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Acts of the Holy Spirit

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Resurrection Replaces My Own Reasoning
1 Corinthians 15.12-19
ICC’s PM service (4/16/22)

I. Introduction

1. Prayers- God allow us to see ourselves in your word tonight, not just condemning the Corinthians or the people of the world, but may we be able to start with ourselves
2. Catch
i. We have a problem in our world called Expressive individualism
1. It says that our flourishing depends on self-actualization—building our identities on our own perceptions, desires, and choices. It argues that our identities are based not on “nature” but on what one wants or chooses or feels.
2. That’s why it is considered violence to tell someone they’re not who they clearly are not
ii. But we have the same problem in the church
1. How often do people choose a church based where we feel comfortable, welcomed, supported. We can choose our churches as we choose a house or car”
2. How often do we think that the church would be better if it had this thing I really wanted
3. And that could help.. but the question must be… what does God’s word say we need and should believe? then will I submit to that?
3. The Corinthians did want to, we ask-Why is the resurrection a question?
i. IN this letter he has had a number of problems reported that he’s trying to address
1. So an outline of the book could be in 3 sections
Divisions in the Church (1:1–4)
Disorders in the Church (chaps. 5–6)
Difficulties in the Church (chaps. 7–16)
ii. The Corinthians believed the good news of Jesus’ resurrection (15:1-8)
1. Paul states clearly what he had preached to them previously and thus what they had believed
2. Pastor Tom Pennington summarizes the gospel message here
a. Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures (v3)
b. He was buried (v4)
c. He was raised on the 3rd day (v4)
d. And he appeared to many witnesses (v5-8)
3. The Christians heard this message and they believed this message, but there was a problem
iii. The Corinthians culture didn’t believe there is resurrection from the dead (verses 12)
1. And the concept of resurrection was so unthinkable to Greek culture they thought Jesus and “the resurrection” were different Gods when Paul preached in Acts 17
2. They believed in dualism, the separation of body from soul
3. My body is not me, it just a shell for my soul
4. So the afterlife had no place for the body
5. It is so hard to step outside our culture because it’s like a fish in water, we don’t even realize we’re in it
But this was trusting in their own understanding, rather than in Christ

II. We should not trust ourselves over the bible because Christ is RISEN

1. Trusting my own understanding steals the supernatural Report (13)

i. Explanation
1. Paul wants to convince them this is not right based on what they already know
2. They had believed many others had seen Jesus alive again
a. So he reminds them if there is no resurrection of the body, then everything he just said falls apart
ii. Illustration
1. Without the truth historical resurrection, the whole message of christianity falls apart
a. Thomas Jefferson authored his own The Life and Morals of Jesus of Nazareth[i]because he hated the miracles of the bible and only wanted the morals
b. The closing words of this Bible are: “There laid they Jesus and rolled a great stone at the mouth of the sepulchre and departed.”[ii]
2. So, if you take out the resurrection, you just have a tomb.
iii. Application
1. There may be biblical teaching doesn’t quite make sense to you either
a. It is said that if christians disagree about something, why should we not just be ok with it? Can we really know an answer? Whether it is Calvinism vs ariminians, whether the spiritual gifts have ceased, critical race theory, or whether someone can be homosexual
b. It May not make sense to us but if the Bible speaks, we must submit to God’s word
Paul says if there is no resurrection, the report of the resurrection is false and so there is no point trusting in Jesus

2. Trusting my own understanding says faith is Inane (14)

i. Explanation
1. He starts another hypothetical which he assumes to be true for the moment
a. If there is no resurrection, Christ is not raised, if Christ is not raised, then faith is without purpose
2. The word Faith has different definitions, but usually people think blind faith… believing when it doesn’t make any sense
a. But faith just means trust
b. And the bible here shows us that faith is only as good as the how trustworthy your object of faith is
c. Faith in faith is no good, because it would leave you vain, meaning it will do nothing
3. False religions are vain
Isaiah 1:13- Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly.
1. God is not ok with a pointless religion
ii. Illustration
1. Faith only matters on how true the object of trust is
2. The Christian faith is not vain because it is real
a. William lane Craig writes
Without the belief in the Resurrection the Christian faith could not have come into being. The disciples would have remained crushed and defeated men. Even had they continued to remember Jesus as their beloved teacher, His crucifixion would have forever silenced any hopes of His being the Messiah. The cross would have remained the sad and shameful end of His career. The origin of Christianity therefore hinges on the belief of the early disciples that God had raised Jesus from the dead. -William Lane Craig
b. The resurrection overcame the disciples fear
i. They went onto all but one die a martyrs death.
ii. One theory says that the disciples faked the resurrection and wanted their easy jobs of preaching still.
1. Many people will die for what they believe in.. (Suicide bombers)
iii. No one dies for what they know is a lie
iii. Application
1. So, did you notice how Paul draws a logical connection that if you believe X then the result will be Y?
a. We can do this too.
b. If we deny God is sovereign over salvation and you decide, then there is nothing that can keep you from undeciding. Once saved, always saved doesn’t work
2. We too have worldly philosophies… what might your’s be?
a. Just because something seems impossible for us doesn’t mean it is right
i. Sometimes, we’re not godly… we just American and Christians all over the world are looking at us saying… don’t you see where this is heading
b. Our response must be to keep going back to the word
2 Corinthians 10:4–6- For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ, being ready to punish every disobedience, when your obedience is complete.
c. The world says just diversify to find salvation, but the bible says submit your mind to the mind of Christ
Trans: When they denied the resurrection they said Jesus was not raised and destroyed the foundation of their faith and they also said

