I remember when I was twenty-four, I went through a life-changing experience, and Christ’s resurrection was at the center of it all. As a child I had heard many times the story of the Savior and how He rose from the dead. I had walked the aisle at ten, being swiftly baptized into that Baptist church. But later as a teen I left the church after my parents’ divorce. I surmised then that something was terribly amiss; there was no love and peace in Big D. In my tortured teenage angst, I figured that the message the church was teaching was not strong enough to hold my parents together, so I moved on.
Yet, everyone at the church had said that I was “born again,” but booze and cigarettes and Playboy magazines became my cheap little gods. I realized later that I had never risen with Him from the state of being dead in sin. By 1971 my old nature had grabbed the steering wheel of my life and was drunkenly crashing into everything. It was then that I first heard that my old sinful nature “is crucified with Christ.” And that I am buried with Him, and by believing in His resurrection, I, too, am raised from the dead (in sin). I was raised to “walk in a newness of life.”
I had skin in the game this time. I was presenting my body as a “living sacrifice,” trusting in the power of His resurrection to sustain me in this new sinless walk of life. I had a great teacher who told me that “he that is dead is freed from sin…and in Him is no sin.”
Powerful truth is found in His word. But, first, someone’s got to stand on the wall and proclaim it in the face of the gainsayers. And then it must be believed. It is by faith in His resurrection that the surge of new life comes into our mortal bodies.
So, I went home and tried to think upon these things. But the first thought that came piercing into my mind like a sharp arrow was this: “You don’t really believe that Christ was actually raised from the dead, do you?” This thought shattered me. My existence fell like shards of glass to the floor. I felt the terror of one who was hopelessly lost, rudderless, and adrift in an empty sea of nihilism.
The next day I related all this to my mentor. He told me that the voice was Satan’s and that Satan knows that belief in the resurrection is the crux of the whole matter. If he gets you to doubt the resurrection, he wins, and you lose. I have not forgotten that day so many years ago. I was blessed; I had someone to help me overcome Satan’s assault.
The early apostles continued in the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead. They had Christ as their mentor. He taught them that the resurrection has many levels, from the personal level on up to the universal level. Christ’s resurrection power is shown when a humble little garden seed sacrifices its identity and yields to that invisible creative power that is God, and then life bursts from that seed. Such is the word of the Spirit; such is the Seed, the Word of God, when it springs forth in our heart. We are “raised to walk in a newness of life” when we believe in Christ’s resurrection.
Later I would learn that there are many resurrections in His teachings. Kenneth Wayne Hancock
[This is an excerpt from my book The Apostles’ Doctrine. It is taken from the chapter on the fifth teaching that the apostles’ taught: “The Resurrection of the Dead.” The book expounds on the seven teachings and examines the importance of being grounded in the seven doctrines of Christ. Send for your free copy with free shipping in the USA. Just send your mailing address to my email: firstname.lastname@example.org Be sure to include your name and the name of the book. If you live overseas or desire a pdf of the book, I can do that, too.]