Systematic Theology - Vol. 2

By Charles Hodge | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XIII.

THE EXALTATION OF CHRIST.

ACCORDING to our standards the exaltation of Christ includes,— (1.) His resurrection. (2.) His ascension. (3.) His sitting at the right hand of God. (4.) His coming to judge the world at the last day.


§ 1. Resurrection of Christ.

The resurrection of Christ is not only asserted in the Scriptures, but it is also declared to be the fundamental truth of the gospel. "If Christ be not risen," says the Apostle, "then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain" (1 Cor. xv. 14). "If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain ; ye are yet in your sins " (verse 17). It may be safely asserted that the resurrection of Christ is at once the most important, and the best authenticated fact in the history of the world.

(1.) It was predicted in the Old Testament. (2.) It was foretold by Christ Himself. (3.) It was a fact admitting of easy verification. (4.) Abundant, suitable, and frequently repeated evidence was afforded of its actual occurrence. (5.) The witnesses to the fact that Christ was seen alive after his death upon the cross, were numerous, competent, and on every account worthy of confidence. (6.) Their sincerity of conviction was proved by the sacrifices, even that of life, which their testimony entailed upon them. (7.) Their testimony was confirmed by God bearing witness together with them (συν∊πιμαρτυροτντος του̑ θ∊ου̑, Heb. ii. 4), in signs and wonders, and divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost. (8.) That testimony of the Spirit is continued to the present time and granted to all the true children of God, for the Spirit bears witness to the truth in the heart and conscience. (9.) The fact of Christ's resurrection has been commemorated by a religious observance of the first day of the week from its occurrence to the present time. (10.) The effects produced by his gospel, and the change which it has effected in the state of the world, admit of no other rational solution than the truth of his death and

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