A) In Many ways the climax of this letter.
B) In the first eleven chapters the Apostle Paul has been dealing with what some have called "the carnalities," the things concerning the flesh,
1) the hurtful, false and divisive things that were occurring there in the church at Corinth.
C) Ch. 12-14 Gifts , manifestations & function of the H.S. in the body of
D) Here in Ch. 15 focus is on the REALITY OF THE RESURRECTION.
A) In these 58 verses Paul gives the most extensive treatment of the resurrection in all of Scripture.
John Locke, the 18th–century British philosopher, said, “Our Savior’s resurrection is truly of great importance in Christianity, so great that His being or not being the Messiah stands or falls with it”
B) If the resurrection is eliminated, the life–giving power of the gospel is eliminated, the deity of Christ is eliminated,
1) salvation from sin is eliminated, and eternal life is eliminated
A) Important thing that we need to understand is The doctrinal problem on which this chapter focuses was not the Corinthians’ disbelief in Christ’s RESURRECTION
1) but confusion about their own.
A) basic thought of much ancient Greek philosophy was dualism, a concept that has generally been attributed to Plato.
1) Dualism considered everything spiritual to be intrinsically good and everything physical to be intrinsically evil.
A) To anyone holding that view the idea of a resurrected body was repugnant (Athens – fine until brought up the Resurrection.)
1) Since the body was the source of all of man’s weakness & shortcomings Death was seen as the great Liberator
So Paul was not trying to convince them at Corinth that Christ rose from the dead but that one day they, too, would be raised with Him to eternal life.
A) But in order to lay the foundation, in the first eleven verses he reviews the evidences for Jesus’ resurrection,
B) In doing so Paul gives five evidences, or testimonies, of the REALITY OF THE RESURRECTION. Of Jesus in order to lay the foundation of his case
C) Break down tonight / then look at the DEVASTATING
CONSEQUENCES if the RESURRECTION is not true /
1) Rap up be considering what Christ Resurrection. means to us in our everyday lives
A) This first testimony is not stated explicitly but it is definitely implied
B) Paul came preaching a gospel – a message of good news & they received it & there was a definite transformation that took place
C) The Corinthian church was a strong testimony to the power of the gospel. 1) Who but the risen, living Christ could have taken extortioners, thieves, adulterers, fornicators, homosexuals, liars, idolaters, and such thoroughly worldly pagans and transformed their lives so greatly?
D) Growing up / My Dad – TESTIMONY JESUS WAS ALIVE !!!!
E) Paul says that it was the Power of this message that saved them / Power through which they STAND !!!!!
A) Many who believe I vain ( Worthless – not true)– Wrong motives
B) FIRE INSURANCE / FAITH TEACHERS – GET SAVED SO YOU
CAN GET RICH
C)Result is that many who PROFESS CHRIST / don’t hold fast to Christ &
His word / going gets tough they Bail / focused is short lived
1) Like seed sown amongst stones – NO DEPTH / THORNS – gets choked out by the cares of this life.
A) Sad that a person can believe in the truth about Christ – He is the way / died & Rose – yet never entrust their heart truly to Christ .
A) If you are saved you will hold fast
B) I agree with that in theory – sounds good – who would walk away from Jesus
C) Scripture indicates it does happen !!! Paul mentions Demas &
WHAT HAPPENS ? Strong warnings – Don’t want to find out
Chuck – Secure as long as I am ABIDING !!!!!!!!
Though it is largely a subjective proof, the endurance of the church of Jesus Christ through 2,000 years is evidence of His resurrection reality. A) Many attempts to stamp it out – through skepticism, persecution, heresy, unfaithfulness, and disobedience.
A) Critics have denounced the resurrection as a hoax and fabrication, but have never explained the power of such a fabrication
1) to produce men and women who gave up everything, including their freedom and lives when necessary, to love & to follow a dead Lord!
Church historian Kenneth Scott Latourette wrote in History of the Expansion of Christianity,
It was the conviction of the resurrection of Jesus which lifted his followers out of the despair into which his death had cast them and which led to the perpetuation of the movement begun by him.
But for their profound belief that the crucified had risen from the dead and they had seen him and talked with him, the death of Jesus and even Jesus himself would probably have been all but forgotten
So the Church is the 1st Evidence that Paul mentions
3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
A) Paul Preached a gospel that stated Christ died…. Sins / Buried & Rose
1) Many OT passages speak of Crucifixion / Pas 22 / Isa 52:12 / 53
A) What about the Resurrection. – Peter on the day of Pentecost quoted from Pas 16
25 "For David says concerning Him: 'I foresaw the LORD always before my face, For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken.
26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope.
27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
28 You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.' ( TALKING RESURRECTION HERE )
29 "Men and brethren, let me speak freely to you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day.
30 "Therefore, being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne,
31 "he, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.
32 "This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.
33 "Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.
34 "For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he says himself: 'The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand,
35 Till I make Your enemies Your footstool."'
B) Jesus spoke of the SIGN OF JONAH
C) Time when God spoke to Abraham – take your only Son – up to MT. Moriah to Sacrifice him there –
1) 3 days journey – good as dead - the lad & I will return / Hebrews Says Abe believed God would bring him back
D) Isaac says to Dad – fire & Wood – where is the sacrifice
1) God will PROVIDE / 2,000 yrs later - Same Mt. –
3rd TESTIMONY IS THE EYEWITNESSES –
A) Court of law – slam dunk a case – Good eyewitness / someone there someone involved -
B) Pres. Clinton in the News again / Lewinisky – testify
1) Those who saw her - / sounds like they have a pretty good case
John Singleton Copley, one of the great legal minds in British history and three times High Chancellor of England, wrote,
"I know pretty well what evidence is, and I tell you, such evidence as that for the resurrection of JC has never broken down yet."
Paul names 5 eyewitnesses
1st Peter - When not sure ? Why - Hurting the most / Like our Lord
A) Go tell Peter - Special plans for him
2nd the 12 upper Room / Minus THOMAS …… MY GOD
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life; 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us; 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
3rd 500 - HALLUCINATIONS
A) Along w/ the Apostles many were Martyred !!!!
4th James the Brother of our Lord – Skeptic - unbeliever – until after Resurrection.
Became a powerful witness !!!
5th – PAUL HIMSELF !!!!
V.11 CONCLUSION OF FIRST SECTION 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
So First – Paul gives 7 Testimonies or Evidences of the REALITY OF A Bodily Resurrection. Of 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?
A) Paul is going to point out the Devastating affects if we take this thinking that there is no Resurrection. To its logical conclusion .
B) Here is what He lays out - If there is no Resurrection. / then
V.13 CHRIST IS NOT RISEN - CAN’T HAVE ONE W/ OUT THE OTHER
2ND – V.14 Our PREACHING IS IN VAIN –no good news / nothing to talk about
3rd v. 14 YOUR FAITH IS IN VAIN
A) Hebrews 11 is no longer the hall of faith it is the hall of the foolish
4th v. 15 All those eyewitnesses are liars
5th – V.17 All men would still be in their sins
6th v.18 Those who have fallen asleep ( DIED) have perished
A) No hope of seeing again
B) Funerals of Believer
1) Courson & Heaven – 3 people I love are there
A) Living Hope
B) Power in this Life Ephesians 1 / Romans six
C) Inheritance to look forward to
D) Freedom from the Law - Romans 7 No longer married to Mr. Perfect
E) Something to sing about
F) New Bodies / 2Cor. 4/ 5