Resurrection Makes the Difference

Text: 1 Corinthians 15

The resurrection is the most important event in history.  This church exists because of a risen savior.  The resurrection is the centerpiece of Christianity.

  • No one expected it
  • No one could’ve invented it
  • No one could deny it

Proof beyond any doubt (vss 3-8)

  • The most attested to event in human history is the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.  There is no doubt he lived and died.  So where is he?
  • Infallible Proof – Jesus Christ many times claimed to be God manifest in the flesh.  It was this claim that got him into such trouble with the religious leaders they wanted to kill him.
    • You might say Jesus Christ was a good teacher, moral leader, religious man like Ghandi.  But not God.
    • If he was a good teacher, why was he so hated by the teachers of the law? – John 7:1
    • If he was an outstanding religious man, how do you account for an empty tomb?  We know where Mohamed is buried.  We know where Buddha’s bones are scattered.
    • If he was a moral leader, why would he call himself God? – John 5:18
  • Make a Decision – The resurrection puts you and I into a place where a decision has to be made about Jesus Christ.  The option of him being a good teacher is going to go right out the door here.  You can’t say Jesus is a good moral teacher.
  • 1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
  • He is either insane.  As one man put it, to make these claims and think they are true he must be crazy and on the mental level of a poached egg.  If he is insane, he is not a good moral teacher.  He is a lunatic.
  • Or he is a charlatan: a deceptive liar.  Another option is that he knows nothing he says is true about him being equal with God, but he is preaching it anyway to lead many astray.  If he is a liar, he is not a good moral teacher.
  • Or what is saying is true.  He is exactly who he says he is.
  • Romans 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
  • Acts 1:3 To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God:
    • Infallible proofs means if you don’t believe it is because you have an agenda.
    • For 40 days after his resurrection he continued to teach and instruct.  Wow!  What a Bible lesson!  What a sunday school that must’ve been!
    • Phillip and the Eunuch in Acts 8:37 – The eunuch didn’t say he wanted to give his life to Jesus or accept Jesus in his heart, he said I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
  • John 11:25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:

Power to receive (vss 17-18)

  • While others argue about whose philosophy on life is right, Jesus Christ subdued the power of death.  How about that for a doctrine?
  • If all Jesus Christ did was die for sin, then death has the last say.  And sin is the ultimate victor.
  • Many worship a Christ that is on the cross.  He is not Jesus Christ and is an impotent gospel.
  • Romans 10:9-13 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
  • Those who have lost loved ones have no hope.  Every funeral message about what a good person someone was rings hollow because they are still in their sin
  • If all Jesus Christ did was die for sin, then death has the last say.  And sin is the ultimate victor.

Promise to believe (vss 35-38)

  • Burial in the ground is not the last word.  It is in fact the planting of an eternal crop.  Some of which will come up in judgment and others will come up in glory.  Your decision to trust Christ as resurrected Savior or dead Jesus on a cross will determine which.
  • Acts 17:30-31 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead.
  • Ask folks if they know where they are going when they die and generally say, No one can know that.  Paul says, Thou fool.
  • 1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
    • If there is anything you can know for sure it is where you’re going when you die.
  • Jesus Christ’s abilities begin where man’s end
  • Victorious redemption – Philippians 3:21
    • Man at his best state is altogether vanity.  His solutions are temporary.  His ideas are feeble and flawed.
    • O death where is thy sting?  O grave where is thy victory?
  • Safe haven of rest
    • Hebrews 7:25
    • ILLUSTRATION: The thief had nails in his hands so he couldn’t work for Jesus Christ, and nails in his feet so he couldn’t go where the Lord wanted him to go.  He could not lift hand or foot for the Lord, but the Lord said today thou shalt be with me in paradise.
    • 2 Timothy 1:12 – Keep that which I’ve committed Paul said.  Means I’m fully trusting Jesus Christ for the future, so I’m giving him everything I have now
    • Salvation is not maintained by our holding onto God, but His holding on to us
    • People say it is impossible to know where you are going when you die.  A self righteous sinner often thinks it is arrogant to make such a declaration.  The truth is the only reason I know where I’m going when I die is because of what Jesus Christ did.
  • Sure deliverance

Purpose to serve (vss 57-58)

  • Sacrifice
  • Stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord
  • Ephesians 3:20-21 – Then comes the convicting part of this verse – that worketh in you.  That power is not a remote power, but a very personal power.
  • You and I draw strength from His ability.  Every step of obedience is met with these three words, He is able.  He is able.
  • Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God. – William Carey, cobbler turned missionary to India.
  • Hebrews 11 speaks of ordinary people whose trust in God made them extraordinary.