How You Can Really Honor Christ’s Resurrection and Have More Blessings

Jesus-Resurrection

Easter Sunday is the day people remember Christ’s resurrection from death. His blood became the cleanser for our sins. But what if Easter doesn’t really honor Christ’s resurrection? If it doesn’t, you might be missing out on God’s blessings. In appreciating Christ’s resurrection according to scripture, you can not only really honor God, you can have more blessings in life too.

God’s scripture

Most of us agree that God’s scripture is authoritative and correct. Scripture seems to express that in 2 Timothy 3:16. It states, “16 All Scripture is [a]inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for [b]training in righteousness;” Being that it’s authoritative and correct, what it teaches Christians to do, that’s what Christians are to strive for. Easter as a yearly ritual of remembering Christ’s resurrection was never taught in scripture. At best, no one can really be sure it honors God. At worst, it doesn’t, and maybe even dishonors God, because it’s practicing unholy worship of Him like what occurred in Leviticus 10:1-2

Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to his command. So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord.

If what we do dishonors God, we are hindering our blessings. We are heightening our displeasure in life, or potentially worse in the case of Nadab and Abihu. So how do we honor Christ’s resurrection and be able to have more blessings?

To answer that question, let’s answer this question. What was it that Christ wanted people to be after his resurrection? Matthew 28:19 states, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” Christ wanted people to be disciples. From the process of starting your journey as a disciple, to living your journey as a disciple. We start the journey by obeying Jesus and the Apostle’s instructions of how one begins the journey of a disciple’s salvation.

Beginning of the journey

Jesus states in Mark 16:16, “16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned.Believe +Baptism = Start of salvation journey

Apostle Peter stated in Acts 2:38 based on his understanding of what Jesus told him to teach, “38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” So here, Repentance + Baptism = Start of salvation journey

Obedience to Christ

Once we’ve begun the journey when we’ve done these things, we live a life that strives for consistent obedience to Christ. How do we do that? We know Christ was the Word in flesh as John 1 expresses. Therefore, obey God’s Word, and you’re obeying Christ. You’re being a disciple, and thus you’re really honoring Christ’s resurrection, and you will be able to receive more blessings.

If you’ve been having stress over family, work, school, or relationships, you’ll be able to access the peace of God like the calmness of a soft breeze on a sunny day, or the gentleness of a cushioned bed and warm covers. You can have a joy in knowing your experiencing God helping you be a better person that you like more, and that other people like more with their smiles and warm embraces seeing you. This development of better relationships in your life will get you smiling and happier as well. These things and more you can be blessed to have if you honor Christ’s resurrection by taking up discipleship.

Don’t risk your eternity any longer. Don’t miss out on your blessings anymore. Believe, repent and be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. Read the Word daily and grow in your obedience to Christ. How beautiful the love of God is, that He would send His son to be nailed to death on a cross for our sins, and give us all the chance to be saved and blessed in life.

Peace to you all in Christ.

1-Peter-1-3

Advertisements

26 thoughts on “How You Can Really Honor Christ’s Resurrection and Have More Blessings

  1. A true disciple of Jesus Christ honors the Lord’s death, burial, and resurrection everyday of their life as they are obeying God’s word the Bible. Therefore we continually rejoice in what God has done for us by the offering up of his only begotten Son. As disciples of Jesus Christ we are told to honor the Lord’s death and the New Testament in his blood through communion. However, as the Apostle Paul admonishes, “For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.” (1 Cor 11:26-30)

    • Yes, this is it generally. Through the Holy communion, we announce his death and resurrection. That means we preach Christ crucified to the world.

      • I also think how Christians celebrate Easter is right and not sinful at all. Unless they are engaging in sin. God gave you choice and free will, you are not a robot, you can decide what to do, as long as its pleasing to Him. Christians hold conferences this time, they get teachings about God, they evangelize, they share with the poor.. All this is correct. They are honoring God. It’s not only soul winning that honors God in Easter…

  2. The Bible doesn’t commend evangelizing through blogging either. Does that mean we are equal to those offering incense in the high places?

