Recap and The Resurrection
1 Corinthians 15:12-26
Corinth is a city very much like Greater Boston. Intellectual, Sexual, Spiritual, Relational and Rich. Paul, not your typical pastor. He's brash, impatient and can take a beating.
Chapter 1: We saw that Paul touched on some key theological truths. (1 Corinthians 1:1-9)
Sanctified: Slowly Growing us into his image.
Called to be Saints Together: You are called into a family.
God has given you grace: The church should be known as a place of grace.
Guiltless: You're blameless, perfect, holy, righteous, sinless. We aught to walk without shame.
Called: You didn't wake up one day and choose to believe this, God called you.
Chapter 1: We need to fight for Unity within the church. (1 Corinthians1:10)
In the church we typically see two types of people who bring dis-unity.
Refs: A referee is someone who is at the game, doesn’t play, but runs around calling fouls on everyone. In the church, the refs are the ones who are constantly complaining about everything but don’t do anything.
Wolves: A wolf is someone who comes into the church seeking to kill what God is doing, typically by trying to gain a following and bringing in false doctrine. The shepherd is not called to show grace and mercy to wolves; but instead in order to protect the sheep, we kill wolves.
Chapter 1: The Christian message is foolish. (1 Corinthians 1:18)
Imagine that some dude from the backwoods of Ipswich comes to the door. “I’m here to tell you about God." A 15yr old virgin from Salem, gave birth to God in a tent. He grew up, never went to college, never owned a own home, and was poor. He worked for North Shore Cabinetry until he was 30. He recently fed everybody at a Pats game with a BigMac and fries. He turned water into Sam Adams so his friends could get krunked at a wedding. He kept saying he was God, so we beat him and finally killed him. Three days later, he came back from the dead. If you believe in him, you’ll find purpose for your life and escape hell.
Thats the Christian Message:
We believe some weird stuff. God (Namely, Jesus Christ) was born of a virgin. Worked as a carpenter, Lived sinless, absolutely no flaw in him at all, fed 5000 people with a fish and bread, turned water into wine. That he died for every offense ever committed by those who believe, That 3 days later, after being beaten within an inch of his life, nailed to a cross and having a spear thrusted through his heart sack, after being wrapped in 100 lbs of cloth, he came back to life. Signifying and proving to the world that he is exactly who he said he was…the Son of God, the Messiah, The Chosen one, God in the Flesh. And then tells 12 dudes to go and tell that story, and they do.
Today, 2/3 of the total population in the world, (about 2 billion people) believe that message and will worship him together on Sunday. Not because those people are wise, but because thousands of years ago God Abraham that he was going to build up a nation for himself, And that’s exactly what He’s doing.
Chapter 2: The Christian message is Not intellectual, but one of power. (1 Corinthians 2:2-5)
We're not going to use lofty speech or seem more intellectual than we actually are. Personally, I'm not that bright. I went to public school in NJ. I am a yankee's fan. I cant be smart.
We believe in Jesus because he's come to us in power, not because we've figured it out.
Chapter 3: Its time to Grow up. (1 Corinthians 3:1)
Paul is here telling the Corinthians that they are acting like babies. Get out of the kiddie pool. You're 28 years old doing back strokes in a yellow pool. Grow up. These christians have been in the game for years and are still acting like a baby.
Stop asking people to feed you and feed yourself. Children cant feel themselves. You're an adult.
Chapter 4: We had to redefine the pastors role? (1 Corinthians 4:1)
The Pastors role is not to serve you.
The Pastors role is to serve Christ and be a steward of his word.
Chapter 5: Sometimes Judging is the loving thing to do. (1 Corinthians 5:3-5)
The guy is having sex with his mother and the Corinthian church thinks their cute. Although Jesus says not to cast eternal judgements, Paul says that at times, for the purpose of ones soul, we need to judge. He goes as far as to say to hand this man over to Satan.
