The resurrection of Christ is of great benefit to believers because it guarantees their sharing in his righteousness, their new life, and future glory. Let this article explain.

Source: The Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth, 2012. 2 pages.

The Benefits of Christ's Resurrection

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection

Phil. 3:10

How does Christ’s resurrection benefit believers? The Hei­delberg Catechism answers this question in Lord’s Day 17 by highlighting three categories of spiritual benefits:

First, by His resurrection (Christ) overcame death, that He might make us partakers of that righteousness which He had purchased for us by His death; secondly, we are also by His power raised up to a new life; and lastly, the resurrection of Christ is a sure pledge of our blessed resurrection.

We share in His righteousness🔗

The empty tomb was proof that full payment for sin had been made. Christ died to pay for the sin of His people; He was buried in the grave for three days to fulfill prophecy. But when everything was fulfilled, nothing could keep Him in the tomb. His triumphant resurrection was proof that the sin of His people was atoned for completely, that the ransom was paid, that God’s justice was satisfied, and that all believers are reconciled in Christ with God.

What benefit do we find in the empty tomb? The first ben­efit for believers is our justification.

Christ “was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” Rom. 4:25

In Christ’s resurrection we have God’s own confirmation that our sin has been paid for by Christ’s perfect sacrifice. We now experience peace with God since we are washed in Christ’s blood and covered by His perfect righteousness.

Perhaps you still feel your guilt in God’s sight. Then medi­tate on this truth: through faith in Christ this guilt has been fully covered and you are now considered by God as perfectly righteous. In fact, there is even more: since Christ was raised for our justification, we have also been adopted into a new rela­tionship with God and now have open access to the throne of grace. As God in the resurrection has accepted Christ’s payment for our sin, so He also receives us who by faith trust in Christ.

We are being raised into new life🔗

The second benefit is our sanctification. Knowing the power of Christ’s resurrection motivates us to become more holy. The Apostle Paul shows this connection:

As Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.Rom. 6:4b

New life in Christ begins with regeneration: as Christ was raised from the dead, so we being united to Him by faith are raised from the dead spiritually. Our physical bodies will be resurrected on the final day, but already now we are made spiritually alive in Christ. All believers have been raised from spiritual death and are already alive in union with Christ.

Our regeneration, however, is only the beginning of this new spiritual life. The Holy Spirit raised Christ from the dead (Rom. 8:11), and the same Spirit is busy raising God’s people to a new life in Christ. The Spirit teaches us to put to death all sinful deeds. He causes us to put off our old self and put on the likeness of Christ. The Spirit produces His fruit within us so that we are more and more raised to new life in Christ.

Furthermore, Christ’s resurrection publicly demonstrated His victory over the devil and all the powers of darkness. So when Satan tempts us to sin or when the spiritual warfare seems to overwhelm us, we hold on to this glorious truth: Christ has disarmed the powers of darkness (Col. 2:15); through His death He has destroyed the devil. The resur­rection is proof of our victory in Christ.

Are you enjoying this benefit of the resurrection? Often we try with our own power to make ourselves holy. But the power needed for sanctification is found in the resurrection of Christ. The Spirit was sent after Christ’s resurrection to raise us to newness of life and to assure us of all these benefits, so that we will be motivated to fight “the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life” (1 Tim. 6:12).

We are guaranteed future glory🔗

Christ’s resurrection gives us a living hope for the future. Christ’s resurrection is not only powerful to prove our justi­fication and motivate our sanctification, but it is also a pow­erful guarantee of our glorification. At least three realities should assure all believers of their glorious future in Christ.

First, as Christ has already been raised with a resurrection body, so our dying bodies will soon be raised incorruptible. In our own flesh we will soon see the face of our Redeemer (Job 19:25). Now we suffer from the effects of sin, both within and without. But soon the bodies of all believers will be recreated in perfection and righteousness.

Second, as Christ is now in heaven, so our whole life is eternally secure with Him above. Even though our bodies are now dying and will soon decompose in the grave, yet we are already alive in Christ. Death can only destroy our physical bodies because we are already seated in heavenly places with Christ (Col. 3:1-3). Our treasure is in heaven where our resurrected Savior has already gone to prepare a place for us.

Third, as Christ will soon return in glory, so we will “also appear with Him in glory” (Col. 3:4). This anticipation of glory was the living hope experienced by the Apostle Peter whenever he remembered the resurrection of Christ (1 Pet. 1:3). When we learn to know the power of Christ’s resurrec­tion, we then also experience these benefits and our hope is anchored evermore firmly in the eternal realities above.

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