Summary: The resurrection... the message of the Cross... was vital to the faith of ALL believers and Paul desired to have the fellowship in Corinth understand this...
Date Written: April 18, 2014
Date Preached: April 20, 2014
Where Preached: OPBC (AM)
Series Title: A Series from 1 Corinthians
Sermon Title: The Importance of the Resurrection
Sermon Text: 1 Cor 15:1-23 [NLT]
What we have learned so far is that the believers in the church at Corinth were under spiritual duress & the Apostle Paul wrote this letter to address the issues they were facing!
Paul encouraged them by letting them know how much he loved and cared for them AND that he believes God is NOT done with them!
Several weeks ago we saw Paul reminding them about the foundation he had laid for them…a foundation of Jesus, & that anyone who attempted to build on that foundation must use WORTHY building materials…
Then we looked at the final part of ch3 (v18-23) where Paul was admonishing & warning the church to realize & KNOW what they had in Jesus! He warned them to NOT be deceived by false teaching…
Then last week we made a leap forward in the letter, all the way to the final 18 verses of chapter 11 where we learned to not pervert what God holds sacred:
Paul admonished them about their IGNORACE of God’s sacred…
Paul proper administered INSTRUCTION about God’s sacred…
Paul warned them about being IRREVERENT toward God’s sacred…
This morning we are going to leap forward once again in Paul’s letter and we are going to jump all the way to ch15 and look at the 1st 23 verses of that chapter!
This past Friday was a very solemn and holy day for ALL believers AND for those within our membership who participated in our Good Friday services! We came together as a body to remember and commemorate what Jesus did for us…
We learned ALL about the sacrifice He made on the Cross of Calvary… we connected the act of the Lord’s Supper to what Paul called in this letter, “the message of the Cross” and that the message of the Cross was central to our faith.
As we have learned Paul was up against tremendous odds in dealing with this church. First he was NOT present among them and although they loved and respected him, he was NOT there on day to day basis that would enable him to counter any teaching that was contrary to the Gospel.
Paul was battling a heresy being taught that was dismissive of the message of the Cross. These new teachers had convinced many within the fellowship that the message of the cross was too harsh and unnecessary, and it had been made non-essential to these believers.
Paul goes on the offensive here as he is in most cases within this letter, but when we read Paul’s words we find out that he cared deeply for all whom he had worked and that this was a letter of love to them.
He saw them straying from the truth and from the foundation he had established when planting the church several years before… the foundation found in the ‘message of the Cross’ in that Jesus died on Calvary, was buried in a borrowed tomb and raised to life on the 3rd day…
This foundational message was being replaced because many believed it too simple and to shameful to teach, so they shaped a message that eliminated the cross, his death and resurrection.
Well let me put it this way, there were tell-tell signs that a drift had occurred… there had been a shifting of beliefs within the body of believers and Paul knew that this was BAD for the fellowship!
These false teachers had convinced MANY that the msg of the cross was NOT important to salvation… in fact Paul saw their teaching revealing that the message of the Cross was viewed as foolish or a stumbling block.
These views had caused MANY members of this fellowship to stray from the truth… to drift from the foundation of Christ as Him being the source of their redemption.
They had literally begun to slide off the foundation laid in Jesus by Paul several years before! The cross was NO LONGER being viewed as central to their faith and salvation…
But Paul wanted them to understand that they could NOT accept this teaching, but must come to the truth of what God intended and it was that the resurrection was VITAL to the message of the cross and without the resurrection, all they were doing was useless!
IMPORTANCE Re-Established - V1-4
1Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. 2It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place. 3I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said.