Chapter 6: Families will Fight. (1 Corinthians 6:1)
The bible calls us as believers in Christ; Family and one of the main characteristics of family is that we fight together. (Siblings, Marriages, etc.). As Christians we are to seek to work out our differences within the church.
Chapter 6 and 7: Avoid Bad Sex. Have Good Sex. (1 Corinthians 6:13, 18; 7:2-5)
Single people were doing it like rabbits and the married people werent doing it at all. In these chapters, Paul is explaining that the body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for God. He is encouraging the married people to pursue good and healthy physical intimacy and encouraging the single people to withstand from sexually relations until you are fully committed in every other area, aka marriage.
Chapter 7: Marriage and Divorce. (1 Corinthians 7:10-11)
The Purpose of Marriage: The purpose of marriage is to Glorify God by show the world of His eternal, unending, unchanging love to those who are His. This is why he makes marriage an eternal, unending and unchanging covenant. Because that is in his nature.
Chapter 7: Singleness is a Gift. (1 Corinthians 7:32-34)
A lot of people look at their single years as a waste. They want to find that someone to spend the rest of their life with. Paul is telling the church to take advantage of their singleness. You will not be single forever, so use your singleness to do things for the Kingdom that you will struggle to do when you are no longer single. Pursue God without distractions. Go on missions trips. Give generously to the Kingdom. Your singleness is a gift, use it to the glory of Christ.
Chapter 8: The Conscience
Pastors often elevate conscience issues to the place of doctrine. When they do that, its legalism. Things like Tattoos, Piercings, Alcohol, Music Style, Cigerettes, Political Party, and being organic; are all conscience issues. Is we at Netcast ever start to elevate our conscience to doctrine, we have failed you.
Chapter 9: Paying your pastor. (1 Corinthians 9:3-7)
As uncomfortable as it was for me to teach these verses, I did. The majority of Pastors live in poverty. Actually, the running joke among ministry leaders is that when you agree to the calling of pastor ministry, you are agreeing to be poor. This is wrong according to Paul. He outlines reasons why it is wrong and compels us to take care our our pastors financial needs.
Chapter 10: Idolatry Defined, Exposed and Fought (1 Corinthians 10:14)
Idolatry is anything more important to you than God. Anything that absorbs your heart and imagination more than God. And idol is something that we want so badly that we will sin if we don’t get it or sin in order to obtain it. Its anything that you seek to give you what only God can give you. Idolatry is building your life and meaning on anything other than the Lord Jesus Christ.
Sleep, Sexual Pleasure, Intimacy, Work, Money, TV, Food, Isolation, a spouse, a Boyfriend / Girlfriend, a Sport, Exercise, Hobbies, Internet, Video Games, Drugs, Alcohol, and even things such as your Church and Ministry.
Here's how you know what you idols are....
What do you daydream about? What thoughts occupy your mind?
How do you spend your money?
What is your most uncontrollable emotion?
Where do you run for security when you are overwhelmed?
What is the one thing, that if you had it, it’d complete you?
Are you more broken when people reject you or when they reject Jesus?
Chapter 11: Distractions in Worship.
Dress in a way that wont cause distractions.
Don't be the Tambourine Dude or the Flag Lady or the Cotton Eye Joe Dancer.
Be careful that your Children are not a distraction.
Prepare your hearts before you get to church.
Chapter 12: Started to look at Spiritual Gifts, One Body with Many Parts
Balanced Philosophy: Missional Living vs Attractive Sunday Service.
Balanced Approach: Making Converts vs Making Disciples.
Balanced Theology: Reformed vs Armenian
Balanced Doctrine: (Spiritual Gifts)
Charismatic: Charismatic Christianity is a Christian Doctrine that maintains that God still gives every modern-day believer Spiritual Gifts. And those gifts include the ability to experience miracles, prophecy, tongues, and all the other spiritual gifts described in the scriptures.
Not Charismaniac: This is my definition of movements within Christianity that has no boundaries or biblical bias for the gifts of the Spirit. Just about anything goes. The Shake and Bake, The Tap and fall, The Bark, The hick-up, The Chicken Chirp, the meow and the isle runners.
