Faithlife Sermons

Proclaiming the Resurrection

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Introduction

In his Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding, David Hume offered two definitions of miracle: first, he said that a miracle was a violation of natural law.
His second, more robust definition was as follows: "A transgression of a law of nature by a particular volition of the Deity, or by the interposition of some invisible agent."
If Hume was right, then God is behaving in a potentially unethical or inconsistent manner when he performs miracles. Hume uses this line of reasoning in an attempt to show that there is inconsistency within the Christian belief system.
Was Hume right in his definition of miracle? Why?
A miracle is an act of God that involves the interruption of the natural order or state of affairs in a way that there is no possible naturalistic explanation for the event.
How did you come to believe in the resurrection of Jesus?
Luke 24:44–47 NASB95
Now He said to them, “These are My words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things which are written about Me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and He said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
mizmôr is Hebrew for Psalms תוֹרַה, נְבִיאִ֔ים, כתוּבִמ. The law, the prophets, and the writings.
Was it a difficult step of faith for you? Why or why not?
1 John 5:20 NASB95
And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.
Acts 16:14 NASB95
A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul.
Acts 16:4 NASB95
Now while they were passing through the cities, they were delivering the decrees which had been decided upon by the apostles and elders who were in Jerusalem, for them to observe.
Notice that the Lord did not open Lydia’s heart so that she could give the evidence for Christianity a fair hearing.
προσέχω: to pay close attention to, to give heed to, follow. to be in a continuous state of readiness to learn of any future danger, need, or error, and to respond appropriately.
to be in a continuous state of readiness to learn of any future danger, need, or error, and to respond appropriately
It is an infinitive: verbal noun. It is an Infinitive of result (Rogers). The use of this word form places the emphasis on effect. It indicates the outcome produced by the controlling verb. God opened Lydias heart resulting in her giving heed to the things Paul was saying.
Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996), 332.
Let’s move for the sake of time.
Can you reject the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ and be a Christian? Why?
If you reject the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, you reject the gospel.
If you reject the gospel, you are not a Christian.
Therefore, if you reject the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ, you are not a Christian.
What would you do if one of your friends who was also a member of HGBC confided in you that he or she did not believe in a literal physical resurrection of Jesus Christ
Those who reject the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ do not believe the gospel.
My first point: your belief in the resurrection as a justified true or warranted belief, as genuine knowledge, is a miracle.
Therefore, those who reject the physical resurrection of Jesus Christ are not saved.

The Good News of Christ’s Resurrection

1 Corinthians 15:1–11 NASB95
Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

Some Matters of Fact about the Gospel

Paul preached = aorist tense which is the perfective aspect. It sees the action of the verb as one move from beginning to end regardless of who long the action took: the lightening flashed or death reigned from Moses to Christ.
They received = aorist -> perfective aspect. Like pointing to a bookshelf. This is not pointing to their conversion at the point of hearing and believing the gospel. It is pointing to the content of the gospel itself. The word receive is paralambano here and it means to gain control or jurisdiction over.
In which you stand = perfect tense -> stative aspect (like pointing to a specific book on the shelf). This reflects a given, often complex, state of affairs.
By which you are saved = present tense -> imperfective aspect (like pointing to a specific shelf in the book shelf). The internal structure of this aspect sees the action as unfolding.
The consequences of their having come to stand in the gospel is that their faith is not in vain! It is not in vain in that it is not groundless.
What is the relationship between our contemplating the gospel of our salvation and our daily living?
Paul handed down to them ἐν πρώτοις: what was of first importance.

REB’s first and foremost well captures the logical rather than temporal force of ἐν πρώτοις in this context, i.e., of first importance

REB’s first and foremost well captures the logical rather than temporal force of ἐν πρώτοις in this context, i.e., of first importance (as NRSV, NIV). Anthony C. Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New Intrnational Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2000), 1186.
Anthony C. Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 2000), 1186.

REB’s first and foremost well captures the logical rather than temporal force of ἐν πρώτοις in this context, i.e., of first importance (as NRSV, NIV).

Paul does, however, refer to a continuity of handing on and receiving which constitutes, in effect, an early creed which declares the absolute fundamentals of Christian faith and on which Christian identity (and the experience of salvation) is built.

The handing down points to confession or early creeds in ancient Christianity. The first importance points to a logical emphasis not a temporal one even though we often place the most important items first.
Jesus died for our sins = aorist -> perfective aspect.
Jesus was buried = aorist -> perfective aspect.
Jesus was raised = perfect ->stative aspect
Paul emphasized to the Corinthians that they had come to STAND in the gospel and now he emphasizes that Jesus has come to be RAISED from the dead.
The consequences of Jesus having been raised from the dead are that their faith is not in vain! Faith has warrant/grounding , and Christianity is not meaningless.
What makes the resurrection good news?
Romans 5:18 NASB95
So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to all men, even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to all men.
Acts 17:31 NASB95
because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”
Romans 4:25 NASB95
He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification.
The unbeliever has cause to tremble for it is by this Christ that they will be judged. The believer has great cause for confidence, knowing that Christ’s work on his behalf has been ratified by the resurrection.

The Importance of Christ’s Resurrection

1 Corinthians 15:12–19 NASB95
Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
The argument:
If there is no resurrection, Christ is not risen from the dead.
If Christ is not risen from the dead, our preaching/your faith is in vain.
Therefore, if there is no resurrection, our preaching/your faith is in vain.
This is your standard hypothetical syllogism.
Paul then is not providing an argument for the resurrection of Christ. He is using the fact of the resurrection of Christ to provide grounding for the belief that Christians will experience a future resurrection
What would you do if one of your friends who was also a member of HGBC confided in you that he or she did not believe in a literal physical resurrection of Jesus Christ?
Paul then is not providing an argument for the resurrection of Christ. He is using the fact of the resurrection of Christ to provide grounding for the belief that Christians will experience a future resurrection.
Why are Christians the most pitiful of all people if Christ did not rise from the dead?
Theories of the resurrection from unbelievers.
How should we celebrate Easter in light of Paul’s emphasis on the importance of Jesus’ resurrection?
Now, both the NASB and the ESV use the word vain 5x in . But there are two different Greek works behind those translations.
εἰκῇ: pertaining to being without careful thought, without due consideration, in a haphazard manner. The idea is that their faith was without warrant. In philosophy we call this the de jure objection. It means there is something wrong with how a person has formed a belief. A belief is not well-formed. Little Green Men on mars is one example. The Browns will field a respectable team in 2018 is another one.
κενός: pertaining to being devoid of intellectual, moral, or spiritual value, empty. Without purpose or result. Pertains to a complete lack of understanding and insight. Without value. Wasted my time. It was for nothing.
On the one hand if Christ was not raised from the dead, then you have no warrant for your faith. On other hand, if Christ was not raised from the dead, then Christianity is vanity at its very core.
This should give those who focus on shaping cultures and politics reason to pause and reconsider their approach.

The Guarantee of Our Resurrection

1 Corinthians 15:20–28 NASB95
But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.
Christ has been raised from the dead = perfect tense -> stative aspect. Drawing your attention to the specific act of the resurrection with its resulting consequences.
What are the consequences of the resurrection of Christ?
Justification! New Life in Christ! A living hope! Future resurrection!
1 Peter 1:3 NASB95
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
How should our future resurrection frame how we think, feel, and act in our daily life?
1 John 2:2–3 NASB95
and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.
1 John 3:2–3 NASB95
Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is. And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.
How should this impact our evangelistic efforts in this life? This week? Tomorrow? Immediately and every day?
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