Covenant Words
Covenant Words

Episode 591 · 5 months ago

Day of Resurrection

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1 Corinthians 15:35-58

Let's pray together. Lord, we now ask that you would pour out your Holy Spirit on us, that we might come to see the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, in the gospel of the Sun, which came into the world at the perfect time, at the fullness of time, when everything had been arranged exactly according to your pleasure, that Jesus might be made known in the world, that a light shining in the darkness, which would not, and has not and will never be overcome. We praise you for the peace that we have in him, for the hope of the resurrection. We asked that you would bless us in these truths this morning. We pray this in Jesus name. Amen. These remain standing, if you're able to and turn with me to first Corinthians, Chapter Fifteen. First Corinthians fifteen versus thirty five through the end of the chapter. Paul continues here addressing this question that people were raising, a doubt that folks were having about the truth of the resurrection of the dead. Is it really happening? Maybe it's not happening, and he begins with this objection our the dead raised, and he speaks to this and he gives us much comfort and encouragement. First Corinthians, Chapter Fifteen, verse Thirty Five. But someone will someone will ask how are the dead raised with? What kind of body do they come foolish person, what you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of weeds or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of its seed, of seed it's and to each kind of seed its own body. For Not all flesh is the same. But there is one kind for humans, another kind for animals, another for birds, another for fish. There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind and the glory of the earthly is of another. There is one glory of The Sun and another glory of the Moon and another glory of the stars, for Stars differ from Star in glory. So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is...

...raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. Thus it is written the first man, Adam, became a life giving being, where a life a living being. The last atom became a life giving spirit. But it is not the spiritual that is first, but the natural, then the spiritual. The first man was from the earth, a man of dust. The second man is from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, as is the man of Heaven, so also are those who are of Heaven. Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear image, the image of the man of heaven. I tell you this, brother's flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, for the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised imperishable and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written death is swallowed up in victory. Oh death, where is your victory? Oh death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your Labor is not in vain. Amen, please be seated. In this life we often find ourselves trying to get over the next hill. We find ourselves trying to get through the current problem, trying to have a little bit of hope for the future. I'm often feeling like a mouse scrambling around in amaze that it doesn't know, looking for some bit of cheese, hoping that we will find it, but hitting dead end after dead end after dead end. We find ourselves looking for this hope because because there...

...are so many problems in our world, so many things we struggle against daily in our in our thoughts, in our bodies, in our communities, in our churches, everywhere we look we find the effects of sin. We feel that this world is made of dust and people made of the man of dust. It crumbles around us, it decays, it it falls apart. Not a few of you received some bit of news this week that was troubling. That was another realization that yet again things are falling apart, yet again another dead end. And so we look for hope, but we often look in all the wrong places, or at least for a hope that's lasting, a hope that sustains, a hope that says this thing that I'm doing, this project that I'm working on, this life that I'm living, is not in vain. We try to find it in medicine, in Ai, in improving our situations, in money and fame, and sometimes, when we can't find it, we just give up and despair and discouragement. We say, well, I'm just going back to bed. We look for hope in these places, we don't find it. Over and over again we we don't find it. You can read stories the scripture of them, scriptures themselves, about people who chased after everything possible thing that one could chase after and the hopes of finding meaning, satisfaction, fulfillment, peace. And everywhere they looked, as far as they could possibly pursue it, they found yet another dead end. And so it's really remarkable when Paul ends this passage and says, therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord Your Labor is not in vain. To give that kind of promise, a promise from the very word of God that your Labor or life is not in vain, is a really excellent promise. It's an excellent command. On what could it possibly be based? What could possibly give him and give us a reason to say I can be immovable, I can be steadfast, I can go about my life and my calling in this world despite all the frustrations, despite the reality of death itself, and know that it's not in vain. The reason for that, the hope...

