Why are we already talking about the resurrection when Easter is still months away, you might ask? We are talking about the resurrection because my church pastors are doing a series on it and I love sharing their wisdom with you. On the first Sunday of the new year, the sermon title was Why the Resurrection Matters. The resurrection matters a lot and here's why.
*The following are my Bible Study notes based on my pastor's sermon titled Why the Resurrection Matters.
Why the Resurrection Matters
The Scripture text for the lesson Why the Resurrection Matters is 1 Corinthians 15:12-34.
Let's start the new year off with a positive expectation. Expect God to move in 2024, and then let's join Him in that movement. Instead of asking, "What am I going to do in 2024," let's ask, "What is God going to do in 2024?"
The church at Corinth wanted to know if the resurrection of the dead is real. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:17 that if Jesus has not been raised, then our faith is useless.
Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, your faith also is in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:12-14
If there is no resurrection of the dead, there is tragedy.
The Tragedy of No Resurrection
No resurrection of the dead would be a tragedy for so many reasons. Without the resurrection . . .
1. Our faith is in vain.
2. Preaching is in vain.
3. We are misrepresenting God.
Moreover, we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 1 Corinthians 15:15
4. We are still in our sin.
For if the dead are not raised, then not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 1 Corinthians 15:16-17
5. Faith in Jesus has no useful result.
6. Loved ones who have passed away are gone forever.
7. We have no hope.
8. We have no joy.
9. We have no salvation.
10. If the only hope we have is here on this earth, then we are a people to be pitied.
Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ only in this life, we are of all people most to be pitied. 1 Corinthians 15:18-19
Thank the Lord for verse 20! But Jesus!
The Power of the Resurrection
Paul was writing the church at Corinth with a spirit of undeniable truth because he had personally experienced an encounter with Jesus. Paul had no reason to make up a false story. In fact, he was eventually killed for it. Paul's encounter with Jesus was real, not a lie. Paul had experienced something, a truth that had to be told.
Before Paul's encounter with Jesus, he had hated Him. Paul had hated Jesus. He had actively participated in the persecution of Jesus' followers, but his encounter with Jesus changed everything. Paul knew that Jesus was resurrected and there was (and IS) power in the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
But the fact is, Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man death came, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to our God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is clear that this excludes the Father who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all. 1 Corinthians 15:20-28
Through Jesus came life! Just as Jesus was raised from the dead, so shall we!
The Personal Impact of the Resurrection
Because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, we have an active faith and we learn from truthful preaching. As believers in the resurrection, we represent God truthfully. We are no longer bound by our sin. Our faith produces fruitful results. Our loved ones in Jesus who have passed away are not lost forever. They are alive! We have hope, joy, and salvation. We are not a people to be pitied. We are a people loved by a living God.
For otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them? Why are we also in danger every hour? I affirm, brothers and sisters, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, that I die daily. If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what good is it to me? If the dead are not raised, let’s eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. Do not be deceived: “Bad company corrupts good morals.” Sober up morally and stop sinning, for some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.
What a tragedy it is to not know Jesus.
Is the resurrection of Jesus personal to you? If you have not experienced the saving power of Jesus, then I invite you to learn more about how you can know Jesus personally here.
If you are a believer, don't be quiet about it! Tell somebody. Tell a lot of people.
Who should you tell today?
Expect God to move!
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