Kittredge Community Bible Church
10 AM - March 7
  • Break Thou the Bread of Life
  • Amazing Grace
  • Doxology
  • The Resurrection isn’t a side issue. It isn’t an optional belief for Christians. If you don’t believe in the Resurrection then all this preaching is a lie and this church is participating in the most colassale coverups in history.
    See, if there is no resurrection then all of the atheists are right. There isn’t an afterlife. When you die, they’ll bury you in the ground and that’s the end and there really isn’t any purpose to life. Life is pointless and vain.
    Well, thankfully we know that’s not the truth. The Corinthians new that wasn’t the truth yet they still had some mixed up beliefs about the afterlife mainly becasue of the culture around them.
    Greek beliefs of Resurrection
    The Greeks believed beleived in an afterlife but they also believed matter is evil and only spirit is good. In their view of the afterlife only the spirit survived and heaven for them was an escape from their evil, physical body.
    Further, the Greeks belelieved that when you die your spirit was abosrbed back into the “divine mind.” In other words, you lost your individuatlity and your personality in order to become “one” with the universe. By the way, this is also what hindus and buddists beleive.
    But this isn’t true. When people die they don’t stop being who they are. When Christians die their bodies are eventually resurrected in a new and improved state but they are still recognisable as their bodies.
    Paul’s reason for writing about the Resurrection
    So, the big problem Paul is addressing is that some of the Corinthians don’t believe in the biblical resurrection of the dead. They beleive Jesus was resurected but they have mixed up ideas about their own resurrection.
    In the first 11 verses Paul is establishing what he knows all true Christians believe, what they must believe: in the Resurrection of Jesus. Then in verse 12 and following he aims to logically convince us, on the basis what we already beleive, of the truth of our own Resurrection.
    Church and Scripture as evidences for the Resurrection
    Now, in the first 11 verses, Paul implies that 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. That’s no coincidence.
    See, if there was no resurrection, the church would have died off in a matter of years. Men like Saul would have stomped it out if people hadn’t really seen the risen Lord.
    But, instead, we see the church continuing to celebrate the Resurrection of the dead, every Sunday, in every true church around the world. Some even doing so at the risk of death. This alone is one of the greatest evidences that the resurrection of Jesus really happened.
    And in addition to this evidence is the evidence of Scripture.
    Last week, we looked at Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 and how they not only talk about the death of Christ but also his resurrection.
    We saw that the Old Testement Scriptures are filled with prophicies of the resurection of Christ and we were given many excellent reason to believe.
    The Significance of Eyewitnesses
    Today we look the evidence of the eyewitnesses.
    In a court of law eyewitnesses are the most important kind of evidence. You can have experts testify about the significance of circumstancial evidence or about a person’s character but these kinds of testimony are no subsitute for an eyewitness who was personally present at the scene and saw what happened.
    In the Old Testament a case could be won aganst someone with the evidence of just two or three witnesses but in this case we have hundreds.

    Peter and the Twelve

    Peter was the first disciple Jesus appeared to. Why? I think it’s becasue God wanted to empasize that He is merciful to those who repent.
    After Peter denied Christ he wept bitterly indicating that he was sorry for what he’d done. He wasn’t just sad he got caught but filled with grief over his betrayal and God forgave him. That’s good news for the rest of us.
    So, he appears first to Peter. Verse 5 says,
    1 Corinthians 15:5 NASB95
    and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
    Another reasonJesus appeard first to Peter was becasue he’s the leader of “the twelve.” Now, if you’re going to call anyone to the stand to testify you call the leader becasue he has the most credibility.
    When you’re making a case, credible witnesses matter. If you don’t have any credible witnesses you might not even go to trial. But Peter long with all the other disciples are the best witnesses you could find.
    They saw Jesus in the garden, in the upper room. They were face to face with him. Thomas was so close to Jesus he could have touched him.
    These are men who were martyerd for what they saw. They were the one’s who risked their lives and preached fearlessly about the gospel of the risen Christ and went on to literally write much of the New Testament.
    Now if you’re a lawyer trying to make a case for the Resurrection you’re starting to get excited becasue winning is a forgone conclusion with all of these credible witnesses, but there’s more.

    Five Hundred Brethren

    There aren’t just twelve credible witnesses who saw Jesus after he died, but hundreds more. And if there’s anything you want to have in additon to a quality witness it’s a huge quantiy of witnesses.
    1 Corinthians 15:6 NASB95
    After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;
    Where did they see Jesus? Probably in Jerusalem or in Gallilee as Jesus traveled through the countryside for 40 days. All over the place.
    And the really cool thing is, you could go talk to most of them. You could go check our their stories which I’m sure many people did.
    So, there’s Peter and the twelve, and five hundred more brethren. Next is...

