Text: 1 Corinthians 15:17-19
Topic: Because of the Resurrection
We are presently going through great adversity. Death is on our minds! Because of the coronavirus pandemic, we have all had to think about death in some form. Whether it is contemplating our own mortality or the death of someone we know or knew; there is no way to avoid it at this time.
Some of us have an intense fear of death all around us. Yes, some of us have fear of us dying.
It is the fear of the unknown: What happens when I do? Where will I go when I die? Your anxiety makes my sermon even more relevant today.
Today is Resurrection Sunday or Easter Sunday! Today we celebrate the resurrection power.
The resurrection is central to Christians. If you celebrate Resurrection Sunday once per year, you are missing out! As we live the Christian life, we literally live and walk in the resurrection power every day. We Christians cannot talk about Resurrection without talking about Jesus…He was raised from the dead on the third day. There are those persons who deny the resurrection of Jesus. Hear me:
The Resurrection of Jesus is credible and believable. Dr. Geisler argued that, “the most outstanding proof that Jesus rose from the dead is that He was seen by more than 500 people on twelve different occasions.”
There is an equally credible reference in 1 Corinthians 15:7, James the half-brother of Jesus saw him after His resurrection.
Jesus’ own brother would not be fooled. (1 Corinthians 15:7 say…He was seen of James). James knew his own brother! After all, they were raised together, and knew each other intimately since childhood! More than that, James had been an unbeliever, a skeptic who had not believed yet that Jesus was the Messiah. He later believed; was converted; and he became a Christian leader and a martyr (Acts 15:13; 21:18, James 1:1, Acts 16:31)
The purpose of the resurrection-- Christ died as the necessary sacrifice for our sins. As Paul puts it, “He was raised to life because of our justification” (Rom 4:25). The resurrection of Jesus signals the Christian overcoming death.
The power of the resurrection Broke the bond of sin and death and set us free forever. He left for us an empty tomb. Jesus is alive! We don’t worship a dead Christ; We don’t follow a dead Christ! We worship a loving Christ with whom we have a relationship. Christianity is a relationship with a living Savior, a Savior we can know, a Savior who infuses our life and empowers us; A Savior who transforms us into his likeness.
Allow me to share the following truths with you:
First: Because of the resurrection we are forgiven of our sins
Sin has a hold on all of us. Without God, we are slaves to sin. But Christ, through his death and resurrection, frees us from the power of sin.
How is the resurrection connected to our forgiveness? Isn't it the death of Jesus that takes away our sin, because he bore our sins and took our judgment (1 Corinthians 15:3)? The connection with the resurrection is very important. Romans 4:25 puts it like this,"he was handed over [to death] on account of our transgressions, and he was raised on account of our justification."
My charge to you this morning s this! Live Free with Resurrection Power, which sets you free from the consequences of sin. John 8: 36 says, “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”
Romans 6:4 says, “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death…even so we also should walk in newness of life” (KJV).
Second: Because of the resurrection we have been given the power to conquer Sin (Ephesians 4:24)
God gives us the power to break those habits -- but we must first know we have the power! That is why Paul has such a strong desire for this knowledge. God empowers us not only to defeat sin but also to share and display his loving message to the world. Jesus in sermon [The Beatitudes], says, "You are the light of the world."
Hear the Good News! God shows his power by working through us, by working mightily through us, even though we are weak and unworthy.
Third. Because of the resurrection our faith is well-founded
The death of Jesus proves his love for us, and the resurrection proves his power over every enemy of life. And so, there is someone you and I can count on. Someone absolutely trustworthy. Someone who will never let you down. Jesus is alive to be trusted. YOU HAVE A FRIEND IN JESUS, [WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS]
Finally, Because of the resurrection those who have died in Christ, will live again.In 1 Corinthians 15:20, Paul says, because Christ is raised those who have fallen asleep in him—those who have died in faith—have not perished; they are alive. They will live forever. They will enter into the joy of their Lord.
Yes, because of the Resurrection:
§ We have a friend that we can count on; A glorified Jesus who is utterly reliable;
§ We have guidance and unchanging truth and a glorified Jesus who is the absolute foundation for truth and righteousness;
§ We have received a life that is not pitiable but enviable.
§ In spite the present difficult and uncertain times, we can have a foretaste of everlasting joy in this world. More so, this life will not be ended by death, for the glorified Jesus; the author of life, the victor over death, and the first fruit of those who have fallen asleep, Jesus Christ himself will welcome us into Eternal Life.
Listen to Paul, And Christ has completely conquered death, giving us the greatest assurance of eternal certainty, that is to have life eternal with Christ!§ Nothing brings us more joy than the hope of the resurrection.
Therefore, I urge you with all my heart this morning to lift up your heart and say with the choirs on earth and in heaven: “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain and hath redeemed us to God by his blood to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing. Amen.”
As the death of Christ removes the penalty of sin and declares the believer to be righteous before God, the Resurrection of the Lord empowers the believer in a transformed life. Both aspects are divine works of grace. By Christ’s Crucifixion, JESUS becomes OUR Savior; by His Resurrection, He becomes our Lord.
Jesus, the Resurrected One, has the power to determine our destiny. Listen to him, as it is recorded in Revelation 1:18: “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.”
Resurrection life is available to all of us, but we must receive it by faith. We don’t have to wake up in the morning or go to bed at night feeling afraid, anxious or lonely. We should wake up every morning and declare, “The resurrection life of God is living in me today!” When last have you prayed? When you experience feelings of loneliness, reach out in prayer to Jesus and receive comfort knowing he is with you.
Hear me today: Because of Christ resurrection; Because of Easter we have this hope:
Those who die in the Lord, will all be resurrected; they will be raised up again. These bodies will rise from the grave. Yes! Believers will be granted eternal life.
When I think about the thousands of people dying from coronavirus pandemic. It grieves my heart! They are somebody’s fathers, mothers, grandpa, grandma, etc. These devastating results of this pandemic, including death will be 100% eradicated from those who died in faith.
That is the promise of our God. That is where our hope rests. That is where the Word points us, to Jesus who died and who is now alive. What happened to Him on Easter Morning will happen to you and me on the Last Day.
Fear not! Live in hope of the resurrection! This song captures the essence of my sermon:
Some glad morning when this life is over
I'll fly away
To that home on God's celestial shore
I'll fly away,
Just a few more weary days and then
I'll fly away
To a land where joys will never end
I'll fly away.
I'll fly away, oh glory
I'll fly away in the morning
When I die Hallelujah, by and by
I'll fly away.
Do you know the risen Lord?
He can make that difference in your life this morning.
You choose Jesus today as your Lord, you choose life and guarantee your resurrection.
You neglect Jesus today, you choose death. I implore you to choose life!
I wish you all a blessed Easter Sunday!
Rev. Dr. Peter E. Grinion, Pastor