    On the contrary – “Do this in memory of me…” The Liturgy teaches us how to pray. The Liturgy is a commemoration of the Life of Christ… So our prayer ought to be memory-based, but we can’t remember everything all the time: if we don’t set aside certain times to commemorate certain events, those events just become part of a mental soup. We aren’t angels – we need the help. The Old Testament therefore has many instructions on annual feasts, especially the Passover, which Easter is the fitting completion of (and therefore would also sensibly be commemorated annually at least, though really it was commemorated each Sunday since the earliest days of the organized Church).

    My sincerest suggestion to you is to start reading the Fathers… the early writers of theological and historical texts of Christianity… I think you will find such a study incredibly fruitful. Ignatius of Antioch, Irenaeus of Lyon, and Justin Martyr (specifically the last few chapters of the First Apology) are good starts.

    • Hi CRM. Thanks for your comment, and I appreciate your thought provoking question. I’m guessing what may be your underlying concern in your question is where does it stop? I say Easter isn’t worship according to scripture, and you perhaps are expressing “well why stop there” with your is evangelizing through blogging according to scripture?

      To that concern I say we have to continually examine things. Is it the case there are means of worship that God specifically instructs? And if so, does that negate forms of worship not commanded by God in scripture as exemplified by the example in Leviticus? Interesting questions to ponder.

      I too think it can be helpful to look to historical writings as well. I find it to be useful in helping to confirm what’s already established in scripture.

      Peace in Christ.

      • Yes, you’re on the right track. Trying to determine the outward structure or expression of communal worship based on the New Testament alone would be like trying to base the practice of medicine on a few random texts on biology, chemistry, and anatomy… The principles are there, but there is little to no real practical instruction. For that, you need a medical text.

        My meta-point is that Scripture is a product of the Church, just as liturgy is a product of the Church. The text’s authority is guaranteed by the voice of God speaking through the Church – not the other way around… The Word became flesh, not just more words. So, my answer is that yes, there are means of worship that God specifically instructs for Christians… But you will not predominantly find them in Scripture (though they certainly would not contradict anything there).

        The authors I’m pointing you to confirm that from the earliest days of the Church, there was a rather clear structure of worship, among other things. The issue of the liturgical calendar was an enormously important thing for the life of all Christians from the earliest days. The Quartodeciman controversy was in the middle of the 2nd century, involving men like Polycarp who was a disciple of John the Apostle, and men in Rome only a few degrees separated from Peter and Paul. It is a well documented dispute – Sozomen, Eusebius, Irenaeus… It was extremely important to everyone from the beginning, apparently even to the Apostles, though they had different ideas about some of the specifics. That should mean something, shouldn’t it?

      • Hmm. I can see the argument you’re making. The men who followed after the apostles would have a significant level of credibility in knowing what traditions were to be preserved and maintained. And in having that closeness to the original leaders of Christianity, they would certainly strive to not uphold, follow, or teach any tradition that would be in opposition to the Apostles, and thus opposition to Christ, and opposition to God.

        I would agree in seeing that as meaning something and then some. Though I still wonder. Are there any records of Christ or the Apostles directly articulating these traditions themselves if they’re really truly to be followed? I would consider myself on more comfortable ground in believing in the yearly celebrations of Christ’s resurrection through Easter, or Christ’s birth through Christmas, or the period of Lent, etc… if such writings do in fact exist. Do they?

