Summary: Since Christ has risen, we know that God has the power to raise the dead. His resurrection is the guarantee of our resurrection.
Death no Longer Reign over Us
April 8, 2007
Since the beginning of time, death has been a mystery. Even Job asked the question, “If a man dies, will he live again?” (Job 14:14)
Death shakes all of us when it comes. We grieved and mourned the death of our love ones. And though we believe in a future resurrection, the finality of the death of our love ones overwhelmed us.
Brothers and sisters, today is our celebration of Christ’s triumphant resurrection. It is of good reason why we have to celebrate and rejoice. The resurrection of Christ from the dead is our blessed hope. But there are those even today, just like the Corinthians of yesterdays didn’t believe that human will rise from the dead and some flatly denies the resurrection (v.12). Some persons have asked how the dismembered bodies could ever be raised as a whole. Others persons believe the soul of man is immortal, and that the body is only for the earth. It is very unfortunate that these things can be said about in the church today.
Proposition: Since Christ has risen, we know that God has the power to raise the dead. His resurrection is the guarantee of our resurrection.
Now let us first read verses 12-19 and examine the arguments in the text.
1. The point is this: if we deny the resurrection would be to say Christ is not risen (v.13). It is absurd to argue that God cannot raise up a dead body; he has already done it. He has already raised up the man, the man Jesus Christ.
If we say human bodies cannot survive death, then Christ’s body did not survive death.
The point is clear: since the resurrection has taken place, to the fact that there were eyewitness to the event, a future resurrection can take place. God can raise up bodies in the future as He raised up the body of Christ.
2. To deny the resurrection means that our preaching is useless (v.14). All of our preaching would have been a waste of time. Our singing here would be a waste of time. Our fellowshipping would be a waste of time. Even our meetings would be a waste of time or empty, void of all truth and meaning.
The point is this: if there is no resurrection, Jesus Christ is not the Son of God. What we are preaching is empty and meaningless. We may as well keep quiet.
3. To deny the resurrection of Christ means that our faith is useless (v.14b). If Christ is in the grave, then our faith is in a dead man, and no dead man can save a living man. Can dead man do something for the living? What a doomed! It’s meaningless. It’s nothing.
What is the used of coming to church every Sunday morning? Or what is the used of our Bible study, or reading the Scriptures even, or trying to believe that God is there to help you? It’s useless. Isn’t it?
4. If there’s no resurrection indeed, I might be charge of lying (v.15). Apostle could be also charge of lying, for we preached of God that he raised Christ whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.
If there’s no resurrection indeed, the twelve apostles and the five hundred (15:6) could be liars, for they also testify about the resurrection of Christ.
5. To deny the resurrection of Christ, then all our sins are still with us; we are still in our sins (v.17) If Jesus Christ has not risen from the dead, then He still dead, still in the grave; therefore, there is no redemption, no forgiveness of sins.
6. If Christ did not arise from the dead, then dead believers have perished (v.18). It means that we will never see our dead love ones whom we hoped to meet and see again. Our parents, our children, our spouse, our friends who gone on before us are perished, they are nothing more than decayed flesh and bones lying in the cemetery. They have eased to be, for if there is no resurrection, then Jesus Christ has not risen.
7. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, then we are to pitied above all people (v.19) because we are hoping in a false belief and philosophy. They believe a lie, and they shall experience great disappointment. If this is just a made-up story, then we are deserving of pity. We are nothing but fools.
If there is no resurrection, no hope for salvation and eternal life, then the believer is suffering for nothing.
Now let’s take a closer look the fact of the Resurrection that Paul describes in this passage.
Since Christ Was Raised, Christians Will Rise (vv. 20-23)