Kittredge Community Bible Church
10 AM - Feb 28
  • More Love to Thee
  • Shepherd of Love
  • Doxology
  • The resurrection is the central belief for a Christian. That was one of the main points from last week’s sermon.
    You can’t be a Christian without believing in the Resurrection which is not only what 1 Corinthians 15 says but also:
    Romans 10:9 NASB95
    that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
    In other words, if you don’t believe in the resurrection of Jesus, you’re not saved.
    Now as important as that is, it’s not the only point Paul is making in 1 Corinthians 15. In fact, the main point he’s making is related but slightly different.
    See, the problem with the Corinthians wasn’t necessarily that they denied the resurrection of Christ. You can’t even be a Christian if you don’t believe that.
    Their problem was primarily that they denied the resurrection of the dead.
    1 Corinthians 15:12 NASB95
    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?
    See, they weren’t necessarily denying Christ’s resurrection, they were denying their own resurrection.
    So Paul’s main purpose, as stated in verse 12, isn’t to prove to the unbeliever that Christ’s resurrection is true. It’s to convince the believer that there really will be a literal, physical, bodily Resurrection of the dead.
    See, because you believe in Jesus’ resurrection you can count on your own resurrection. This chapter is for us and that’s kind of exciting.
    Now, why would some believers deny the bodily resurrection of the dead? Well, because that’s what the culture around them believed and what had been taught to them before they became Christians.
    The Greeks didn’t believe in a Resurrection. In 2 Timothy 2 there were these two Greeks, Hymenaeus and Philetus, and some other...
    2 Timothy 2:18 NASB95
    men who have gone astray from the truth saying that the resurrection has already taken place, and they upset the faith of some.
    Some thought that when Jesus was resurrected, that was it. The resurrection had already taken place and there wasn’t going to be another one. And that was very upsetting to some. This was a Greek idea.
    In Acts 17:18 we read about what some Greek philosophers thought of the Resurrection. Paul is speaking...
    Acts 17:18 NASB95
    And also some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers were conversing with him. Some were saying, “What would this idle babbler wish to say?” Others, “He seems to be a proclaimer of strange deities,”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.
    So it was the professional opinion of the Greeks that Paul’s belief in a literal, physical Resurrection was just a bunch of babbling.
    This is because the Greeks believed that matter is evil and only spirit is good. In their view of the afterlife only the spirit survived. Heaven for them was to escape from the evil, physical body, because everything material is evil.
    They believed in the immortality of the soul, so Paul doesn’t need to address that, but they didn’t believe in the resurrection of the body. If you’ve heard of the term Gnosticism that’s essentially what we’re talking about.
    The Jewish Sadducees also didn’t believe in the Resurrection and it’s very likely that when some of them became Christians they too continued to have some false beliefs that needed to change.
    So, the big problem Paul is addressing is the fact that some don’t believe in the resurrection of the dead.
    In the first 11 verses Paul is establishing what he knows all Christians do believe, what they must believe: in the Resurrection of Jesus. Then in verse 12 and following he aims to logically convince us of the truth of our own Resurrection.
    So, in establishing the foundation in the first 11 verses Paul makes 3 points, and gives 3 evidences for the resurrection of Jesus which we talked about briefly last time. There’s the church, the Old Testament Scriptures, and the eyewitnesses.
    This week we will talk about the church and the OT Scriptures as mentioned in verses 1-4. Next week we will discuss the eyewitnesses in verses 5-11.
    So, first is the evidence of the church. This evidence is implied, not specifically stated.
    1 Corinthians 15:1–2 NASB95
    Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
    Paul starts with the word “Now” which is a Greek word indicating that he is moving on to a new subject. He’s not continuing the thought about speaking in tongues in chapter 14 but starting a new topic.
    He says, “I make known to you” or I want to remind you of what you already know. He’s emphatic about what he’s saying because he wants to be perfectly clear.
    Why? Because he’s building a case. He’s leading up to verse 12 where he’s going to back them into a corner with logic so to speak. “If you believe all of this about Jesus, then why don’t you believe in your own resurrection?”
    OK, now Paul says this gospel is nothing new. It’s what “[he] preached to you.” It’s what they had received. It’s what they were standing firm upon. And it’s the gospel that saved them.
    What gospel?
    1 Corinthians 15:3–4 NASB95
    For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
    The gospel doesn’t get any more basic than Christ died for our sins, that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the scriptures.
    This is the gospel is the substitutional death, burial and Resurrection of Jesus. That’s what Paul delivered and that’s what they recieved and it’s what they continued to stand upon.
    And it’s implied that this very fact is in itself evidence for the Resurrection. Paul’s reviewing the situation, he’s reminding them of what they already know, he’s setting the foundation for what’s to come.
    Now, before we press on, let’s go back to verse 2 for a few minutes because there’s something there that’s very important.
    He says, the gospel he preached is the gospel...
    1 Corinthians 15:2 NASB95
    by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
    It’s important to notice that he says, “if you hold fast the word which I preached to you.” “If” is a conditional word. If you do this then this other thing will happen. But if you don’t then it won’t.
    Do you see what he’s saying? He’s acknowledging that they’ve recieved the gospel and are standing firm, but they are only saved if they continue to hold fast.
    OK, that’s pretty clear, but what about eternal security and all that? Well, I absolutely believe that when God chooses to save someone he will save that person. No question.
    But there are always two perspectives for looking at issues like these, one is God’s perspective and the other is our point of view. And from our point of view, we must continue to hold fast. because there’s no such thing as a Christian who doesn’t persevere.