      • The record is the lived reality of the tradition itself. Remember that writing things down in the first century was not so easy – the Gospels and some of the Epistles are basically encyclopedic in their size relative to the time… There was also some opposition in the air to writing things that weren’t absolutely necessary to write – at least there was in Greece. Writing things down means the voice “dies” in a way, because it can’t defend itself or interpret itself. And it dulls our memories because we can just “look it up.” (If only Plato saw Google coming…)

        Furthermore, they all took the calendar for granted… and nobody challenged the principle… so why would there be a need for a defense and articulation? Again, there’s Justin Martyr’s explanation of Sunday worship, but everybody knew that you follow the Life of Christ in various parts in accordance with the seasons. On top of all that, the birth, death, and resurrection of Christ reverse and override the dominant Ancient Near East pagan narrative, where a god is born in the spring and dies in the winter, along with the plants… Instead, our God is born in the darkness, dies in the midst of new life, and then also returns at the same season to help it all “make sense” according to the ancient intuition.

        As for Lent, the tradition of the station churches (where the pope would travel around to different churches in Rome for Lent) started at the end of the second century or the start of the third… which means that the season itself had been around for a while. Everyone knew that the catechumens were in the last stages of preparation for baptism during the time before Easter – a time for fasting and prayer…

        This article might be of interest to you: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/03158a.htm

        I recommend the sources I’ve mentioned to get you started researching these topics… I am barely scratching the surface of the patristic world. But you should not expect everything to be written down… Why would it be? Christ only wrote in the dirt, after all – there is more than one way to pass on knowledge.

      • Thank you for sharing that source. I’ve begun reading through it and find it intriguing so far. You can correct me if my understanding is wrong, but I assume this lived reality of the tradition is confirmed through the writings of these early church fathers you’re referring to. Do you conclude that their writings are of higher authority than scripture?

      • I thought you would… Yes, the “life” of the Church is definitely recorded and explained by them, but it is the living voice of the tradition itself which is on par with Scripture, not commentary or records of it. And even then, Tradition – as it can be called – is limited by what preceded it, including Scripture. So no teaching or practice could authentically evolve as part of the Church’s true life that contradicts anything in Scripture or earlier universal creeds or other doctrines.

      • Hmm, you say the living voice of the tradition itself is on par with scripture, not commentary or records of it. If not particular recordings or writings that give these traditions authority, of what basis does the Catholic Church give authority to what is believed to be the accurately passed down “living voice of the tradition” from the time of Christ and the Apostles?

      • If you mean “why is it so important,” then I answer that the burden of proof goes in the other direction: one must instead justify why some particular text is so important, rather than living beings. Christ did not write Scripture – people wrote Scripture. The New Testament is a product of this “voice” by which God spoke and continues to speak. If you grant the text authority, you must be granting authority to the people who wrote the text AND to the people who confirmed the text as being from God… Not all the books were intuitive – 2 Peter, Hermas, 1 Clement, even the Gospel of John were matters of debate. But who gets the final say? You? Me? Martin Luther? Or is it the Church’s teaching office through which God protects us from error and confirms us in the truth? I know which one I choose…

        If you mean, “how does it work,” it is the office of the papacy, the entire college of bishops (together with the pope) acting as one – just as the apostles were together with Peter – and also the whole Church together (the “sensus fidei”). These are the authentic guarantors of Christian truth, together with Scripture and whatever has already been taught and revealed by God. Usually, there is only the fullest and most acute expression of this office when there is an important matter of great dispute, such as to deal with the great heresies.

      • “If you grant the text authority, you must be granting authority to the people who wrote the text AND to the people who confirmed the text as being from God…”

        I guess I wonder if that necessarily follows. Using Apostle Paul as an example, I do see his writings as authoritative, but not necessarily because of him himself, but because of God working and communicating through him. It seems like Apostle Paul made a distinction in 1 Corinthians 7 between an authoritative instruction from God and just merely his own human perspective with regards to a believers current marital status. When you look at the chapter, do you at a minimum see some kind of distinction he’s making between what he says and what God says?

        But then you might wonder by way of the second part of your statement, by what authority do you recognize these words in these letters in scripture to be confirmed words from God? I assume by you saying not all of the books were intuitive, you believe some books can intuitively prove themselves as inspired text from God (correct me if I’m wrong). But I am aware as you point out that some books were of much debate in the formation of scriptural canon such as 2 Peter and other books.

