Call to Worship
What is the fast that our God chooses?
To loose the bonds of injustice,
To bring the homeless poor into our houses,
To cover the naked,
To let the oppressed go free,
And to share our bread with the hungry.
When you do these things,
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
And your healing spring up quickly;
Your vindicator shall go before you,
And the Glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. (Isaiah 58:6-8)
The Lord’s name be praised.
*Praise # 288 Amazing Grace
*Invocation (Lord’s Prayer) Kind, divine, Heavenly Father, you created us with love, you have kept us through love, and will perfect us in love, we confess that we have not loved you with all our hearts, minds, souls, and strengths, nor do we love one another as Christ has loved us. Grant that in this hour our confession will draw us to a new experience of your grace.
*Gloria Patri # 575
Just for Kids
Submitted By Jonathan Tompkins of Shandon United Methodist Church
Good morning, we're glad you're here. We are part of our Just for Kids and we want to tell you about something that we're doing today. But, before we get started, who can tell me what this is (hold up a football)? That's right, everybody knows this is a football. And who knows what today is? Exactly, its the Super Bowl, a really big football game. People get together and eat lots of food and watch the game, we want to tell you about another kind of Super Bowl.
That's right, we're participating in another Super Bowl that is much more important than a football game. We're talking about the Souper Bowl of Caring (show a can of soup). Who knows what this is? Yes, a can of soup. And what do we do with this? Right again, we eat it. Well we are to help people by collecting money and giving it to the Food Pantry. They help the hungry. Now, how are we going to do this? At thte end of the service when everyone is leaving, we will be at the doors holding soup pots and we want everyone to drop in at least $1.00, if not the cost of a meal. That way, we can give the money to help feed people who are hungry and we can all play in the Souper Bowl.
Let us pray..... Dear Lord, we are thankful to be able to participate in the Souper Bowl of Caring. We ask that you bless people everywhere who are hungry and help us to help them. Help us to remember Jesus' words: "I was hungry and you gave me food, thirsty and you gave me drink....whenever you did this for one of the least of these followers of mine, you did it for me!" Amen.
Our Offering to God “And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him up, and everyone whom his spirit made willing, and they brought the Lord’s offering to the work of the tabernacle of the congregation, and for all his service” (Exod. 35:21).
*Prayer of Dedication Lord, stir within us the holy claims of your divine will. Give us a passion for your Kingdom that our gifts may truly reflect your love within us. May these gifts be multiplied for the cause of the gospel.
Scripture Reading Psalm 138
1 I give you thanks, O Lord, with my whole heart;
before the gods I sing your praise;
2 I bow down toward your holy temple
and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness;
for you have exalted your name and your word
3 On the day I called, you answered me,
you increased my strength of soul.b
4 All the kings of the earth shall praise you, O Lord,
for they have heard the words of your mouth.
5 They shall sing of the ways of the Lord,
for great is the glory of the Lord.
6 For though the Lord is high, he regards the lowly;
but the haughty he perceives from far away.
7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you preserve me against the wrath of my enemies;
you stretch out your hand,
and your right hand delivers me.
8 The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me;
your steadfast love, O Lord, endures forever.
Do not forsake the work of your hands. 
*Hymn of Prayer # 401 It Is Well with My Soul
But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. Luke 6:27-28
Praise God for... during black history month / the contributions of African Americans to American Baptist Churches.
Ask God for... relief for all families, where bills are more than income. "Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. May they call on you for divine help.
Thank God for... a child who continues to improve after her premature birth.
Healing for... the hearts and minds of the oppressed and their oppressors in Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, and Iraq.
Our gracious and loving Heavenly Father, we come to you today in the name of
Jesus. We come reverently, but we also come confidently. We come with full assurance of faith. Lord, we know that you’re here with us as we meet together. But you’re with us not only when we meet. You’re with us out there in our everyday world. And we do need you. We need your mercy and grace. We don’t ask for what we deserve; we ask for your mercy and grace. When we look around us at our world, we are often troubled and concerned.
