Tag Archives: resurrection

Foundations of Theology

Basic Doctrinal Principles

Hebrews 5.12: “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. (13) For every one that useth milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. (14) But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

(6.1) “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection [maturity], not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, (2) Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. (3) And this will we do, if God permit.”

Elementary Truths

Here the “first principles of the oracles of God,” are the “foundations” of the structure of right doctrine.  The RSV translates them as “elementary truths.” These are for beginners in the study of the Word, and for “babes” in Christ who have not yet reached maturity. So these should be taught and learned before the deeper doctrines which actually depend upon these “first principles” for understanding.

These are the six principles:

(1) Repentance from dead works

(2) Faith toward God

(3) Laying on of hands

(4) Doctrine of baptisms

(5) Resurrection of the dead

(6) Eternal judgment.

(1) Repentance

The first thing a sinner needs to learn is repentance. RSV translates it as “the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death.” He must be convicted by the Holy Spirit of his sinful condition before he can truly repent.

To repent means not only to change one’s mind, but also must include a change of the heart and even of one’s identity. It is not merely a mental, logical, change of one’s opinions, but rather is a change of what one loves and hates. It is not merely a change of one’s will, but a complete rebirth, a new creation.

(2) Faith Toward God

Faith in God is a prerequisite for understanding Biblical doctrine. Without faith, one cannot believe in the doctrines and teachings of the Bible. All of the historical, archaeological, and scientific facts will not compensate for a lack of faith, – pure, simple, childlike faith that there is a God, that He is a Rewarder of them that diligently seek Him, and that He has given us His Word, Hebrews 11:6.

(3) Doctrine of Baptisms: (Scripture references are not exhaustive; you may find more.)

A. John’s baptism was “unto repentance,” Mark 1:4; Luke 3:3; Acts 13:24.

B. Water Baptism in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit is commanded: Matthew 28:19; Mark 16:16; Acts 10:44-48.

C. Baptism symbolizes Death, Burial, Resurrection and Exaltation: Romans chapter 6;     Galatians 3:27; Colossians 2:9-3:11; I Peter 3:18-22. Therefore, the young believer should  understand that water baptism indicates his total unconditional surrender, dedication and commitment to Jesus.

(4) Laying on of Hands

This is one of the “first principles” to be taught and learned by the babes in Christ.  It is one of the gifts of the Spirit which was in evidence in Acts 8:17-20, where the disciples laid their hands on the people and they received the Holy Ghost.

It was also evident in I Timothy 4:14 where it is stated that the laying on of hands of the presbytery and prophecy imparted to Timothy a spiritual gift.

Mark 16:18 says: “They shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

(5) Resurrection of the Dead:

We must teach the resurrection of Christ. Romans 19:9: “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.”  I Corinthians 15 gives a full exposition of the importance of this doctrine.

It is also important to teach that Christ raised some from the dead during His earthly ministry. Ephesians 1:20 and 2:6 show that, in Christ, we are raised from the dead with Him, and exalted with Him.

(6) Eternal Judgment:

Romans 14:10; 2 Corinthians 5:10; Hebrews 9:27: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”

These basic principles underlie the more advanced study of the Biblical doctrines. For example, eschatology. Much confusion has resulted from the prominent and predominant teaching of “end-times” and “prophecy” without these basic principles.

Passing The Baton

“Building a legacy of blessing, power, and character for the coming generations is an indispensable part of God’s plan — for every follower of Christ and for every church,” Bayless Conley.

The passing of a ministry to the next generation is of utmost importance both to those passing on and those receiving the ministry. It is similar to what happens in a relay race when the runners must only run part way to the goal and pass the baton to the next runner and that to the next until they reach the finish line. Winning the race and reaching the goal depends upon each runner passing and receiving the baton in the most efficient way. If one fumbles or drops the baton, precious time is lost, — and possibly the race. In a ministry, if the next runner fumbles or drops the baton, precious souls are lost.

In John chapters 14 through 17 Jesus was “passing the baton” so to speak. He was preparing His disciples for carrying on the ministry after His imminent crucifixion, death and resurrection. In 17:13-26, He prays to the Father:

And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have My joy fulfilled in themselves. I have given them Thy Word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

“I pray not that Thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thous shouldest keep them from the evil. They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. As Thou hast sent Me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me. And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me.

