Summary: "I am what I am." That is, a sinner saved by grace. A sinner among the least.
“I AM WHAT I AM” (Outline)
August 23, 2020 - Pentecost 12 - 1 CORINTHIANS 15:1-11
INTRO.: We might wonder about sin and sinning. What is the worst sin? In the eyes of God sin is sin. Our loving, heavenly Father does not rate sins. Sin is breaking the law. Sin is not doing what we ought to do. Or we wonder about who might be the worst sinner. The Apostle Paul calls himself the worst of sinners. We have to agree with the Scriptures. We are not any different than the worst of sinners. “Every single one has turned back. Altogether they have become rotten. There is no one who does good. There is not even one” (PSALM 53:3). “All our righteous acts are filthy rags…our guilt carries us away like the wind” (ISAIAH 64:6). We also agree and confess with the words in our sermon text:
“I AM WHAT I AM”. I. A sinner saved by grace. II. A sinner among the least.
I. “I AM WHAT I AM”…A SINNER SAVED BY GRACE
A. Verse 1. Paul had preached the gospel to the people in Corinth. People received God’s Word.
1. The believers now stood firm on the Rock which was Christ. “Faith comes by hearing…”
2. Verse 2a. God’s gospel alone saved believers. Important: “Faith comes through hearing…”
B. Verse 2b. Believers heard God’s Word preached to them. Needed to hold on to God’s Word.
1. Their “new” Christian faith was not in vain. Christian faith not empty. Tomb was emp-ty.
2. Faith came by hearing God’s Word. Faith strengthened by continued hearing. Hold fast.
C. Verse 3. First importance of faith: “Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,”
1. Verse 4. After crucifixion the Lord Jesus Christ was buried. Body placed in a tomb.
2. First importance: “that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.”
D. The Bible is God’s Word. It contains his gospel (good news) promises and fulfillment from the beginning to the end (Genesis to Revelation). God weaves his golden thread of salvation through-out the Holy Scriptures. Throughout the history of the world. Our text speaks of God’s gospel as the “first importance”. The “first importance…in accordance with the Scriptures.” The Old Testament clearly pointed ahead to the coming of the Messiah, the Christ. Jesus used the example of Jonah for all to clearly see divine fulfillment “in accordance with the Scriptures.” "For just as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth" (MATTHEW 12:40). Three days applied to Jonah. Three days fulfilled in Jesus.
E. We agree that the crucifixion of Jesus was a miscarriage of justice. Jesus never said a wrong word. Never did anything wrong. Jesus was perfect in every way. So…why the terrible death by hanging on a cross? Jesus did all of this because of our wickedness and rebellion and sin. We are the sinners. Sinners who cannot save ourselves. Sinners who cannot earn salvation. Sinners who cannot work our way into heaven. By grace we are saved sinners. “In accordance with the Scriptures…” “We all have gone astray like sheep. Each of us has turned to his own way, but the LORD has charged all our guilt to him” (ISAIAH 53:6). “I am what I am.” Guilty. God’s grace paid the price for our guilt.
F. Jesus’ suffering was terrible. He was beaten. Tortured. Spit upon. Hung on the cross for hours until dead. Buried. “…he was raised on the third in accordance with the Scriptures.” Once again it was the undeserved love of God that caused all these events to take place. It was the only way to pay for our sins. And the sins of the world. This is the “blood theology” of God’s grace for our salvation. Some struggle with “blood theology” in the Scriptures. The unpleasantness of our sins required the sacrifice of blood. The blood of the Lamb of God. It is Christ alone who takes away the sins of the world. "And nearly everything is cleansed with blood according to the law. And, without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness” (HEBREWS 9:22). We are powerless sinners saved by God’s powerful grace.
“I AM WHAT I AM”. We are sinners freely saved by the grace of God for his creation.
II. “I AM WHAT I AM”…A SINNER AMONG THE LEAST
A. First importance: “Christ died…was buried…raised on the third day in accordance with the Scrip-tures.”
1. Paul preached Jesus’ resurrection as first importance since many denied his resurrection.
2. Jewish law demanded the truth to be proved by the mouth of two or three witnesses.
B. Verse 5. Jesus appeared to Cephas = Peter. The twelve is the term for the apostle group.