Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode 590 · 5 months ago

Promise of the Resurrection (1 Cor 15:12-34)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

1 Cor 15:12-34

Please remain standing if you're able. And let's turn to First Corinthians, Chapter Fifteen, twelve through thirty four, as we continue preaching through, and I'm preaching, you are listening. As we continue, I'm going through this book of God's Word, First Corinthians Chapter Fifteen. So I'm going to begin in verse twelve and read through thirty four, and then next week we will hear the rest of the chapter. bloved. The grass withers and the foul flower fades, but the word of the Lord stands forever. So let's hear it now. If, if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of 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 and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise, if it is true that the dead are not raised, for if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised, and if Christ is not up and raised, your faith is feudal and you are still in your sins, then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are, of all people, most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came, death by a man has come also the resurrection...

...of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive, but each in his own order. Christ the first fruits. Then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the Kingdom to God the father, after destroying every rule and every authority and and power, for he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death, for God has put all things in subjection under his feet. But when it says all things are put in subjection, it is plain that he is accepted who put all things in subjection under him, when all things are subjected to him, than the sun himself will also be subjected to him, who put all things in subjection under him, that God may be all in all. Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the death. If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? Why are we in danger every hour? I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus, Our Lord. I die every day. What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts of Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. Do not be deceived. Bad Company ruins good morals. Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning, for some of you have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame. May God bless us and help us not to be ashamed but to learn the knowledge of God in Christ may be seated. Last time I emphasized that...

...importance of being reminded of the Gospel, the importance of US knowing what it is, namely that Jesus Christ save sinners from their sins in believing it and holding fast to it and constantly remembering it over and over and over again and living in light of it. That kind of plane speaking and plane preaching is what Paul does here in our letter and I hope to do as well today as I deliver God's word to you. There is a lot of just honesty here, a lot of plane speaking, a lot of clarity about who we are what we're doing. These things are so important to remember. It seems from the passage that the Corinthians were forgetting in some ways. I'm forgetting in such a way that Paul even says you have no knowledge of God, you are being deceived. They seem to have come into bad company and which was ruining them, company which was teaching or impressing upon them this false idea that there was no resurrection of the dead. Now Paul, of course, didn't preach this. He already told them these things. He came and he bill as he as he preached this message, as he proclaimed the gospel. The resurrection was at the core of that, the the work of Jesus Christ and his vindication, his vindication over death, his victory over death. These things were all plain. But somebody which they were listening to was saying, I don't really think there's a resurrection of the dead, a false doctrine which was very, very dangerous. Dangerous not just because it's bad to believe the wrong...

...things, but dangerous because it has all of these implications to their moral life. As he says at the end, bad company ruins good morals, but in so many other ways as well. Let's consider some of those ways this morning. What is Paul Point our attention to when he says let's think about what this means. Let's take this doctrine, this false doctrine, that there's no resurrection and t's that out. What are the implications of them? So the first thing he says is in verse thirteen. He says if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. So it's just a sort of obvious point. You can't say there's no resurrection from the dead, people aren't raised, and then say well, Christ is raised, because Christ is human. The Lord came into this world, he took on flesh and blood just like us, he took human nature on himself and he died. He died and he was buried, his death was confirmed and then he rose from the dead. But if we're going to deny the resurrection, that we have to deny the Christ is raised as well. And that leads to another implication that he says in verse fourteen. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain, pointless preaching, feudal faith. That means that everything that we've read about the context, about everything that we've read in the book of First Corinthians, it's just a waste of time, all of the instruction, all of the this is how you should live and this is how you should think about the Lord's supper and this is how you should treat one another and this is what the Ministry of the Gospel is. All of that, all of it is just pointless. It's totally vain, and that's true. Would be true of our lives as well. Living well, obeying the Lord the sacraments,...

...gathering them together, donating our time and our resources, calling each other things like brother and sister, longing to be together, singing together, serving one another, seeking reconciled relationships, prayer, Bible reading, everything doesn't even matter if Jesus hasn't been raised from the dead. Sadly, there are still churches today that don't believe Jesus rose from the dead, and yet they go about all of these outward activities of prayer and of teaching. They call us to love one another, to be active in the world, to be engaged in all of these ways, but the foundation for it all is gone. They don't believe in the in the core of it, and Paul says that's the point. If you're going to disregard the poor the core of it, then you might as well say let's eat and drink and be married, as he concludes at the end, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die and after that it's all over. It's pointless. So his preaching would be in vain, our faith would be in vain. He teases out another implication of it. If the resurrection didn't happen, if this if Jesus didn't really rise from the dead and reveal himself to marry and to Peter into the other apostles and the five hundred other witnesses, and on and on and on, then there are more implications. Verse Fifteen. We are even found to be misrepresenting God because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did...

