Saturday, October 31, 2009

Refuting Charges of Neo-Gnosticism - Part 3


I Corinthians 15:3
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

I Corinthians 15:4
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

What is the importance of His burial?

In Isaiah 53:8-9 we read of Jesus

Isaiah 53:8
He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

Isaiah 53:9
And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. 10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

We see that the Lord Jesus Christ was buried, evidencing the fact that He was truly dead. Many a heretic of old, and even in our day, denied the actual Crucifixion, death, and burial of Christ (supposing that He was spared death just in the nick of time).

Though Christ, in His deity, could not die - His fleshly body (His humanity) did. He died in the stead of His people, as a guilty sinner. Not guilty in Himself, for He was perfectly pure, spotless, and free from sin. Nonetheless, He was guilty in the eyes of God, having the sins of His people imputed to Him (so that the righteousness He established for them would be imputed back to them).

As such, He made His grave with the wicked, having died as a guilty man (in that He willingly accepted the guilt and unspeakable punishment due His people, paying for every last one of their sins).

However, consider also the following passages:

Romans 6:1
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

Romans 6:2
God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

Romans 6:3
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

Romans 6:4
Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:5
For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

Romans 6:6
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Romans 6:7
For he that is dead is freed from sin.

Romans 6:8
Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:

Colossians 2:8
Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.

Colossians 2:9
For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

Colossians 2:10
And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Colossians 2:11
In whom also ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of the sins of the flesh by the circumcision of Christ:

Colossians 2:12
Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.

The burial of the Lord Jesus Christ is directly tied into the precept that we were buried with Him; the very image of the ordinance of water baptism typifies His death, burial, and resurrection and ours in Him. We will address the resurrection aspect shortly. But in the meantime, let us boldly declare that if any gospel denies the death and burial of Christ (and the precepts associated with it), it is a false gospel. If any gospel denies the relationship between his death and burial, and the elect being buried with Him (indicating that our sins, embodied in the old man, were legally done away with forever in this life; and completely done away with in the life to come), it is a false gospel. Such a false gospel manifests in our day as true antinomianism (as opposed the groundless charge often laid against God's people), and is a root of such false doctrines as purgatory, and the notion that a true believer can lose their salvation.


I Corinthians 15:3
For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

I Corinthians 15:4
And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:

What is the significance of Christ's resurrection?

You cannot properly understand the importance of the resurrection without understanding that the Lord Jesus Christ evidenced that He completed all that was necessary to guarantee the salvation of His people by being first raised Himself. His resurrection, and His subsequent return to Heaven as our Prophet, Priest, and King, proves and guarantees (beyond all shadow of doubt) that all of His elect people will likewise be raised and will reign with Him for all eternity.

Romans 4:23
Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;

Romans 4:24
But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

Romans 4:25
Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Romans 8:11
But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

I Corinthians 6:14
And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.

I Corinthians 15:15
Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.

I Corinthians 15:16
For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

I Corinthians 15:17
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

I Corinthians 15:18
Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

I Corinthians 15:19
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

I Corinthians 15:20
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

I Corinthians 15:21
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

I Corinthians 15:22
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

II Corinthians 4:14
Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

Ephesians 2:4
But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,

Ephesians 2:5
Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

Ephesians 2:6
And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:

I Thessalonians 4:14
For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

I Thessalonians 4:15
For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

I Thessalonians 4:16
For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

I Thessalonians 4:17
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

I Thessalonians 4:18
Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Thus, if any gospel denies the literal resurrection of Christ, or if any gospel denies that that resurrection of Christ evidences the fact that His people were raised in Him and are guaranteed all aspects of salvation (from regeneration to final glorification in Heaven) due to His finished work alone, it is a false gospel.

By Curt Wildy

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