A common Christian greeting on Easter Sunday is, “He is risen!,” to which the other person replies “He is risen indeed!” But not only can we say that about Christ, we can say that about each other. Because, as Christians, we are in union with Christ and thus we share in all of his benefits. When it comes to the resurrection, there are three great benefits of being in union with Christ:
- Justification: He was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification (Romans 4:25)
- Sanctification: We are a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- Glorification: Christ’s resurrection is the firstfruits of our future bodily resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23).
I think glorification get’s the most attention when we think about how Christ’s resurrection benefits us. And praise God for this great and glorious truth that because he was raised we too will be raised bodily on the last day unto eternal glory (Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 15; Phil. 3:20-21; et al.).
However, let’s not miss out on the other two great benefits of Christ’s resurrection for us. Because of our union with Christ we also have both justification and sanctification. If you are in Christ through faith, a change has taken place both in your status before God and within you. You are no longer declared guilty in God’s sight. You are forgiven of all of your sins and are declared righteous in Christ by grace alone, through faith alone. And His resurrection assures you of that. If He had remained in the grave it would have proven Him to be a sinner. But because He was raised it demonstrates and assures you and me that God indeed accepted His substitutionary atonement on our behalf. And so, take comfort that you are forgiven and righteous in Christ because He was raised for your justification.
But as great as glorification and justification are, we also have a third great benefit of Christ’s resurrection, namely sanctification. If you are in Christ, you are no longer dead in your sins and trespasses but are alive to God. The world, the devil, and the flesh are no longer your masters (Eph. 2:1-3). Your master is now Christ. You belong to him and your new inclination is to follow him now. And so, you must consider yourself dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus (Rom. 6:11). And on the basis of your new status and your new life in Christ you are to walk in newness of life.
In my next post tomorrow I will elaborate more on what this looks like to walk in newness of life and fight the good fight of faith. In short it means this:
- We fight against sin with a free conscience as those who are forgiven entirely and declared righteous in Christ through faith.
- We fight against sin in the power of Christ’s resurrection, i.e. by the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.
- We fight against sin knowing that one day our fight will be over.