St Paul's UMC
November 6, 2022
  • Because He Lives
  • He Lives
  • Doxology
      • Matthew 28:1–10NIV2011

      • 1 Corinthians 15:3–8NIV2011

  • A recent study from Lifeway Research titled the 2020 State of Theology discovered that two-thirds of American adults (66%) believe the biblical accounts of Jesus’ resurrection.
    That is a significant number of people who claim to believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
    Yet consider this. The percentage of Americans who regularly attend church, meaning at least once or twice a month, is reported to be around 30%.
    This means that of the 66% who believe Jesus rose from the dead, only half are impacted by this belief to the point that they actually participate in the life of Jesus’ Church.
    In other words, for half of those who believe in the resurrection, their belief has not changed their behavior to align with what the scriptures teach.
    For the expectation is clear.
    Hebrews 10:24–25 ESV
    And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
    According to author and apologist Rebecca McLaughlin, the idea that someone would believe in the resurrection and yet that belief would have so little impact on their lives “...exposes the danger of ‘cultural Christianity’—the vague assent to Christian beliefs without any evidence of actual faith in Christ.”
    As we continue along the tenants of our faith as found in the Apostles’ Creed, today we arrive to the key event that separates the Christian faith from all other religions: the resurrection.
    "The third day He rose from the dead.”
    If we turn to 1 Corinthians 15, part of which we heard read this morning, we find the Apostle Paul responding to an alarming reality among some in the Corinthian church. Paul had received word that there were those within the church who did not believe in the resurrection.
    On the surface, this doubt is somewhat understandable. Only the Jews at that time had a belief in dead bodies coming back to life one day - and not all Jews held this belief. For example, the Sadduccees were a group who did not, while the Pharisees did. Resurrection is specifically referring to bodily resurrection - it is not about souls going to heaven or the presence of an afterlife - both of which we can infer from the scriptures. It is about dead bodies coming back to life.
    The famous philosophers at that time, like Plato and Pythagoras, thought that the souls of the virtuous continued to exist after death. However, the body was not something to be restored - most philosophers, according to Kenneth Schenck, thought of death as “the liberation of your soul to a better reality.”
    Many people today still imagine that death comes, your soul departs and if you are a good person, your spirit goes to heaven for eternity. Seldom we do speak of the future resurrection of the body as taught in the Bible.
    In response to this unbelief among some in Corinth, Paul concisely, in one chapter, lays out the most detailed argument for the resurrection found in the scriptures.
    According to Paul, the central, distinguishing feature of the Christian faith is Jesus’ death and resurrection.
    Listen to his argument:
    1 Corinthians 15:1–2 ESV
    Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
    Paul starts right off reminding them that there are things we must believe and trust if we are going to be saved from God’s wrath when the final day comes. Core truths that we need to hold onto.
    1 Corinthians 15:3 ESV
    For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,
    Paul delivered what he himself received. This is not a man made tale. The gospel is not something that we are free to adapt, modify, change to make more palatable or add on our own take. What Paul received from Christ and the Apostles he passes on the Corinthians. One of the roles of the Church is to pass on to every generation what we ourselves have received.
    From there, Paul makes some key arguments. First, Christ died for our sins as foretold in the scriptures. This is the fulfillment of God’s plan as communicated to the prophets of old.
    Paul was likely thinking of Old Testament passages like Isaiah 53:5
    Isaiah 53:5 ESV
    But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
    Paul continues on with his argument:
    1 Corinthians 15:4 ESV
    that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
    Again, Paul points them back to the scriptures - what has happened in our day was the fulfillment of what God spoke of in times past. This is God’s plan of salvation, a plan He put in place from the very beginning. The resurrection was the fulfillment of passages like Psalm 16:10
    Psalm 16:10 ESV
    For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
    Hosea 6:2 ESV
    After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.
    Jonah 1:17 ESV
    And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
    We can trust the resurrection happened not only because it had to in order to fulfill scripture - but also because of all the eye-witness accounts.
    1 Corinthians 15:5–8 ESV
    and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
    It would be one thing if only a handful of people witnessed Jesus alive - one could argue that it was a conspiracy. That is hard to do when you have hundreds of people stating that he was indeed alive and they had personally witnessed it. For the Corinthians, Paul is telling them - there are many who are still alive today who can verify what they saw - including Peter and the Apostles whom you know. And, Paul himself - as one untimely born as he states it, since he experienced the risen Christ after Pentecost while he was busy persecuting Christians, saw with his own eyes the Lord.
    Having established the veracity of the Resurrection, Paul then turns to the futility of their thinking - those who doubted the resurrection.
    1 Corinthians 15:12–19 CEB
    So if the message that is preached says that Christ has been raised from the dead, then how can some of you say, “There’s no resurrection of the dead”? If there’s no resurrection of the dead, then Christ hasn’t been raised either. If Christ hasn’t been raised, then our preaching is useless and your faith is useless. We are found to be false witnesses about God, because we testified against God that he raised Christ, when he didn’t raise him if it’s the case that the dead aren’t raised. If the dead aren’t raised, then Christ hasn’t been raised either. If Christ hasn’t been raised, then your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins, and what’s more, those who have died in Christ are gone forever. If we have a hope in Christ only in this life, then we deserve to be pitied more than anyone else.
    It is precisely because Jesus walked out the tomb alive that we have the hope that God has given us. If Jesus was still in the grave, then it is death that would have had the final say. All his claims of being the bread of life, being one with the Father, the good Shepherd who will lead his sheep, the light of the world, and the resurrection and the life - would have been lies.
    But He lives! God vindicated Jesus, his whole ministry, by raising him from the dead. Those who labeled him a blasphemer, a criminal, a fraud - after the resurrection could only hang their heads in shame - or live in denial.
    His atoning death of behalf of sinful humanity was validated.
    Hope was restored to all who had put their faith in HIm.
    Because He lives, we will live also.
    1 Corinthians 15:20–26 ESV
    But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
    The resurrection of Jesus shows us what will happen to us one day in the future. Through faith in Jesus, we can receive, right now, new life. We are a new creation. New thinking, new behavior, new spirit, new status with God as his children…but our bodies continue to die. Upon the return of Christ, the dead will rise and we will all receive our new, imperishable, immortal bodies.
    Revelation 21:4 ESV
    He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
    This is why the resurrection is central to our faith. Jesus’ resurrection secured our hope - and calls us to respond. How one can believe that a man rose from the dead and not listen to what that man says and allow it to change them is a mystery.
    But at least it presents us with an opportunity to share the rest to the story and invite people into the life of the Church.
    Amen.
      • Hebrews 10:24–25NIV2011

