The Meaning of the Resurrection of Christ

 

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The Meaning of the Resurrection of Christ 

Do you know why you shall live forever?

First Corinthians 15.12–19

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • January 26, In the year of our Lord, 2014

 

Prelude

  1. The death of Jesus means everything to us, yet, 
    1. without His resurrection,
    2. His death is not complete.
      1. By His death,
      2. He freed us from sin and death.
        1. By His resurrection,
        2. He showed us that we too shall be resurrected and live forever.
  2. I want to tell you a secret that the world does not know,

    51b We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed (1Co 15.51b–52).
  3. Earlier in the chapter, Paul showed why we know that is true. 

Persuasion

  1. First Corinthians 15.12 – Preaching the Resurrected Christ

    12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? (1Co 15.12).

    1. The resurrection of Christ is a major point of the Gospel (vv. 1–11).
    2. The no-resurrection doctrine is false.
    3. He will show:
      1. Resurrection of Christ gives us the greatest hope.
      2. Denying it makes the Way worthless and fraudulent.
  2. First Corinthians 15.13–14 – Our Preaching and Your Faith

    13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty (1Co 15.13–14).

    1. If Christ is not raised, why preach?
      1. Why waste time doing it and listening to it?
      2. What is the purpose of preaching?
      3. The resurrection of Christ forms the foundation of the Gospel.
    2. The resurrection gives meaning to faith.
      1. What good is faith without His resurrection?
        1. By faith we know something better is coming.
        2. By faith we know justice is coming.
      2. What is faith?

        1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Heb 11.1).

        1. Faith looks heaven-ward.
        2. However, how are we going without the resurrection?
        3. By faith we deny worldly pleasures to be resurrected to heaven.
  3. First Corinthians 15.15 – Apostolic Testimony

    15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise (1Co 15.15).

    1. Witnesses, cf. verses 5-8, read their record.
    2. If Christ has been raised, then we know the truth about what is coming,

      30 “Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead” (Acts 17.30–31).

  4. First Corinthians 15.16–17 – Freedom from Sin

    16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! (1Co 15.16–17).

    1. Because He lives,
      1. we know we shall truly live now, and
      2. we know we shall live later,

        4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life (Rom 6.4).

    2. We live because we have been set free from sin!
      1. Jesus died for our sins, but
      2. He lives to show that sin no longer enslaves us.
  5. First Corinthians 15.18 – Life After Death

    18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished (1Co 15.18).

    1. By His resurrection we know that we do not perish.
      1. We live on after death.
      2. In the general resurrection our spirits shall reunite with our bodies.
    2. Without His resurrection:
      1. There is no justice.
      2. Death remains the king of terrors.
  6. First Corinthians 15.19 – Honor And Admiration

    19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable (1Co 15.19).

    1. We live morally, knowing we shall live immortally,

      11 Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, 12 looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? (2Pe 3.11–12).

    2. If Christ did not rise from the dead,
      1. we shall not be resurrected, and
      2. we are to be pitied for what we suffer.
    3. If He did rise,
      1. we shall rise, and
      2. we are to be honored.

Exhortation

  1. God wants us to live forever, 
    1. evident even in the Garden of Eden
    2. by providing Adam and Eve with the tree of life.
  2. However, they sinned, and 
    1. so has every human since then,
    2. ruining our efforts to live forever.
  3. To remedy the situation, 
    1. God sent His Son Jesus to die and
    2. to rise from the dead,
      1. giving us hope for our own resurrections,
      2. which means we can finally live forever.
  4. Live now with the resurrection ever before your mind. 
    1. Let it guide you.
    2. Let it inspire you.