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Missing the Whole Story

I’ve loved stories all my life—probably one of the reasons the gospel narratives and Jesus’ parables are some of my favorites.  And these days I find myself story-telling a lot.  Clarifying truth in stories is important to me, and they provide a wonderful teaching tool almost daily with my kids.


I’ve loved stories all my life—probably one of the reasons the gospel narratives and Jesus’ parables are some of my favorites.  And these days I find myself story-telling a lot.  Clarifying truth in stories is important to me, and they provide a wonderful teaching tool almost daily with my kids.

John 10:1-21 is one I like a lot, and it hit home this week in a new and deeper way.  Earlier this week we heard a knock at the door and opened it to find a well-dressed lady with kind eyes and a winning smile.  She expressed her association with a group desiring to commemorate Jesus’ death this week.  I smiled back and almost voiced “Yes, we look forward to Easter,” during the briefest pause.  But in a breath she resumed her speech, and the warning bells rang out in my thoughts.

We were invited to join this group at the evening’s event as she offered a small leaflet with this caption: “Jesus Gave His Life For Many:  Why did he need to do that?  What must you do to benefit from it?

The questions sounded familiar to my ears, and I turned the leaflet expecting to see contact information for a local church up the street.  Instead, I found no group name—only dates, times, and addresses.  The paragraphs preceding held factual information, with one Bible reference, and several good questions about the need and meaning for Christ’s death.

As my daughter and I closed the door and continued our conversation, it hit me that there was no mention of Christ’s resurrection.  Only His death.

I thought, “His death is not the end result.  His resurrection—the fact that He lives today—is crucial.”  We talked about the reality that not everyone believes Christ truly died. And that He died for their sins.  Not everyone believes that He is God, with such power that death could not hold Him.  He is alive today.

1 Corinthians 15:3-5 highlights the essential elements of the gospel.  Christ died for our sins.  He was buried and resurrected.  He was seen by witnesses.

Anything less than that falls short of good news.  Anything less than that is not the gospel.  Our story hinges on the resurrection.  1 Corinthians 15:14, 17 states it plainly: “And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. (NLT)”

Which brings me to Matthew 7:15, Luke 10:3, John 10, and Jude 1:3-4.  In these passages, among others, we are warned about the surfacing of deceptive and incorrect teaching.  And of teachers who intentionally mislead others—wolves in sheep’s clothing.

I can’t know the heart of the woman who knocked on my door; she seemed genuine, sincere, and certainly kind.  I won’t ascribe motives to her actions that are impossible for me to know.  But I do know that whether she has been deceived or simply not given the whole truth, the teaching she offered is inaccurate and incomplete.  

The leaflet I received has the guise of truth, and even contains partial truth.  But to leave out the resurrected Christ is to miss the whole story, and it certainly alters the end result.

As Christians, we celebrate a risen Lord.  We remember His death and payment for our sin.  But the story doesn’t end on the cross.  He’s alive.  

Kelly Arabie most enjoys heart-level conversation and guiding women in soul care. Her desire to study God’s Word and help women apply it to their lives led her and husband Tre to Dallas from their home in Louisiana. She earned a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Dallas Theological Seminary and served on staff as both Women’s Ministry Director for Coppell Bible Fellowship and Women’s Ministry Counselor at Insight for Living. Kelly’s experiences of shepherding by godly women have given her a deep desire to see women cared for in the Body of Christ worldwide, especially in cross-generation relationships.

3 Comments

  • Rebecca Price

    Good point, Kelly! One of
    Good point, Kelly! One of my friends was given her first “F” while working on her degree at DTS when she wrote a lengthy paper about the Gospel and somehow failed to mention that after dying for our sins, HE ROSE AGAIN! Her prof put an “F” at the top of the paper and wrote “Without the resurrection, the Gospel is powerless.” So true. That has made me rethink the way I explain the Gospel myself!

  • SonShine

    Resurrection!!!!

    Thanks Kelley for inserting scripture into your post today. You are so right..without the resurrection there is no Easter! No Resurrection Day. Praise God for that truth.

    GEA