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Fourth in series on Da Vici Code

1 Corinthians 15:12-19 The Resurrection of Jesus

by Dan Ahlenius, pastor
Lake Chelan Baptist Church
Chelan, Washington

 INTRODUCTION

I invite you to open your Bibles to 1 Corinthians 15:9. This morning as we gathered together with other evangelical churches to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on that first Easter morning. And would you know it, we are going to continue honoring the Lord and His resurrection victory over the grave and the power of sin in our lives. As a matter of fact, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the 4th message in a series of five that I am preaching against Dan Brown's heretical book, The Da Vinci Code. There are numerous books being written by evangelical Christians that clarify the heresies and fallacies, or untruths, proposed in this book. The Da Vinci Code, implies, suggests, and straight out claims that the historical Jesus Christ never really died, but was able to fake His death, or at the least was able to allude the Roman Executioners into believing that He was dead, which is the age old Swoon Theory. However, the Bible gives us an account of how Jesus' side in John 19:34, gave forth both water and blood as it was punctured by the spear, which is medical proof that Jesus was indeed dead and His blood was beginning to separate. Never mind that if Jesus "WOKE UP" inside the dark tomb, how did He manage to push back the huge Tomb stone from the inside and then walk past the Roman Guard detail? It just doesn't make sense. Furthermore, if Jesus really didn't die and really wasn't resurrected from the dead then why did the Disciples launch out on a worldwide missionary venture with many of them dying for this supposed lie and give birth to the church. And this is why I have decided to touch on the validity of Jesus' Resurrection this Sunday, as the fourth message in five of our series. Consequently, let us focus on the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ together.

Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-19

I. Is There a Resurrection From the Dead? (vs. 12-13)

A.   Doubts About the Resurrection of the Dead (v. 12)  

1)   In verse 12, Paul makes it clear that some in the Corinthian Church had bought into the idea that people will not, and are not resurrected from the dead.

 2)  It is possible that some of the Corinthian believers had been persuaded by the Greek Philosophy that rejected the idea of a bodily resurrection because many considered the body, or any matter to be evil and a man's spirit to be the only good part of him.  

3)   Therefore, these believers might have been asking themselves, "Why would God even want to make alive again our evil Bodies?"  

4)   However, Paul has preached to them that Jesus had been raised from the dead and that He had a physical body upon His resurrection, He was not a phantom, or a ghost that could not be felt or touched.

5)   Our physical bodies are not necessarily evil, but they can be used for evil acts and deeds.

B.      Their Doubts May Be Well-Grounded (v. 13)  

1)   In verse 13, Paul presents the logic that if men are not resurrected then neither was Jesus Christ, because He was fully human and fully divine.  

2)   Paul makes it very clear that according to their new-found belief that there was no resurrection of human bodies, then Jesus Christ must still be lying in the tomb.

3)   Naturally, if Jesus was resurrected, then others have a chance as well. But, if He was not, then we, as believers, have placed our faith in a false hope of receiving resurrected bodies one day.  

4)   If what Christianity claims to be true about Jesus Christ demonstrating power over the Grave and over Sin in our Lives, then we have much to be grateful for.  

II. The Gospel Depends on Jesus' Resurrection (vs. 14-19)  

  1. The Gospel And Our Faith Would Be Useless (v. 14)

1)  In verse 14, Paul states that preaching is useless and a believers faith is too if Jesus had not been raised from the dead because then there would be no good news to believe in concerning overcoming the power of sin and death.

2)  Apart from the reality and truthfulness of the Resurrection account of Jesus Christ found in the Gospels, any message that any minister delivered concerning Jesus Christ would be completely unfounded because Jesus Christ is the foundation for what believers believe, say, and do.

3)   Moreover, the Apostle Paul also goes on to say that if Jesus Christ had never truly been crucified from the Dead and was slain for the sins of the World then our faith and hope in a personal redeemer is basically shot.

4)   Apart from the Redemptive work that Jesus Christ has done our behalf, there is nothing else to hang our faith on.  

B. We Might Be False Witnesses (v. 15)  

1)  In verse 15, Paul goes so far as to say that the Apostles of Jesus Christ are a  bunch of liars if Jesus had not been raised from the dead.

2)   However, Paul is not only talking about Apostles proclaiming the Resurrection of Jesus Christ because this same witnesses, testimony, and verbal message is often given by all Christians, not just the spiritual "ELITE."

3)   Therefore, if the dead cannot be raised from the Dead then Paul and the other Apostles are surely guilty of misrepresenting the Lord God Almighty.  

