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Summary: Glory of the Resurrection (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Reading: 1 Corinthians chapter 15 verse 1-19.

Quote: Andrew Murray:

“Jesus Christ was born twice.

The birth at Bethlehem was a birth into a life of weakness.

The second time he was born from the grave – “the first born from the dead” – into the glory of heaven and the throne of God”.

• Corinth was a Greek city, 40 miles away from Athens.

• Corinth and Athens were very much like Edinburgh and Glasgow today.

• Athens was the University city where the philosophers lived and art festivals were held.

• Corinth was a bustling port.

• Greek philosophy was the background of Corinth’s beliefs;

• And the Greeks did not believe in the resurrection' of the dead.

Ill:

• In fact when Paul had first preached at Athens;

• (Read about it in Acts chapter 17 verse 32).

• They listened until he mentioned the resurrection of Christ,

• Then some of those listening actually laughed at him! They mocked him!

In New Testament times:

• Most Greek philosophers considered the human body a prison,

• And they welcomed death as deliverance from bondage.

• This sceptical attitude had somehow invaded the church and Paul had to face it head-on.

• So in this chapter Paul dealt with the subject of ‘resurrection’ by answering 4 basic questions.

Ill:

• Question 1: Are the Dead Raised? (That is answered in verses 1-19).

• Question 2: When are the dead raised? (That is answered in verses 20-28).

• Question 3: Why are the dead raised? (That is answered in verses 29-34 & 49-58).

• Question 4: How are the dead raised? (That is answered in verses 35-49).

This morning we are looking at the glory of Christ’s resurrection:

• And that overlaps the first question Paul answers in this chapter:

• Are the Dead Raised? (verses 15:1-19)

Note:

• The Corinthian Christians were a strange mix;

• No Church founded by Paul had more problems than the one at Corinth.

• As a result of their difficulties and struggles.

• We have two amazing letters.

This first letter and this chapter (15);

• Contains the earliest account of the resurrection appearances of the Lord in the N.T.

• Don’t miss that!

• 1 Corinthians chapter 15 was written about A.D. 56.

• This is the very first written record of the witnesses of the resurrection body of Jesus.

• Because Greek philosophy was the background of Corinth’s belief;

• This meant they too did not believe that they would be raised to life again.

• Ever since they were born they were taught the soul not the body is important;

• The human body was the source of man’s weakness and sin.

• They viewed it as a corpse, a tomb.

• They looked upon death with joy, anxiously waiting the time;

• When their souls would be liberated, unshackled from their bodies.

Note:

• Now although the Christians at Corinth denied the resurrection of their own bodies;

• They did believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ;

• So on this point Paul starts to build his argument.

• He presented three proofs to assure his readers that Jesus Christ;

• Had indeed had been raised from the dead.

PROOF No 1 - THEIR SALVATION (verses 1-2).

“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.”

In verse 1 the apostle Paul describes a three-fold process in conversion:

(1). THERE IS ALWAYS A VEHICLE OF KNOWLEDGE.

• “I preached to you”

• That vehicle may be a preacher, or maybe a Christian simply witnessing.

• It maybe a Bible that has been read or may be some other Christian literature;

• But in conversion there is always a vehicle of knowledge.

(2). THERE IS ALWAYS A RECIPIENT.

• “Which you received”

• There is always a recipient, beneficiary, a receiver;

• Who hears that preacher, or talks to that Christian, or reads that Bible or literature;

(3). THERE IS ALWAYS AN ACCEPTANCE.

• “On which you have taken your stand”.

• In other words you heard the gospel, you believed the gospel;

• And you embraced, or received the gospel.

• That gospel is a rock on which you are able to stand.

Paul explains what that gospel is in verses 3-4:

• That gospel was and is a message about Christ!

• His death and also his resurrection.

• After all, a dead Saviour cannot save anybody!

• And so an integral part of the Gospel message was the fact of Christ's resurrection.

Paul's readers had received the Word, trusted Christ, and been saved:

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