    From God’s point of view, believers are identified as those who are never separated from God’s love (Romans 8:39) but on the other hand we are also identified as those that continue to persevere and believe.
    So, putting these two truths together, a person who “stops” believing is one who never really believed in the first place. They believed in vain as Paul says.
    And there have been thousands and thousands of people over the centuries who have made professions of faith, been baptized, gone to church, made changes in their lives, only to fall away and abandon Christ. And, sadly, they are lost if they don’t hold fast.
    A genuine Christian may fall away for a time, but they will always return, God will see to it. If not, he or she was probably never a genuine believer in the first place.
    In John 8:30 there were a lot of people coming to Christ after hearing him preach.
    John 8:30–31 NASB95
    As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him. So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;
    See, from Jesus’ point of view a true disciple is one who continues to believe the word of God. False believers are those that have initial excitement but drift away. They are the ones that Luke describes in the Parable of the Sower “who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away” (Luke 8:13).
    John describes them like this:
    1 John 2:19 NASB95
    They went out from us, but they were not really of us; for if they had been of us, they would have remained with us; but they went out, so that it would be shown that they all are not of us.
    OK, we spent some time on that because it’s important for us to hear. And if you’re thinking this might apply to you then do as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 13:5 “Examine yourselves to see if you are in the faith.” And if not, then repent and be reassured that you are.
    This little aside was all because of one little word: “if.” We will be saved “if” we hold fast, so that one little word is pretty important.
    Now, let’s get back to the evidence of the resurrection. The church.
    blank slide
    One of the greatest evidences for the resurrection is the existence of the church itself because here we are 2000 years later still believing and trusting.
    If there was no resurrection, the church would have died off in a matter of months. If there was no resurrection then those early Christians would have known it and Christianity would have never gotten off the ground.
    All it would have amounted to was some small wacky cultist group the likes of those who believe Elvis is still alive and roaming around Memphis.
    But the church continues to celebrate the resurrection of the dead, every Sunday, in every church around the world. This alone is the greatest subjective evidence that the resurrection of Jesus really happened.
    And in addition to the evidence from the existence of the church is the evidence of Scripture.
    1 Corinthians 15:3 NASB95
    For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
    Everything that Christians believe about the Resurrection happened according to the Scriptures. Christians didn’t invent the idea of Jesus’ Resurrection, it happened according to God’s plan.
    Paul didn’t make it up. He “delivered” what he “received” from Christ. There was no middle man according to Galatians 1:11.
    And the things Paul received were of “first importance” namely that Christ died for our sins and that he was buried and that he was raised according to the Scriptures.
    In Luke 24:27, after the Resurrection, Jesus was walking along the road to Emmaus with two disciples who were distraught about Jesus’ death. They didn’t recognize him at first which gave Jesus the opportunity to explain “beginning with Moses and with all the prophets to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.”
    And what Jesus explained to them included verses about the Resurrection. He would have explained Psalm 16:10 to them...
    Psalm 16:10 NASB95
    For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; Nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay.
    They were focused on Jesus’ death but scripture also told them he didn’t stay dead.
    And he would have explained Psalm 22, which is mostly about the death of Jesus, but at the end it the chapter progresses to describe life after death which is only possible if the Resurrection.
    Psalm 22:24 NASB95
    For He has not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; Nor has He hidden His face from him; But when he cried to Him for help, He heard.
    This only makes sense if there is a Resurrection otherwise God doesn’t hear, Jesus is still dead, and so are we.
    Psalm 22 goes on to describe the one who died as living again and praising God in the great assembly and having a heart that lives forever! This is only possible if there is a resurrection of the dead.
    Isaiah 53 is also primarily about the death of Jesus and in verse 10 we read these familiar words:
    Isaiah 53:10 NASB95
    But the Lord was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
    It’s only possible for the person God crushed, which is Jesus, to see his offspring if there is a Resurrection.
    So, Jesus would have explained all of these things to the disciples on the road to Emmaus and so much more.
    So, the Old Testament is evidence for the Resurrection. This isn’t a new teaching, it was God’s plan all along. And the living church also testifies to the truth of the Resurrection. Next week we will talk about all of the eyewitnesses.
    But in the meantime, ask yourself if you are commited to the doctrine of the resurrection, not just as something we must believe to be saved, but also as the hope of your own Resurrection which God promises will happen at Christ’s return.
    May God find us faithfully standing firm in the hope of the Resurrection of the dead.
    Let’s pray.
    Thank you for what Scripture says about the resurrection. Thanks for how the church testifies to the fact of Jesus’ Resurrection and the promise of our own. Help our faith to be seen by the world and to glorify your name in heaven.
      • Romans 10:9KJV1900

      • 1 Corinthians 15:12KJV1900

      • 2 Timothy 2:18KJV1900

      • Acts 17:18KJV1900

      • 1 Corinthians 15:1–2KJV1900

      • 1 Corinthians 15:3–4KJV1900

      • 1 Corinthians 15:2KJV1900

      • John 8:30–31KJV1900

      • 1 John 2:19KJV1900

      • 1 John 2:19KJV1900

      • 1 Corinthians 15:3KJV1900

      • Psalm 16:10KJV1900

      • Psalm 22:24KJV1900

      • Isaiah 53:10KJV1900

  • Thine Is the Glory
  • Doxology

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