Sunday, June 14, 2015

Paul's Epistles - 1 Corinthians Part 28 – THE RESURRECTION

Paul's Epistles - 1 Corinthians
Pastor Bruce A. Shields
House of Faith Church | |

Paul, having received word in the form of a letter from the church in Corinth, is responding to that letter, as well as to information he has received from trusted sources about the condition of the Corinthian church. Adultery, members suing each other, married couples abstaining from physical relations in order to gain a more "spiritual" relationship with God, as well as the misuse, or abuse in the realm of Spiritual Gifts.

Paul addresses these issues in his letter to the Corinthian church and urges them not to go beyond what is written.

He warns them about their sexual immorality, as well as not becoming a stumbling block to those who are weaker in faith. He explains for those who think some foods are not permissible, or that they are not allowed to drink wine, or one day is holier than another, if they believe this for God's sake, then let it go, do not fight amongst yourselves. 

Paul tells them to be self-disciplined, and warns that when the Israelites sinned against God and did not repent, they did not receive forgiveness, and never made it to the Promised Land. Look at them as examples. There MUST be repentance if there is to be forgiveness. Paul then warned the church that communion was to be taken together as a body, not for eating and getting drunk. The congregation must be one, looking out for each other.

The last few weeks we have been looking at Paul explain certain Spiritual Gifts. This points to the notion, since only a few are mentioned, that these may have been the gifts which they were abusing, or exploiting.

Paul explains that all parts are important, no matter the size or number of gifts. He explains that it is OK to desire and even pray for certain gifts, but there was a way greater than the gifts for bringing people to Christ, rather than use the gifts like parlor tricks, Paul says use I Corinthians 13. Love is the greater way. Then in Chapter 14, Paul explains prophecy, tongues and the importance of intelligible words being greater than tongues.

This week we look at the importance of the Resurrection.

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE I Corinthians 15:1-11

                Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas,[b] and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.

                   I.            THE GOSPEL
a.      I preached it to you
                                                                         i.      The meaning of the New Covenant

                                                                      ii.      The Cross and Resurrection

                                                                   iii.      They received it (Paul gave it to them!)

                                                                     iv.      They must live in it (to live victoriously in this world and after)

b.     It IS what saves you!
                                                                         i.      Belief in the resurrection is a MUST for Salvation
1.      If Christ did not die, your sins were not paid for!
2.      If Christ was not brought back by God from the dead, He was not the savior!

3.      These things fulfill prophecy.

c.      Keep it (the fact of New Covenant purchased with Christ's death and resurrection) in your memory, else you believe in vain!
                                                                         i.      Hebrews 2:1 "We must pay the most careful attention, therefore, to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away."

                                                                      ii.      If you drift away from the Truth of the Resurrection, you believe in Vain!

1.      Vain: futile, useless, pointless, to no purpose, hopeless.

2.      In other words, if you do not believe the New Covenant was purchased with the death and resurrection, or that Christ "actually" died and rose again, you believe in vain, you have NO Salvation!

3.      Paul says in verse 2, "Hold firmly to the Word I preached to you.", Otherwise you may stray (Do not go beyond what is written warning in I Corinthians 4:6).

a.      If you stray, you believe in vain!

b.     No Salvation!

c.      Proof text: "Not everyone who says to me 'Lord, Lord', will enter the Kingdom of Heaven" Matthew 7:21

d.     Proof text: "My brothers and sisters, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring that person back, 20 remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and cover over a multitude of sins." James 5:19-20

                                                                   iii.      This text by Paul as well as the scriptures in the book of Matthew, James and in various other places in the Bible proves that the Doctrine of Unconditional Eternal Security is a false teaching.

1.      We MUST believe in the Death and Resurrection

2.      We must never stop believing in it

3.      If we do, we wander from the Truth

4.      If we wander from the Truth, our error, our sin, will cause us to lose our Salvation which was purchased BY the death and resurrection of Christ! 

               II.            THE FACTS
a.      Paul says, I have delivered what I received!

                                                                         i.      Christ died for our sins according to Scripture!
1.      Psalm 22:15

                                                                      ii.      He was buried and died and rose again according to scripture!
1.      Isaiah 53:10; Hosea 6:2

b.     He (Jesus) was seen by many!
                                                                         i.      By Peter

                                                                      ii.      The 12 Disciples (before ascension)

                                                                   iii.      500 believer's at one time
1.      Most still alive in Paul's time, but some dead

                                                                     iv.      By James, the brother of Jesus who did NOT believe Jesus during His ministry. John 7:5

                                                                        v.      And then by the Apostles (after the ascension the disciples were called the Apostles) Luke 24:50

                                                                     vi.      and lastly by Paul (after the ascension)

c.      For I am the least of the Apostles
                                                                         i.      True modesty, not mock modesty like so many have!
                                                                      ii.      Paul continuously claimed he knew and understood he was not worthy of what the Lord did for him.

                                                                   iii.      As we all should be!

                                                                     iv.      vs.9 "I am not worthy to be called an Apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God."

            III.            THE GRACE
a.      But by the Grace of God, I am what I am!
                                                                         i.      This trope, or figurative or metaphorical expression, has been used many times in our modern history with much the same meaning.

1.      Dumbo is teased for having abnormally big ears, which are what later enable him to fly. As his friend Timothy Mouse puts it, "The very things that kept you down are gonna carry you up and up and up!"

2.      Kung Fu Panda:
Tai Lung: You cannot defeat me... You're just a big... fat... panda!
Po: I'm not a big fat panda. I'm THE big fat panda!

3.      Popeye, "I yam what I yam, and that's all what I yam"

                                                                      ii.      Paul's point, the Lord took me as I am, and everything I have become, or will become is not by what I am, but by what He is in me!

                                                                   iii.      God's Grace!

                                                                     iv.      God's Grace: A prominent Old Testament word describing God's grace is chesed. This word speaks of deliverance from enemies, affliction, or adversity. It also denotes enablement, daily guidance, forgiveness, and preservation. The New Testament word is Charis. It focuses on the provision of salvation.

b.     His Grace bestowed upon me is NOT in vain!
                                                                         i.      It was NOT without effect

                                                                      ii.      Also meaning, it IS without effect in many!
1.      Many receive God's Grace, with no effect!
                                                                   iii.      Why was it of effect in Paul? He tells us! "Because I labored more abundantly than them." VS 10

1.      Not I, but the Grace of God which was with me.

2.      This is with all believers who look at the cross!
a.      I Corinthians 1:17

                                                                         i.      Whether it was me or the other Apostles, we preach, and so you believed.

1.      False teachers were trying to turn the Corinthians faith away from the resurrection.

The Gospel that Salvation is founded upon is the New Testament, which was purchased with the death and resurrection of Christ, and fundamental to receiving Salvation.

If you believed at first, then wandered, you walked away from your Salvation.

How can you have Salvation when you do not believe the foundation?

There were so many who had witnessed at Paul's time the resurrected Christ. If it were not true, there would not have been over 500 people risking death for blasphemy as witnesses.

Everything that we are or become is not by who we are, for we are NOT worthy, but by God's Grace, bestowed unto us TO DO A WORK, in us and our lives so that we too may be a light unto this world, and an instrument to bring others unto Christ and Salvation!

I know I am not worthy, however, because of the Cross and Jesus Christ purchasing a New Covenant with God, I can be part of that, and accepted by God because of His Grace.

I am what I am, take me as I am, renew my mind, give me a mind like Christ, make me a new creation, a new creature, let the old pass away!

Want to learn more about Salvation and Getting Saved?    CLICK HERE!

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