The proof and hope of resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:1-26

Points Covered: The proof and hope of resurrection sermon covers four undeniable proofs of Resurrection of Jesus and the hope believers in Jesus have because of the resurrection.

Open your Bible 1 Corinthians 15. This is perhaps the greatest chapter in all the Bible on the resurrection. Resurrection is the very heart and soul of Christian truth. It is the very cornerstone of everything we believe. This morning I want to speak to you on the hope resurrection brings to the ones who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul speaking to the Corinthian church presents the gospel.

Now what is the gospel? 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 2By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. 3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. The gospel is the undeniable fact that Jesus came, lived, died, and rose again according to the scriptures. Now, Paul gives us the evidence or proof of resurrection.

The proof of resurrection.

1. The testimony of transformed lives.

1 Corinthians 15:1 I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 

Like Paul preached to this church, someone shared to us the gospel. We have heard the gospel and have taken a stand. Once we have taken a stand to live for the Lord Jesus Christ, we have experienced a transformation in our life. So, the first great evidence of the resurrection, evidence that Jesus is alive is the experience of a transformed life. How do I know that Jesus Christ lives? Because He changed my life. How do I know that Jesus Christ is alive? Because I’ve seen Him change your life. The evidence of salvation. All those who have received a transformation can you shout a Hallelujah.?

2. The testimony of the Word of God.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 3Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. 

The word of God is the proof of the resurrection. Luke, in writing the book of Acts talks about proof of resurrection. Acts 1:3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. We have not only the testimony of transformed lives, but we have the testimony of the Word of God. Scripture affirms, both Old Testament and New Testament, the resurrection of Christ.

3. The testimony of the empty tomb.

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So, she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple. So, Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen.

John 20:8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. The empty tomb is the proof of resurrection.

4. The testimony of the Eyewitnesses.

1 Corinthians 15:5-8 5and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

In other words, the eyewitnesses were still living when Paul pens this letter. After that, He was seen by James, and then by all the apostles. And last of all, He was seen by Paul who persecuted the church of God.

So, there is the testimony of experience, the testimony of Scripture, the testimony of the empty tomb, the testimony of the eyewitnesses, including the Apostle Paul. All of this to say that that the facts of the resurrection are irrefutable. It is, indeed, one of the best attested facts of ancient history. Jesus Christ arose from the dead. That is a monumental truth.

And in spite of that, some deny and mock the resurrection. 1 Corinthians 15:12 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?

It is foolishness to say Jesus did not rise from the dead as all evidences are  contrary to such claims.

From verse 12, Paul talks about damnation of the people who does not believe in the resurrection. Thereby Paul is giving us the hope we have because of the resurrection. If you deny the resurrection, the implications are frightening. If you believe the resurrection, the hope we have is amazing.

The Hope of Resurrection.

1. There is life after death.

1 Corinthians 15:13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.

1 Corinthians 15:18 If Christ has not been raised, then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.

If there is no resurrection, if we just die and go out of existence, then death is all. We know with poof that Christ has been raised, and if Christ has been raised those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ will be raised from the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:14 In Christ all will be made alive.

1 Corinthians 15:20 But Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

2. Resurrection gives power to our preaching.

1 Corinthians 15:14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless. If there was no resurrection there’s no Good News. There’s no message of salvation. There’s no message of grace. There’s no message of hope. There is no Savior. All of His claims are lies. Preaching is useless. There’s no message.

Since Christ raised from the dead there is transformation power and hope in our preaching. Use the word of God and speak to people, there is power when you speak the word of God.

3. Resurrection validates our Christian faith.

1 Corinthians 15:14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

Paul repeats it again in 1 Corinthians 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

We can pray by faith, live by faith, proclaim by faith because of the resurrection. Somebody make some proclamation today. I am blessed. I am healed. I am forgiven. I am rich.

4. Resurrection validates our witness.

1 Corinthians 15:15 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.

Jesus told us to take the gospel to the ends of the world. He made us witness of the cross.

Matthew 28:19-20 19Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

5. Resurrection breaks the power of sin.

1 Corinthians 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, …you are still in your sins.

1 Corinthians 15:21 For since death (Sin) came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man (Jesus).

Well, if Christ is not alive, you’re not forgiven. He did not accomplish your atonement. He did not deal with sin. He did not satisfy the penalty of sin for God, and your sin is still bound to you, and so is mine, and we are forever condemned. There is no forgiveness. There is no hope of Heaven. Since Jesus rose our sins are forgiven.

6. Resurrection makes believers the only favored people on earth.

1 Corinthians 15:19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

If we’re spending all of our time for something that only happens in this life, we are to be a pitied people. What a tragic bunch of deceived people. Millions of whom have died, all of whom have tried to live their lives based on a lie, if the dead rise not.

Because of the resurrection, we have hope. We have a kingdom. We are going to live forever. We are the only favored people on planet earth. 1 Corinthians 15:22-26 22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.26The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

Conclusion: Jesus is real. Resurrection is real and there is hope for those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. That is what gives us the courage to live and die for Jesus. How is your commitment to the Lord this morning?

It is estimated that up to 4 million Christians were buried in the city of Rome during 300 years of Christian suppression. During the Dark Ages, as many as 50 million believers in Jesus Christ gave their lives for Jesus. It is estimated that 1 million Chinese Christians died in the China. Hundreds of thousands have died in the revolutions of Africa. Century after century, and individual after individual, people have lived and died in the confident hope there was life after death based on the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Today there is hope, there is healing, there is peace and joy because he lives. If you want to take this message to your life stand up with me as I pray for you.

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