By: Scott Shifferd, Jr.
The apostle Paul warned that those who pervert the gospel of Christ will be accursed (Gal 1:6–9). Paul also revealed that distorting the teaching of the bodily resurrection rejects Jesus's bodily resurrection (1 Cor 15:12–19). This disbelief led many in the church to live immoral lives (1 Cor 6:9–15; 15:31–34). I find that most false teachings and immorality come by a distortion of the core truths of the gospel of Christ.
For instance, someone who does not believe that Jesus is sinless and infallible infers that Jesus is not God come in the flesh (2 Cor 5:21; Heb 4:15; 1 Pet 2:22; 1 John 3:5). Furthermore, if Jesus is not the fullness of God bodily, then Jesus must have sinned and His words would be fallible and have errors (John 1:1, 14; Col 2:9). When someone does not see Jesus's words as without error, then neither are the Scriptures inerrant that record the words of Christ, His apostles, and past prophets of the OT. With this view, most if not all doctrines of Christ become open to one’s personal opinions. People begin following self and society, or they alter true worship, the Lord's Supper, and baptism.
Many do not understand nor believe that Jesus bodily rose from the dead. That lack of faith undermines basic truths including Jesus's deity. Jesus's sinless nature means that the consequence of sin — death — could not hold Him (Acts 2:24). If Jesus did not resurrect, then the hope of bodily resurrecting to glory is lost (1 Cor 15:20–28, 54–57). Jesus's resurrection overcame the corruption and decay of this world for the redemption of the bodies of believers on the last day (Rom 8:18–25). Furthermore, rising from baptism to new life loses significant meaning for salvation and forgiveness of sins if Jesus did not actually resurrect (Col 2:12–13; 1 Pet 3:21).
Dismissing Jesus’s resurrection affects other teachings. For example, many forsake assembling with the church on the first day of the week. On the first day of the week, Jesus resurrected and came to His disciples. His disciples felt the wounds of Jesus's death marveling with joy as they became witnesses to Jesus's bodily resurrection (Luke 24:36–49). Likewise, Christians assemble on the first day of the week as believers marveling with joy at Jesus's resurrection. For the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the faithful assemble to thank and praise God together and seek to grow in His Word. Without Jesus’s resurrection, Christians would not have a foundation for assembling on the first day of the week (Acts 20:7).
We should not think that God approves of whatever we want to believe. Jesus is God in the flesh and without sin. Therefore, Jesus’s words are without error. He died, was buried, and resurrected bodily because He did not sin. Christ ascended to the right hand of God in heaven. These elementary teachings are essential to avoid error.