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1 Corinthians 15:12-23


Intro: There is a principle in Bible study known as "The Full-mention Principle." It refers to those places in the Bible where a subject is treated in its entirety. A couple of examples of this principle are 1 Corinthians 13, where the subject of love is given full treatment, and James 3, where the tongue is addressed. This principle is also in view here in 1 Corinthians 15. In this monumental passage, the Apostle Paul addresses, in detail, the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

In fact, this doctrine is one of the most important doctrine of the Bible. I will go a step further and say that the resurrection of Jesus from the dead is a fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith. If Jesus did not rise from the dead, then we have no faith and Christianity is no better than any other cult or false religion in the world.

However, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is a documented historical fact. Something that Paul points out in verses 5-8. We have the testimony of Peter, Paul, all the disciples and of over 500 brethren who all saw the risen Lord on one occasion. The resurrection is documented in the Bible, Luke 24; John 20-21; Matt. 28; Mark 16; Acts 1:3, etc. It is also a documented fact of secular history. The Jewish historian Josephus, who lived shortly after the time of Christ, writes the following concerning Jesus, "Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man; for he was a doer of wonderful works, a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was [the] Christ. And when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him; for he appeared to them alive again the third day; as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. And the tribe of Christians, so named from him, are not extinct at this day." There are other sources that could be named this morning, but these are sufficient to let us know that the resurrection of Jesus really happened, just like the Bible says it did!

Now, since His resurrection is real, when does it means for us? In these verses, Paul tells us about the benefits of the resurrection. It is those benefits that Paul mentions that I want to focus in one this morning.


A. V. 12-19 A Terrifying Assumption - If Paul's line of thinking is followed to its logical conclusion, then you are I are facing some terrible consequences this morning. If there is no resurrection from the dead, then our lives mean nothing and we have wasted out time even getting up this morning. Let's let Paul show us what would be true if there was no resurrection from the dead.


A. He died in vain - Rom. 4:24; 5:10

B. He lied - Mt. 16:21; 12:40

C. He had no power to save, and certainly cannot save today!

2. v.14 OUR PREACHING IS A WASTE OF TIME - (Ill. A big lie!) (We can help no one, all will go to hell!)

3. v.14 OUR FAITH IS FOOLISH - All we go, our praying, studying, witnessing, working, hoping, holiness, praising is a waste of time!

4. v.15 ALL CHRISTIANS ARE LIARS - Our testimony is false, we are mentally deranged! (Ill. to make matters worse, we have all lied on God and that is blaspheme!)

5. v.17 WE ARE ALL LOST IN OUR SINS - Rom. 10:9; 5:10 Ill. Heb. 7:25 - A dead Savior can save no one!

6. v.18 OUR DEPARTED LOVED ONES ARE GONE FOREVER - They are all dead and in the ground, or in Hell today!

7. v.19 WE ARE TO BE PITIED - We are all fools, building our lives and our hopes on the corpse of a dead man. We are all hell bound B. V. 20-23 A Triumphant Assertion - Paul's announcement is that the message of the angels at the tomb was true, Matt. 28:1-6! Jesus did rise from the dead just as He said He would. By the power of God, Jesus conquered death and rose again from the dead! According to Paul, the first Adam brought death, Romans 5:21. However, the second Adam, the Lord Jesus, brought life and salvation, John 11:25-26! When Jesus arose from the dead, He became the promise of more to follow. He is the firstfruits! Because He lives, the graves of this world will yield a rich harvest of the redeemed when He returns in His glory!

(Ill. Because Jesus lives, all the things Paul mentioned are not true! Jesus is risen! Our preaching is not a waste of time! Our faith is not wasted! We are not liars! We are not lost! Our departed loved ones live on in His presence! We are not to be pitied, but to be envied by all who see us live the new life and hear our message of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus and His empty tomb! Thank God, this things is real!)

