1 CORINTHIANS 15

5 Outlines

 

 

1 Corinthians 15:1-10

THREE REALITIES

 

People wonder about the authenticity and reality of the Easter story.

Paul answers that question, by showing us three things that are real that center around Easter.

 

THE REALITY OF REDEMPTION - Vss. 1-4

The facts of the Gospel of redemption are presented very concisely here. Christ died for our sins. He was buried. He rose again.

 

THE REALITY OF RESURRECTION - Vss. 5-7

Here are witnesses of the fact that Jesus did rise from the dead.

 

THE REALITY OF REGENERATION - Vss. 8-10

Jesus appeared to Paul. Paul was regenerated (born again) by the Spirit of God. His life was changed!

 

 

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1 Corinthians 15:1-10

RESURRECTION FOR EVERYONE

 

On Good Friday we remember the death of the Lord Jesus on the cross for our

sins.   He died for everyone. Anyone who trusts him can have forgiveness and eternal life.

 

On Easter Sunday we remember the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Just

as the death of Jesus Christ was for everyone, so is the resurrection. In 1

Corinthians 15:1-11 we have list of witnesses to the resurrection. I find it

striking that the resurrection of Christ was for each witness. It met a

need, having a purpose for witness. Perhaps as we study these particular

people this morning you see yourself as having the same need as one of these

witnesses.

 

Introduction - Vss. 1-4 (Stress the Gospel message of verses 3-4.)

 

THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST WAS FOR:

 

THE DENIER - Vs. 5 - Peter who was so adamant about his loyalty denied

Christ 3 times. Matthew 26:70-74, Luke 23:54-62. When Jesus arose from the

dead, he appeared to Peter in Luke 24:52, and gave Peter special attention

in John 21. Peter, the denier, needed to know that he was forgiven and still

useful in ministry for Christ.

 

THE DESERTER - Vs. 5 - The Apostles are called "the twelve" even though

there was now 11. They had run when Jesus was in His darkest hour. Jesus

appeared to them with a message of Peace and commission. See John 20:19-23.

 

THE COMMON MAN - Vs. 6 - Here was a group of believers who hadn't

necessarily denied Christ. They were not necessarily distinguished people.

They were probably an average cross section of people, and yet Jesus

appeared to them. This reminds me that one does not have to be special to go

to Heaven, become saved, and feel the touch of the resurrection.

 

THE UNBELIEVER - Vs. 7 - This James was half-brother to Jesus. John 7:5

tells us that His brethren didn't believe on Jesus. James was touched by the

appearance of his brother. He became a believer.

 

THE MESSENGER - Vs. 7 - Here they are referred to as the apostles. They saw

Jesus more than once. As apostles, they were sent as messengers with the

Gospel. The Lord commissioned them to go out in Matthew 28:18-20. Because

they had seen the risen Lord they were effective messengers for Him. A true

witness for Christ must see Him as risen, or he has no message.

 

THE PERSECUTOR - Vss. 8-11 - Not only did Paul not believe in Jesus, but he

persecuted Jesus' followers. See Acts 8:1 and 9:1-2. The risen Jesus

appeared to Paul on the Damascus road (Acts 9).

 

Even those who persecute Jesus and His followers can be saved!

 

 

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1 Corinthians 15:20

CHRIST IS RISEN!

 

This morning's Easter Services have been a celebration of the fact that Christ is risen from the dead.  If there is one truth as necessary as the substitutionary death of Christ on the cross, it is the resurrection of Christ from the grave. The great news, however is that Christ indeed is raised from the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

 

1 Corinthians 15:20 - But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

 

This little verse tells us three important things about the resurrection.  It tells of:

 

THE IMMEDIACY OF THE RESURRECTION

 

We live in a "now" society.

We want immediate gratification.

That's one of the reasons credit card debt is so high for so many.  We don't want to wait to save to buy something. We want it now.

 

Most of us don't like to wait for anything.

 

There is one thing we don't have to wait for.  We are not waiting for the resurrection of Christ to take place.  We are not hoping that one day Jesus will come out of the grave. He has already come out of the grave. But now is Christ risen from the dead

 

The fact that Christ is already risen from the dead is important because it shows us that God accepted the sacrifice that Jesus made for our sins.

 

The immediacy of Jesus' resurrection is also important because of where Jesus is. He is in Heaven! Acts 1:9-11, Hebrews 1:1-3

 

The one who died for you, sits at the right hand of the throne of God to represent you! He is your advocate! 1 John 2:1-2

 

If you are a born again Christian, Jesus died for your sins.

Because you are a Christian God does not want you to sin.

However, there are times when we do sin.

When we fail God we have an advocate, a lawyer, "one called along side to help", sitting at the right hand of the throne of God.  He is there to represent us.  I imagine that when we sin, He might say to God the Father, "Father, He's mine, I died for that sin."  

 

As Christians, we should strive to live holy lives. 1 Peter 1:15-16

And when we sin, we are to confess that sin, and forsake it. 1 John 1:9

But isn't it nice to know that we have a risen Savior, who's there representing us when we sin.  Sin should never be taken lightly, but it's nice to have help.  

   

Not only is Jesus in Heaven now as our advocate, He's there as our high priest. Hebrews 4:14-16

 

I have had the pleasure of having friends who can sometimes say, "I know exactly how you feel, because I've been through the same thing."

 

In Heaven, you have a high priest that not only speaks in your behalf to the Heavenly Father, but He knows just how you feel and what you are going through. He was tempted just like we are.  Now Jesus might not have faced the same situation that you do, but He has faced the same types of temptations that you have faced.

 

·        Have you been tempted to worry? So has Jesus.

·        Have you been tempted to give up? So has Jesus.

