The Resurrection

Text: 1 Corinthians 15

This is the greatest chapter on the resurrection in the Bible.

Scriptural proof of the resurrection (vss 1-4)

Historical eyewitness accounts of the resurrection (vss 5-8)

  • Even critical scholars who study historic literature come to the conclusion that people certainly saw something.

Paul’s life turned around because of the resurrection (vss 9-11)

  • He becomes a minister of something he sought to destroy.

The proposition of no resurrection (vss 12-19)

  • Some were saying no resurrection. Here is an example. 2 Timothy 2:16-18 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. 17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; 18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some. Canker and cancer are similar words. A Christianity without a resurrection is like a cancerous body.
  • If Christ didn’t rise from the dead, then there is no such thing as a resurrection.
  • If there is no resurrection, then there is no reason to be a Christian.
  • If there is no resurrection, there is no power in Christianity. The preaching is worthless and your faith is worthless.
  • If there is no resurrection then we’re liars who knowingly lie b/c we’re too lazy to study the facts.
  • If there is no resurrection we are in our sin.
  • If there is no resurrection then all men die in their sins.
  • Paul says his life had become so chaotic and full of adversity since following Jesus Christ that if there is no resurrection then I have to be the most miserable soul. (That tells you a little bit about what it cost Paul to follow Jesus Christ.) Karl Marx would’ve been right in saying, “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people

Christ is risen (vss 20-28)

  • But because the tomb is empty, unlike any other religious leader’s tomb, there is assurance that the Father has approved of the Son.
  • In the same way Adam represented all mankind bringing sin into the world, Jesus Christ represented mankind before God the Father in holiness. And Christ was approved and became the first man fully approved by God. What follows are many who are approved of God in Christ and thus be raised unto life everlasting.
  • The point is that death as the final enemy is destroyed by the resurrection. Some rise to life, some rise to eternal punishment.
    • Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
    • Revelation 20:11-15 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire
    • The ministry of the LORD Jesus Christ ends with the abolishment of death. Look at the next chapter, Revelation 21:1. Why did John see a new heaven and new earth? Because there is no more death.

The practicality of the resurrection (vss 29-34)

  • Baptism doesn’t always mean water, in fact, it usually means to be taught according to something. It’s the way you’d use the word baptize if you said someone was baptized by fire. That’s another normal use of the word baptize which means educated. The point is if there is nothing after death, no resurrection, no abolition of death, then everything being taught in Christianity is pointless.
  • Paul said we sacrifice our lives in light of the resurrection.
  • Paul said you think Christianity makes your life easier, but it’s made my life harder. Except I have real hope now. I have a future. My hope is not now. My life is now lived according to righteousness.
  • Paul gets on them because many are presenting a false Christianity that says you can get all you want now, and also get all you want later.

Picture of the resurrection (vss 35-49)

  • The seed that is planted (vss 35-44)
  • Spiritual body from glory (vss 45-49)
    • The spiritual body doesn’t mean the resurrection is not physical. It means what comes up is spiritual even though it’s also physical. Just like Jesus Christ.

Power of the resurrection (vss 50-58)

  • The resurrection satisfies the need to be holy (vss 50-53)
  • The resurrection defeats death and the grave (vss 54-57)
  • The resurrection sets things in the right perspective and renders the flesh helpless against a spiritual look toward the resurrection (vs 58)