Numerous references throughout Scripture speak of the Resurrection of Christ as the work of God the Father. The Psalms record predictions that the Father would raise His Messiah (Pss. 2, 16). Acts repeatedly shows us that the apostles bore testimony to the Father’s raising Christ (for example, 3:15; 10:40; and 17:31). Moreover, in key statements in two seminal messages, they used the statements in the Psalms of the Father’s raising Him (2:24-33; 13:30-37 [counting quotes there are seven statements of the Father’s raising Christ]).
Paul declares that all the apostles were witnesses of the Father that He raised up Christ (1 Cor. 15:11-15). He emphasizes that the “surpassing greatness” of the Father’s power toward us is “in accordance with the working of the strength of His might which He brought about in Christ when He raised Him from the dead” and exalted Him to His right hand (Eph. 1:19-20).
The writer of Hebrews concludes his epistle with prayer to the God of peace who “brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus” (Heb. 13:20). Peter declares to believers that they by Jesus “believe in God, that raised Him up from the dead, and gave Him glory; that [their] faith and hope might be in God” (1 Pet. 1:21).
Perhaps, we can best understand why the Scripture abundantly highlights that God the Father raised Christ by examining closely a key statement in the book that many regard as the greatest theological book ever written. The apostle Paul states, “Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father” (Rom. 6:4). The glory of a person or entity is best understood as his or its “unique excellence” (Definition from messages by Dr. Mark Minnick). Applying that understanding to Romans 6:4, we see that Paul sets forth the resurrection of Christ from the dead as the unique excellence of God the Father!
Although other passages do show that both Jesus and the Holy Spirit were also active in the Resurrection, Romans 6:4 instructs us that the Resurrection distinctively was the excellent work of God the Father. Moreover, careful attention to Paul’s full statement here suggests additional truth that deserves careful consideration. Paul argues, “Therefore we are buried with him in baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.” Those who baptize believers often use this passage when they baptize them, but very often, the truth expressed by the words, “by the glory of the Father,” is left out in their remarks.
We should change this practice in our baptismal services and direct special attention in those services to the Resurrection as the glory of the Father. To do so would honor Him in keeping with the revelation that He has provided for us in this explicit statement about what His glory is.
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