        And that’s such a fascinating question in all of this, who (or what) does get the final say of what’s true and not true to Christianity? I had a similar conversation with a friend who was interested in seeing if there’s information that could be learned more about God from books not included in any Biblical canons. Our conversation led to a discussion of whether if people were left to make their own conclusions, would there be chaos in so many people picking and choosing their own books to read. She said that it wouldn’t be much different from all the different groups of Christians we have now that all follow different sets of books. I found her conclusion to be inaccurate because it seems we generally all follow the same set of books, with only a few differences of books here and there, with millions (billion in the case of Catholicism) of people under different groups following their particular groups slightly different version of unified scripture, as opposed to hundreds of millions of people individually making their own choices of a truthful set of text to follow.

        But to get back to our conversation, as I ponder it, I guess in a sense we all kind of have the final say making our own judgments based on the information we have available to us (and of course our own biases are hard to shake too). You made a choice based on information, reflection, and your particular life and spiritual experience to defer your final say to a group of men who met up 1500+ years ago to debate and decide for you and other Catholics what were the right books and traditions to follow. I guess in a sense having grown up following along with the Protestant canon, I suppose by default I deferred my final say to people who questioned and pushed this whole thing to where we are today. I don’t know if I necessarily defer authoritative judgment to the people who questioned and pushed things, because I’m sure there are certainly things I could probably find that I don’t agree on. But ultimately I strive for my positioning of my beliefs to be as much as possible in submission to God’s authority and not man’s authority.

        For better understanding of the Catholic position, on what basis is it determined the church’s teaching office protects from error? To my limited knowledge of Catholic history, if I’m not mistaken there have been changes to Catholic beliefs and practices over time.

        For example on salvation, quoting here, “1441 Pope Eugene IV in Cantate Domino wrote: “The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the ‘eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels’; unless before death they are joined with Her.” But in the 20th century the Church changed its understanding of that, Dominus Iesus says: “…for those who are not formally and visibly members of the Church, salvation in Christ is accessible by virtue of a grace which, while having a mysterious relationship to the Church, does not make them formally part of the Church, but enlightens them in a way which is accommodated to their spiritual and material situation. This grace comes from Christ…”.

        So was there error previously here that the church was not protected from? And in the history of popes there have been corrupt leaders who had people tortured and people put to death in the name of God. Do you think in anyway that discredits the claim of error protection?

        And I guess also wonder does that make these men, the popes and bishops credited as determining authentic Christian truth, just as fallible as you and I are in coming to final says, which would seem to make them less akin to Peter and the Apostles, and perhaps therefore no more able to claim higher authority on authentic Christianity than any of us?

      • Point by point…

        Of course, it is God speaking which matters – that’s the point. As for Paul’s “opinion,” it is still being spoken by God… This is evidence that Paul did not always realize that he was writing Scripture (whereas at other times it might seem he did). Anyway, it only takes human cleverness to discover that Paul wrote the text… It takes something altogether different to discover that God wrote the text and be SURE about it.

        The easy answer is the Council of Trent, but there is also the Synod of Rome in 382, and Florence in 1442. And all the spaces in between where there was little to no disagreement in the global Church. St. Vincent of Lerins would call that significant… what is “believed by all, everywhere, and always,” is the Faith of the Church.

        Yes, you’re seeing the problem. If you give two sensible people the Pauline corpus, they might come away with very different ideas about grace, merit, charity, law, and so on. That seems quite significant. Again, I say that the final say comes from God Himself through the hierarchical Church.

        Obviously, we must all make a decision – other people can’t think or assent for us. But the question is “where” is God’s authority habitually at work? It seems to me that Christ established a clear order with the apostolic college, and that they passed on this order. Again, read the Fathers.