Please, Lord, bring an end to the violence and death and suffering, and may there be peace and safety. There are so many places around the world where there is no freedom, especially freedom of worship. We pray for your Kingdom to come and your will to be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We need you, too, right here at home. Here in our own church family we have all kinds of needs. Many are facing serious physical problems, and they need your healing touch. Lord, for each of us, look down inside and see there the hurts and feelings, the discouragements and frustrations, and all the ways we need you. Meet each of us at the very point of our need today. May this day bring glory and honor to the name of Jesus, in whose name we pray.—Paul Meeks
*Hymn of Praise # 234 These Are the Facts
Scripture Reading 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters,a of the good newsb that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, 2 through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you—unless you have come to believe in vain.
3 For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sistersc at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died.d 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, unfit 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 toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them—though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.
History is vital to who we are, it gives meaning and purpose to life. It effects all our lives whether we choose to ignore it or embrace it. We are all part of history and each one of us will leave an indelible stamp upon it to some extent!
People certainly effect history, for instance, Charles Darwin with the theory of evolution. William Shakespeare, literature, Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton in the sciences, Adolph Hitler for horror, Leonardo Da Vinci in the Arts, Beethoven for music, Martin Luther King Jr and Nelson Mandella with civil rights, all these people have left an indelible mark upon history and will be remembered in the annals of history forever.
But all contenders pale into insignificance when they are put up against the life of Jesus Christ. He is unique among all contenders, he alone is the one who died and rose again to conquer sin and death and grant eternal life to all that would believe in Him.
Jesus Christ changed the whole course of world events, he made the profoundest claims about Himself and billions of lives have been changed by Him!
But it’s the resurrection that sets Him apart, it is central to the Christian faith and without it Christianity would crumble into insignificance.
Are the Dead Raised? (1 Cor. 15:1–19)
It is important to note that the believers at Corinth did believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ; so Paul started his argument with that fundamental truth. He presented three proofs to assure his readers that Jesus Christ indeed had been raised from the dead.
Proof #1—their salvation (vv. 1–2). Paul had come to Corinth and preached the message of the Gospel, and their faith had transformed their lives. But an integral part of the Gospel message was the fact of Christ’s resurrection. After all, a dead Savior cannot save anybody. Paul’s readers had received the Word, trusted Christ, been saved, and were now standing on that Word as the assurance of their salvation. The fact that they were standing firm was proof that their faith was genuine and not empty.
Proof #2—the Old Testament Scriptures (vv. 3–4). The Gospel is the most important message that the church ever proclaims. While it is good to be involved in social action and the betterment of mankind, there is no reason why these ministries should preempt the Gospel. “Christ died... He was buried... He rose again... He was seen” are the basic historical facts on which the Gospel stands (1 Cor. 15:3–5). “Christ died for our sins” (author’s italics) is the theological explanation of the historical facts. Many people were crucified by the Romans, but only one “victim” ever died for the sins of the world.
When Paul wrote “according to the Scriptures” (1 Cor. 15:3) he was referring to the Old Testament Scriptures. Much of the sacrificial system in the Old Testament pointed to the sacrifice of Christ as our substitute and Savior. The annual Day of Atonement (Lev. 16) and prophecies like Isaiah 53 would also come to mind.
But where does the Old Testament declare His resurrection on the third day? Jesus pointed to the experience of Jonah (Matt. 12:38–41). Paul also compared Christ’s resurrection to the “firstfruits,” and the firstfruits were presented to God on the day following the Sabbath after Passover (Lev. 23:9–14; 1 Cor. 15:23). Since the Sabbath must always be the seventh day, the day after Sabbath must be the first day of the week, or Sunday, the day of our Lord’s resurrection. This covers three days on the Jewish calendar. Apart from the Feast of Firstfruits, there were other prophecies of Messiah’s resurrection in the Old Testament: Psalm 16:8–11 - 25David said about him:
“ ‘I saw the Lord always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 26Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest in hope, 27because you will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, you will not let your holy one see decay.p 28You have made known to me the paths of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence.’3q Acts 2:25–28; 10Yet it was the Lord’s willr to crushs him and cause him to suffer,t and though the Lord makes6 his life an offering for sin,u he will see his offspringv and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosperw in his hand. 11After he has suffered,x he will see the lighty of life7 and be satisfied8; by his knowledge9 my righteous servantz will justifya many,
and he will bear their iniquities.b 12Therefore I will give him a portion among the great,10c and he will divide the spoilsd with the strong,11 because he poured out his life unto death,e and was numbered with the transgressors.f For he boreg the sin of many,h  Isaiah 53:10–12.