...for that, is what Paul gives to us in these verses, and it's the hope of a real resurrection of the dead, not a metaphorical resurrection in which we just experience of the feeling of hope, but a literal resurrection of dead, which is described by things like imperishable glory, honor, power, a real resurrection from the dead, this real thing that has begun in history and will find its conclusion, that we can press on, immovable, steadfast, not giving up and trust in the Lord. So we come, at the beginning of this to the objection, to this this hope that he offers to us, this hope that he promises to us in the resurrection, and it's this in verse thirty five. How are the dead raised? Right, death is a problem for life. Right. How do you pour Abul of cereal when you have an empty cereal box? Right, it doesn't work. How do you how do you build a business when you have no money to build it? How do you find a friend when no one around? How do you live when you've died? Death is a real problem. It's IT'S A it's a legitimate question. With what kind of body will someone be raised? You imagine somebody who was put in the ground two thousand, three thousand, six thousand years ago and you raise them up. Okay, what kind of a resurrection is that? It's a gross one, it's a dishonorable one. It's one that would just slam in your face the pot of what perishing means, what death means, what it means to be a person made in the man, in the image of the man of dust. And kind of life is that? And so Paul explains. Well, first he calls US fools, he says you foolish person, and then he explains what you so does not come to life unless it dies, and he uses the metaphor of a seed as rerection. itself is not a metaphor, but he explains the resurrection using this metaphor of a seed and it's his point is simply this. What you put in the ground is not what comes up right. This is so fun and I hope you all have done this at some point. I'm kids. If you haven't done this yet, should do this. You should get used and you should put it in the ground and should water it and...

...give it some sunlight and watch what happens. It's amazing, this hard, tiny little thing which you could put on your counter and it'll sit there for years. Write. You sew it, which means you put it in the ground, you give it some water and get something like an all of a sudden this green thing pops up, and then a leaf and then maybe a flower and then, in some cases, food that you can eat and enjoy and and prepare and share. It's an amazing thing and Paul Compares The resurrection like this. Yes, what is sown in the ground is perishable, but that's not what comes up. It's like a seed. We're over. He goes on to say, God gives of the body as he has chosen, in the same way that the creation, the first world that he was made, that he made, was various and diverse. There sun and moon and stars, animals of various kind, the fish in the sea, the birds in the heavens, the livestock land, all of these things odd made humans as well, and each various, each had a glory according to its own kind. The seeds that we plant in this world, they're they're various and they come up differently. Paul says the same thing here. When the resurrection to have the dead happens, it's not just a big pile of dust. And the resurrection of the dead happens this glorious life, similar to what happened at the beginning, but different in some ways, as different as a seed is to the plant that comes out of the seed. That's what will experience. It's an amazing thing to consider a world filled with all the kind of diversity that God first created it with at this whole other level. It's a wondrous thing to think about. It's a great hope to look forward to. And what are some of the differences between what goes into the ground and what what comes up when the Lord returns, when the trumpets sounds and the dead are raised? Well, he gives us these comparisons and contrasts. First, he describes it is that which is perishable will be imperishable. Right, you have all looked at a food package, or maybe even if you haven't looked and notice the labeling. You've experienced food perishing and you know that when food goes bad, you don't eat it. It makes you sick. It's awful. It's this, this little little tupperware box filled with the curse. Right, you can see it right there, you can smell it. You get rid of it as fast as you can. Right. What is perishable and...

...what actually perishes is awful. We don't keep those things around. We build our lives around the fact that much of what happens perishes. How we spend our money, how we live our lives, how we don't live our lives, all these things. What Paul says is this perishable world, these perishable bodies that we experience now, will be different. And how will they be different? It will be imperishable. They will not go bad, they will never die. There will never be this moment where you're you're kind of wondering, I wonder how much more time I have to live? How many more week, more years, how many more minutes? It will be imperishable. He also describes what is sown and what is raised as compared to what is by these terms dishonor and glory. Right. When we we may honor the body of dead, and we rightly should, but it is not a beautiful thing when a body dies. It's often a horrible thing, ugly thing, an evil thing, we can say. It is something that sometimes we don't even look at the bodies because of of what happens at death. And and then he we compare this to what is to come. A glory, a glory, glory that shines, glory that impresses you, glorious, something that has a weightiness to it, a thing that you pray is, a thing that you look at and say that is awesome, that is good, and that's what we will experience, and that was what we will see with our bodies, not something to be buried, not something to be put away, but something to rejoice in and experience and live with and in forever, something that will shine with very glory of God. Especially is as we consider that this resurrection is manifesting our life in Christ, the glory of God shining in and through us and redounding to him, to the praise of his name. Next description is he gives is that of weakness and power. Right as we die, especially if it is over a long period of time, weakness comes right first you're a little bit sick, when you're a little bit more sick and your mind starts to go, and then you're sleeping more and more and it's hard to do things right and it's very difficult to experience this. It's very difficult to watch. Some of you are experiencing these things now. Some of you have experienced them or are with family members, are friends that are...

