essential, it was the quality of being a witness to Jesus’ resurrection that was considered essential.  The one who would be chosen to replace Judas Iscariot was required to be “a witness with us of His resurrection.”  Verse 22.

“To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days …”  Acts 1:3.  Thus, the historical proof of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead was abundantly established.

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.  After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;  then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles;  and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.  …

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, not even Christ has been raised;  and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.  Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised.  For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised;  and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless;  you are still in your sins.  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.  If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.”  1 Corinthians 15:3-7 and 12-20.

“He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.” Romans 4:25.


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