Father, I will that they also whom Thou has given Me, be with Me where I am; that they may behold My glory, which Thou hast given Me: for Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world.

“O, righteous Father, the world hath not know Thee: but I have known Thee, and these have known that Thou hast sent Me. And I have declared unto them Thy Name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and Thou in Me,” John 17:13-26.

The Resurrection Sabbath

There has been much confusion over which day of the week Jesus was crucified and what day was the resurrection. Jesus said he would be in the grave three days and three nights, Matthew 12:40. The popular tradition is that Jesus was crucified on Friday and arose on Sunday. However, by our calendars, this does not figure as three days and three nights.

The Hebrew Calendar

We must understand that they were not going by our calendar, but rather the Biblical Hebrew calendar as given to Moses. We know that the Passover was ordained of God to begin on the fourteenth day of the first month of the year. Their months were to be reckoned by the appearance of the new moon, not by a calendar page. Just as our months do not always begin on the same day of the week, so theirs did not. Just as our Christmas day does not always fall on Sunday, so their Passover did not always fall on a regular seventh-day Sabbath. So the fourteenth day of the month was not always on the Sabbath, according to the regular consecutive counting of seven-day weeks. However, it would fall on the Sabbath occasionally.


Fourteen days after the appearance of the new moon, they were to slay the Passover lamb, Leviticus 23:4-8, regardless of what day of the week it was. They were to slay it in the evening, but were to feast on it in the night, verse 8. In their system of time-telling, the day began at evening, when a certain number of stars had appeared. So, although they slew the lamb in the evening of the fourteenth, the night that followed would have been the fifteenth.

This began the seven days of unleavened bread, verses 15-19. This fifteenth day was to be a “holy convocation” and counting from that day to the seventh day following was to be another “holy convocation.” It was to be a day of rest, “no manner of work shall be done.” The word Sabbath means “rest, repose, cease from labor.” Therefore, a day when they were commanded to cease from labor, to rest, could be called a Sabbath. So the fifteenth day could also be a Sabbath, and, counting seven days from that was to be another Sabbath. On every year that the fifteenth day fell on the Sabbath, there would have been a double Sabbath.

We find this more clearly spelled out in Leviticus 23 and Numbers chapters 28 and 29. In Leviticus 23, the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread are described clearly. The fifteenth day of the first month was to be the feast of Unleavened Bread, a day of rest, a holy convocation, and of offerings. From this day they were to count seven Sabbaths, or forty-nine days, and the day following would be the fiftieth day, which was also to be a “holy convocation” where no work was to be done, therefore it, too, was to be a Sabbath. Here we can clearly see that there would again be a double Sabbath, the forty-ninth day and the fiftieth day.

The Double Sabbath: Resurrection Day

On the Passover when Jesus was crucified, there would have been a double Sabbath. Therefore, He was crucified on the day of the slaying of the lamb, the fourteenth.  Then He was in the grave three days and three nights and arose on the third day, which was the “second Sabbath after the first.” We find mention of this same phenomenon in Luke 6:1 where it mentions the “second Sabbath after the first.” In their calendar-reckoning, there were many double Sabbaths.

The Sabbaths were counted consecutively as the seventh day. However, when there was a double Sabbath, the counting for that next week began with the eighth day, that is, the day after the first Sabbath. Therefore, the whole system of Sabbaths from the beginning foreshadowed the resurrection of Christ which began on the “first day of the week,” and was called “The Lord’s Day.” This signifies the rest which Christians enjoy in the Lord: “There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God,” Hebrews 4:9.

            Revelation 14:13: “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.”


Life, Death and Resurrection

The Beginning of Eternal Life

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…. And God said, ‘Let there be light:’ and there was light.” – Genesis 1:1, 3 RSV

“He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation:” – Colossians 1:15 RSV. Jesus was firstborn as Light.

“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent.” – Colossians 1:17-18 RSV. Jesus was the firstborn of the dead in the resurrection.

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the word of life, (the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us–) ” – 1 John 1:1-2 RSV. Jesus was manifested in the flesh to Mankind in the birth in Bethlehem.

Jesus came to die on the cross that we might never die.

