Summary: How your faith in Christ’s resurrection affects your life every day.
In the new series we’re beginning today we’re going to cover one of the most pivotal events in all of human history – the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
But we’re going to cover it from a unique perspective. You’re going to see not only what the resurrection of Jesus means to you for eternity but also how it helps you every day.
For the next five weeks we’re going to re-examine the after-effects of Easter. We’re going to see why Easter has meaning and how that meaning impacts your every-day life.
We’re going to begin today with Easter has meaning because of faith.
Let’s correct a big misconception about faith before we get started with this one.
Faith is not a blind stab in the dark. Faith is not just believing something because it sounds good. Yes, it is believing in some things we cannot see – but we believe in things we cannot see because of things we have seen. Christians don’t follow Christ just because they hope they might get lucky in so doing.
If you listen closely to explanations of faith on TV shows, in movies and in a lot of literature you would get that wrong idea about what faith is. That kind of idea about faith is dead wrong.
"Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation." (Elton Trueblood)
Faith in Christ is based on solid historical and empirical evidence: historical, because the truths of Christ’s life, death and resurrection can be authenticated by the documented record; and empirical, because in the laboratory of the lives of billions of people, faith in Christ has proven true as well.
We’re talking about faith that has a rock-solid foundation. That foundation is Jesus and His life, death and resurrection. But the message today (and this series) is not going to be about proving the resurrection of Christ. That’s a great study. If you want further information on that see me after today’s worship gathering and I’ll be glad to share those proofs with you.
Today we’re going to see why and how the message of Easter has an impact on your faith and why and how your faith impacts your life.
Our Scripture today is from Paul’s first letter to the Christ followers at Corinth in ancient Greece.
1 Corinthians 15:12 (NLV) We preached to you that Christ has been raised from the dead. But some of you say that people are not raised from the dead. Why do you say this? 13 If the dead are not raised, then Christ was not raised from the dead. 14 If Christ was not raised from the dead, then what we preach to you is worth nothing. Your faith in Christ is worth nothing. 15 That makes us all liars because we said that God raised Christ from the dead. But God did not raise Christ from the dead if the dead do not come to life again. 16 If the dead are not raised, then not even Christ was raised from the dead. 17 If Christ was not raised from the dead, your faith is worth nothing and you are still living in your sins. 18 Then the Christians who have already died are lost in sin. 19 If we have hope in Christ in this life only, we are more sad than anyone else.
20 But it is true! Christ has been raised from the dead! He was the first One to be raised from the dead and all those who are in graves will follow. 21 Death came because of a man, Adam. Being raised from the dead also came because of a Man, Christ.
22 All men will die as Adam died. But all those who belong to Christ will be raised to new life.
Let’s break this passage of Scripture down further and talk about the specific reasons the resurrection of Christ, the true meaning of Easter, impacts your life in positive ways.
1. Easter faith means you may live confidently. 1 Corin. 15:12-20
This is a very important and very positive principle. Being able to live with confidence is of great value to every one of us!
Let me show you how these verses give us confidence.
Paul said in verses 14, "If Christ was not raised from the dead, then what we preach to you is worth nothing. Your faith in Christ is worth nothing."
That’s how important this issue of the resurrection of Jesus is. Your very faith hinges on whether or not Jesus rose from the dead.
And in verse 17, "If Christ was not raised from the dead, your faith is worth nothing and you are still living in your sins."
"You are still living in your sins," means you are still walking around with the sentence of death – which is the penalty for sin.