In Light of the Resurrection
It is only in the light of the resurrection that I finally have an assurance of my sins forgiven. It is only in the light of the resurrection that I ultimately know that I stand in the presence of God absolved from guilt and shame and every condemnation. I can now say with Paul, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1) because I look at the fact of the resurrection. It is there that I know it.
You notice how Paul argues in 1 Corinthians 15:17 when he says, “If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” If it is not a fact that Christ literally rose from the grave, then you are still guilty before God. Your punishment has not been borne, your sins have not been dealt with, you are yet in your sins. It matters that much: Without the resurrection you have no standing at all; you are still uncertain as to whether you are forgiven and whether you are a child of God. And when one day you come to your deathbed you will not know, you will be uncertain as to where you are going and what is going to happen to you. “Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification” (Romans 4:25). It is in the resurrection that I stand before God free and absolved and without fear and know that I am indeed a child of God. So you see the importance of holding on to this doctrine and why we must insist upon the details of doctrine, and not be content with some vague general belief in the Lord Jesus Christ.