JesusChrist Yesterday’s post pressed for a greater appreciation of our Lord’s resurrection and Eastertide.

The Revd James A Fowler of Christ In You Ministries inspired that plea. He calls for a ‘Resurrection theology’ in our churches.

His Easter sermons are some of the best I have ever read. We would be better Christians if we took on board what he has to say.

In 2012, I excerpted his sermon ‘It is the Resurrection that is being by-passed’, which I highly recommend reading in full.

Fowler says that we are all at fault for not emphasising the Resurrection more in our churches and evangelisation.

He includes Christian humanists, theonomists, Church growth advocates and churchgoers of misrepresenting the Resurrection.

He says that we bypass it when we:

– Make Christianity a ‘book-religion’ and neglect to accept

the Resurrected Lord as having “all authority in heaven and earth” (Matt. 28:18), and the One in whom life is found (John 5:39,40).

– View reconciliation as a communitarian concept instead of

a relational reconciliation wherein the “I AM” of the resurrected Jesus (John 11:25) enters into spiritual union with the Christian (I Cor. 6:17), and reconciles all things to Himself (Col. 1:20).

– Misrepresent faith as a purely intellectual or historical assent instead of

allowing for the out-working of His life (James 2:19,26).

– Live according to legalistic good works and mandated morality instead of

as the imitation of Jesus’ example, rather than Jesus Christ, the Risen One, living out His life in the Christian (II Cor. 13:5; Gal. 2:20; Col. 1:27).

– Present heaven as a human utopia instead of

the presence of a perfect God who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in heavenly places (Eph. 1:3) that we might participate in the “kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 4:17) by the indwelling of the Perfect Risen Jesus Christ.

In short:

It is the resurrection that is being by-passed whenever we fail to recognize the full import of how God has restored humanity by the raising of His Son, Jesus Christ, whereby His “finished work” continues to bring to pass all that God intends to accomplish by His grace.

Let us pray for a greater appreciation of the Resurrection, particularly in the weeks approaching the Ascension and Pentecost.

Coming soon: The Resurrection as the focal point of faith