1 Corinthians 15:12-19 The Resurrection of Jesus
by Dan Ahlenius
I invite you to open your
Bibles to 1 Corinthians 15:9. This morning as we
gathered together with other evangelical churches to
celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ on that
first Easter morning. And would you know it, we are
going to continue honoring the Lord and His
resurrection victory over the grave and the power of
sin in our lives. As a matter of fact, the
Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the 4th message in a
series of five that I am preaching against Dan
Brown's heretical book, The Da Vinci Code. There are
numerous books being written by evangelical
Christians that clarify the heresies and fallacies,
or untruths, proposed in this book. The Da Vinci
Code, implies, suggests, and straight out claims
that the historical Jesus Christ never really died,
but was able to fake His death, or at the least was
able to allude the Roman Executioners into believing
that He was dead, which is the age old Swoon Theory.
However, the Bible gives us an account of how Jesus'
side in John 19:34, gave forth both water and blood
as it was punctured by the spear, which is medical
proof that Jesus was indeed dead and His blood was
beginning to separate. Never mind that if Jesus
"WOKE UP" inside the dark tomb, how did He manage to
push back the huge Tomb stone from the inside and
then walk past the Roman Guard detail? It just
doesn't make sense. Furthermore, if Jesus really
didn't die and really wasn't resurrected from the
dead then why did the Disciples launch out on a
worldwide missionary venture with many of them dying
for this supposed lie and give birth to the church.
And this is why I have decided to touch on the
validity of Jesus' Resurrection this Sunday, as the
fourth message in five of our series. Consequently,
let us focus on the Resurrection of our Lord and
Savior, Jesus Christ together.
Read 1 Corinthians
I. Is There a
Resurrection From the Dead? (vs. 12-13)
About the Resurrection of the Dead (v. 12)
1) In verse
12, Paul makes it clear that some in the Corinthian
Church had bought into the idea that people will
not, and are not resurrected from the dead.
2) It is possible
that some of the Corinthian believers had been
persuaded by the Greek Philosophy that rejected the
idea of a bodily resurrection because many
considered the body, or any matter to be evil and a
man's spirit to be the only good part of him.
these believers might have been asking themselves,
"Why would God even want to make alive again our
Paul has preached to them that Jesus had been raised
from the dead and that He had a physical body upon
His resurrection, He was not a phantom, or a ghost
that could not be felt or touched.
physical bodies are not necessarily evil, but they
can be used for evil acts and deeds.
Their Doubts May Be Well-Grounded (v. 13)
1) In verse
13, Paul presents the logic that if men are not
resurrected then neither was Jesus Christ, because
He was fully human and fully divine.
2) Paul makes
it very clear that according to their new-found
belief that there was no resurrection of human
bodies, then Jesus Christ must still be lying in the
if Jesus was resurrected, then others have a chance
as well. But, if He was not, then we, as believers,
have placed our faith in a false hope of receiving
resurrected bodies one day.
4) If what
Christianity claims to be true about Jesus Christ
demonstrating power over the Grave and over Sin in
our Lives, then we have much to be grateful for.
II. The Gospel Depends
on Jesus' Resurrection (vs. 14-19)
The Gospel And Our Faith
Would Be Useless (v. 14)
1) In verse 14,
Paul states that preaching is useless and a
believers faith is too if Jesus had not been raised
from the dead because then there would be no good
news to believe in concerning overcoming the power
of sin and death.
2) Apart from the
reality and truthfulness of the Resurrection account
of Jesus Christ found in the Gospels, any message
that any minister delivered concerning Jesus Christ
would be completely unfounded because Jesus Christ
is the foundation for what believers believe, say,
the Apostle Paul also goes on to say that if Jesus
Christ had never truly been crucified from the Dead
and was slain for the sins of the World then our
faith and hope in a personal redeemer is basically
4) Apart from
the Redemptive work that Jesus Christ has done our
behalf, there is nothing else to hang our faith on.
B. We Might Be False
Witnesses (v. 15)
1) In verse 15,
Paul goes so far as to say that the Apostles of
Jesus Christ are a bunch of liars if Jesus had
not been raised from the dead.
Paul is not only talking about Apostles proclaiming
the Resurrection of Jesus Christ because this same
witnesses, testimony, and verbal message is often
given by all Christians, not just the spiritual
if the dead cannot be raised from the Dead then Paul
and the other Apostles are surely guilty of
misrepresenting the Lord God Almighty.