Proof #3—Christ was seen by witnesses (vv. 5–11). On the cross, Jesus was exposed to the eyes of unbelievers; but after the Resurrection, He was seen by believers who could be witnesses of His resurrection (Acts 1:22; 2:32; 3:15; 5:32). Peter saw Him and so did the disciples collectively. James was a half brother of the Lord who became a believer after the Lord appeared to him (John 7:5; Acts 1:14). The 500 plus brothers and sisters all saw Him at the same time (1 Cor. 15:6), so it could not have been a hallucination or a deception. This event may have been just before His ascension (Matt. 28:16ff).
But one of the greatest witnesses of the Resurrection was Paul himself, for as an unbeliever he was soundly convinced that Jesus was dead. The radical change in his life—a change which brought him persecution and suffering—is certainly evidence that the Lord had indeed been raised from the dead. Paul made it clear that his salvation was purely an act of God’s grace; but that grace worked in and through him as he served the Lord. “Born out of due time” probably refers to the future salvation of Israel when they, like Paul, see the Messiah in glory (Zech. 12:10–13:6; 1 Tim. 1:16).
At this point, Paul’s readers would say, “Yes, we agree that Jesus was raised from the dead.” Then Paul would reply, “If you believe that, then you must believe in the resurrection of all the dead!” Christ came as a man, truly human, and experienced all that we experienced, except that He never sinned. If there is no resurrection, then Christ was not raised. If He was not raised, there is no Gospel to preach. If there is no Gospel, then you have believed in vain and you are still in your sins! If there is no resurrection, then believers who have died have no hope. We shall never see them again!
The conclusion is obvious: Why be a Christian if we have only suffering in this life and no future glory to anticipate? (In 1 Cor. 15:29–34, Paul expanded this idea.) The Resurrection is not just important; it is “of first importance,” because all that we believe hinges on it. 
Communion Hymn # 287 My Faith Has Found a Resting Place
*Hymn of Response # 240 Grace Greater Than Our Sin
This conditional clause beginning with if both alerts them that he will deal further with the essential contents of the message (vv. 3–8) and at the same time presents them a warning to examine their faith lest they have believed in vain (v. 2).
In verses 3–8 Paul sets forth the essential matters that are of first importance (“foremost” or “top priority”) that he himself received and passed on to the Corinthians. This is the earliest creedal formulation the church possesses (a.d. 53). This Christian confessional statement contains four historical events: (1) Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, (2) he was buried, (3) he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and (4) he appeared to Peter. All of these are historical events in time and space. In this chapter Paul is concerned with the resurrection link to anchor the church’s preaching in the risen Lord, but each of the other moments is equally important in God’s purposes through Christ.
Christ died (v. 3) is quite striking from the Jewish perspective. The early church, following Jesus’ self-revelation, redefined the Messiah, contrary to Jewish expectations, as a crucified Messiah. This was part of why the gospel was “offensive” (1:23; Jn 12:7, 24, 32–34; Gal 2:20). Christ died is the event; for our sins is the divine significance of his death (Mt 26:28; Mk 10:45; cf. Lk 24:25–27, 44–46).
That Christ died a real death and did not merely become unconscious is affirmed by the statement He was buried (v. 4). This emphasis on burial is generally taken to counter an emerging Gnostic-like teaching that played down the real body of Jesus and his real death. The burial’s direct connection to the resurrection strongly suggests the Gospels’ emphasis on the empty tomb (Witherington 1995:299–300). The resurrection is central to the whole of Christian faith and its message of good news.
He was raised by God—forms the third moment of the gospel proclamation. There is no indication that Paul understood this affirmation to be of a different historical genre from the first two. As the Messiah’s death and burial occur in time and space as historical events, the resurrection has the same historical eventness claimed for it. That historians cannot study the event itself, since no person directly witnessed it, does not invalidate the truth claim that the event occurred—something happened! Furthermore, “ ‘resurrection’ does not refer to some part or aspect of the human being not dying but instead going on into a continuing life in a new mode; it refers to something that does die and is then given a new life.… When Paul said ‘resurrection,’ he meant ‘bodily resurrection’ ” (Wright 2003:314).
The resurrection is the beginning of the new age. The resurrection is the new creation, the future-in-the-present. The whole future consummation of God’s purposes in redemption is wrapped up in the resurrection of Christ.