    James

    This is James, the brother ofJesus, the one who became an apostle and leader of the church in Jerusalem.
    And when it comes to credibility it doesn’t get much better than James because James was an unbeleiver before the Resurrection.
    John 7:5 says that not even Jesus’ brothers believed in him. And if your own family doesn’t support you then how credible can you be? Jesus’ own brother was a skeptic, but he changed after the Resurrection and became a beleiver.
    That’s powerful testimony for beleiving in the Resurrection. James went from being a skeptic to being a beleiver. Why? Becasue he saw the risen Lord.
    Next, Jesus appeared to all of the other apostles.
    We read in Acts 1:3...
    Acts 1:3 NASB95
    To these He also presented Himself alive after His suffering, by many convincing proofs, appearing to them over a period of forty days and speaking of the things concerning the kingdom of God.
    Then, after the 40 days the apostles saw Jesus ascend into heaven. They gathered in the upper room and selected Matthias, who had also seen Jesus alive, to take the place of Judas .
    Eywitness evidence doesn’t get much better than this.
    In fact, Paula Fredriksen, a New Testament scholar, who is not a Christian herself, says this about the eywitnesses...
    “I know in their own terms what they saw was the raised Jesus. That’s what they say, and then all the historic evidence we have afterwards attest to their conviction that that’s what they saw. I’m not saying that they really did see the raised Jesus. I wasn’t there. I don’t know what they saw. But I do know that as a historian that they must have seen something.” — Paula Fredriksen, NT Scholar
    She can’t accept that they really saw Jesus, becasue she refuses to beleive, but neither can she say they were lying. See, there is no doubt that the apostles, and all the other eyewitness beleived they saw Jesus alive.
    That all of these people virutually overnight changed how they were living and became willing to die for what they beleived just doesn’t make any sense unless they actually beleived they did see Jesus.
    And the most logical explanation isn’t that they just saw “something” but that they actually saw their risen Lord. That’s what I beleive.

    Paul

    Now, as good as all of these other witnesses are, Paul saves the best, or “worst” for last, himself. Paul’s not the best witness becasue he’s always been such a great, credible person but precisly becasue he hasn’t been.
    1 Corinthians 15:8–9 NASB95
    and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
    Paul’s reputaion preceeded him. He was a Christaian persecuter, a killer. He’s the one who approved of Stephen being stoned to death and likey responsible for the deaths of hundreds of others. He’s the one who was rounding up the Christians and putting them in prison and killing them. In fact, that’s what he was heading out to do when Jesus confronted him on the Road to Damascus.
    So, Paul describes himself as “one untimely born” which I think means more than just “not born at the right time. The NIV hints at the Greek meaning with “one abnormally born” becasue the literal meaning is “miscarrage” or “abortion.”
    So, while it can mean that Paul is refering to not being around when the other apostles saw Jesus, I think the words more likely refer to how he thought of himself: as a discarded fetus, as a miscarrage, or an aborted child.
    That’s pretty graphic but it helps to explain what he means when he calls himself the “least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because [he] persecuted the church of God.”
    Again, that’s Good news for us. Because if God can save Saul, he can save us. There’s noone who is beyond God’s grace and mercy.
    1 Corinthians 15:10 NASB95
    But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
    By grace Paul was saved and so were we. As it says in the hymn Amazing Grace “God saved a wretch like me...I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.” Those lines are true of us but also true of Paul.
    And that’s what makes Paul the best eyewitness. You see, Paul’s life completely changed as a result of seeing Jesus. Paul didn’t just “accept Jesus into his heart” and then go on with his life; he completely changed direction. God’s grace wasn’t in vain. Before Jesus, Paul was completely against him but afterwards he was completely for him.
    Why? Becasue on that road he really saw Jesus and by God’s grace he was completely born again. There’s no other way to explain it. Just seeing “something” doesn’t explain Paul’s ability to change. That’s a result of God’s grace.
    So, Paul, the least of all the Apostles, became Christianity’s greatest champion virtually over night. And that’s what makes his testimony so credible.
    But don’t make the mistake and think that the best testimonies only come from the worst sinners. This isn’t a competition. God get’s the glory becasue it is His work within us whether it be relativley big or small.
    Paul says in verse 11...
    1 Corinthians 15:11 NASB95
    Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
    Paul labored harder than most but that’s nothing to boast about becasue it was really God doing all of the work. He works through you, and he works through me all for one single purpose: that Christ is preached and that people will believe.
    Testifying to the Resurrection is what matters, whether I preach it, or someone else preaches it directly or indierectly through the life they live.
    And by God’s grace, may we all continue to believe.
      • 1 Corinthians 15:5KJV1900

      • 1 Corinthians 15:6KJV1900

      • Acts 1:3KJV1900

      • 1 Corinthians 15:8–9KJV1900

      • 1 Corinthians 15:10KJV1900

      • 1 Corinthians 15:11KJV1900

  • Worship Christ the Risen King

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