Faithlife Sermons

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Many years ago my family took a vacation out to Colorado.
And my favorite part about Colorado was the mountains!
It was fun to just get in the car and drive.
It was mesmerizing.
My wife and I are sitting in the front seat of the car just awestruck by the beauty and the majesty and the shear enormity of God’s creation.
It was great.
Meanwhile, the kids are in the back of the car- and they are having a entirely different experience.
My wife and I had almost forgotten about our kids by this time, until we hear a little voice squeak from the back seat, “Mommy, I got a problem.”
So, my wife turns around and she finds one of our boys sitting there- and guess what he is doing?
Was he staring at the mountains or the trees or wildlife that he can only see here in Colorado and only for this one moment while on vacation?
No, he decided to spend the time playing with the gum he was chewing.
And he hand managed to virtually glue his two hands together with chewing gum, because obviously chewing gum is far more interesting than the mountains of Colorado.
You just want to face palm in those moments.
How do you get through to them, “Your’e missing it!”
Look outside your window you are missing the best part!
Don’t get sidetracked with useless things like chewing gum- look at the mountains!
I am afraid a lot of times Easter comes and goes and we miss it!
We get sidetracked with things like bunnies and eggs and baby chickens and flowers, when the real symbol we should be focusing our minds on is an empty tomb.
Easter is all about the empty tomb, it is all about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, it is all about the gospel.
But if you can focus your mind on the full hope of the gospel of Jesus Christ that is centered on His resurrection from the dead, its like seeing mountains for the first time.
The hope of the resurrection is beautiful, it is majestic, it is enormous, it is mesmerizing.
This is our goal this morning- to be awed by the hope of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This truth is central to gospel.
In fact the entire chapter of I Corinthians 15 centers on the full hope of the gospel.
This first part of chapter 15 was our text last week (vv.
1-34), and we contemplated the full hope of the gospel:
And we said this- The full hope of the gospel is bound up in:
The death burial and resurrection of Christ (vv.
The bodily resurrection of the believer (vv.
The future certainly of the kingdom (vv.
Paul spends the remainder of chapter 15 talking about the importance of the resurrection body of the believer.
And he answer one very important question: Why is the resurrection body of the believer so important?
The resurrection body of the believer is so important that it is a fundamental truth to the gospel itself.
If you don’t believe in the resurrection of believers then you are left with no true gospel at all.
Why is that?
Why is the resurrection of believers and the bodies that God has promised to them in Christ, so important to the integrity of the gospel?
The resurrection body of the believer is part of the eternal plan of God (vv.
Here Paul is either addressing an argument raised by one of the member in the church at Corinth, or he is anticipating the arguments of his opponents.
In either case the arguments are-
How exactly are the dead raised up?
What kind of bodies to they get raised up with?
Paul deals with the arguments in order- Firstly, who exactly are the dead raise up?
This may be referring back to situations like v. 32
If a believer enters into the Colosseum and is torn to bits by wild beasts and consumed, how would it be possible for anyone to resurrect that body?
This is similar to a believe that it is wrong to cremate a body, because if you turn a body into ash how can anyone raise that body up again?
Paul’s rather blunt answer begins in v. 36
“You fool, that which you sow / or plant in the ground does not come to life / it does not grow, unless it first dies.”
First off, Paul calls his opponents fools!
This is a foolish way to think about the resurrection.
To help us understand the resurrection Paul uses the illustration of planting a seed.
When you want to plant a seed, you will never be able to get the fully grown plant, unless first you put the seed in the ground- this idea of putting the seed in the ground Paul compares to death.
Unless the seed first dies it cannot grow into the plant it is meant to become.
When you sow, when you go to plant you do not sow the fully grown plant.
No, you put the bare seed in the ground.
And depending on what kind of seed you put into the ground it will transform into beautiful stalk of wheat or barley or corn or some other kind of grain.
And who determines what kind of body/what kind of plant the seed will turn into and what exactly the plant will look like and be made of and what kind of harvest it will produce?
God gives to every seed a body exactly how He wished it to be, and to every seed God sovereignly ordained exactly the kind of body that seed would produce.
So, it is with the resurrection.
It is foolish to ask, and by asking to doubt how in the world can anyone every raise up the dead.
It is foolish because that is exactly what God wishes to happen.
It is according to the sovereign eternal plan of God for bodies of believers to be resurrected.
If God can take a seed and from the death of that seed produce a body, a fully formed plant that looked nothing like the seed it came from.
If God can do that with every seed, every time it dies, if that happens because God wills it, then why cannot God will the resurrection of believer’s bodies?
Why can’t an eternal, omnipotent, omniscient, perfectly wise, perfectly loving, perfectly gracious God resurrect the bodies of believers in the exact way He wants, in the exact way He planned before the foundation of the world?
The answer is, it is foolish to think other wise.
Why is the resurrection of believers and the bodies that God has promised to them in Christ, so important to the integrity of the gospel?
It is part of the eternal plan of God.
God’s eternal plan is more glorious than you can possibly imagine (vv.
What kind of bodies to they get raised up with?
One of the main problems in the Corinthian church was a misunderstanding of what it meant to be “spiritual.”
They were a spiritually gifted church and they most likely measured their spirituality by the spiritual gifts they were given.
They thought that they could speak with the tongues of angels, they thought they had reached the height of spirituality when in reality they were proud, selfish, and divisive believers.
One of the other problems caused by their misunderstanding of spirituality was that they cared little about the physical body.
Even though they had physical bodies they considered themselves to be primarily spiritual- they considered themselves already as the angels.
Out of this bad theology came a teaching that the physical body was eschatologically insignificant.
This paragraph is Paul’s argument to show these Corinthians just how wrong they were.
Paul’s whole point in these next few verses is to get us to understand that there are differing levels of glory to different things.
Here he compares the bodies of mankind to the bodies of beasts and fish and birds.
There is glory in the makeup of the bodies of the animals and the fish and the birds in this earth.
If you ever get the chance to see some of the new nature shows in full 4K do so.
It is incredible to see all of the creatures that God has made and to see them in glorious UHD definition!
The other day I watched a nature show about sea birds and they showed a colony of sea birds over a million strong.
And you could see every detail, every feather, and it was glorious.
There was a certain degree of beauty to the birds.
There is a greater degree of beauty in humans than there is in the animals.
It is not that the animal bodies have no glory, they are glorious.
But you and I, created in the very image of God, are more glorious.
And that is Paul’s point- there are degrees of glory.
There are celestial/heavenly bodies and terrestrial/earthly bodies and each has its own degree of glory.
Take for instance the the glory of the sun.
It is more glorious than the moon.
The moon still has glory, but to a different degree than the glory of the sun and the same goes for the stars.
Every stars is different in its degree of glory, the one from the other.
Have you understood Paul’s illustration?
Good because now he drives home the point.
In the exact same way is the resurrection of the dead.
Just as the glory of the sun differs in degree from the glory of the moon, or the animals from humanity- so the bodies we currently wear- that of corruption differs in degree from the the resurrection bodies in which we will be raised- that of incorruption.
The Corinthians already thought of themselves as fully spiritual- they were already like unto angels.
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