|Messages By Ovid Need|
The Resurrection - I Cor. 15:19
This event that we calibrate today, the resurrection of Christ from the dead, is the most basic and important of all events of our faith. As we see from this passage, without this resurrection, we have no hope.
There are 4 things based upon the resurrection of Christ from the dead which we will look at for a few minuets tonight.
1. The Biblical order of reward and punishment.
This assurance is the resurrection of both the saved and the unsaved will face a final judgment.
2. The doctrine of creation. It speaks totally against reincarnation. The body of man will be raised as a man, not as a cow, horse, pig, or ant.
Man was created by an act of a sovereign God, in the image of God. This makes man totally responsible to his Creator. Man will be resurrected as he was created, in the image of God, by the One who created him.
Isn't it strange how sinful man will permit any thing concerning the after life, even reincarnation as an ant, rather than admit to the resurrection as described in God's word?
3. The doctrine of redemption. There can be no redemption if the resurrection of the literal body of Christ is denied.
In this doctrine of the resurrection, we see that it is the man who is the sinner and not the flesh. Notice what Paul said in Romans 8:3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
The flesh itself is not condemned. What is condemned is the sin that is in the flesh. In other words, there is nothing evil about this body of flesh in which we live. The evil is what the sinner does with the body of flesh in which they live. It is the works of the flesh which the Scriptures always condemn.
Man was made of the dust or clay of the earth. When God breathed upon that clay, it became another substance, flesh. To speak of the body as dirt and therefore contemptible is to dishonor what God made. It must be viewed in terms of what God made it in creation, and what it will be made in the resurrection.
There is no shame in the dirt of the ground. In fact, it is our life, without it there would be no plants or animals.
The body as it was first created was destined to be a vehicle for the God manifested in the flesh, Jesus Christ, the Son of God. If there were anything sinful about our body of flesh, He would not have taken on its likeness.
1 Tim. 4:3; Rev. 4:11
One of the battles over the years is the teaching that the spirit is higher than the flesh. But here we see that the spirit is not higher than the flesh, or body. God created both the spirit and the body holy and good. He created both to be used for His glory.
It is not a higher and holier way to deny the body, although the body must be kept under subjection to the Spirit of God. There have been many moves in the past to renounce the body, and these were antiChristian. The medieval monks and monasteries have been part of this movement. They felt that the denial of the flesh caused them to be more holy. Such teaching is contrary to Scriptures. Now, of course, the sinful pleasures of the flesh must be denied.
4. Another fact of which the resurrection speaks is the fact of change, decay and death. Sinful man seeks to have a world without change, and all efforts to stop history and death are antiChristian. All the searches for the fountain of youth did not cease with the man in Florida.
Christianity recognizes change, and works to bring about Godly change through science, medicine, industry, technology. Notice it is not the pagan cultures which developed all of these things. In the past, the pagan nation of Japan has not been the nation which led in the development of the high technology which we have today. The Christian nations of the west did the development, then the Japanese took in, copied it, improved it, then manufacture it and sell it back to the West. (The secret of silk had to be smuggled out of China.)
To the Christian faith, change and decay is not the problem. We have the hope of the resurrection of the body. We know that sin is the problem, and death is the result of that problem. We know that change and death will continue on until sin is put away forever by the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
To the antiChristians, change and decay presents a major problem. 1 Thessalonians 3:13 tells us that the pagans are the ones who mourn and sorrow over change, decay and death.
As Christians we have no reason to sorrow over these things. Isaiah saw this change and wrote Isa 40:6-8. Rather than mourning and sorrowing over this, he rejoiced in the sovereignty and protection of the everlasting God, vs. 9-31. In fact, in v. 10, he is rejoicing in the literal coming of Christ.
Notice v. 31, But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
There are several facts given to us in our text, 1 Cor. 15:16-21.
1. The resurrection of Christ cannot be separated from the fact of the resurrection of all believers. If Christ did not bodily raise from the dead, neither will those who are in Christ by faith be raised from the dead.
2. Without the resurrection, our faith is in vain, and we are miserable men. And our salvation is as much a supernatural work of the Father as was the resurrection.
3. Jesus Christ, the God-man, with His resurrection, opened up for His church, for those who are members of His body, a glorious opportunity to serve Him, HERE IN THIS LIFE. His resurrection placed Him at the right hand of the Father
a. In the place of all power
b. in the place where He now makes intercession for His people.
His work on the cross, confirmed by His resurrection has redeemed us from the curse of sin, here in this life. And to the extent that we are sanctified, or set apart for His services by His Spirit, to that extent we have present power over the sins which so easily beset us, to live a live pleasing to Him. The more we are sanctified, or set apart from sin, the more of His holy power that we have on our lives to do His work. (All work is His work, or we had better not be involved in it.)
(Left out of SN message for times sake.)
And one day, because He has risen from the dead, our imperfect bodies will put on His perfection, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
Man's destiny is to be a creature under God, a servant to his Creator. He is not to attempt to escape from that creaturehood and be his own god. Rebellion against the resurrection is rebellion against that creaturehood, which is the reason that the ungodly hate so much the bodily resurrection of Christ.
On the other hand, those who are redeemed by Jesus Christ rejoice in their creaturehood under God, and life in the flesh is for them a blessed one, and the prospects of the resurrection a glorious one.
One of my pet peeves are the songs which sing of the miseries of life here on this earth, and of the wonderful day when we will no longer be able to live and serve the Lord here on this earth. These songs are a denial of the great commission given by our Lord. We are to sing songs which glory in the opportunity to serve Him here on this earth, of the glories of being set aside for His service here and now.
This is the Christian faith, the resurrection. Pagan cultures hold to the belief in an immortal soul, to exist in whatever form they imagine; and ant, bug, cow, dog.
1 Tim. 6:16; 1:17, Paul holds that immortality belongs to God only.
1 Cor. 15: 53, 54 When this word is applied to man this is not a natural condition of man, but a miracle of grace.
Rom. 2:6, 7 Immortality is seen by Paul not as a condition of man but as an aspect of Christ's grace.
2 Tim. 1:10 It is Jesus Christ who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
The unsaved do not have an immortal soul, but an everlasting soul which will suffer the torments of hell for ever and forever.
For the Christian, body and soul are alike created by God. This body and soul are fallen, depraved, and reprobate in Adam. They must be redeemed in Christ, and this redemption and immortality is to regarded as God's gifts and destiny for man.
Both body and soul are alike to put on immortality and enjoy the glories of the resurrection. Both body and soul are therefore to be treated with respect as God's creation and blessing, wonderful now, and glorious in the world to come.
We are required to serve the Lord with both body and soul, and all the strength we can muster.
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