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Orthodoxy’s Postage Stamp

Orthodoxy’s Postage Stamp September 18, 2012

Christian orthodoxy’s postage stamp is that the resurrection occurred. What really matters, the letter or the envelope, is the crucifixion. We argue intelligently and vociferously and annually (at Easter) that the resurrection occurred, we denounce those who say it didn’t happen, and we applaud those who defend it in apologetics. And it matters enormously for our hope beyond the grave. But beyond the that the resurrection doesn’t seem to matter. It’s little more than a postage stamp.

In college a tongues-speaking charismatic friend of mine said to me “You Baptists say you believe in the Holy Spirit but if the Spirit vacated the house you’d never know it!” He had a point. Perhaps we could make the same point about the resurrection.

What would happen in the following areas if the resurrection was not at work: preaching? evangelism? parenting? vocation? forgiveness of sins? justification? reconciliation? kingdom of God?

Exploring beyond the that to the what and why of the resurrection is at the heart of Ross Clifford and Philip Johnson’s exceptional book, The Cross is Not Enough. They explore twelve zones of the impact of the resurrection in our life — in daily living, daily hope, daily obedience. The twelve zones where resurrection makes an impact on life are, and if you slide your cursor over these references they will show up. Let them wash over you to see the magnitude of the implications of the resurrection for discipleship.

1. Forgiveness: 1 Cor 15:15-17; Rom 4:25.
2. Whole person: 1 Cor 15:20; Gal 3:27-28.
3. Empowerment: 1 Cor 15:19; Heb 4:14-16; Phil 3:10-11.
4. Future hope: 1 Cor 15:19-23.
5. Eschatology: 1 Cor 15:24-25
6. Eden breaks in: 1 Cor 15:45 (second Adam)
7. Confidence: Rom 1:1-4; Acts 2:29-32.
8. Face of God: John 20:28
9. Ethics: 1 Peter 1:3 leads to 1:13-16 and 2:12-4:10.
10. Judge/justice: social justice folks ought to be more resurrection-shaped. Acts 17:31.
11. New Community: Col 1:18; 3:11; Gal 3:28; Acts 10:34.
12. Mission: Matthew 28:16-20.

“The zones of discipleship that we are called into demonstrate a newness of life that can only be lived out by the power of the spirit of the risen Jesus” (43).

What can you/I/we do to build a resurrection culture? What are its marks?

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