The final sermon of the series entitled – “RESURRECTION REALITIES” considering some of the blessings on offer as a result of Christ’s resurrection.
Did Christ rise from the dead is probably the most important question in the world. Some in the Corinthian Church had their doubts and were saying – “there is no resurrection of the dead” (v 12.) Maybe this was because they were sceptical and thought “dead men don’t rise;” or possibly because of their Greek belief in the immortality of the soul; or even as a result of the apostle Paul’s strong emphasis on the cross (1 Corinthians 2v 2) as opposed to the resurrection when he first preached in the city.
Such a denial of the resurrection has 6 devastating consequences which are stated and then rebuffed in this debate as to whether or not the resurrection is fantasy or fact.
1 – Christ has not been raised from the dead.
If there is no resurrection, then Jesus is still dead and buried in a tomb somewhere, and any talk of resurrection is based on a myth and a fairy story.
2 – Preaching is useless.
If there is no resurrection then to proclaim one is to preach a lie that is a complete waste of time as it will not impact people.
3 – Faith is useless.
If there is no resurrection then a faith that is based on the preaching of the word (Romans 10 v 17) crumbles to dust because it has nothing on which to rest.
4 – Sins have not been forgiven.
If there is no resurrection then the issue of sin remains unresolved and all remain separated from God and under the penalty of death (Romans 6 v 23.)
5 – Death is the end.
If there is no resurrection then all those who have died already will not rise and we will not be reunited with them in the future.
6 – Christians are to be pitied.
If there is no resurrection then believers have no hope beyond this life and can only be looked upon with acute sadness.
In response to these depressing consequences of no resurrection, the apostle responds with – “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead” (v 20.) Which if believed reverses all that has gone before.
1 – Christ has been raised from the dead.
The risen Christ himself appeared too many; Christians began to worship on Sunday, the day of resurrection; and Christ himself even declared that he was alive forevermore (Revelation 1 v 18.)
2 – Preaching is useful.
Because Christ has been raised from the dead preaching has become a useful tool in God’s hand as he uses the proclamation of the resurrection to transform lives (Acts 2 v 32.)
3 – Faith is useful.
Because Christ has been raised, faith is now real and relevant based on a relationship with a risen Lord.
4 – Sins have been forgiven.
Because Christ has been raised from the dead the problem of sin has been dealt with (1 Corinthians 15 v 3 – 4) and forgiveness is freely available.
5 – Death is the beginning.
Because Christ has been raised, so his followers will be raised (John 11 v 25 – 26) into God’s presence, where ultimately they will be given brand new heavenly bodies.
6 – Christians are to be envied.
Because Christ has been raised, believers have been given new spiritual life (John 10 v 10) and the power of death has been broken (Hebrews 2 v 15.) Enough to make anyone covetous!
Challenge – It’s now the appropriate time for your verdict on the resurrection – So what’s it to be – fantasy or fact?
Theme: “Resurrection – Fantasy or fact?”
Reading: 1 Corinthians 15 v 12 – 20
Preacher: Chris Hughes
Led by: Chris Hughes