I. The Benefit Of A Genuine Faith


V. 24, 50, 58

A. We have already learned this morning that all we got from our first father Adam was death and sin, Rom. 5:12. Paul lets us in on the glorious truth that in Jesus, we got into a new family! Our old family wasn't much. Spiritually speaking, we were definitely from the wrong side of the tracks.

B. Notice that God is called "Father" in v. 24. We are called "brethren" in v. 50, and "beloved brethren" in v. 58. Sounds to me like someone thinks we are part of his family! Well, that is exactly what happens when we trust Jesus by faith. According to the Bible, we are "born again", John 3:3, 7, at the instant of our coming to Jesus. What this means is that when we trust Christ, we die at that altar, and we are "born from above", given heavenly life right then and there, Romans 5! In others words, when we die, we are removed from Adam, and when we are born again, we are placed in Christ. We are taken from the family of death and given a place in the family of life.

C. Since we are part of a new family, we are partakers of all that family has to offer. Therefore, let me tell you a little about our new Father.

A. He Is Prosperous - Isa. 50:10-12 (In fact, He owns everything!)

B. He Is Generous - Rom. 8:17 (In fact, He has given us everything, Luke 12:32)

C. He Is Powerful - Luke 1:37 (In fact, He controls everything, Romans 8:28)

D. I am glad to be a part of this family! How about you?

I. The Benefit Of A Genuine Faith

II. The Benefit Of A Godly Family


V. 51-57

A. V. 51-52 We Have The Possibility Of A Change - These verses speaks of that glorious event known as the Rapture. Paul talks about this more in 1 Thes, 4:13-18. It is that moment in time when the Lord Jesus will return to the clouds above the earth and call His people to Himself. Those who have died with faith in Jesus will be resurrected and will meet Him. Those who are still living at that time will be instantly changed and will become like Jesus. Because Jesus Christ overcame death and the grave, we have the prospect of cheating the undertaker. We may not have to die!

B. V. 53-56 We Have The Promise Of A Conquest - In these verses, Paul tells us that whether we meet the Lord by way of the clouds above or the clods beneath, we will still obtain the victory over death! We will still receive a new body! We will still be changed! These old bodies of sin, death and decay will forever be replaced with a body that is filled with the glory of God. These bodies that we wear this evening are worthless and have no business in Heaven. In fact, it would be impossible for them to enter that city, 1 Cor. 15:50. One glimpse of God in all His glory and these bodies would disintegrate bay into dust and we would perish! Thank God, when our Resurrected Redeemer returns in His glory, we will get a body that see God! We will not only be with Jesus when He returns, but we will be like Jesus when He returns, 1 John 3:1-3!

(Ill. Can you comprehend all that means? It means that we will never again sin against the Lord and dishonor His Name! It means that we won't even have an appetite for sin! It means that our new body will never age or wear out. It means that we will never lose a loved one to death, ever again! It means that we will wear glory in glory. We will be changed!)

C. V. 57-58 The Pledge Of A Conqueror - Verse 57 tells us that we are winners either way! If we face death and go to the grave, our souls will go to be with the Lord in glory, 2 Cor. 5:1-8. Our bodies will go to the grave and decay. However, when Jesus returns, He will bring our soul with Him and raise our dead body from the ground, give in life, change it into a new body and put that soul back in that body and take the total package back to Heaven to stay with Him forever! If we are alive when Jesus returns, so much the better! Our families can save all that money at the funeral home. Therefore, I have incentive to labor for Him, v. 58, because whether I live or I die, I am assured of the victory! You see, right now, the Lord Jesus is in Heaven and He is preparing a place for me, John 14:1-3.

Conc: Aren't you glad Jesus is alive! I praise God that early on that Sunday morning, when those ladies went to that tomb, they found it empty! Yes, Jesus is alive! The question I want to ask you today is this: Is Jesus alive in you? Has His resurrection become your resurrection? Are you benefitting from the benefits of the resurrection? Are you saved?

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