...going through these things. It's all and the weakness. I'm not only that surround that is involved in death itself, but everything that surrounds at the feeling like you can't do anything and you can't help and you just you're trying so much to just do something. All this feels so futile. The feeling of weakness, this, the feeling of vulnerability, will be replaced at the resurrection with power, not Vanity and weakness and falling apart, but power. What is sown in weakness will be raised in power, bodies that will be able to do things, work, praise, celebrate, eat, the Lord Jesus after his death, that with his disciples and eight things. That's an amazing thing. And the power not only to eat but lift our hands and little our voices and sing forever the praise of God, to join with the saints living forever in Him. The final contrast he gives is that which is natural compared to that which is spiritual. Now, our body is will be true bodies, but he makes this compact contrast, particularly in comparison with this world and the world to come, or Earth and heaven. He fills this out by giving us, by helping us to understand the difference between Adam, the first atom, and the last atom Christ. He says the first Adam was a life big life, a living being. The last atom was a life giving spirit. The first one was of dust, the last one was of heaven, meaning that as we are born again, as we are resurrected from the dead, we we participate in all of our lives, including our bodies, in this heavenly kingdom that is to come, Heaven that Christ now reigns in a world that is imperishable, a world that is filled with glory and honor and power, the world that doesn't fall apart, a world that is not in vain, a world that is everlasting and good. And that's why Paul says flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. That's why he says not only is the resurrection going to happen, but it must happen. It's not something that is a got nice thing, but it is a requirement.

He says, the the body must put on the imperishable, the perishable must put on the imperishable, the dishonorable bust put on glory. These things must happen. We must be born again of the image of the man of heaven. You and I, in other words, must be made fit for a kingdom that is to come this helps us to think about heaven a little bit. A lot of people think that wonder, worry that heaven might be a boring place. What could possibly go on them? There's so much drama in our lives with death and sickness and all these things. What what could possibly happen? One Way to think about this is that heaven doesn't really make sense if you're thinking about it in terms of your life, that is now. If you try to imagine your body and your life and soul and all these things as they are now, when you implant them into heaven, that's not going to work. It doesn't make sense. You probably would get bored, you get frustrated, you and whatever right. The point is is that Paul is saying here that I'm God makes us fit for that place. We are not fit for it apart from this resurrection. When we try to imagine living in heaven and being eternally in the presence of God according to our flesh, it doesn't make sense. But God solve this this for us by sending Jesus into the world to become our resurrection, to die the day we deserve, to give us a life and a righteousness that we need. He prepares us for this existence, in this life everlasting, which we will do nothing but enjoy and praise God and glorify him forever. It's your best day in your imagination, but for real and better forever, and then the next best day after that that you can imagine for real and forever and beyond that. God promises to us, in our resurrected bodies, in the the world into which he will bring us, a life that is full of peace, joy and meaningfulness and fulfillment and community and love, all the things that we hope for and constantly hit dead ends against. We will have and we'll have it completely, and we will have it in a way that doesn't sort of fall apart or fall through our fingers. Will have it in a way that doesn't...

...sort of meet yet with another phase of trials and another set of tears that doesn't end yet again and shame and in sorrow, but just grows and grows and grows. And that is because Jesus has solved the fundamental problem that we all have, whether we are alive or dead, when he returns, and that problem is sin. That's the problem that is infecting everything, that is the problem that is cursing everything, as Paul says in Verse Fifty Six. He says the sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the law. If you've ever been with someone who is dying or you felt this in your own body, like this isn't natural, you're right. It's not how things were supposed to be. It's a consequence of something that happened. It's a consequence of sin. It's a disruption to the world that God made. It's a weird thing. Right, your your body, everything sort of long fire. Right, you're eating, you're sleeping, you're waking up, you're eating or sleeping, you're waking up, going through your life that all of a sudden you're sick, all of a sudden your leg hurts, all of a sudden your eyes don't work. Why does that coming from? Sure we know about disease and infection in this and that, but why? It's because of sin. It's because that first man, who is our representative, he sinned. We plunged us all into sin and the power of sin, Paul says, is the law. Not that the law itself is bad, but it has this way of sparking sin in US and showing sin, Paul says in Romans for fifteen, for the law brings wrath. But where there's no law, there's no transgression. When the law comes to us, we see our sin. Let me read a few more verses to you, just three from Romans, Chapter Seven, verse five, Verse Eight, in verse thirteen. Romans seven, verse five, Pulse says, while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. Let me read it one more time. While we were living in the flesh, are sinful passions aroused by the law. You know what this is like. Right, don't put your I'm going to put these cookies on the counter. Nobody take one immediately, like I want a cookie. Right. Here are the rules at work. We do this, we do this. You got to make sure you follow these policies and immediately your thinking, I really have to do that. Is there way I can get around this? Right, the law comes, then the...

