Overcoming the Fear of Death

This may seem like Paul is changing subjects, but he is still on the subject of how we should function as a church.  He is saying that spiritual gifts don’t really matter if we miss the foundation of who we are as a church and what we believe.

If we can grasp chapter 15, our lives will be revolutionarily changed in how we act, minister, and live in this world.

  1. The answer to the question
  1. Has the resurrection already happened?
    1. Paul shows in verse 12 why he is tackling this subject.
    2. Some are saying that there is no resurrection of the dead.
      1. This is based on two happenings
        1. The Sadducees preached that there is no resurrection. (See Acts 23: 7)
        2. Some believe the resurrection already happened (Matthew 27: 52)
  2. They are spiritual in their use of tongues as a gift, but when it comes to the foundation of what makes someone a believer, they have their doubts.
    1. Pretty much everything else is worthless without this.

2. Paul passes on what was received Vs 1

  1. Paul is going to reaffirm the gospel that was given to the Corinthians
  2. He received this gospel (Also in Verse 3)
    1. You will bear witness because you have been with me from the beginning. John 15: 27
    2. Paul is declaring that he has the same authority as the disciples and he received what they received in the same manner.
  3. How did this gospel come?
    1. Preached cross 1 Corinthians 1: 17
    2. Came in fear and trembling 1 Corinthians 2: 3
    3. Didn’t use clever words, but trusted int he power of the Holy Spirit. 1 Corinthians 2: 4
    4. This is the ultimate use of the gifts and power of the Holy Spirit.
      1. Build up the body
      2. Spread the gospel of Jesus.
  4. Gospel (Good News) is not just something to be believed, but it is something to stand on.
    1. Wording means that you have stood, and now continue to stand on this gospel.
    2. Don’t get so enamored with the new teachings of gifts that you forget the foundation
    3. Salvation messages can become so boring for people that we forget that these are the foundation for everything that we stand on.
  5. Paul passed on the gospel
    1. Think of the parable of the sower and the seed in Mark 4.  It is not the sower or the seed that is the problem, but the ground that the seed falls on that makes the difference as to what is believed and what fruit comes of it.
  6. Pass message on to others who can continue to pass it on to others.
    1. 2 Timothy 2: 2 pass on the message to others who can also teach.
    2. Galatians 1: 8 There are those who will preach another message and they will be cursed for doing it.
  7. Passed on what I received (Part 2)
    1. Paul used this when he talked about communion (1 Corinthians 11: 23)
    2. There was a divine revelation that came to the disciples  (2 Peter 1: 21)
    3. What about the church existing before the Bible and it should be the final authority?
      1. They devoted themselves tot he apostles teaching Acts 2: 42
      2. The Epistles are the apostles teachings.

3. Some believe in vain Vs 2

  1. Saves you means continues to save you.
    1. This is a reminder of communion where we are in the process of becoming who God intends us to be.
  2. Must hold onto the gospel
    1. There are those who think they are holding onto the gospel, but in reality, they are deceived and don’t really believe.
    2. You can’t be a Christian and not believe in the resurrection
      1. Christianity all rises and falls on the message that Jesus rose again.
  3. The message of there being no resurrection was a huge message in the start of the church
    1. 1 Corinthians is the third letter written (50 A.D.)
    2. Only other two letters written were 1 and 2 Thessalonians which also deal with this fact

4. What is the Gospel?

  1. Christ died for our sins Vs 3b (Paul is not referring to the life of Christ, he is focusing on the purpose of that life, His death on the cross)
    1. Saved from future consequences of our sin. Wrath
    2. Saved from power of sin in our lives today.
    3. His death shows the ultimate power of sin and the need for redemption to break its power.
      1. Death is ultimate punishment
  2. He was buried and rose again on the third day.
    1. Jesus predicted this in Luke 18: 31 – 33
    2. Enemies had to kill Jesus the way He wanted them to.  They would not have fulfilled scriptures if they could have stopped it.
    3. Put in a new tomb so people could not claim it was someone else who rose from the dead. (Isaiah 53: 9) People would have put him on a table to see resurrection, but scripture had to be fulfilled.
    4. Word for buried is going to be changed to sown (Like seed planted)  You don’t plant seed without the hope of seeing it again in a new form.
    5. Risen one. EXAMPLE: man comes to fork in the road and needs direction.  Two people are there one dead and another alive.  Who would you ask for directions?  Why ask Mohammed, Buddha, Joseph Smith, for directions when we have Jesus
  3. Seen by 500 people
    1. Eye witness accounts of the resurrection.
  4. Some have fallen asleep (1 Corinthians 15: 20)
    1. Jesus died, now as a first fruits we only fall asleep.
    2. Bible does not associate death with believers
      1. Acts 7: 60 Stephen fell asleep
  5. Seen by James and the apostles.