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Devotionals :: Day by Day by Grace :: Today's Reading

Hoekstra's Day by Day by Grace (March 15th)

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The Resurrection Essential to the Gospel of Grace

And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is vain and your faith is also vain…And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins…But now Christ is risen from the dead. (1 Corinthians 15:14, 17, 20)

The early church persistently proclaimed the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. This was not an option for them; neither is it an option for us. The grace of God that is available in the gospel for both justification and sanctification requires a risen Lord. The resurrection is essential to the gospel, which is the new covenant of grace.

The Spirit of God emphasized this strongly, as He inspired Paul to write: "And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is vain and your faith is also vain." If Jesus had not been raised from the dead, our preaching would be empty. If Christ were still in a tomb, His salvation mission ended in failure, not victory. Jesus is the object of our faith. If He is not alive, our trusting in Him would be fruitless. Jesus frequently taught about the necessity of His death and resurrection. "The Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day" (Luke 9:22).

Furthermore, Paul wrote: "And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins." The gospel of forgiveness of sins includes the resurrection. "I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you…that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures" (1 Corinthians 15:1, 3-4). Faith is only as effective as its object. If our Lord is not resurrected, it is useless to place our confidence in Him. If we are trusting in a dead Savior to forgive us and set us free, we are still guilty and bound.

However, our Lord is not in an ancient tomb. "But now Christ is risen from the dead." He rose victorious over sin and death, bringing everlasting righteousness to all who believe. "It [faith] was accounted to him [Abraham] for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, but also for us. It shall be imputed to us [credited to our account] who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification" (Romans 4:22-25). Thus, all of the grace blessings of the resurrection are ours by faith. "Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace" (Romans 4:16).

Dear Father, I rejoice in the resurrection victory of Jesus, my Lord! I praise You, Jesus, as my risen, living Savior. What a mighty salvation You have secured through Your victory over sin and death. Glory be to Your name for providing it all by grace through faith. Teach me to trust in You more and more, in Your holy name, Amen.

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Daily Devotionals

Blue Letter Bible offers several daily devotional readings in order to help you refocus on Christ and the Gospel of His peace and righteousness.

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