        We could go through all the standard examples of supposed contradictions… Usury is another big one. But inevitably, there is a subtlety being missed. In this example, the development turns on the word “Church.” The issue of invincible ignorance looms large in this case – if someone has been lied to about what the Catholic Church is, as many people have been, that person may indeed be in a situation of diminished culpability for not being part of the visible Catholic Church… Indeed, the Catholic Church this person has heard of would be evil to be a part of! If someone joins a religion thinking that it is about worshipping statues, that would be a big problem. So Eugene is right, and so is Ratzinger. The teaching office of the Church, as exercised by the bishops all as one and the pope in extraordinary moments, is protected by the Holy Spirit… The One Who will lead us “into all truth…”

        Infallibility is not impeccability. Nor is infallibility the normal mode of papal utterance, despite what the Associated Press might think. I’m not sure what you’re specifically thinking of with the reference to torture and capital punishment, but certainly there have been plenty of immoderate actions by the Bishops of Rome throughout the ages. (I do not think capital punishment is intrinsically evil, though – Moses did not seem to think so either, nor Peter, nor Paul, nor any major Christian thinker for a long, long time that I am aware of.) No matter – Judas had all the authority and power of the other apostles, did he not? And the typological reference for the structure of infallibility comes from Peter at Caesarea Philippi – first he speaks publicly, among and for the college, then he speaks privately. Notice the difference in the Lord’s reaction to each… One comes from God, the other comes from man.

      • I admire your confidence in what you believe, and I hope you can empathize with my skepticism. I imagine you can understand how difficult it would be for anyone to convince you that a different group of faith is the authentic Christianity. Someone trying to convince you Mormonism is the authentic Christianity as an example perhaps.

        As I’ve attempted to understand your argument, you seem to stress as the strongest point the history of the church as understood in the writings of the historical figures living in those times, and centrally what was lived at that time as proof and confirmation of Catholicism as being the authentic Christianity. It has made me more interested in diving into these writings and thoroughly examining them. What I find myself skeptical of in with your argument is the Church organizational body as a force of God rather than just merely a force of man.

        You connect the dots that the pope and the bishops judgment together determining the right traditions and scripture are credibly God’s chosen tool for establishing the faith via the Holy Spirit (to paraphrase). Why is it not the Eastern Church that split from the Western Church that decided something else was more credible, or the Protestants who decided something else was more credible. These groups with groups within them all claim some form of divine authorization via Holy Spirit, but I guess you’re arguing that the Catholic Church has the more credible claim?

        Sidenote: In reference to your question in what I was referring to about torture, quoting from a source on Pope Urban Vl “Several among his cardinals who had been shut up in Nocera with him were determined to make a stand, proposing that the Pope, due to incapacity and obstinacy, be put in the charge of one of the cardinals. Urban had them seized, tortured and put to death, “a crime unheard of through the centuries” the chronicler Egidio da Viterbo remarked”

      • I can understand and appreciate the challenge and admire your commitment to pursuing the truth.

        I suppose it makes sense to say that the entire “project” of understanding revelation is couched in a study of history… God speaks in time, after all. So yes, it matters quite a bit what happens in the course of time, even after the death of John the Apostle. And we should expect to see accurate reflections of the true faith at least in the local churches founded by the Apostles while the echos of their voices are still in the air. Jerusalem, Rome, Antioch, Alexandria… what was “church” like there? We have to look at the writings of the leaders of the Church at that time and see what was going on, right?