      • 1 Corinthians 15:1–2NIV2011

      • 1 Corinthians 15:3NIV2011

      • Isaiah 53:5NIV2011

      • 1 Corinthians 15:4NIV2011

      • Psalm 16:10NIV2011

      • Hosea 6:2NIV2011

      • Jonah 1:17NIV2011

      • 1 Corinthians 15:5–8NIV2011

      • 1 Corinthians 15:12–19NIV2011

      • 1 Corinthians 15:20–26NIV2011

      • Revelation 21:4NIV2011

  • Glorious Day (Living He Loved Me)
  • A recent study from Lifeway Research titled the 2020 State of Theology discovered that two-thirds of American adults (66%) believe the biblical accounts of Jesus’ resurrection.
    That is a significant number of people who claim to believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
    Yet consider this. The percentage of Americans who regularly attend church, meaning at least once or twice a month, is reported to be around 30%.
    This means that of the 66% who believe Jesus rose from the dead, only half are impacted by this belief to the point that they actually participate in the life of Jesus’ Church.
    In other words, for half of those who believe in the resurrection, their belief has not changed their behavior to align with what the scriptures teach.
    For the expectation is clear.
    Hebrews 10:24–25 ESV
    And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
    According to author and apologist Rebecca McLaughlin, the idea that someone would believe in the resurrection and yet that belief would have so little impact on their lives “...exposes the danger of ‘cultural Christianity’—the vague assent to Christian beliefs without any evidence of actual faith in Christ.”
    As we continue along the tenants of our faith as found in the Apostles’ Creed, today we arrive to the key event that separates the Christian faith from all other religions: the resurrection.
    "The third day He rose from the dead.”
    If we turn to 1 Corinthians 15, part of which we heard read this morning, we find the Apostle Paul responding to an alarming reality among some in the Corinthian church. Paul had received word that there were those within the church who did not believe in the resurrection.
    On the surface, this doubt is somewhat understandable. Only the Jews at that time had a belief in dead bodies coming back to life one day - and not all Jews held this belief. For example, the Sadduccees were a group who did not, while the Pharisees did. Resurrection is specifically referring to bodily resurrection - it is not about souls going to heaven or the presence of an afterlife - both of which we can infer from the scriptures. It is about dead bodies coming back to life.
    The famous philosophers at that time, like Plato and Pythagoras, thought that the souls of the virtuous continued to exist after death. However, the body was not something to be restored - most philosophers, according to Kenneth Schenck, thought of death as “the liberation of your soul to a better reality.”
    Many people today still imagine that death comes, your soul departs and if you are a good person, your spirit goes to heaven for eternity. Seldom we do speak of the future resurrection of the body as taught in the Bible.
    In response to this unbelief among some in Corinth, Paul concisely, in one chapter, lays out the most detailed argument for the resurrection found in the scriptures.
    According to Paul, the central, distinguishing feature of the Christian faith is Jesus’ death and resurrection.
    Listen to his argument:
    1 Corinthians 15:1–2 ESV
    Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
    Paul starts right off reminding them that there are things we must believe and trust if we are going to be saved from God’s wrath when the final day comes. Core truths that we need to hold onto.
    1 Corinthians 15:3 ESV
    For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,
    Paul delivered what he himself received. This is not a man made tale. The gospel is not something that we are free to adapt, modify, change to make more palatable or add on our own take. What Paul received from Christ and the Apostles he passes on the Corinthians. One of the roles of the Church is to pass on to every generation what we ourselves have received.
    From there, Paul makes some key arguments. First, Christ died for our sins as foretold in the scriptures. This is the fulfillment of God’s plan as communicated to the prophets of old.
    Paul was likely thinking of Old Testament passages like Isaiah 53:5
    Isaiah 53:5 ESV
    But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.
    Paul continues on with his argument:
    1 Corinthians 15:4 ESV
    that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