...not raise. If it is true that the dead are not raised. Another was Paul saying. Not only is my preaching is pointless. All of this work and this energy, this dying every day that I'm doing is a waste of time. But on top of that, I'm missers it representing God, I'm blaspheming God, I'm taking the Lord's name in vain as the core of my message, like the core activity that Paul is doing, is misrepresenting God. If Jesus is not raised from the dead, everything he says, everything he does is a lie and an offense to God if Jesus has not been raised from the dead, because at the core of his testimony, testimony, is that God raised Jesus from the dead. And if God didn't say that, if God didn't do that, then Paul is a liar and most certainly under the wrath of the God that he misrepresents. A very serious thing. You can see that Paul takes his calling seriously. Speaking the truth, telling the truth, proclaiming the truth that Jesus did rise from the dead is, of is essential to how he thinks about his work and what he's doing. He continues on. Not only is he misrepresenting God, but he says if Christ has not been raised from the dead, and he emphasizes again, your faith is futile. And then he says in verse Seventeen, and you are still in your sins. All of this language that we read about in Psalm one, know three about the your sins being separated. You know from you, as far as the East is from the West, or language, about your sins being blotted out and every transgression that your soul and your state before God being made pure and spotless and holy. None of it ABS solutely,...

...none of it. Slavery, bondage, misery, shame, guilt, wrath. That's what you have. If Jesus didn't raise from the dead, if our hope is not in Christ, we are still in our sins. That part doesn't go away, because we're all born in Adam, because we're all born under under the UN into this humanity that, into this fallen humanity, as he will go on to say. The hope that we have, the love that we have, the the reason we get up in the morning, the reason we persevere and press on, all of it's gone. If we don't believe Jesus rose again from the dead, not only all of it gone and our feelings of that and our knowledge of that, but the consequences, of course, of still being in our sins. Will are for us. And you know what the wages of sin is, right? It's death. It's not resurrection, it's not life, it's death and hell, the wrath of God and judgements and justice for our sins. He goes on. There's more. In verse eighteen, he says, then, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have not really fallen asleep in Christ, they have perished. And if you look at Christians, if we have Christ and his hope only for this life, he says, we of all people are most to be pitied. So called Christians that deny the work of Christ on the Cross, people, whether they call themselves Christians or not, who deny the resurrection of the dead and then go on to offer the world some kind of hope that,...

...by Jesus's example, for expert for instance, we can all love each other more or by if we look at Jesus, we find inspiration for our lives. Paul says it's garbage. He says, if that's what we believe, it's all empty and we of all people are most to be pitied. We, if we believe those things, if we, in other words, if we deny the resurrection, if we deny the work of Christ on the Cross and the forgiveness of our sins, and then we go out into the world and try to be good people. We are not honorable, we are not wise, we are not to be well thought of or or important people in any way. He says, of all people in the world we are to be pitied the most. So, in light of all of that, Paul sort of banging his head against the wall. Well, how can you be thinking this? How can you be saying this? Jesus rose from the dead and it's essential to everything that we are doing, everything that we believe and in fact, Verse Twenty Now, Christ has been raised from the dead. This putting ourselves in these sort of other doctrinal shoes for the moment. Let's take ourselves out of them and come back into reality, the reality. The fact is that Jesus has been raised from the dead. He is, Paul describes him as the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. You've heard me use this metaphor a lot, not only because it's it's biblical,...

