Buried Believers? Absolutely!
A message that is sometimes seen on church signs reads, “Will the road you’re on lead to me? – God.” It is inconceivable for us to expect to arrive somewhere when given insufficient information, yet this is what many face with regard to their salvation. Paul spoke to the church in Corinth about the Gospel he had preached to them (1 Cor 15:11) that included three elements; Christ’s death, His burial, and His resurrection. In verses one and two of chapter fifteen Paul says this Gospel he preached is the one they received, is the one the in which they stood is also the one by which they have been saved. Clearly, we see that Christ died for our sins (vs. 3) and there was a burial (vs. 4) and He was raised. Without that burial there could not be a resurrection.
The same writer, Paul, spoke of a distortion of the Gospel in his letter to churches in Galatia (1:6). That can be said of removing burial from the Gospel, making it in fact, no gospel at all. In the following verses Paul tells us that doing so has dire consequences to include confusion and perverting the gospel, a gospel that is from a Divine source (Jesus Christ) and was not made up by men (vs. 11-12). No human being has the right or authority to change the message, and is called on by Paul to be accursed as a result any change and eventual presentation as a ‘different gospel’.
Again, in his letter to the Romans, chapter six, Paul speaks of the Gospel as it relates to man’s salvation. If we are to “walk in newness of life”, there is a burial called for. The words of Romans 6:4 tell us “Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. (NAS) If we desire to be united with Christ (vs. 5), we know from Paul that it happens in a burial and from this burial we ‘rise to walk in newness of life.” Both 1 Corinthians 15 and Romans 6 clearly indicate that without a burial there is no resurrection. The reason that we still have the same divisions today as there were in Christendom five hundred years ago, is that men choose tradition and the ‘wisdom of men’ over simple Bible truth. It takes real courage to lay our own beliefs beside the ‘holy word of God’ examining them in the light of truth.
Friends, don’t get me wrong. There isn’t anything wrong with ending up at Sonic, that is, unless you were expecting to arrive at the public library. Will the road you’re on lead to God? It will, if you use the directions He has provided. Are you willing to follow them?
Copyright © 2011, Nolan P. Rutter (Inspired by notes of K. Carmichael)