“Paul, an apostle … by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead.” Gal 1:1 (KJV)
Of all the precious truths of the Christian Faith, the two that are the most distinctive are the Trinity and the Resurrection. Both natural and false region have parallels to other doctrines, but these two are singularly unique.
God – Almost every religion, falsely so called, has a deity or a pantheon of deities.
Scripture – Nearly all faith systems are based in mysticism (emotion, sensuality, aesthetics) or in words. Christianity is a word or doctrine based religion. The Protestant Christian faith is rooted in a pledge to a system of rational propositional truth. But, in this regard we are not unique. Other religions have their “sacred” writings, also.
Creation – Many faith systems offer an account of creation, including atheism.
Sin- Christianity has the unique and authentic account for the fall of man into an estate of sin, but almost every faith system accounts for the fact that man is not what he should be, psychology and evolution notwithstanding.
Condemnation – In the heart of every man is a sense of right and wrong. Is not every people group in the world governed by some form of law. All human government and most human religion is centered in the human longing for justice
Atonement/Redemption – Certainly every faith system invokes some ritual of cleansing/restoration. Dealing with guilt is the very heart of all genuine and man-made religion. In some systems, people work to create goodness which excels the guilt, or people try to inflict pain/suffering to expiate the guilt from a conscience. In some guilt is ignored. In psychology, it is not so much the cause of guilt that is troubling as much as trying to remove the guilt mechanism from the human psyche.
Communion with God – In various degrees, this is a central tenant in all religion. In atheism this may be manifested in attachment to the state or nature. Superstition and mysticism often tie human ritual to inward (or outward) peace and blessing.
Reward – Related to condemnation, is ultimate judgement and reward. Most world religions aim at some form of ultimate reward for the faithful.
Most of the central propositions in the Christian faith are approximated by others in a general or natural sense, though not in detail. But the Trinity, and the resurrection of Christ, are unique.
What our Scriptures reveals to us about the triune nature of our Creator, the creation of the universe, fall of man, the judgement and the need for reconciliation is the only certain and only trustworthy and infallible guide in every area of “true” religion.
The revelation of the resurrection – the very climax of the gospel story – is the very linchpin and central core of all Christian truth, without which, there is no Christian faith. No other prophet, no other world leader can lay claim to being the very Son of God and have God seal the claim by such a unique and singularly extraordinary event. Indeed, if Christ is alive, death is dead. What He said must be true. He must be true and all men liars. He must be the Lord of Nature and All Power is Given to Him. If He forgives our sin, our sins are forgiven. If He was raised from the dead, He will raise us, also. If He is one with the Father, then we have a perfect intercessor and mediator.
In the next post, I’ll provide a list of scripture citations that bear testimony to the fact that “He raised him from the dead”.