April 23, 2019
THE GEORGIA CAPITOL DEVOTIONAL - 23 April 2019
Konrad Adenauer (1876-1967) had an interesting relationship with the United States. When the Nazis rose to power, he was replaced as mayor of Cologne, and imprisoned for a brief time in 1934. The United States liberated Cologne, and reappointed Adenauer as major. Eventually, he formed the Christian Democratic Union as a new political party. Adenauer experienced an interesting life as statesman, with many challenges. Nevertheless, his answer to the question of the most important thing in the world was the resurrection of Jesus Christ. He said, “If Jesus Christ is alive, then there is hope for the world. If not, I don’t see the slightest glimmer of hope on the horizon.” Adenauer confessed, “I believe Christ’s resurrection to be one of the best-attested facts of history.”
When Socrates faced death, he was asked, “Shall we live again?” The philosopher replied, “I hope so.” Conversely, on the night prior to his beheading, Sir Walter Raleigh recorded the following words in his Bible: “When we have wander’d all our ways, shuts up the story of our days; but from this earth, this grave, this dust, my God shall raise me up, I trust.” How would you respond to the question, “If a man dies, will he live again?” (Job 14:14). Job answered his question by stating, “As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth” (19:25).
According to 1 Corinthians 15:1-4, the two vital truths of the gospel message include: “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.” Even a casual reading of the apostolic preaching in the book of Acts reveals the reality that the resurrection of Jesus Christ was not only a vital element, but also was a primary emphasis in their witness. Such an emphasis is not surprising because only a living Savior can offer salvation from the penalty and power of sin.
Since the time of the Enlightenment, the modern mind has attempted to be free from any semblance of religion. Fallen humanity attempted to erase the existence of God and the supernatural to be “captain of their own destiny.” However, in attempting to eradicate God, one eradicates the self in the process. The hope of the resurrection is vital because it results in present and future significance. The resurrection of Jesus Christ assures humanity that life is not abandoned to nothingness.
Every human being is created in the image of God (Gen 1:26) but has fallen into sin (Rom 3:23; 6:23). However, the good news is that whosoever will have a faith/trust relationship with Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior will experience resurrection, and live with the Creator for eternity (John 3:16). Of course, one’s faith is only as good as the object in which it is resides. Biblical faith is founded upon certainty in the historical resurrection of Jesus from the dead (as the divine Substitute on behalf of those who trust in Him).
The resurrection is a vital doctrine because it is the foundation for any hope in this life and thereafter. The resurrection is the vital truth of the gospel message because it forms the basis for the legitimacy and reasonableness of faith. “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. . . . 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. . . . But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep” (1 Cor 15:13-14, 16-17, 20). All humanity is condemned before God as sinners, but victory over the wages of sin is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone as one’s Lord and Savior. The Christian has a great hope in Jesus Christ.
Your Missionary to Our Leaders,
Ron J. Bigalke, Ph.D.
Capitol Commission Georgia
Capitol Commission is prepared to encourage and enable local churches to participate in reaching our capitol communities for Christ (1 Tim 2:1-4). We only need to hear from you, if you have not already contacted us. We also seek to enlist individuals, businesses, and churches to become strategic partners with us in this ministry (2 Cor 8:3-6). Our success as a ministry is based upon God blessing all facets of the ministry, which certainly includes partners in this ministry. We earnestly desire to engage those who desire to participate in the ministry by offering their time and talents (Matt 25:20). If you have not already done so, join us and experience the joy of bringing hope, light, transformation, and truth to those who constitute our capitol communities.