“And this is what he has promised us, eternal life.” – 1 John 2:25 RSV’

“And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He who has the Son has life; he who has not the Son of God has not life. I write this to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life.” – 1 John 5:11-13 RSV’

“And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.” – 1 John 5:20 RSV’

“And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up, that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:14-16 RSV.

“He who believes in the Son has eternal life; he who does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God rests upon him.” – John 3:36 RSV.

Jesus’ Words Are the  Spiritual Bread of Life:

“He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. … This is the bread which came down from heaven, not such as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live for ever.” … It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is of no avail; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life.” – John 6:54, 58, 63 RSV.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, if any one keeps my word, he will never see death.”” – John 8:51 RSV.

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.” – John 10:27-28 RSV’

Jesus Is the Resurrection

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?’” – John 11:25-26 RSV.

“When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, ‘Father, the hour has come; glorify thy Son that the Son may glorify thee, since thou hast given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom thou hast given him. And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.’” – John 17:1-3 RSV.

“I [am] he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.” – Revelation 1:18 KJV.

The Origin of Human Life

The original law: “And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath [Hebrew ruah, also translated “spirit”] of life; and man became a living soul.” – Genesis 2:7 KJV. This is the Law of the Spirit/Breath of Life. Adam operated under this Law until he sinned.

The Law of Sin and Death: Genesis 2:16-17: “And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” – Genesis 2:16-17 KJV.

But Adam and Eve ate of that tree of death and so their Spirit died: “And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” – Genesis 3:6 KJV.

So death came upon all Mankind: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” – 1 Corinthians 15:22 KJV.

Christ came to restore Mankind to the Breath/Spirit of Life:

“For the law of the Spirit [Breath] of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” – Romans 8:2 KJV.

“8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. … 12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: … 17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) … 21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” – Romans 5:8, 12, 17, 21 KJV.

Resurrected Life Requires Crucifixion of the Flesh

“20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20 KJV.

This crucifixion of the Flesh happens when we come to true repentance. John 6:44: “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: And I will raise him up at the last day.”

John 12:32: “And I, if I be lifted up from the earth will draw all men unto me.”

This drawing of God to Himself must be responded to by total, complete surrender and acceptance of God’s will and plan. It is not a time to bargain with God for your own ways. It is likened to a death, the death of your own fleshly desires, habits, and will. This sacrifice of ones self will bring about God’s acceptance in the New Birth.

In The New Birth We Are Resurrected A New Creation

“3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. … 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. Romans 6:3, 4, 6, 7.

 This Is The First Resurrection

Romans 6:8, 9, 11-13, 23 KJV: “Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. … 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members [as] instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members [as] instruments of righteousness unto God. … 23 For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Colossians 3:1-2, 6, 8-10 KJV: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. … For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: … But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth. Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him.”

The First Resurrection

Revelation 20:6 KJV: “Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years, [that is, forever].”

The first death comes when we totally and unconditionally surrender ourselves to God’s will and purpose. The “second death” is when the Spirit leaves the body. For the Christian, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord, 2 Corinthians 5:6-8. This “second death” has no power over the Christian, for he has already been resurrected in the New Birth.

Revelation 1:6 KJV: “And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him [be] glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.”

The Second Death

Revelation 2:11 – “He who conquers shall not be hurt by the second death.”

The idea of a second death is shocking because we ordinarily think of death as the final event. The fact that there is a possibility of a ‘second death’ indicates that the first death was not total. Death of the flesh, for the saint, is merely a change of garment. We are changed from the mortal to the immortal, and therefore death is swallowed up in victory.

The old Greek adage “Physician, heal thyself,” was a taunt that challenged the physicians of that time to take their own remedies and medicines before giving them to others. This same idea lay behind the taunt hurled at Jesus on the cross. They said: “He saved others. Himself he cannot save.” They did not know how true their words were, for He indeed was deliberately sacrificing Himself, refusing to come down from the cross, in order to save the world. He would not save Himself from death.

Yet, he was able to turn the words around because He and He only could sacrifice Himself, yet save Himself by rising from the dead. In the resurrection, the Great Physician did indeed heal Himself, as well as the entire world. In the resurrection, the whole world was healed of Death. We were healed. Not merely from this or that disease or infirmity, but the very source of all disease and infirmity, the principle of Death itself, working in our bodies because of Adam’s sin.

In the resurrection, Christ reversed the curse of death upon the human race.