I Cor. 15:1 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. 9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them–yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.
The Resurrection of the Dead
12 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 to be pitied more than all men.
The Theme of our weekend and the title of this message is:
Raised To Life
I want to talk about:
The What we are celebrating this weekend is the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave!
The second pivotal historic event of all time.
The Why of its importance: If Christ had not been raised from the dead:
1. If the dead are not raised then “Christ Himself is not risen!”
2. “our preaching of it is empty, and your faith is also empty!”
3. “we are found as false witnesses of God, because we have
testified that God has raised up Christ from the dead!”
4. “our faith is futile if this is not true!”
5. “We are still in our sins if this is not true!”
6. “Those who have fallen asleep [died] in Christ, have perished!”
7. “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitied
8. Jesus was not truthful: Jesus answered them: “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.” John 2:19
Why Was it Necessary for Him to Die?
God is Holy
Although God is all merciful, all powerful and all forgiving, God is also holy, righteous and just.
But the LORD Almighty is exalted by his justice. The holiness of God is displayed by his righteousness. (NLT)
Sin and Holiness are Incompatible
Sin entered the world through one man’s disobedience – Adam, and now all of us are born into this “sin nature.”
When Adam sinned, sin entered the entire human race. Adam’s sin brought death, so death spread to everyone, for everyone sinned. (NLT)
For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (NLT)
Sin Separates Us from God
And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness. The unclean will not journey on it; it will be for those who walk in that Way; wicked fools will not go about on it. (NIV)
But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. (NIV)
Sin’s Punishment is Eternal Death
God’s holiness and justice demand that sin and rebellion be punished. The only penalty or payment for sin is eternal death.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. (NASB)
So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful kindness rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (NLT)
Our death is not sufficient to atone for sin because atonement requires a perfect, spotless sacrifice, offered in just the right way. Jesus, the one perfect God-man, came to offer the pure, complete and everlasting sacrifice to remove, atone, and make eternal payment for our sin.
1 Peter 1:18-19
For you know that God paid a ransom to save you from the empty life you inherited from your ancestors. And the ransom he paid was not mere gold or silver. He paid for you with the precious lifeblood of Christ, the sinless, spotless Lamb of God. (NLT)
Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil, and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. (NIV)
Only Through Jesus Christ
Only through Jesus Christ can our sins be forgiven, thus restoring our relationship with God and removing the separation caused by sin.
2 Corinthians 5:21
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (NIV)
Ravi Zacharias writes:
“It is absolutely critical that we think rightly about life and death and that we understand the “what” and the “why” of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Life has a defining point. Life has a destination point. Death and separation are the destination halls of sin; hope and life the arrival points of a life that has accepted the personal significance of the death of Christ. The Lord of Life brings justice upon those who rejected his mercy and gives mercy to those who cried out for it and were willing to accept his justice.
Death is either a full stop or a comma. In the Christian worldview, it is a comma. There is for the Christian both the passing of all things and the abiding in Christ’s provision.”
An amazing promise:
2 COR. 5: 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
Illustration: Packages of Seeds
This is not about being a better you. Or getting a better life. It is about coming into a life that never existed before.
We are dead in our trespasses and sins. We don’t just need to be made better. We need to be made alive. And not just our old life but a brand new life that never existed before.
So how do we get that life? Well that questioned was answered in:
Acts 16 the apostle Paul was imprisoned with Silas and they were worshipping a earthquake took place and they were freed. The jailer who feared for his life if they were escape came to them trembling and asked the question:
30 He then brought them out and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 31 They replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.”
John 1:12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.
Romans 10: 8 Salvation that comes from trusting Christ — which is the message we preach — is already within easy reach. In fact, the Scriptures say, “The message is close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” 9 For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. 11 As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who believes in him will not be disappointed. “
Who today wants to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, acknowledge you are a sinner and accept and receive the free gift of eternal life?
Prayer of Salvation
Call to be Water Baptized as a public testimony of your decision to stand with Jesus.
I am identifying with His death, I am bearing the old me and I am being raised to walk in newness of Life!