Summary: Let's think for a moment of lost causes. They are very real. The sportscaster said the game was unwinnable. The insurance adjuster said the car was irrepairable. The doctor said the patient was incurable. The marriage counselor said the
Let's think for a moment of lost causes. They are very real.
The sportscaster said the game was unwinnable.
The insurance adjuster said the car was irrepairable.
The doctor said the patient was incurable.
The marriage counselor said the relationship was irreconcilable.
The teacher said the student was unteachable.
In each case the outcome seemed very predictable. Each one is an example of a dead issue. Each case seemed closed.
A similar situation existed in the early days of the first century. A 33 year old leader was dead. After a public execution with plenty of witnesses, the body of this young Jewish hope had been disposed of by the authorities according to the burial customs of the day.
All that remained was to make sure that grave robbers didn't disturb the final resting place of this "political nightmare." By posting a guard at the burial site, the officials seemed to have sealed the fate of the Christian cause.
But then the unexpected happened! Three days later, unexplainable events began to occur. Rumors began to fly that the grave was empty. A growing number of people claimed to have seen this Man who had been executed.
This man was not only alive, but He had become the very source of everlasting life. And he became the leader of what turned out to be
and unstoppable cause.
This morning as we look to the 15th chapter of I Corinthians I want us to see how the power of the resurrection represents hope for other lost causes and dead issues.
I want to focus on the apostle Paul, who wrote about the resurrection of Christ but also wrote about his own resurrection from spiritual death.
We'll see that the power that raised Christ from the dead is:
Life changing...Energizing...and Available to anyone who is willing to be changed by it.
Let's Read verses 3 10
The first thing that is apparent here is that Resurrection Power is Life Changing
The power of the resurrection to change lives is seen in it's ability to change the most unlikely people.
I don't know whether it would be right to put Paul on the level of a modern day pornographer or mass murderer, because he was, after all, a religious man.
But we still have to realize that as far as the Christians of his day were concerned, he must have seemed like the last person in the world you would expect to join the church.
Look at his record. While men like Peter, James, and John were doing everything they could to tell the world that Jesus had risen from the dead, Paul was doing everything he could to shut them up.
A quick look at the book of Acts shows us that before he was converted Paul was one of the darkest, most sinister forces in the early days of the church.
He hated Christians with a passion. He hunted them down, arresting them, putting them into prison, and even to death if he could.
Look at verse 9...
I sense that Paul never completely got over what he had done to men, women and children in his crusade to wipe out the faith of Christ.
He apparently never could forget that he had torn families apart and caused such grief to so many.
With that background in mind, look around you. See how many drastically changed lifestyles are represented here this morning.
And Paul's experience, if no one else's, should be a reminder that no one is too bad to be changed by the Lord.
No one is too arrogant, too lustful, too alcoholic, or too anything to be raised from spiritual death. Look at the people you're familiar with. Are they worse than Paul? Are they less likely than he was to accept Christ?
!The Power of the Resurrection is power enough for any person to be saved„Ç
But it's not only life changing, it is also energizing.
Look carefully at what Paul said in verse 10...
A careful look at this statement will make it clear that he was talking about far more than some big idea that was motivating him to be a new person.
It's also clear that as far as he was concerned, he had not changed himself from being the chief persecutor to becoming the chief promoter of the Christian faith.
Neither had he merely put out more effort than the other apostles before him. He declared that it was God at work in him that made the difference.
Does this mean that Paul had been completely taken over by this power? No! Voluntary submission to the Spirit of God is what gives us real control over our bodies. And it is the Spirit of God who works in us to make it possible for us to work hard doing what He wants done.