...but it's so helpful, I think, at least for me, and I hope it's helpful for you too, as God gives it to us here, the first fruits, right when we have a little pomegranate tree and these beautiful red flowers are starting to come out and it's so exciting when they do in those little flowers, they will turn into pomegranates. I know it's going to happen. It is happening. It's already begun that life of now. Just a little bit ago that pomegrant a tree did not look so hot. There's a bunch of sticks. Basically they were all brown. There were no leaves. All the leaves were on the ground, or maybe not even that anymore. But now it's beautiful and it's wonderful and it's coming to life and I know that, as I see those blossoms, those first fruits, that the rest will follow. It's happening. Life is now, spring is now, resurrection is now, and that is what has happened. In other words, Paul saying, not only has the resurrection occurred, the The resurrection of the dead. When you consider the thing of this a whole, it's already begun, as Jesus is the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. Another example of this that you can think about if you have a an Easter dinner next week. Is, at least the way in my family that we would do it sometimes is, you know, they're everybody would bring food and there'd be dishes all set out across the counter right, and you're kind of congregating right by the by the counter, you know, taking a chip and getting some dip, and you sort of eating the meal, even though it hasn't officially begun, right, or it hasn't begun in full. You know, not everybody is sitting at the table yet, and yet there you are, you're eating, you're enjoyed going, you're tasting of the things that are already...

...begun and about to happen. The resurrection of Christ is like that. The work has begun and his resurrection is a guarantee of our resurrection. What is the proof of that? Well, here's what Paul says in Verse Twenty One. For by a man, namely Adam, for by a man came death by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. You see his point. As death spread through one, life comes through the other. And so if Jesus Christ has risen from the dead and our faith is in him, then we two are raised with him, he goes on to say, but each in his own order, and this helps us to understand why the resurrection hasn't happened already. Why are we still here? Why do Christians still die, or fall asleep, as he puts it, as a way to encourage us to think about death. Death is so much the sting of it taken so much away that for the believers it is though we just fall asleep. Well, why is that still happening? And he has says, because there is an order about these things. Christ the first fruits and then, at his coming, those who belong to Christ. This is a reminder of what Jesus teaches on the Old Testament, teaches. The apostles teach that at the return of Jesus Christ, there will be a resurrection of the dead, a great resurrection of the dead, and which those who were who had previously died, will come to life, and there will be a great judgment, some to everlasting punishment and torment and some to everlasting blessing and salvation.

This resurrection of the dead is what we are looking forward to and it is going to come. Paul also mentions something else that happens in verses twenty four through twenty eight. He talks about the Kingdom of God coming into completion. He says that I then comes the end when he delivers the kingdom, the Kingdom to God, the father, after destroying every rule, every power or every authority and every power. He must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. Here Paul Speaks about Jesus, Christ, the son, as the sun incarnate, as the second person of the Trinity. Jesus is All will, all authority, all power and always has. Nothing has ever taken away from that, nothing is ever diminished for that. He is one with the father. He has all the glory, the father has all the honor, the father has all the rule. The scriptures tell us that as God spoke, as God made the world, he made it through the word that is Christ, and so we can say of Jesus that he made the world, he created the world. We can say of Jesus that he rules the world, that he exercises authority and power over the world, and so this is not referring to Jesus as the second person of of the Trinity. This is referring to Jesus as the sun incarnate, not denying his places the second person of the Trinity, but focusing particularly on his work as what the second Adam. What was Adam supposed to do? Fill the earth, subdue it. What was...

Adam supposed to do? He was supposed to expand that garden into a great kingdom of God, which God would then glorify in as a response to Adam's obedience. Did Adam do it? No, he did not. Adam instead plunge that world that he had get been given into death, into shame, into great many and great misses. The Lord Jesus, though, he comes as the second Adam not just to bring bring us who have believed in him to life, but to bring everything, all of the world, into this final consummated glory in such a way that Satan will never come into the garden again, will never come in and say did God really say and have a whole thing repeat over again. No, Jesus is the second Adam, but it's not just a restart, it's a finishing. He does and completes what Adam failed to do and he brings this kingdom into glory and he destroys all of the one all all that would seek to do us harm. The last enemy to be destroyed, of course, he says, is death itself. Death, which came as a curse to Adam and a curse to all mankind, is gone, totally gone, and instead the curse is is destroyed, death is done in and he will reign in life and victory forever. Practically, think about it this way. In Heaven, when Jesus brings all of these things and conquers all of these things and finishes this work that he has begun, when the resurrection comes, we're you're not going to ever need to...

...be on guard against a snake. You're never going to need to think. Wait a second, is that person to like if you were Adam? Is that person telling me the truth right now? or Eve did God really say? I don't know, I really like none of that. You will be able to live forever in perfect safety, not wondering if I disobey, will I really die, because you'll never disobey, because there will never be any threat against you, because death itself has been conquered. Everything will be completed and consummated and the great and Wondrous Glory of God through Christ, the Second Adam and our king, this son, then, where Adam failed and was plunged into death, will come into life, giving all obedience to the father, in the way that Adam failed to do, and fully glorified by the father in the way that Adam never was and is. God then unite himself to all of humanity through the God man, through his son. I have trouble finding the words, but here's how Paul puts it. That God may be all in all that, just this great divine unity, not not disregarding or undoing our places creatures, but somehow through the God man, will unite us all in him in this properfect glory that nothing and no one can undo,...

