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Summary: THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL DOCTRINE THAT WE MUST HOLD FAST TO IS THAT OF THE RESURRECTION. IF THERE IS NO RESURRECTION THERE IS NO CHRISTIANITY. IT IS IN THE POWER OF THE RESURRECTION THAT WE GAIN OUR PEACE AND ENCOURAGEMENT AS WE LIVE IN THIS DARK WORLD.

THE REALITY OF THE RESURRECTION

1 CORINTHIANS 15:1-22

TWO MEN WERE OUT IN A BOAT FISHING ONE SUNDAY MORNING. THEY WERE FEELING PRETTY GUILTY ABOUT MISSING CHURCH, ESPECIALLY SINCE THE FISH WERE NOT BITING.

ONE SAID TO THE OTHER “I GUESS WE SHOULD HAVE STAYED HOME AND GONE TO CHURCH THIS MORNING.”

THE OTHER REPLIED “I COULDN’T HAVE GONE TO CHURCH ANYWAY, MY WIFE’S IN BED SICK.”

IT’S A GOOD STORY TO LEAD INTO TALKING ABOUT BOATS AND ANCHORS. IN ORDER FOR A BOAT TO WITHSTAND A STORM IT MUST BE ANCHORED WELL.

THE SAME IS TRUE OF OUR SPIRITUAL LIFE. WE MUST BE ANCHORED WELL INTO THE TRUTH OF THE BIBLE IF WE ARE GOING TO WITHSTAND THE STORMS OF LIFE.

THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL DOCTRINE THAT WE MUST HOLD FAST TO IS THAT OF THE RESURRECTION. IF THERE IS NO RESURRECTION THERE IS NO CHRISTIANITY. CHRISTIANITY RISES AND FALLS ON THE EMPTY TOMB.

BILLY GRAHAM SAID “ IF I WERE AN ENEMY OF CHRISTIANITY, I WOULD AIM RIGHT AT THE RESURRECTION, BECAUSE THAT IS THE HEART OF CHRISTIANITY.”

THE SADUCEES WERE PEOPLE IN JESUS DAY WHO DID NOT BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION.

LUKE 20:27: SOME OF THE SADDUCEES, WHO SAY THERE IS NO RESURRECTION, CAME TO JESUS WITH A QUESTION.

THERE WERE SOME IN THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH WHO ALTHOUGH THEY BELIEVED IN JESUS’ BODILY RESURRECTION, DID NOT BELIEVE THAT THEY WOULD BE RESURRECTED WHEN THEY DIED. THEY FALSELY HELD TO PAUL’S TEACHING OF 2 CORINTHIANS

2 CORINTHIANS 5:8: WE ARE CONFIDENT, I SAY, AND WOULD PREFER TO BE AWAY FROM THE BODY AND AT HOME WITH THE LORD.

THEY ALSO HELD ON TO A FALSE TEACHING ABOUT BAPTISM.

1 CORINTHIANS 15:29: NOW IF THERE IS NO RESURRECTION, WHAT WILL THOSE DO WHO ARE BAPTIZED FOR THE DEAD? IF THE DEAD ARE NOT RAISED AT ALL, WHY ARE PEOPLE BAPTIZED FOR THEM? 30

IT’S A DIRECT CONTRADICTION TO WHAT THEY WERE TEACHING BECAUSE THEY HAVE NO ANSWER TO THE QUESTION “WHY DO THE DEAD NEED TO BE BAPTIZED IF THERE IS NO RESURRECTION?”

UNFORTUNATELY, THERE ARE THEOLOGIANS TODAY WHO TEACH AGAINST THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD. I SAY THAT TO DENY THE REALITY OF THE RESURRECTION, IS TO DENY THE REALITY OF CHRIST IN YOUR LIFE TODAY.