3. Trusting my own understanding says Christians are Shysters (15-16)

i. Explanation
1. A shyster is someone who uses unscrupulous, fraudulent, or deceptive methods… a liar[iii]
2. The word found in v 15 means to discover the truth of someone character
a. If there was no resurrection then all those who said they saw the risen Jesus were liars
3. Not just Apostles, but the Old Testament prophets too
a. The prophets spoke about a future bodily resurrection
Isaiah 26:19- Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead.
b. It was so clear that when Martha’s brother Lazarus died she said to Jesus
John 11:24- Martha said to him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.”
i. She knew that there would be a resurrection in the future… she was amazed that he resurrected then
4. Not just the prophet, but Jesus too
a. We read about the God contest Friday night
b. When Jesus was asked for a sign, he gave one, that he would be resurrected from the grave
Matthew 12:39–40- But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
ii. Illustration
1. If there is no resurrection even Jesus is a liar, and that lying destroys everything
2. I came across this story in a sermon and I just had to use it
a. One of the most devastating disasters in American history was the Johnstown Flood.
b. After several days of rain, on May 31, 1889, the South Fork Dam experienced a catastrophic failure.
c. twenty million tons of water were released, flowing at a rate equal to the Mississippi River. 2,200 people died.
d. Why did the dam fail? Historian David McCullough,; "In the case of the South Fork dam, the men in charge of rebuilding it, those who were supposed to be experts in such matters, had not been expert- either in their understanding of what they did or, equally important, in their understanding of the possible consequences of what they did."*
3. They lied, so people died
iii. Application
1. This is one reason why we know Christianity is not just a religion of 21st century America
2. Parents & grandparents… we do not raise our kids just the saw our peers do because Christians of the past have been talking about raising kids for a long time
a. The problem is when we listen more to dr Spock or Internet influencers for what makes sense.
3. The issue now is a person’s gender being decided at birth or what you feel is right later in life
a. Those feelings are very strong and a person who struggles that way needs compassion
b. But the historical understanding of the church which teaches we need to deny ourselves to find joy is needed here
4. Christians, you know you know that the faith has been passed onto you from the past and so should match the past, right?
Trans: because denying the Christian teaching of all time denies the whole point of Easter

4. Trusting my own understanding says forgiveness does not Exist (17)

i. Explanation
1. Futile can be translated worthless or fruitless
2. When we talk about the good news of the Christian message we often stop at the death of Jesus
a. If you’re a not a christian, even coming here for a long time, I want you to know that the story of the bible is not about what you should do to appease God But it is what God has done for you
b. See, God created us with a great place of honor… we were to rule over creation, to honor God with our lives But every one of us has failed to love God as we should or love our neighbors.
i. Just take a moment to think how you’ve failed your own standard… let alone God’s
c. The wages of sin is death and eternal justice in hell
i. No one should go to heaven, we all deserve hell
d. But God is too good for that, so he sent his Son, Jesus Christ to live the life we should have lived, succeeding in so many ways and dying the death we deserved.
3. But imagine, Jesu said he paid for our sins and then is dead… are you good or are you not?
a. Paul says we need can be credited righteousness having not been righteous ourselves if we believe this resurrection
Romans 4:24–25- but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.
b. When God the Father raised Christ from the dead, it was a demonstration that he accepted Christ’s suffering and death as full payment for sin, and that the Father’s favor, no longer his wrath against sin, was directed toward Christ, [iv]
4. Yes, we are also saved by Jesus’ death
Romans 5:8–9- but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
a. But the resurrection is proof that God accepted Jesus’ payment
5. If Jesus was not raised, then he would have been defeated by the grave
ii. Illustration
1. The resurrection is the seal that proves sins can be forgiven
a. It’s tax weekend, which reminds us of the pain of trying to pay the government
b. I was listening to the World and Everything in it Newcast where they pointed out that From January to July 15 last year, the IRS counted 11 million discrepancies between its numbers and taxpayers’ stimulus reports, dwarfing the 628,997 errors it corrected in the first half of 2020. Each error requires manual review..[v]
c. And you know what can happen in the midst of that… oh, you didn’t pay your taxes even though you say you did
d. And do you know what helps you in those moments… a receipt that says money received on this date
2. The resurrection is that money received statement
iii. Application
1. Christians feel the guilt of sin like everyone else
a. Satan is called the accuser for a reason.. he comes and says things like why even try anymore, you are just dirty from all the sin
b. But Charitie Lees Bancroft wrote in a hymn
When Satan tempts me to despair And tells me of the guilt within Upward I look, and see Him there Who made an end of all my sin
c. in face of all the assaults of our conscience or of the devil we can reply with defiance:
Romans 8:34- Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
d. Sometimes the belief we have to deny in ourselves is our need to be good enough, but we do not deserve access to God’s goodness, that comes only through Jesus Christ
2. So, if you can trust Jesus with your forgiveness, can you trust him with what you do with your Mondays through Saturday?
Paul finishes his argument point out that