        You are right to ask about organization – it is quite important. I suggest that there is quite obviously an order instituted during the apostolic age, namely, the election of deacons (diakonoi) and then the various gubernatorial appointments made by Paul which we can safely assume are acceptable to the other apostles and to God as well. Within the 200 years following the apostolic age, a lot of clarity was gained about what exactly those offices are and are for, and there is basically universal agreement. Ignatius clearly delineates 3 orders in the early 2nd century (bishop, priest, deacon). Irenaeus speaks about the Bishop of Rome as being the universal pastor of the whole Church, also 2nd century. I encourage you to look into these sources (there are others as well!)…

        The Schism of 1054 is a complicated affair. It had more to do with political power than with doctrine and morals on the part of the East. I am happy to go through the history and related dispute if that is really a question for you – but suffice to say that Constantinople behaved quite poorly and sought to justify its behavior with bad ecclesiology. And now they suffer doctrinally in morals as well. The main question is – what Church did God establish? A bunch of little ones loosely connected together, or one big one with many little expressions and governed ultimately by one pastor? To me, it is quite clear from Scripture, the Fathers, human nature, and history, that God wants one steward over all the Church, with other stewards over smaller territories. (By whose authority would new local churches be established in the latter model? I don’t know.) Moses governed this way, and then when we get to the age of the Judges, everyone rules himself. Which is better?

        The Protestant Reformation is also complicated, but less so. It comes down to the theology of one man and the coincidental invention of the printing press and German political convenience that made it take off. I am happy to discuss the particulars of this as well, but here I will just ask: why can’t you or I decide that “Paul really means THIS” and then throw out some books of the Bible that seem to disagree with our opinion, as Luther did? This is another case of retroactive justification – he had a bad theology (and a bad life, by the way) which needed to be justified somehow. His method was to attack the authority of Rome and to remove some books of the Bible. It is not that dissimilar from Constantinople.

        Meanwhile, Mary appeared in the Americas, as if to make up for the loss in Europe. (If you haven’t investigated Marian apparitions, that is something to do too… The most credible ones are all Catholic, you will see!)

        So yes, I am arguing that the Catholic Church has the more credible claim.

        I don’t know much about that affair with Urban VI, but if the description is accurate then I would certainly condemn it… And yet Judas was still an Apostle,

      • I’ve done a little bit of research since the last time I responded to you. It’s been fascinating to learn about the history of Christianity, and I’m curious of your thoughts on a few things. I read that some scholars argue that Christianity was fragmented early on (Pauline Christians, Jewish Christians, Marcionites, Montanism, Gnostics, etc.) and these groups were competing with one another claiming to practice an authentic Christianity passed down to them from the Apostles. It makes me curious whether there was something to what those other factions were teaching, and whether the Catholic Church just happened to be the faction with enough of a majority or plurality to win out in the end for lack of a better term. I found it interesting that Valentinus, a Christian Gnostic theologian, is said to have been a follower of Theudas, who was a follower of Apostle Paul. What are your thoughts on all these things?

        My research has made me reconsider my understanding on scripture. It’s intriguing to me that before there was any thought of a generally agreed upon text of scripture, people were just left to ask other prominent Christian teachers questions about the beliefs and practices of the faith. It makes me ponder whether God ever intended for there to be a scripture as we know it today. But these are just initial musings of something I’ll have to continue to reflect on.

      • One general principle to keep in mind is recapitulation… God speaks to Israel, Israel writes. Then, God speaks to the Church – the new Israel – and the Church writes. But the authority structure has been perfected, where there is not merely a collection of authorities that “rise up,” as with the judges or prophets, but there is stability – a mixing of the prophetic and royal offices (and the priestly). Anyway, if these teachers have authority as teachers, and they teach that certain texts are inspired and normative for Faith, then… we do indeed have the idea of Scripture right.

        Irenaeus has the solution to the problem, and it is complemented by Vincent of Lerins… Look to the churches themselves which were founded by the apostles, especially Rome, and see what their doctrine is. Vincent’s rule is that what is believed by all, everywhere, and always is normative for the true Faith. The Gnostics and Montanists and Marcionists don’t fall into this category… God’s revelation is “open,” generally protected the closer a church is to an apostle, and it is universal as well.

        Remember too that heretics are around even while the apostles are alive – some letters address this quite directly.

      • “Look to the churches themselves which were founded by the apostles, especially Rome, and see what their doctrine is.”

        What resource would you point to for seeing this doctrine?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s