Faith is a popular word these days, and people aren’t afraid to use it. From actors to politicians to religious leaders, they have faith, and they’re proud of it. But what does it mean?
You’re told to believe in yourself or even that God believes in you.
You have faith in the American dream.
You have faith that your car will start in the morning or an airplane can fly.
You have faith that things will get better.
Yet, in light of Easter, Paul takes a strong stand about the flippant use of this word faith. Our faith as Christ followers must be in the resurrection of the body and the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.
If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith…and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.*
Without Christ’s resurrection, his death is meaningless, because it was his resurrection that defeated death, the price of sin. It is his resurrection that insures our own resurrection at the End Day.
If we only appreciate Jesus, only like his good words, only see him as a good man, a moral leader, then Paul says:
If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to pitied more than all men.*
I don’t want anyone to pity me! I have hope in the RESURRECTED CHRIST, and because of that hope, I have hope in my own resurrection. This life is not the end, and for that I am so grateful.
So don’t be so quick to let others off with their “faith” statements. Ask them: “What’s the object of your faith?” If it’s not the Resurrected Christ, then it’s futile. Where will it get you in the end?
I can believe that planes fly, but it doesn’t prevent them also crashing.
I can believe that tomorrow will be better, but it doesn’t guarantee it will.
I can believe in myself, but still let myself down.
I can believe in the American dream, but still have to work hard with no guarantees of success.
All this belief is worthless without the ultimate, true belief in the only one who can guarantee a better day. Those who have fallen asleep in Christ are not lost! They are found and resurrected to a glorious body and future made available by the one who conquered death.
Where’s your faith? Is it directed toward the resurrected Jesus? Make sure today that your faith is not in vain.
Grace and Peace
1 Corinthians 15:13-14, 17 (NIV)
1 Corinthians 15:19 (NIV)