Ad hominem, Latin for to the person, is the phrase used to describe an argument for truths based on fictitious evidence. In a formal sense, it is logic based on the authority of one who doesn’t exist.
Paul said to the Corinthians, “If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain” (1 Cor. 15:14). In other words, if Jesus didn’t rise from the grave, all of Christianity is ad hominem.
The resurrection of Christ matters more than you might think. Here are six reasons why the resurrection is significant to you as a Christian.
The Resurrection Insures Our Regeneration
We could not be born again unless Jesus resurrected from the dead. Peter wrote God “has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet. 1:3). Paul adds, “even when we were dead in our trespasses, [God] made us alive together with Christ … and raised us up with him” (Eph. 2:5) in order to “walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6:4). The resurrection of Jesus insures our regeneration. Without the resurrection, no one is born again.
The Resurrection Insures Our Justification
Jesus’ death on the cross atoned for the sins of His people. Had he not been raised from the dead, it would have proven His life as sinful—worthy of death, not life. But, since He was raised, it proves that His life was sinless—worthy of life, not death. The resurrection is evidence that His offering was accepted by God the Father. His perfect life was approved. His resurrection proves that His people are justified before God. For Christ “was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification” (Rom. 4:25).
The Resurrection Insures Our Sanctification
As people born again in Christ, we can rest assure that “sin will have no dominion over” us (Rom. 6:14). After our regeneration, God makes us more and more like Himself—holy. It is not that we are sinless, but that God is making us sin less. We are no longer alive to sin, but dead to it. And, we can now present ourselves as “those who have been brought from death to life” and as “instruments for righteousness” (Rom. 6:13).
The Resurrection Insures Our Vocation
In light of the truth of the resurrection, we ought to “be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Cor. 15:58). In other words, since Jesus resurrected from the dead, we can be faithful to God with confidence that we are not wasting our energies. The resurrection insures our good works.
The Resurrection Insures Our Resurrection
Since we are raised up with Christ, then our resurrection is insured by His resurrection. Had he not been raised from the dead, then neither will we. Paul argued, “if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised” (1 Cor. 15:13). There is an unbreakable connection between Jesus’ resurrection and the resurrection of His people. If one is true, then the other is true.
The Resurrection Insures Our Glorification
Since Jesus resurrected, He is now in heaven where we will also be. His resurrection gives us hope for eternity. Paul said, “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth,” because “your life is hidden with Christ in God” and “you also will appear with him in glory” (Col. 3:1-4). His resurrection doesn’t just insure our salvation, but also insures our glorification.
Paul’s words best summarize the significance of the resurrection: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (1 Cor. 15:17). It is my hope that you sense the importance of the resurrection of Jesus our Lord. Because of it, we can be sure of Him and His work, and we can live for God’s glory.