C.  What if We Are Wrong? (vs. 16-17)  

1)   However, in verse 16, Paul reaffirms the logic that those who disbelieved in a bodily resurrection, or if man cannot be raised from the dead then surely Jesus Christ could not either.

2)   Next, in verse 17, without Jesus' victory over death then our faith is invalid and we are still going to have to atone for our sins, or face the Judgment of God.

3)   If Jesus Christ was never truly resurrected from the Grave then every and any sin we commit will not be atoned for, or treated as if is paid for in full.  

C.     Are We to Be Pitied? (vs. 18-19)  

1)   In verse 18, Paul is sharing with us the logic that those who died believing in Jesus Christ and His offer of Salvation are still lost in their sins.

2)   Next, in verse 19, Paul drives the last nail in the coffin. 1) Our Preaching is useless 2) Our faith is invalid 3) We are still lost in our sins 4) Now, we are to be pitied among men for believing in a lie.  

3)   If our hope and faith only affects our lives here on Earth then we mind as well hang it up because it has not eternal or lasting benefits.  

4)    Paul is essentially asking, "Why would anyone believe in a Savior that only makes life better for a short while, but has no lasting effect for eternity?"  

5)    If Jesus could not overcome sin and death then Christianity would be a wasted cause. Why live well on Earth if it doesn't affect our longer existence in the next life?

6)   Consequently, to have followed after a lie will often encourage criticism and humiliation from the non­believers because they have yet to experience the Lord first-hand.  

7)   Therefore, we are going to briefly consider what Paul had written to these Corinthian believers just previous to our text for this morning's message.

 III. Evidence For a Resurrected Jesus (I COR. 15:1-8)

A.     The Gospel That Was Accepted (vs. 1-2)  

1)   In verse 1, Paul reminds the believers in Corinth that it was the same message that he preached to them and is the very same message that they so gladly accepted as truth that they now are struggling with.  

2)   As a matter of fact, these believers had even taken a stand for this Gospel, which might speak about the cutting off of non-believing family members or even people they worked with on a daily basis.  

3)   Then in verse 2, Paul expresses his firm conviction that the Gospel, or Good News, is what enables people to get saved, or forgiven by God the Father.  

4)   However, if this Gospel cannot lead to Salvation then they had believed in vain, or had placed their faith in something that could not hold water.  

  1. The Gospel Outlined (vs. 3-4)

1)   Verse 3, tells us that the Gospel was preached by Paul to claim that Jesus Christ died for our Sins just as promised in the Old Testament prophecies.  

2)   And the primary item of extreme importance is the fact that Christ did die on our behalf, because there is no other way that we would have ever satisfied God's expectations for us.  

3)   Next, in verse 4, another major item of importance is that Jesus was indeed dead, but that He demonstrated His power by being raised from the dead in a visible way that others were well aware of the miracle that God had just performed.

C. The Gospel Is Verified (vs. 5-8)

           1)    In verse 5, Paul tells us that the Resurrected Jesus appeared and proved Himself to Peter and the entire 12 Disciples.  

           2)   Then in verse 6, over 500 believers witnesses Jesus coming back in the flesh during His resurrection.

          3)    And even though some of these people had died during the last 20-30 years, there were still plenty of witnesses to vouch for how and when they saw the resurrected Jesus Christ.

         4)    Then in verse 7, Paul tells us that Jesus also appeared to James and all the other Apostles as a way of claiming that they could testify to what Paul is saying is true.

        5)    And we must not forget that Jesus Christ did appear first to Mary Magdalene in the Garden, which was unusual because women were not considered to be reliable witnesses in the 1st Century, which goes to show that if Christianity fabricated a Resurrected Jesus Christ surely they would have chosen someone like the High Priest to witness His resurrection not a simple woman.

       6)  Finally, in verse 8, Paul uses himself as the witness that he placed a lot of value in, so he talks about his own experiences in relating to the resurrected Jesus.

      7)   Like Paul, I would have to present my own testimony as to what Jesus Christ has done in my life in order to fully appreciate that the Gospel message is true.

 CONCLUSION

Overall, we have considered that if Jesus Christ had never been resurrected from the dead then we would still be rotting away in our sins and apart from a relationship with God. Also, we must always consider the evidence of any claim, and Paul outlined over 500 witnesses to the fact that Jesus was resurrected from the Dead. Consequently, the Bible teaches and our lives should affirm that Jesus Christ is alive and well because His promised Holy Spirit is working in our hearts and minds as He continues to relate to us in a personal way.  Jesus Christ is Resurrected Amen!!!!

(c) 2005 Message by Dan Ahlenius, pastor Lake Chelan Baptist Church, Chelan, WA. Dan is a graduate of William Carey College, B.A., New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Master Divinity. 

 

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