Summary: To grasp your faith and live it out is what most pastor would call a success.
Why I believe
This morning I bring a word of confession, a testimony, and a word of encouragement.
The confession is
I cannot make you believe in God,
I cannot change your life
I cannot force you to trust God
Be of any service to God, enjoy kingdom work
Put something in you that is not there. I wish I could but I cannot.
Most of my time as pastor is showing people that they need God and life without God is sub-par of what God intended for us.
Most of my time is spent seeing people with a need and knowing what they need but not able to convince them to go after what they need.
So this morning, I want to tell you why I believe.
I believe that is what the Apostle Paul did and I believe he struggled with the same feeling that I go through trying to convince someone to love the God that he loved.
It comes from Holy Scripture because I believe God’s Word and I believe it can and did change my life.
I had doubts and I had questions and I had struggles, but in my seeking Him, He has answered enough questions that I can comfortably say that I trust Him with my life.
The whole chapter of 1 Corinthians 15 is about the resurrection of Christ, the resurrection of the dead in Christ and the body of Christ how it functions when it functions as Christ intended. If we had the time, I would read all 58 verses because I believe it contains everything that is needed to find Christ for yourself if you are at least open for Christ to speak to your heart.
Paul is speaking to the large church at Corinth and with all it hustle and bustle, it’s demand to make a living, it sinful opportunities looks just like what is available to us today if we would choose not to hear the voice of God as He tries to talk to us today. They did not have cell phones, electronic devices, TV, time travel that you can be across the world in one day, but they still had distractions, their own versions of sin, and a heart that is far from God.
1 Corinthians 15:1-3 Read from the Bible and comment.
What Paul is saying here is the gospel that he holds to is the resurrection of Christ. Because Christ was resurrected from the dead, and as believers, we will be resurrected from the dead at our death, we are offered salvation and forgiveness of our sins. If we hold firmly to that belief, we will also be saved otherwise, you have believed in vain.
Beliefs that are in vain
I am a good person so I will be okay. Good people don’t make heaven, only those who have trusted Jesus Christ as Lord.
You don’t believe in the resurrection of Christ and the need to have your sin atoned for.
That all religions are the same and all roads lead to God.
That any beliefs are okay, as long as you believe them. (ignorance as an excuse)
(12) “But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”
(16) “For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either, and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”
I. Why I believe- I find the resurrection to be true.
Paul dealt with people that did not believe the resurrection. The case for our belief is in the resurrection. The difference between a believer and unbeliever will be in the resurrection. Jesus Christ being a living God instead of a dead idol.
Some did not believe that Jesus Christ rose from the dead.
Atheist do not believe in the resurrection of Christ. The case for faith is the resurrection. You have to in your mind settle the resurrection.
It is not only the death on the cross, 1000’s lost their life on a cross, but only one was resurrected from the dead after the cross.
I believe that the word of God is inspired by God and is without error for our salvation. I believe the resurrection happened as recorded with the witnesses and that without faith in the resurrection of Christ, my faith is useless and I am without salvation.
To not believe in the resurrection is to not believe that Christ has saved mankind through the cross.
According to Jesus, the resurrection would be the single greatest sign to mankind about who he was. When the Pharisees asked Him for a sign in Matthew 12, he referred them back to the Jonah being in the belly of a whale for three days and three nights and said that was how long he would be in the heart of the earth. (Allan Smith/SermonCentral)