...laws good. There's nothing wrong with God's law. But because there's a problem inside, our sinful passions, here that law and get to work and start bearing fruit, bearing consequences, bearing fruit for death. That's verse five. Listen to verse eight. But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. Sin, here's the commandment and runs for it, takes that opportunity. Verse Thirteen. Did that which is good, the law, then bring death to me? No, by no means. It was sin producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin and through the commandment might become sin and through the commandment, might become sinful beyond measure. So that's what Paul's getting out here. And First Corinthians. The sting of death is sin and the power of sin is the law. So how does Jesus solve this? By being a sacrifice for our sin. He fulfills the righteous commandment of the law. He earns for us the righteousness that we need. He changes the constitution of our souls so that we start to love the law, so that we start to love God. We want to be with him instead of flee from him, we want to experience and in our lives, lives instead of run from him, and this life he offers, he freely gives to all who simply put their faith in the resurrected one who put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. How do we have the victory? What does Paul say in Verse Fifty Seven? He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. We don't just bust through a dead end one day it's hey, yeah, I figured it out. No, it's dead end, dead and Dead End, until Christ picks us up out of the maze and puts us into a world when which we can live forever, with bodies that we are fit forever and life that is fully enjoyed forever on the God. Because Jesus solves that problem and because we have the proof of it through his own resurrection from the dead. Brothers and sisters, we can have confidence in this life, in spite of death, in spite of the trials we have, in spite of the fears that we face and the difficulties that we are now surrounding us and will continue to surround us. We can look death in its face and mock it. We can say, Oh death, where is your victory? Oh death, where is your sting? And we can say that because we know, and I love this image, death is s wallowed up in victory.

The Victorious Work of Christ. Just home, that's gone. It's God. Death is swallowed up in victory, just like like darkness, just as immediately removed when there is light. That's who Jesus is and that's what he does, and when we put our hope in that, we can know that our labor is not in vain, our lives are not in vain, our deaths are not in vain. So whatever dogs you in this life, whatever troubles you and gets you down, whatever has you at the moment feeling desperate, beloved, do not lose heart. Put Your faith in the Lord Jesus, that you may die in peace and you may rise imperishable, glorious and filled with his power forever. Let's pray our Lord God. We ask that you would bless us in the truth of the Gospel, this good news that Jesus Christ comes into this world to raise the dead. We thank you for this resurrection, life that is already begun in us. We thank you that we have died in Christ and have been baptized into his death and are surely now even alive, having experienced a kind of beginning resurrection, a first resurrection, and waiting now just for the completion of these things. Lord, as we face these trials and difficulties in our lives, even perhaps one of the greatest ones, death itself, we asked that you would help us not to lose heart, but to look to you and for your salvation. And, Lord, we ask that you would help us to proclaim this hope to dying world, help us to be bold about telling people the good news that we have received, a news, a news, news that comes into our lives and promises us hope, that tells us that we can live and our living is not in vain because we live in the Lord and in his work. We ask, Lord, that as we proclaim this message, as we invite others to come and to hear, that many would receive and begin to live for the first time, seeing and hoping and rejoicing in the goodness of God, our maker and Redeemer. Lord, we ask also that, as we live this new life in Christ, that you would help us to continue to put to death that flesh of nature in us, help us to give our members no longer over to unroighteousness, which brings forth the fruit of death,...

...but to righteousness to God in Christ, that we might enjoy and participate in that life that he gives to us. May We be a people that are marked more and more by that resurrection life, by hope, by peace, by love, by Joy, gentleness, faithfulness self control. Lord, we asked that you would strengthen us in these things, bear forth this fruit and we and that others may see it and come to you and give you glory. We also pray, Lord, for those among us who are particularly burdens morning, who are seeing the struggles and the trials of this life, who feel the very real pain of suffering, of death, perhaps, those who are afraid, who are crying, who are sad, on those who wonder what is going to happen next, will those who fear even the next day or week or month. We asked, Lord, that you would give them your peace and your comfort in Christ and help us to mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice, all in the Lord Jesus Christ, who sympathizes with those in our weaknesses and gives us a hope for strength. We ask, Lord, that you would bless us in these things, and we pray this in Jesus the name Amen.

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