5. Trusting my own understanding makes Christianity a No-Win (18-19)

i. Explanation
1. Two groups are mentioned here, the dead and those who will die one day
2. The resurrection is the hope for those who have died
a. If there is no resurrection, Paul shows the hope the bible gives for loved ones is gone
b. He wrote to comfort people
1 Thessalonians 4:13–14- But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.
c. Those who are dead will go to the one who they trusted, who rose and will rise again one day
d. But, if the Corinthians trusted their culture instead of the bible, then that hope was gone
3. And a lack of resurrection means pointless Christianity today
a. I remember a religion class in college where the professor said Christianity was all about the life hereafter, but Paul would argue against this
b. He said if there is not resurrection, then jesus did not rise, then Christianity is false, there is no hope for those who died and you’re living a lie
4. But Jesus did rise from the grave
ii. Illustration
1. The Christian life is a waste if it is not supernatural
a. Jesus said we should deny ourselves, pick up our crosse and follow him
2. A pastor friend of mine, Tim Counts wrote
The resurrection of Jesus was not a metaphor of a new start. I have never been to a metaphorical funeral. When your body is placed in the grave you don’t need a hollow promise of a fresh start but a promise of a resurrection rooted deeply in the fact that Jesus physically arose!
3. That is a trust that doesn’t make sense
iii. Application
1. Christians, you cannot just live for the moment
a. Mike Mickenily wrote, “We don't hedge our bets; we don't diversify our joy portfolio; all of our eggs are in one basket. As the apostle Paul said, it's all or nothing[vi]
2. We have some people who will die sooner and some much later
a. The question you must ask.. is my life lived in such a way that it looks foolish if there is no life after death?
b. It is jesus resurrection that enables and calls us to walk in newsness of life… to be living differently than the world around us or the way we did in the path
3. If you’re life is not that way, pray to God in repentance to be different today
III. Therefore
1. Since we have seen that Jesus is RISEN should mean we submit to Him, not me (Cohesion)-
i. Trusting my own understanding steals the supernatural Report (13)
ii. Trusting my own understanding says faith is Inane (14)
iii. Trusting my own understanding says Christians are Shysters (15-16)
iv. Trusting my own understanding says forgiveness does not Exist (17)
2. We know we must (Resolution)-
i. We need to have a hermentuic of submission, where we trust what God says even over what makes sense in my own heart and mind.
ii. In April 2021, super-celebrity Oprah Winfrey interviewed popular actress “Elliot” Page, formerly Ellen Page. Page made headlines in December 2020 when she announced that she was transgender.
iii. Winfrey said, “every human born to the planet wants the same thing and that is to be accepted to be loved and to live in health and safety as our authentic selves. And I really want to honor and celebrate your courage, Elliot, for sharing your truth on social media, then, on the cover of TIME Magazine, and now in this conversation with me, so I honor that.””
iv. job is to love the Ellens or Elliots who show up in your church far more than Winfrey does. Winfrey’s honor and celebration is a fake honor and celebration. It has nothing to do with honoring and celebrating who God created her to be[vii]
v. That starts with us trust God over even what makes sense to oureslves
IV. Closing prayer- Lord, allow us to believe this..
[i] Douglas Sean O’Donnell, Matthew: All Authority in Heaven and on Earth, ed. R. Kent Hughes, Preaching the Word (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2013), 889. [ii] Paul Lee Tan, Encyclopedia of 7700 Illustrations: Signs of the Times (Garland, TX: Bible Communications, Inc., 1996), 669. [iii] Definitions from Oxford Languages [iv] Crossway Bibles, The ESV Study Bible (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2008), 2165. [v] [vi] How the resurrect changes everything. Mickinley pg 142 [vii]
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