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Summary: The resurrection is vitally important to each of us.

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Bible Care (3/31/10)

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“The Resurrection Factor”

1 Corinthians 15:12-20

Preacher: Dr. Randy Rudisell, Chaplain

1 Corinthians 15:12-20 (NIV)

12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men. 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

A young, bright scholar, known on his college campus as an avowed atheist, set out to disprove the Christian’s claim concerning the uniqueness of Jesus Christ. His extensive study led not to the confirmation of his skepticism but to his conversion to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Years later, after he became a famous writer and college campus speaker for Christ, Josh McDowell wrote in his bestseller, The Resurrection Factor: “After more than 1,000 hours of studying this subject and thoroughly investigating its foundation, I was forced to the conclusion that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is either one of the most wicked, heartless, vicious hoaxes ever foisted upon the minds of men, or it is the most fantastic fact of history. It is either history’s greatest delusion or the greatest miracle that history records." Josh Mc Dowell joined the ranks of other Christians in his conclusion that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is history’s greatest miracle.

1. Because Jesus Christ Lives, We Know that

the Christian Gospel is Reliable.

If Christ be not risen, the Christian gospel is a lie!

The opening verses of 1 Cor. 15 points out that the gospel is the good news about the vicarious death, the verified burial, and the victorious resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The gospel centers in the message of the death and resurrection of Jedsus: 1/3 of Matthew, 1/3 of Mark, 1/4 of Luke, and 1/2 of John.

Remember the words of Josh McDowell: “After more than 700 hours of studying and through investigating its foundation, I have come to the conclusion that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is ‘one of the most wicked, vicious, heartless hoaxes ever foisted upon the minds of men’ or it is ‘the most fantastic fact of history.’”

2. Because Jesus Christ Lives, We Know that

the Christian Life is Real.

If Christ be not risen, the Christian life is a vacuum!

Today, millions of Christians around the world are celebrating the fact that Jesus lives. The resurrection is an established fact in our minds because the risen Savior lives in our hearts. We have come to experience the Lord Jesus Christ in resurrection power. The Apostle Paul perhaps expressed it best when he wrote:

“Therefore, since we are now justified--acquitted, made righteous and brought into right relationship with God--by Christ’s blood, how much more [certain is it that] we shall be saved by Him from the indignation and wrath of God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, it is much more [certain], now that we are reconciled, that we shall be saved [daily delivered from sin’s dominion] through His [resurrection] life” (Rom. 5:9-10,

Amplified Bible).

(Gal 2:20 NIV) "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

(Col 1:27 NIV) "To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."

(Phil 3:10 NIV) "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,”

(Phil 4:13 NIV) "I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

3. Because Jesus Christ Lives, We Know that

the Christian Hope is Reasonable.

If Christ be not risen, the Christian hope is a delusion!

( 1 Peter 1:3, Williams) “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In accordance with his great mercy He has begotten us to an ever living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”

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