“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a major doctrine in Christianity. If Jesus didn’t arise, then everything He claimed to be is not valid. If He did arise, we have every reason to believe that all of His other teaching is valid.
Peter here affirms that it is through the resurrection that we can feel secure in taking advantage of the mercy of God that allows us to be born again and that also gives us confidence in the living hope of going to heaven to be with God someday.
The resurrection, then, is the keystone in the arch of Christianity. Since Jesus did arise from the grave, we have a firm spiritual foundation. We have the greatest incentive we could ever have for living the kind of life outlined in scripture and for being what God wants us to be.
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth’ ” (Matthew 28:18).
For any enterprise to be successful, there must be an established and recognizable line of authority. Otherwise anarchy exists, and everyone makes up and follows his own set of rules.
The ultimate authority in religious matters is God, the Father; but He conveyed complete authority—in heaven and on earth—to His Son, Jesus Christ, who lays claim to such authority in this scripture.
Implicit conclusions from this scripture are that God had the right to convey His authority by His position as the Heavenly Father, that He gave Jesus this authority, and that there was a standard of behavior the Father had set in place.
Understanding these conclusions leads us to know beyond any doubt that every person who expects to receive the ultimate reward must submit to this established authority—in other words, we must obey the inspired word if we expect to go to heaven.
“For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).
That there are some in our world who deny the existence of a Higher Power defies all logic in view of the obvious evidence that exists. Something doesn’t come from nothing in the natural world.
In this passage in Romans, Paul has set out to prove the absolute existence of God in order to convince all—Jews and Gentiles—the need for them to obey the gospel. He points to the evidence of God surrounding us—things we can see all around us indicate the existence of an all-powerful, supernatural Creator.
Those who defy such strong evidence, Paul says, are without excuse. Through faith, we trust the evidence and we know God exists. Such knowledge demands not only acceptance but submission to this Power.
Keep Precepts Diligently
“You have commanded us
To keep your precepts diligently” (Psalm 119:4).
As the psalmist gets into his praise of God’s word and his emphasis on the absolute necessity of honoring that word by consistent obedience to it, he comes forth with this declaration about God’s command.
The command here reminds us of similar words of Jesus in John 14:15 where He says, “If you love me, keep My commandments.”
Our world is filled with people—even religious people—who would rationalize about such commands and try to confuse who God is (a loving Creator) with His divine nature (a just Being around whom sin cannot exist). These wonderful characteristics don’t change His requirement for strict adherence to His will.
There is no better time of year than at the beginning for us to refresh ourselves with this truth. If we truly love the Lord, surely we realize we have an obligation to Him to follow the teachings He has give us.
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