C. What if We Are
Wrong? (vs. 16-17)
in verse 16, Paul reaffirms the logic that those who
disbelieved in a bodily resurrection, or if man
cannot be raised from the dead then surely Jesus
Christ could not either.
2) Next, in
verse 17, without Jesus' victory over death then our
faith is invalid and we are still going to have to
atone for our sins, or face the Judgment of God.
3) If Jesus
Christ was never truly resurrected from the Grave
then every and any sin we commit will not be atoned
for, or treated as if is paid for in full.
Are We to Be Pitied? (vs. 18-19)
1) In verse
18, Paul is sharing with us the logic that those who
died believing in Jesus Christ and His offer of
Salvation are still lost in their sins.
2) Next, in
verse 19, Paul drives the last nail in the coffin.
1) Our Preaching is useless 2) Our faith is invalid
3) We are still lost in our sins 4) Now, we are to
be pitied among men for believing in a lie.
3) If our
hope and faith only affects our lives here on Earth
then we mind as well hang it up because it has not
eternal or lasting benefits.
is essentially asking, "Why would anyone believe in
a Savior that only makes life better for a short
while, but has no lasting effect for eternity?"
Jesus could not overcome sin and death then
Christianity would be a wasted cause. Why live well
on Earth if it doesn't affect our longer existence
in the next life?
Consequently, to have followed after a lie will
often encourage criticism and humiliation from the
nonbelievers because they have yet to experience
the Lord first-hand.
we are going to briefly consider what Paul had
written to these Corinthian believers just previous
to our text for this morning's message.
III. Evidence For a
Resurrected Jesus (I COR. 15:1-8)
The Gospel That Was Accepted (vs. 1-2)
1) In verse
1, Paul reminds the believers in Corinth that it was
the same message that he preached to them and is the
very same message that they so gladly accepted as
truth that they now are struggling with.
2) As a
matter of fact, these believers had even taken a
stand for this Gospel, which might speak about the
cutting off of non-believing family members or even
people they worked with on a daily basis.
3) Then in
verse 2, Paul expresses his firm conviction that the
Gospel, or Good News, is what enables people to get
saved, or forgiven by God the Father.
if this Gospel cannot lead to Salvation then they
had believed in vain, or had placed their faith in
something that could not hold water.
The Gospel Outlined
1) Verse 3,
tells us that the Gospel was preached by Paul to
claim that Jesus Christ died for our Sins just as
promised in the Old Testament prophecies.
2) And the
primary item of extreme importance is the fact that
Christ did die on our behalf, because there is no
other way that we would have ever satisfied God's
expectations for us.
3) Next, in
verse 4, another major item of importance is that
Jesus was indeed dead, but that He demonstrated His
power by being raised from the dead in a visible way
that others were well aware of the miracle that God
had just performed.
C. The Gospel Is
Verified (vs. 5-8)
1) In verse 5, Paul tells us that
the Resurrected Jesus appeared and proved Himself to
Peter and the entire 12 Disciples.
2) Then in verse 6, over 500 believer's
witnesses Jesus coming back in the flesh during His
3) And even though some of these
people had died during the last 20-30 years, there
were still plenty of witnesses to vouch for how and
when they saw the resurrected Jesus Christ.
4) Then in verse 7, Paul tells us
that Jesus also appeared to James and all the other
Apostles as a way of claiming that they could
testify to what Paul is saying is true.
5) And we must not forget that
Jesus Christ did appear first to Mary Magdalene in
the Garden, which was unusual because women were not
considered to be reliable witnesses in the 1st
Century, which goes to show that if Christianity
fabricated a Resurrected Jesus Christ surely they
would have chosen someone like the High Priest to
witness His resurrection not a simple woman.
6) Finally, in verse 8, Paul uses himself as
the witness that he placed a lot of value in, so he
talks about his own experiences in relating to the
7) Like Paul, I would have to present my
own testimony as to what Jesus Christ has done in my
life in order to fully appreciate that the Gospel
message is true.
Overall, we have
considered that if Jesus Christ had never been
resurrected from the dead then we would still be
rotting away in our sins and apart from a
relationship with God. Also, we must always consider
the evidence of any claim, and Paul outlined over
500 witnesses to the fact that Jesus was resurrected
from the Dead. Consequently, the Bible teaches and
our lives should affirm that Jesus Christ is alive
and well because His promised Holy Spirit is working
in our hearts and minds as He continues to relate to
us in a personal way. Jesus Christ is
(c) 2005 Message by Dan
Ahlenius. Dan is a graduate of William Carey
University, B.A., New Orleans Baptist Theological
Seminary, Master Divinity.
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