"If we believe..."
Text: 1 Thessalonians 4:14
THE ROLE OF FAITH
Faith becomes critically important when we face the issue of death. Paul returns to the fundamentals of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
“For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again,
even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.”
1 Thessalonians 4:14
1. “For if we believe”
a) This is a conditional clause.
b) However it does not cast doubts about our belief.
c) It is a statement of a firm faith in the Lord Jesus.
2. “That Jesus died and rose again”
a) Our faith is based on a factual knowledge of Christ.
b) He did die on the Cross of Calvary.
c) He was certainly raised from the dead by God.
3. Ramifications of this faith in the Lord Jesus
a) We will all die one day.
b) But we have a special hope of the resurrection because of our faith in Christ.
4. “Those who sleep in Jesus”
a) Those who sleep in Jesus.
i) Those who are identified with Christ in faith.
ii) They continue to be “in Jesus” even when they die.
b) The spirit of the dead will be with Christ.
i) To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8).
ii) Our mortality will be swallowed up by life (2 Corinthians 5:4).
5. “God will bring with Him”
a) It was God who has prepared everything to the last detail.
b) He has given us the Holy Spirit as a guarantee (2 Corinthians 5:5).
c) God will bring the dead in Christ in due time.
d) Our part is to have great confidence in the Lord through the exercise of faith (2 Corinthians 5:6-8).