Summary: Because of the implications of the resurrection of Jesus, we NEED the gospel
• It was so good to be able to celebrate another Resurrection Sunday last week with so many people.
• Last week we looked at the foundation of the gospel message, that foundation is the resurrection of Jesus.
• Today as we continue in 1 Corinthians 15, I want us to consider why we need the gospel.
• Last week we examined the ramifications of Jesus not being raised. This week I want us to see why our acceptance of the gospel is the most important choice we need to make in our lives.
• If we accept the fact that Jesus is indeed the Son of God and that He was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, we have a decision to make. You cannot just give lip service to the resurrected Jesus, you need to give Him your life and in return, He will bless you beyond your wildest imagination.
• I would ask that you turn to 1 Corinthians 15:20-28.
• READ 1 CORINTHIANS 15:20-28
We need the gospel because of:
I. THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS (20-21)
A. First Fruits
• In verse 20 we see that Paul tells us that Jesus has been raised from the dead. He says that Jesus is the “first fruits” of those who are asleep.
• Paul has told us that he is a witness to the fact that Jesus was raised, and that His resurrection was a physical one.
• What does Paul mean when he says that Jesus is the “first fruits” of those who are asleep?
• In the Old Testament in the book of Leviticus in chapter 23, the Israelites were told they had to dedicate the first part of the harvest to God by giving it to the priest so he could offer it up to God. This had to be done BEFORE they could harvest their crops. This was called the “first fruits”. They could not grow a special patch of crops for this the first fruits had to be taken from the field they were going to harvest from.
• In return for dedicating their “first fruits” to God, God would promise them there was more to come or a good harvest.
• When Jesus is called the “first fruits” Paul is saying that Jesus is the first of many to be resurrected. The harvest to eternal life could not happen until Jesus, “the first fruits” was offered up to God the Father.
• In verse 21 we are told that through a man came death, and by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.
• There is some dispute over what kind of death is being spoken of here, physical or spiritual. At least with verse 21, the context tells us it is physical death. Adam brought physical death to the world. Genesis 3:19 confirms this, “By the sweat of your face You shall eat bread, Till you return to the ground, Because from it you were taken; For you are dust, And to dust you shall return. "
• Physical death entered the word because of Adam, not spiritual. Verse 21 tells us that through Jesus, there would be resurrection from the dead. The verse says that ALL will die and ALL will be raised.
• 2CO 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may be recompensed for his deeds in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.