1 Corinthians 15:17
NKJV - 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!
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The atoning death of of Christ and his shed blood on the cross provided the exclusive ransom that could appease the wrath of God and to purchase His church (Acts 20:28-29). Jesus is described in Revelation 5:9 as the Lamb of God who was slain to redeem us to God by His blood. Elsewhere in Scripture we learn that Christ is the atonement Lamb of God whom God had provided from the foundation of the world. God foredained that in the fulness of time, Christ would come as God incarnate; as our kinsman redeemer who will redeem us from the bondage of spiritual slavery to which the sin of Adam had consigned us. The resurrection of Christ was not the atonement but rather evidence that death could not hold back Christ after His finished works of the cross. It is our eternal assurance that since Christ conquered death and rose from the grave, we too who die in Him shall rise to everlasting life in the presence of God. 1 Cor. 15 carries a detailed treatise on the resurrection of believers. 1Thess 4:13-18 depicts the divine drama that will unfold when Christ shall come for His saints. The dead in Christ shall first rise and those [believers] who will be alive at the coming of Christ shall be transformed into immortal bodies at the twinkling of an eye. Both shall be joined together to meet the Lord in the air. The death of Christ was therefore significant in providing the way for us to be reconciled with God. The atoning death and the resurrection events are mutually exclusive in so far as the atonement for sin is concerned but both are intertwined in theological significance. Here is why.... The sinless blood cleansed our sin and His body was broken for us (1 Cor. 11:23-26). Without His atoning death at the cross, there would be no forgiveness of sin (1Corinthians 15:3) and no reconciliation with God and hence no resurrection of believers. Without the resurrection promise, our hope of glory would be a delusion and believers would be a pitied lot (1Corinthians 15:14). Glory to God indeed for our resurrection hope is secure in Him.
I would say that the Bible indicates that Christ's death and resurrection were both essential components of our forgiveness. The Bible makes clear that without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sin (Hebrews 9:22). That was why God instituted the sacrificial system in the Old Testament that required the death of animals through the shedding of their blood. However, those sacrifices were merely a foreshadowing of the full and final sacrifice that Jesus would (and that only He could) offer in the shedding of His sinless, innocent blood. However, as the Bible makes equally clear in passages such as the verse cited in the question, it was Jesus' resurrection that both validated the acceptability of His blood sacrifice to God, and also made it no longer necessary for any more such sacrifices to be offered (Romans 6:10; 1 Peter 3:18), since He is alive for all time and no longer subject to death. If Christ had not been raised, we would still be in our sins. It is the resurrection that gives Christ's sacrificial death its power.
The Gospel Of JESUS CHRIST IS [ 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 ], states completely what Jesus accomplished in His full redemptive work. His Blood Sacrifice was required for the Remission of Sins, the passing over the penalty of sin.[ Hebrews 9:22 ] Also the Forgiveness of sin [ Matthew 26:28 ] comes as the covenant by His pouring out of His blood. Then His resurrection completed the Victory over the grave and the sting of death, [ 1 Corinthians 15:55 ]. His death, pouring out his sinless blood, His burial, as His body died, His Resurrection, His Body, and Spirit rejoined in Life, all combined in The Complete Gospel of Forgiveness, Remission of Sin and New Birth to those who put their Faith in Jesus and what He accomplished.
Jesus' death on the cross was the beginning of a process to eradicate sin from this world and from our hearts. Because of His death and resurrection, Jesus, our high priest, is now making atonement for our sins in the heavenly sanctuary (Heb 7:25; 9:24). His resurrection was possible because of His life. Although His birth, death, and His resurrection are all important; all would have been meaningless if Jesus didn’t live a sinless life. If Jesus, during His earthly life had sinned even once, He could not have been resurrected. Jesus chose to die because that was the only way for us to be saved. His perfect life is a free gift to all who accept to be covered by it (Isaiah 53:5). We must each accept His death and life in our stead. Even though we all have sinned, God accepts the perfect life of His Son in our place, and we are considered righteous, even though we knew no righteousness (1 Peter 2:24). Romans 7:18 says that nothing good dwells in us. We are all sinners and guilty of death (Rom 3:23; 6:23). Jesus’ life and death could be ours if we choose to accept them. Then as we walk in the newness of life that He offers, we are empowered to live as He did. Slowly but surely, as we submit daily to the Holy Spirit, our characters are changed into His image. Because of sin, people are separated from God (Isaiah 59:2). But Jesus' life, death, and resurrection reconciled us to God (Col 1:21-22; John 3:16; 10:10). The only way to reconcile us to God was to present Himself as a sacrifice to atone for our sin. Jesus’ death allowed us to be reconciled with God (2 Cor 5:19). Jesus' life, death, and resurrection brought assurance hat we can have victory over sin and death both in the present lives and the eternal life to come (1 John 3:3; 4:4). We no longer have to be in bondage to sin. Accepting His death and resurrection requires a change of life (Rom 6:4,6). God desires to give us a better life, joy, peace, and freedom from sin (2 Cor 5:17). Christ did not die just to give us permission to break God’s Law. Sin is the transgression of the law, and the wages of sin is death (1 John 3:4; Rom 6:23). Christ promises to finish the work He started and bring us to a new place where there is no more sin (Philippians 1:6; Rev 21:4).
In short: Jesus' sacrifice was for all mankind. That those exercising faith in him might live forever. We are freed from Ademic sin upon our death for the Bible says that the wages sin pays are death. Once that debt is paid, are sins are forgiven. We await the resurrection.
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