    Again, Paul points them back to the scriptures - what has happened in our day was the fulfillment of what God spoke of in times past. This is God’s plan of salvation, a plan He put in place from the very beginning. The resurrection was the fulfillment of passages like Psalm 16:10
    Psalm 16:10 ESV
    For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
    Hosea 6:2 ESV
    After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.
    Jonah 1:17 ESV
    And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.
    We can trust the resurrection happened not only because it had to in order to fulfill scripture - but also because of all the eye-witness accounts.
    1 Corinthians 15:5–8 ESV
    and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
    It would be one thing if only a handful of people witnessed Jesus alive - one could argue that it was a conspiracy. That is hard to do when you have hundreds of people stating that he was indeed alive and they had personally witnessed it. For the Corinthians, Paul is telling them - there are many who are still alive today who can verify what they saw - including Peter and the Apostles whom you know. And, Paul himself - as one untimely born as he states it, since he experienced the risen Christ after Pentecost while he was busy persecuting Christians, saw with his own eyes the Lord.
    Having established the veracity of the Resurrection, Paul then turns to the futility of their thinking - those who doubted the resurrection.
    1 Corinthians 15:12–19 CEB
    So if the message that is preached says that Christ has been raised from the dead, then how can some of you say, “There’s no resurrection of the dead”? If there’s no resurrection of the dead, then Christ hasn’t been raised either. If Christ hasn’t been raised, then our preaching is useless and your faith is useless. We are found to be false witnesses about God, because we testified against God that he raised Christ, when he didn’t raise him if it’s the case that the dead aren’t raised. If the dead aren’t raised, then Christ hasn’t been raised either. If Christ hasn’t been raised, then your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins, and what’s more, those who have died in Christ are gone forever. If we have a hope in Christ only in this life, then we deserve to be pitied more than anyone else.
    It is precisely because Jesus walked out the tomb alive that we have the hope that God has given us. If Jesus was still in the grave, then it is death that would have had the final say. All his claims of being the bread of life, being one with the Father, the good Shepherd who will lead his sheep, the light of the world, and the resurrection and the life - would have been lies.
    But He lives! God vindicated Jesus, his whole ministry, by raising him from the dead. Those who labeled him a blasphemer, a criminal, a fraud - after the resurrection could only hang their heads in shame - or live in denial.
    His atoning death of behalf of sinful humanity was validated.
    Hope was restored to all who had put their faith in HIm.
    Because He lives, we will live also.
    1 Corinthians 15:20–26 ESV
    But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
    The resurrection of Jesus shows us what will happen to us one day in the future. Through faith in Jesus, we can receive, right now, new life. We are a new creation. New thinking, new behavior, new spirit, new status with God as his children…but our bodies continue to die. Upon the return of Christ, the dead will rise and we will all receive our new, imperishable, immortal bodies.
    Revelation 21:4 ESV
    He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
    This is why the resurrection is central to our faith. Jesus’ resurrection secured our hope - and calls us to respond. How one can believe that a man rose from the dead and not listen to what that man says and allow it to change them is a mystery.
    But at least it presents us with an opportunity to share the rest to the story and invite people into the life of the Church.
    Amen.
      • Hebrews 10:24–25NIV2011

      • 1 Corinthians 15:1–2NIV2011

      • 1 Corinthians 15:3NIV2011

      • Isaiah 53:5NIV2011

      • 1 Corinthians 15:4NIV2011

      • Psalm 16:10NIV2011

      • Hosea 6:2NIV2011

      • Jonah 1:17NIV2011

      • 1 Corinthians 15:5–8NIV2011

      • 1 Corinthians 15:12–19NIV2011

      • 1 Corinthians 15:20–26NIV2011

      • Revelation 21:4NIV2011

Let us get to know you!

Please take a moment to send us your information so that we may stay connected with you. Your information is carefully managed and protected.
I am a:
Age:
How did you hear about us?