Summary: Today we will focus on the main fundamental truth of the Christian Faith. – Christ is Risen!
• "Easter Sunday" is mentioned only one time in the Bible – cf. Acts 12:4
o What we generally refer to as Easter is mentioned elsewhere in the Bible as “Passover.”
o Children wake up in delight as they find “Easter Baskets” beside their beds.
o Some call it a pagan holiday. (I think it’s what you make it…)
• Christians today, celebrate Easter as the time when Jesus arose from the dead.
o Christians in the first century church did not celebrate Easter as Resurrection Day.
• Today we will focus on the main fundamental truth of the Christian Faith. – Christ is Risen!
I. IF CHRIST BE NOT RISEN… - I Corinthians 15:14-19
A. Our preaching is in vain... (1 Corinthians 15:14)
1. The preaching of the apostles is empty, meaningless because they proclaimed nothing more than a fairy tale, a story of fiction.
B. Our faith is in vain... (1 Corinthians 15:14)
1. Our belief in Christ would also be empty, meaningless for our faith would be in a lie, a story of make believe, not truth
C. The Apostles were false witnesses of the Resurrection and purported a lie that has lasted for over two millennials... (1 Corinthians 15:15)
1. They swore that God raised Jesus from the dead - Acts 2:32
2. They claimed to spend 40 days with Him after the resurrection eating and drinking with Him - Acts 10:39-41
3. There is no way they could have been deceived or mistaken; either they told the truth or they were deliberate liars, deceivers, and frauds!
D. We are still in our sins with no hope of redemption... (1 Corinthians 15:17)
1. It would have been a liar or lunatic that died on the cross
2. No such person could have provided a sacrifice that was holy and without blemish
E. Those who have passed away as Christians have eternally perished... (1 Corinthians 15:18)
1. Their faith would have been in a false Messiah
2. They would have had no atonement for their sins
3. Dying in their sins, there would be no hope
F. Christians are to be pitied for their misery (KJV; NIV)... (1 Corinthians 15:19)
1. Because we believe in a false Messiah
2. Because our faith in Him leads us to refrain from much worldly pleasure
3. Because we are often ridiculed or persecuted for our faith
• As Paul makes it clear, the Resurrection of Christ is foundational to the Christian faith. If Jesus is not raised, then we should not be Christians! Now let's examine the significance from another angle...
II. IF CHRIST BE RISEN…
A. The Resurrection proves that Jesus is who He said He is... Romans 4:13-24; 24-25
1. Jesus claimed His blood would be adequate in the institution of the Lord’s Supper.
26. And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
27. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28. For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
29. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.
2. The resurrection of Jesus established us as sons in the family of God. It brought justification us justification by faith, freedom from condemnation, and a place for us with Christ at the right hand of God.
Romans 8:33-34 – Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34. Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
B. The Resurrection brings completeness through Christ and power for Christian living... Colossians 2:6-15 (Read & Expound)
1. Power when we get saved – 1 Peter 3:18-22
2. Power for Christian living.
12. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
C. The Resurrection brings Hope to the Believer...
1 Peter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,