...a love that will be suffused and throughout everything, every relationship, every thought, every word, every deed, a life that just builds up and a fructifies right like from comes into this fruition that is forever and ever, a praise of God on the lips of men and angels and all creation that just sings for all eternity, never tiring, never losing hope. This glory is what Jesus achieved for us by dying on a cross for our sins, that God may be all in all, that God may be glorified over everything, and that we might participate and enjoy that forever. Well, to continue and finishing this passage, Paul then gives a couple more points. He says in Verse Twenty Nine, otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? This is a little bit of a head scratcher because baptism of the dead is not commanded in scripture. In fact, it goes against all of the theology of baptism. What seems to be happening here is that Paul is as he does in other places. He is speaking about a practice that he doesn't necessarily agree with, but he's conceding that. Look at what their actions based on what they are doing. You can see what this is true, as Paul appeals to pagan poets and all kinds of other things. He's saying if these people, and notice how he distances himself. But...

...in saying it that way, if people, these people are being baptized on the dead. If the dead aren't raised, why are they doing it? So he's sort of conceding that not necessarily that the practice is right, but that that they certainly believe this truth about the resurrection, or else they wouldn't be doing this. Then he makes it personal. He doesn't create any distance here in the next verse, he he talks about himself. He says, why do we do what we do if the resurrection were not true? He says, in danger every hour. If you read the life of Paul, you'll see not exaggerating too much, if at all. He says, brothers, with pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus, Our Lord, I die every day this life, he says, this life of mine, is not easy. It's hard and he gives us examples of this in other places. Constantly being pursued. I'm constantly being threatened his very life, people betraying him. But he sums it up this way. Here he says, if I fought with the beasts at Ephesus, right hand to hand calmbat and was willing to give up my life for the sake of the faith, if the dead are not raised again, it doesn't matter. And so he concludes with this wake up, wake up from your drunken stupor right he's shaking like a shaking the drunk church right. Wake Up, wake up, wake up, do not go on sinning. Have some knowledge of God. Be a shame. Look at yourself and put your hope in the resurrection so that you may be indeed wake up up when the Lord comes, so that you...

...would not be forever under the corruption and wrath signified and experienced and sin, but that you might belong to God, who is all in all and the glory of the resurrected life. And so that's our encouragement. This is Paul's message to us. He impresses us again, on our hearts again, the importance of the Gospel that he delivered, that Jesus Christ died for Sin and his resurrection was the vindication that he did as he said he would do. Let's not deny it, but I put our hope in it. Let's pray. Our heavenly father, we thank you for the resurrection of Christ, as we imagine what it would be like to remain in our sins, to remain as people that are unforgiven, that have the record of dead and all of its legal demands, not nailed on the cross but read out before us, the public accusation of every every sin in our lives, every thought, every word, every deed counted against us. What a horror, Lord Lord. Instead, you have given us a resurrection and a forgiveness and a hope that will never put us to shame. Indeed, through the work of the God man, Jesus Christ, death itself has been destroyed and the proof of it has already been come, as already come, and the resurrection of Christ and the manifestation of it all will come at the end when we are all raised from the dead, all who believe in him. We are because of that...

...faith, Lord, we are not most to be pitied, but instead we celebrate and we sing and we rejoice and we hope and we pray and we persevere and we are not anxious and we struggle and we strive and we are even willing to die for the sake of Christ that we might live forever in him. Lord, teach us these things, press them on to our hearts that they may never be erased. We confess our doubts, we confess the times in which we don't believe as we ought to believe, in which we don't hold his first importance, the things that we must hold as first importance. We confess our sins, which for which Christ died, and we asked that you would work in these and many other ways and forgive us and heal us. We give all Thanksgiving to you, all glory and honor to you, as you have honored us, and we ask that this light that you have put into us, a light that shines in the darkness, would shine to many, that many more might believe and put their hope in him, all to the praise and glory of your name. Amen,.

In-Stream Audio Search

NEW

Search across all episodes within this podcast

Episodes (630)