THE REALITY OF THE RESURRECTION IS THAT IT IS MORE THAN JUST A DOCTRINE OF WHAT HAPPENS AFTER WE DIE. THE REALITY OF THE RESURRECTION IS SOMETHING THAT WE CAN GRASP HOLD OF IN OUR DAILY LIVES. IT CAN BE THE ANCHOR WE SO DESPERATELY NEED TODAY.

BIBLICAL CONTEXT:

PAUL WAS A GREAT BELIEVER IN DISCUSSION AND DEBATE. HE TOLD THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH.

2 CORINTHIANS 5:11: SINCE, THEN, WE KNOW WHAT IT IS TO FEAR THE LORD, WE TRY TO PERSUADE OTHERS. WHAT WE ARE IS PLAIN TO GOD, AND I HOPE IT IS ALSO PLAIN TO YOUR CONSCIENCE.

PAUL ADDRESSES THE ARGUMENTS OF THE CORINTHIAN CHURCH IN THIS PASSAGE BY LOOKING AT BOTH SIDES OF THE ISSUE. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO US IF THERE WAS NO RESURRECTION, AND, WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO US TO KNOW THAT THERE WAS A RESURRECTION?

THE FIRST 11 VERSES PAUL REMINDS THE PEOPLE OF THE GOSPEL THAT THEY BELIEVED IN. THE RESURRECTION HE STATES WAS PART OF THAT GOSPEL. THE LAST ELEVEN VERSES PAUL IS GOING TO USE SPECIFIC CONSEQUENCES THAT WILL OCCUR IF THERE IS OR IS NOT A RESURRECTION.

HE REMINDS THEM OF THE GOSPEL THAT THEY BELIEVED IN WHEN THEY FIRST CAME TO CHRIST. IT WAS THE GOSPEL OF THE RESURRECTION. IT WAS THE GOSPEL ON WHICH THEY STOOD. COULD IT BE THAT SOMETIMES WE NEED TO REMEMBER WHAT WE STAND FOR, SO THAT WE DO NOT FALL PREY TO FOOLISH IDEAS. TODAY WE ARE GOING TO CONCENTRATE ON VERSES 11-22.

POINT ONE: BECAUSE OF THE RESURRECTION OUR MESSAGE HAS MEANING

1 CORINTHIANS 15:14: AND IF CHRIST HAS NOT BEEN RAISED, OUR PREACHING IS USELESS AND SO IS YOUR FAITH

PAUL USES A NEGATIVE ARGUMENT HERE AND WHAT HE IS SAYING IS THAT IF JESUS’ BODY WASN’T RESURRECTED THEN WHAT IS THE POINT OF OUR PREACHING.

ONE WRITER HAS SAID, “THE RESURRECTION IS EITHER ONE OF THE MOST WICKED, HEARTLESS, VICIOUS HOAXES EVER, OR IT IS THE MOST FANTASTIC FACT OF HISTORY.”

THE MESSAGE THAT WE PREACH, THE GOSPEL THAT YOU BELIEVE FINDS FOUNDATION IN THE RESURRECTION. IT IS HERE THAT WE FIND THE POWER TO HAVE VICTORY IN OUR DAILY LIVES.

BECAUSE CHRIST LIVES OUR LIVES ARE NOT FUTILE AND WE HAVE A PURPOSE, WHICH IS TO PROCLAIM THE GOSPEL. AS WE LIVE OUR LIVES PEOPLE SEE THE RISEN CHRIST IN US. PAUL SAID

PHILIPPIANS 1:21:

FOR TO ME, TO LIVE IS CHRIST AND TO DIE IS GAIN. 22 IF I AM TO GO ON LIVING IN THE BODY, THIS WILL MEAN FRUITFUL LABOR FOR ME. YET WHAT SHALL I CHOOSE? I DO NOT KNOW! 23 I AM TORN BETWEEN THE TWO: I DESIRE TO DEPART AND BE WITH CHRIST, WHICH IS BETTER BY FAR; 24 BUT IT IS MORE NECESSARY FOR YOU THAT I REMAIN IN THE BODY.

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