He appeared to Peter begins Paul’s fourth and final emphasis on the gospel content, where he will cite a number of historical appearances to individuals and groups in the day after Jesus’ resurrection (vv. 5–8). Appeared to (objective manifestation) is not “was seen by” (subjective experience).
That Jesus appeared to groups of people (the Twelve, five hundred, all the apostles) is strong evidence against the claim that individuals were simply hallucinating or having private visions or dreams. Groups usually do not have the same hallucination. Some of these five hundred have died (fallen asleep), but most of [them] are still living, Paul says, indicating that some twenty years later (assuming the resurrection occurred in a.d. 34) eyewitnesses of this resurrection appearance could still be contacted personally.
James (v. 7)* is not James the son of Zebedee, brother of John, who was put to death by Herod (Acts 12:2), but James the brother of Jesus, who may have remained an unbeliever until the appearance of the resurrected Jesus to him (Jn 7:5). He was a principal leader of the early Jerusalem church (Acts 12:17; 15:13; 21:18; Gal 1:19; 2:9, 12; Jas 1:1). All the apostles seems to be a wider group than just the Twelve (v. 5) and may have included James the Lord’s brother, Barnabas (9:6), Andronicus, Junia and others (Rom 16:7).
Last of all he appeared to me also begins Paul’s short report of Christ’s appearance to him (see Acts 9:1–9; 22:1–21; 25:9–18). Last of all because Paul is the least of the apostles, as he views himself, because he persecuted the church of God.
By the grace of God emphasizes Paul’s sense of the awesome generosity of all God’s dealings with him though he is totally undeserving. This grace, however, was not wasted on Paul but became effectual to energize his labors and sufferings beyond the other apostles (2 Cor 11:22–29). Yet not I, but the grace of God shows a needed delicate balance and insight concerning our own intents, purposes, will and labors with absolute reliance on God’s supply of grace for all that we do (cf. Phil 2:12–13).
a Cn: Heb you have exalted your word above all your name
b Syr Compare Gk Tg: Heb you made me arrogant in my soul with strength
 The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989, S. Ps 138
a Gk brothers
b Or gospel
c Gk brothers
d Gk fallen asleep
 The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1989, S. 1 Co 15:1
p ver 31; Ac 13:35
3 Psalm 16:8–11 (see Septuagint)
q Ps 16:8–11
 The Holy Bible : Today's New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI : Zondervan, 2005, S. Ac 2:25
r Isa 46:10; 55:11; Ac 2:23
s ver 5
t S ver 3; S Ge 12:17
6 Hebrew though you make
u S Lev 5:15; Jn 3:17
v S Ps 22:30
w S Jos 1:8; S Isa 49:4
x Jn 10:14–18
y S Job 33:30
7 Dead Sea Scrolls (see also Septuagint); Masoretic Text does not have the light of life.
8 Or (with Masoretic Text) 11He will see the fruit of his suffering / and will be satisfied
9 Or by knowledge of him
z S Isa 20:3; Ac 7:52
a S Isa 6:7; Jn 1:29; Ac 10:43; S Ro 4:25
b S Ex 28:38
10 Or many
c S Isa 6:1; S Php 2:9
d S Ex 15:9; S Ps 119:162; Lk 11:22
11 Or numerous
e Mt 26:28,38,39,42
f Mt 27:38; Mk 15:27*; Lk 22:37*; 23:32
g S ver 6; 1Pe 2:24
h Heb 9:28
 The Holy Bible : Today's New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI : Zondervan, 2005, S. Is 53:10
Wiersbe, Warren W.: The Bible Exposition Commentary. Wheaton, Ill. : Victor Books, 1996, c1989, S. 1 Co 15:1
* 15:7 An ossuary owned by an antiquities collector in Jerusalem, dated in the first century (a.d. 62?) and bearing the inscription “James son of Joseph brother of Jesus” in Aramaic, surfaced for the first time in public display in November 2002 in Toronto, Canada. If it is authentic (some claim it is a forgery), it is either the actual burial box of James’s bones or part of a memorial to him. In any event, it would be the earliest known evidence for the existence of not only the New Testament James but also Jesus. The Web has numerous articles both pro and con, including a recent charge of forgery brought by the Israeli Antiquities Department in Jerusalem (search by “James ossuary”).
Johnson, Alan F.: 1 Corinthians. Downers Grove, Ill. : InterVarsity Press, 2004 (The IVP New Testament Commentary Series 7), S. 283