Pastor Steve, Impact Christian Church, 1/28/18
NOTE: 15:1–58 This chapter is the most extensive treatment of resurrection in the Bible. Both the resurrection of Jesus Christ as recorded in the gospels and the resurrection of believers as promised in the gospels.
15:1 Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it.
I. We will Be Saved (vv2-11)
2 It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.
- 5 Reasons to Believe Paul’s Message – “Believe the Message I told you”
3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me.
First, Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. (v3b)
(‘just as the Scriptures said’…referring to the O.T.)
Second, He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. (v4)
Third, He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. (v5)
Fourth, After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. (v6)
Fifth, Seen by James, the Other the Apostles and Paul (v7-9)
7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. 9 For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church.
II. We Will Be Resurrected (vv12-34)
12 But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? 13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. 15 And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. 16 And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! 19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.
20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.
- 6 Blessings of the Resurrection: Paul is proclaiming the good news that the resurrection of Jesus satisfies six of our deepest needs…
13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either.
“If Christ Has Not Been Raised . . . “
Paul says there are 6 things that would be in shambles if Christ did not rise from the dead.
First, v14 …then all our preaching is useless
Second, v14 . . . and your faith is useless…
Third, v15 …the apostles would all be lying about God…. (lit. ‘False witnesses’)
Fourth v17 …your faith is useless & you are still guilty of your sins…
Fifth v18 …all who have died believing in Christ are lost…
Sixth v19 …we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world…
B. I’m going to switch the order around this time because when the resurrection starts meeting our needs, there is a kind of pattern that fits our experience.
1. We Are Forgiven for Our Sins…No longer Guilty (v17)
Instead of saying negatively that …your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins, we can say positively that because of the resurrection we are forgiven for our sins.
- [I put this first as the basic need and longing of our hearts because if God holds our sins against us—and we all have sinned!—then there is no hope of anything else from God.]
- The foundation for every other blessing from God is that God won’t hold our sins against us. Everything hangs on forgiveness.
- How is the resurrection connected to our forgiveness? Isn’t it the death of Jesus that takes away our sin, because he bore our sins and took our judgment?
3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 1 Corinthians 15:3
“He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.” Romans 4:25
2. Our Faith Is Well-Founded…Not Useless (v14)
…instead of saying negatively that our faith is useless, we can say positively that because of the resurrection our faith is well-founded. Or, to put it more personally, because of the resurrection of Jesus there is someone we can trust absolutely.
- I believe that deep in the heart of every person is a longing for someone that you can count on through thick and thin. Someone who is absolutely trustworthy. Someone who, if you put your faith in him, it won’t be in vain or useless. He won’t let you down. He will always be there. We want it because we were made for it. God put man and woman in the garden of Eden to glorify God by trusting him for everything they needed.
- That need has never changed, in spite of sin. And now that we are no longer in our sins, this longing too is satisfied by the resurrection of Jesus.
- The death of Jesus proves his love for us, and the resurrection proves his power over every enemy of life. And so there is someone you can count on. Someone absolutely trustworthy. Someone who will never let you down. Jesus is alive and to be trusted.
“I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
3. The Apostles Preach the Truth, not Lies (v15)
…instead of saying negatively that the apostles are false witnesses, we can say positively that because of the resurrection the apostles preach what is true…
- Our young people are being taught (as many of us were taught) that there is no absolute truth—something that is true all the time and everywhere whether people know it or not…
- Therefore the need for Truth is a deep need of the human soul and human society. And Jesus came into the world to say, “I am the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). And then he rose from the dead to vindicate his claim. Jesus has a right to tell us what is absolutely true because in the resurrection God proved him to be absolutely true.
4. We Are to Be Envied, not Pitied (v19), instead of saying negatively that we are not to be Pitied, we can say positively that because of Jesus’ Resurrection we are to be Envied.
a. If Christ is not raised, then living for him, doing what he says, following his will is a great delusion. We should be pitied like insane people who live by hallucinations.
b. Since he has been raised and is alive and reigns as king forever, all our obedience, all our love, all our self-denial is not just not-to-be-pitied, but is positively enviable.
“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” 2 Corinthians 4:17
5. Our Preaching is not Useless (v14) — it is full, valid, significant. Not in Vain! Christ is risen and everything done in his name—by his strength and for his glory—is not in vain.
6. Those Who Have Fallen Asleep Are Alive, not Lost (v18)
18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost!
- Because Christ has Raised those who have fallen asleep in him are Alive. They will live Forever. They live the way Christ lives.
2. In raising him from the dead…
- God gave us forgiveness and glorified Jesus
- God gave us a friend to count on and one who is utterly reliable;
- God gave us guidance and unchanging truth in Jesus
- God gave us a life that is enviable, a ministry that is not in vain, and glorified Jesus as the source and goal of all life and all ministry;
- and he gave us everlasting joy that will not be ended by death, and glorified Jesus as the author of life, the victor over death, and the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
27 For the Scriptures say, “God has put all things under his authority.”
Okay, not because of Sections I and II, III is promised!!
III. We Will Be Transformed (vv35-57)
- With Spiritual Bodies
35 But someone may ask, “How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?”…42 It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. 43 Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. 44 They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.
2. Our Bodies were ‘buried in brokenness,’ but they will be ‘raised in glory!’
a. Bodies that We will have Living, Glorious, Strong, Spiritual Bodies…no longer broken & weak
3. Bodies that Will Never Die
50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever. 51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
4. Eternal Bodies without Sin!
54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
5. Be Strong as we Wait for the Lord!
58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
6. The Greatest News in All the World!
The greatest news in all the world is that God and his Son are most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in them. And to make that true God raised his Son Jesus from the dead to reign forevermore.