Sunday, June 21, 2015

Paul's Epistles - 1 Corinthians Part 29 – THE RESURRECTION 2

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 of Christ and of the dead.

SCRIPTURE REFERENCE I Corinthians 15:12-34

                 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
29 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?30 And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31 I face death every day—yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord.32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,
“Let us eat and drink,
    for tomorrow we die.”
33 Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” 34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.

a.      Old belief's and bad habits
                            i.      Foundational teaching of Christianity
1.      Christ was raised from death by God
2.      This is Doctrine of Christ, and cannot be debated!

                         ii.      The Corinthian church, either from Coptic Egyptian (Gnostic) influence or Sadducee teaching was teaching that Christ had not been raised from the dead because there was no resurrection.

                      iii.      It was the belief of Sadducees that there was no afterlife.

                        iv.      Remember Paul when standing before the Sanhedrin dropped the bomb of resurrection while on trial, causing a great debate between the Sadducee's and Pharisee's.

b.     The Resurrection of Christ DID take place
                            i.      However, Paul stresses the fact that Christ DID indeed get raised by God from the dead.

                         ii.      If Christ did not shed blood, then no New Covenant was purchased!
1.                     As Jesus completed his last Passover meal with his disciples, he took the final cup and said, "This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you" (Luke 22:20).

2.                                                Matthew records that he said the cup represented his blood, shed, "for the remission of sins." (Matthew 26:28). 

                      iii.      Atonement and Resurrection are two great foundation stones of the Gospel, and if either of them is denied, then the Gospel ceases to exist.

c.      Two Covenants with God
                            i.      Paul makes it painfully clear, "For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins."

                         ii.      There are two consecutive covenants with God in effect right now. The First (The Law of Moses) which ALL will be judged by and found guilty because “There is no one righteous, not even one;11     there is no one who understands;  there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good,  not even one."  Romans 3:11-12

                      iii.      The Second Covenant (purchased with Christ's Blood proved by Resurrection) is the Law of Love, whereby all who take part in it, will bypass judgment, not because they are worthy, perfect, etc..., but because the requirement for their sin (Second Death) has been satisfied through Christ!

                        iv.      ALL will find themselves subject to the First Covenant, but can exercise their free will to submit to the Second!

a.      Christ was the Firstfruits of the dead
                            i.      Christ is the firstfruits of the Resurrection
1.      Meaning there will be more to follow!

b.     He will come (Second Coming)
                            i.      This is The Rapture

1.      Some argue there is no rapture, sometimes with ridiculous statements as proof, such as
a.      "The word rapture does not even appear in the bible"
                                                                                        i.   Well, neither does the word Bible, Car, Tuna fish, Xbox or Guitar.

b.     Then there is the Pre-Tribulation, Tribulation, Post-Tribulation debate.
                                                                                        i.   Uh, they are all correct, different raptures for different people and reasons.

                         ii.      Paul makes it simple...If Christ didn't rise from the dead, then there is no New Covenant, and no one else will rise, however, we know He did, therefore, as scripture and prophecy say in the Word of God, Christ is the Firstfruits, and more will be raised!

c.      Then Christ will be subject once more to God the Father
                            i.      After Christ's Second Coming, those who belong to Him are raised from the dead, all that was made subject to Christ (God the Father made all things subject to Jesus at the Cross) will be handed back to God the Father.

1.      Why did God make everything subject to Christ?
a.      So He could be Lord to those who submitted to Him

2.      Why does Christ give that authority back to God the Father AFTER the Resurrection?

a.      Because by this point, all who would submit to Jesus for Salvation have.

b.     Once this takes place, it is time for the JUDGMENT, and then God will destroy the world and everything in it.

c.      There will then be a New Earth, New Jerusalem, and New Heaven which has never seen sin!

a.      I face death every day!
                            i.      Would I face death for a lie?
                         ii.      Would you?

b.     If Christ is not raised
                            i.      Isaiah 22:13 "But see, there is joy and revelry, slaughtering of cattle and killing of sheep, eating of meat and drinking of wine!"Let us eat and drink," you say, "for tomorrow we die!"

c.      Don't be mislead
                            i.      “Bad company corrupts good character.”
1.      Does it matter who you hang out with in life, who your friends are?
a.      YES!

b.     This is why scripture tells us we MUST congregate with other believers!

c.      Why;
                                                                            i.       For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20

                                                                         ii.      “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing,” Hebrews 10:25

2.      We are influenced by our surroundings. If we are new believers Jesus warns us that the seed which was planted in us (the Word) may be choked out and die because of whom we chose to be around. If we have believed for some time, we may still be influenced negatively, and are warned that if we help a brother out of sin, to be careful not to get snared into the same sin!


Stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.

What was the "sin" Paul is speaking of here?

Believing and teaching that Christ did not rise from the dead, and that there was no resurrection for Him or anyone else.

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

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