Acts 9:32-43 (web)
Peter Heals and Raises the Dead
he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda.
9:33 There he found a certain man named Aeneas,
who had been bedridden for eight years, because he was paralyzed.
9:34 Peter said to him, "Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you. Get up and make your bed!"
Immediately he arose.
9:35 All who lived at Lydda and in Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
9:36 Now there was at Joppa a certain disciple named Tabitha,
9:40 Peter put them all out, and kneeled down and prayed.
Good Works Invoke a Resurrection
It is unfortunate that partially due to the reaction of the Protestant community against a salvation by works mentality that good works are often inappropriately devalued among those of a reformed theology. Among Calvinists, for example, there are "Do-nothing Calvinists" who may reckon modern day Dorcases as legalists. They reckoned contemptuously anyone doing good works. Yet when we read the Bible we recognize that it commends doing good works. And it gives examples such as Dorcas and later Cornelius and such who meet practical needs. Yet there are Calvinists who deny that good works are even possible to do. Best to stick with the Bible.
The fact that her good works were emphasized imply to me that she was raised not simply as an act of arbitrary grace, but rather in order that she may continue serving the Lord in her ministry. This kind of indicates the value of those who serve God. The harvest is plentiful, but laborers few, and therefore valuable. Just it is difficult to retire a valued employee, so also it is partially with regret that God must take his laborers from the harvest. Paul writes of his own conflict between desiring to die to be with the Lord or to live and serve to meet the present need.
"For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know! I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far; but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith," Philippians 1:21-25 (niv)While we live, let us live for Christ. For "he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again." 2Cor 5:15 (niv)