By Michael E. Brooks
“Now if Christ is preached that he has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?” (1 Corinthians 15:12).
In preaching to non-Christian audiences and teaching young churches, there are many questions of application that arise. It is one thing to accept that the Bible teaches a particular doctrine (e.g., the resurrection of Jesus from the dead).
It is sometimes far different to show how that doctrine is carried over into life for the Christian (the hope of one’s own bodily resurrection). But it is critical for us to recognize that God is consistent in his nature and in his will. Each doctrine of our faith is tied to every other doctrine in a logically consistent way.
In the example above Paul makes it clear that it is illogical and inconsistent to argue that God raised Jesus from the dead but is unwilling or unable to raise deceased Christians. The Father of Jesus has the same nature, the same will, and the same power as the Father of all other humans. He promised to raise Jesus and did. He also has promised to raise us, therefore he certainly will.
It is common in all parts of the world for modern people to have wildly incompatible beliefs. They profess faith in the Bible as the inspired word of God, but refuse to accept that unrepentant sinners will face eternal punishment in Hell, regardless of the many plain Scriptures which teach that exact doctrine.
In South Asia we teach the unity and oneness of the church which Jesus built, based on Matthew 16:18, 1 Corinthians 1:10; John 17:20-22; and Ephesians 4:1-6, among many other Scriptures. Some audiences say they understand and believe those teachings, yet continue to practice denominationalism, without seeming to understand the illogic of that practice.
It is clear that the Bible teaches one Gospel, one God, one Savior, and one Church. There is one “faith, once for all delivered to the saints (Jude 3). Every doctrine and command fits logically within one system of religion. There are no contradictions nor inconsistencies. Our challenge is to understand God’s will and to apply it logically and consistently to our lives.
By Michael E. Brooks