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Summary: Our faith int he resurrection is the one of the foundations of our faith and ministry.

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WHY WE BELIEVE IN THE RESURRECTION

1 Corinthians 15:1-34

ILLUSTRATION Theologian Wolfhart Pannenberg said that …the evidence for Jesus’ resurrection is so strong that nobody would question it except for two things: First, it is a very unusual event. And second, if you believe it happened, you have to change the way you live.

Question: Why do we believe that it happened? Please open your bibles to 1 Corinthians 15:1-34.

The preaching that Christ has been raised from the dead was received and upheld by the early followers of Christ. Saint Paul declared that it was part of the gospel they preached and based on the Old Testament Scriptures. The gospel message includes that Christ died for our sins, that He was buried, that He was raised, and that He appeared to early disciples and apostles.

One reason for celebrating Easter Sunday was based on this historical event and the faith of the early Christians. Therefore we have a solid foundation for observing Easter Sunday.

Aside from these facts, why is it important that we observe and believe the resurrection of Christ? How does it relate to you and me especially today?

1. It is important that we observe and believe the resurrection Christ because it is one of the bases of our own resurrection. (15.12-13; 20-28)

1 CORINTHIANS 15:12-13 12But 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? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.

1 CORINTHIANS 15:20-24 20But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.

The bible says that Christ’s resurrection from the dead is the “firstfruits” of those who have “fallen asleep.” The phrase “fallen asleep” is a euphemism for those who died. Firstfruits refer to the earliest gathered fruits offered to God in acknowledgment of the gift of fruitfulness.

It also implies that fruitfulness continues and more fruits to follow afterwards. The Lord Jesus Christ is the first person who died to rise again from the dead and lives forevermore. If in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. The term “all” in this passage refers to all those who belong to Him (15.23).

ROMANS 8:9-11 9And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

If we belong to Christ, then God will also give life to our mortal bodies through His Spirit who lives in us. This is the promise we have in Christ; this is the basis of our confidence of being raised from dead when Christ returns.

That is why, for sincere followers of Christ, we don’t have problem facing death. When it comes, we know that death is simply temporary and we have the assurance of being raised from the dead because of Christ’s resurrection.

2. It is important that we believe and observe the resurrection of Christ because it is one of the bases of our ministry to others.

1 CORINTHIANS 15:14-19 14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15More 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.

16For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.

The reason we have confidence to preach the gospel – the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ is because He is alive. There are people who believe and preach in the ideology and philosophy of those great men and women who are now dead and remain dead.

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