·        Have you been tempted to steal? So has Jesus.

·        Have you been tempted to be dishonest? So has Jesus.

·        Have you been tempted to be lazy? So has Jesus?

·        Have you been tempted to lose your temper? So has Jesus?

 

What's the difference between your temptation and that of Jesus?  Jesus was tempted and never sinned. We have been tempted and often succumbed to sin.

   

Because Jesus is alive now and sitting at the right hand of God,

You are encouraged to "come boldly before the throne of grace to find grace to help in time of need."

 

So, when you worry, come to Jesus.

When you want to quit, come to Jesus.

When you are tempted to do wrong, come to Jesus.

He is there for us.

When we don't know which way to turn because problems seem so great, come to Jesus!

 

All of the great work that is done is by the Lord Jesus Christ is done by a resurrected Jesus Christ!  For NOW is Jesus risen from the dead!

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE RESURRECTION

 

But now is Christ risen from the dead

 

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is important, because the death of the Lord Jesus is important.

Every one of us will face death unless Jesus comes back before we die.

 

For most of us, when we die it will not be international news or even national or state news.  Our death will only be significant to a few people.

 

Jesus death was important because of who He was.

He was God in the flesh.

He was God in human form. John 1:1-4

 

 Jesus' death was also important because of why he died.  

Ezekiel 18:4 - …the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

 

 Jesus did not sin. Therefore Jesus was not required to die.  

So why did He die?

He died to pay for your sins and mine. Isaiah 53:5-6, 2 Corinthians 5:21

 

When Jesus died on the cross He had accomplished everything He was supposed to accomplish in this life. That's why He cried "It is finished!

   

So we know why Jesus died.  He died for us. His death is important.  But His resurrection is also important.  When Jesus rose from the dead, it proved that God had accepted Jesus' sacrifice for sin.  Isaiah 53:10

 

The resurrection of Christ from the dead is also important, because it is a living Savior who offers us eternal life.  It is a man who conquered death that is offering us forgiveness and a life in Heaven!   

 

It is a living Savior who says in Revelation 3:20, Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

 

 It is faith in this living Savior that brings us forgiveness and eternal life. Romans 10:9-10

Romans 10:9-10 - 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. [10] For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

 

Have you placed your faith and trust in Christ?  

  

THE IMPLICATION OF THE RESURRECTION

 

1 Corinthians 15:20 - But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

 

According to John MacArthur, when it was harvest time in Israel, the Israelites were to bring some of their crops as an offering to the Lord before they harvested the crop. This was called the "first fruits". John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, 1 Corinthians, © 1984, Moody Bible Institute, Chicago, p. 416

 

The implication of the resurrection for us is that Christ is the "first fruits" of them that slept.  Those who sleep are those who know Christ as Savior but are dead.

 

The fact that Christ is the first fruits of the resurrection implies that others will follow. In fact this resurrection is promised right in 1 Corinthians 15:22-23

What does this mean for us?

It means that one day we, who are Christians, will have a new, resurrection body.

It means that not only need we not fear death because our spirits go to Heaven, we need not fear death because we, like Christ, will rise out of the grave. 1 Corinthians 15:52-55

 

This also means that all those Christians whom we have loved who have passed away will also have resurrection bodies. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18    

What tremendous implications we have.  

 

 

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1 Corinthians 15:58

HANDLING CHANGE

 

1 Corinthians 15:58 - "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast,

unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know

that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."

(from The King James Version, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1988, by

Biblesoft)

 

Our church in Pennsylvania is going through a period of change. For as long

as anyone can remember it has been called "Mt. Union Reformed Church". At a

recent meeting a majority of our members voted to change the name to "Mt.

Union Bible Church". The name change will officially take place as soon as

the legal work is done. Most of us feel that the name change is long

overdue.

But there are a few who struggle with the new name because change is often

hard to handle.

 

As we go through life we will encounter change. Our family situations

change. Our work situations change. Our church and social situations change.

Our own health and the health of those we love often changes.

 

1 Corinthians 15:58 is a good verse to help us handle change. This verse

concludes "The Resurrection Chapter" of the Bible. The resurrection is a

sure thing, therefore we can stand firm no matter what changes we face in

our lives.

 

OUR POSITION - "be ye stedfast, unmoveable..."

Because of the hope of resurrection we should be steadfast and unmoveable in

at least three ways:

 

In Doctrine - We should hold on to the doctrine or teachings of the Word of

God. Ephesians 4:14

In Devotion - We should be steadfast in our commitment to Christ. Romans

12:1-2

Against The Devil - We should resist the Devil at all times. 1 Peter 5:8

 

OUR PROGRAM - "always abounding in the work of the Lord..."

The work of the Lord is summed up in the Great Commission of Matthew

28:19-20.

We are to bring people to Christ, baptize them, and continually teach them

to obey the teachings of Christ.

 

OUR PROMISE - "...forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in

the Lord."

Our labor in the Lord is not in vain because:

 

His Word never returns to him void. Isaiah 55:10-11

His Reward for us comes at the Judgment Seat of Christ. 1 Corinthians

3:11-15, 2 Corinthians 5:10

 

 

 

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1 Corinthians 15:51-58

BECAUSE OF EASTER

 

Because of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, we look forward to our own resurrection. Here we find:

 

SOMETHING DIFFERENT

1 Corinthians 15:51 - Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

 

SOMETHING DYNAMIC

1 Corinthians 15:52-53 - In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. [53] For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

 

SOMETHING DELIGHTFUL

1 Corinthians 15:54-57 - So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. [55] O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? [56] The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. [57] But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

SOMETHING DEMANDING

1 Corinthians 15:58 - Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

 

 

 

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