Summary: Christ is risen from the dead...

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He Is Risen

I Corinthians 15:12-32

John Shearhart

April 17, 2011

As we approach Easter I wanted to remind you of the significance of the resurrection of Christ. The resurrection of the dead is kind of a strange thing when we think about it—dead bodies will once again live. Usually we think of death being the final end of our bodies. We bury them in the ground and cover them with big stones.

And there are plenty of people who think that’s it—there is nothing past it. But for the Christian it’s not an option. There must be a resurrection:

Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:

This morning I want to look at Paul’s letter to the church at Corinth to think about some of the consequences of the resurrection. First let’s look at what must be true,

If Christ is not raised from the dead:

If Christ is not raised from the dead then our,

Gospel preaching is in vain (:14)

14And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain

What’s the point of our preaching if Christ is dead? If He can’t save Himself from death, then why do we waste time preaching to others that He can save them from death?

If Christ isn’t raised, then every sermon and every witness is a waste of time. We might as well be preaching about the Easter bunny and Santa Clause.

If Christ isn’t raised, then all the toil and sweat and suffering and agony of every messenger from the beginning of time until now have been a total waste of time because they’re preaching about trusting in someone who doesn’t exist.

And of the message is all in vain then,

Our faith is in vain (:14)

and your faith is also vain.

If Christ isn’t raised then the message we’ve believed is a sham and it’s truly worthless. We might as well put our hope in Joseph Smith or Mohammad. We might as well trust in Super Man to come save us if Christ is really dead.

All the prayers we pray are to someone who can’t hear. All the promises we believe are made by someone who isn’t able to do anything to fulfill them.

If Christ is dead, there is no message and there is no faith. If that’s true then,

The Apostles were false witnesses (:15)

15Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.

The Apostles didn’t just have it wrong: they claimed to have seen Jesus in person. If Christ didn’t rise from the dead then the Apostles are liars. All these books in the New Testament are written by con artists if Christ is dead today.

All the things they tell us to do (love, serve, preach, etc.) are worthless commands because they come from men without any authority.

The Bible itself is a lie if Christ is dead.

And if the Bible is false, and if Christ can’t save us, and if the message isn’t true, then

We are still in our sins (:16-17)

16For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

Do we hope for a dead man to take away our sins? Do we look to someone unable to speak to be our intercessor? If Christ is dead then He is not raised and we have no hope. We are still in our sins and must pay for them to God.

If that’s true, then we also know that

Believers have perished at death (:18)

18Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

If Christ is dead then sins aren’t forgiven and all the people who’ve passed on before us are dead in their trespasses. All the people who’ve gone on before (no matter what they believed), have perished.

And if that’s the best we can do then,

Christians are to be pitied (:19)

19If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

Christians are hated and mocked in this life. We’re persecuted—why would it make any sense at all to suffer in this life while hoping for something that doesn’t exist?

If Christ is dead then He can’t fulfill His promises. If He can’t fulfill His promises then we have no hope of life after death. If we have no life after this life, then how foolish we must be to squander our time being mocked and abused!

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