“For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” – 1 Corinthians 15:16-17
Do you believe? Before you answer that stop and examine your belief. Do you really believe that God is God? That nothing is impossible for Him? That there is nothing He cannot do? Are you fully persuaded that what He has promised, He is able to preform? Even if He has to raise someone from the dead to do it?
“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son, Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: Accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.” – Hebrews 11:17-19
Do you believe that God can raise the dead? Because that kind of faith is required for true salvation. Just as Abraham’s faith was counted unto him for righteousness when he believed that God would honor His word even if He had to raise Isaac from the dead to do it, you have to not only truly believe that God raised Christ from the dead, but that He is able to raise you from the dead also. From dead situations, from dead hope, from a dead and sinful life, from the only true death which is hell, and if need be from physical death to do what He has promised. If you don’t believe that God Himself can bring about His promises and the most perfect plan for your life, then you have more faith in yourself then in God. If you don’t believe that God can deliver you from a life of sin, then you have more faith in the power of sin and the one who temps you to commit it then in God’s power to overcome it. If you don’t believe that He can, then He won’t because you don’t truly have faith in Him, and grace (which is the power to overcome) only comes by faith, which you don’t really have though you say that you do. If you are not fully persuaded that God is able to preform that which He promised and to overcome sin, death, hell, and the grave; then you don’t truly believe that God is God and your faith is in vain. So I ask again, do you believe? Do you really believe? Where is your trust? Or is your faith vain?
“Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” – Romans 4:16-25