Chapter 13: Love: The Mark of Maturity.
The corinthian church was measuring maturity by the gifts of the Spirit. Spiritual gifts are not the correct measure of ones maturity. Love is the mark. Love is a choice, not a feeling. Love is choosing to act a certain way. Then Paul outlines some of the choices that love leads us to make.
Read (1 Corinthians 13:4-6)
Chapter 14: Spiritual Gifts are given to build up the church. (1 Corinthians 14:12, 26)
Paul outlines the purpose of spiritual gifts. The main reason that God gives us gifts is so that we would be a blessing and encouragement to the Kingdom of God. Are we using our gifts to build up the Kingdom of God? Are we simply trying to use our gifts to draw attention to ourself and our glory?
One of the major themes today in modern culture, is the idea that all religions lead to virtually the same things. I was recently told that“Every religion is designed as simply a crutch to help human flourishing during hard times; and ultimately all religions teach the same things, which is, having faith in a God or Higher Power and a dedication to being good.”
There are some truths to that. The majority of the major religions in the world, teach that if you have enough faith and dedication to a specific religion or even a specific cause, than God will accept you. Even Christianity says things like, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. So, there is within Christianity, the belief that faith and dedication is important.
To take it even further, as I have studied other religions over the years, I have realized that the practicality of how Christianity is played out in the lives of Christians is similar to most other religions. - Prayer - Worship - Dedication - Love - Generosity - Morality
What makes Christianity different?
“Why Christianity?” I mean our of all of the religions in the world, why am I committed to Christianity?
One answer: The Resurrection.
Never in human history is there documented that a man, claimed to be God, was killed for it and then rose from death. There is only one single, isolated event in all of documented human history that you can see, from an intellectual perspective, this happening. And that is the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
This was the primary message of the disciples: (Not morality, dedication, or religion)
Peter (Acts 2:22-24; 32) (Acts 4:8-12)
After Paul was converted his main message was, I was wrong, Jesus has risen.
I have come to the conclusion that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is either one of the most wicked, vicious, heartless hoaxes ever foisted on the minds of human beings--or it is the most remarkable fact in all of human history. Thats exactly what Paul is saying in these verses. If Christ has not been raised from the dead, that we should be most pitied among all people. (1 Corinthians 15:12-19)
Why would we be, of all of the people in the world, the most pitied?
Think of the time, money, and energy that would be wasted in life if the resurrection is not true. Think of the redicilious amounts of times that we would have with-held temporary pleasures only to find out that there is no reward. Think about the endless sufferings that would be absolutely meaningless, if the resurrection is not true.
Paul is right.
Why on earth would we believe in the resurrection?
Here are some of the facts relevant to the resurrection: Jesus of Nazareth, a Jewish prophet who claimed to be the Christ prophesied in the Jewish Scriptures, was arrested, was judged a political criminal, and was crucified. Three days after His death and burial, some women who went to His tomb found the body gone. In subsequent weeks, His disciples claimed that God had raised Him from the dead and that He appeared to them various times before ascending into heaven. From that foundation, Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire and has continued to exert great influence down through the centuries.
What does the resurrection mean for me?
The resurrection of Jesus robs sin of its ultimate power over your life. Sins ultimate power is death. Every single sin you can fight, but you cannot fight death. You can fight sexual sin, you can fight pride, you can fight lying, stealing, idolatry, etc.
No matter how young you try to stay, no matter how much exercise you do, no matter how organic you are, no matter how much plastic surgery you get, no matter how consistent you are with your doctor appointments, no matter how much you avoid Twinkies, burgers, pork, high-fructose corn syrup, cigarettes, STD's. The reality of your life and of my life is that we may prolong the process, but ultimately we will die.
It might be cancer, a heart attack, a car accident, murder, suicide, a stroke, or just simply old age. But Romans 3 and our experience is clear. Sin always leads to death. “The penalty of sin is death." And the resurrection absolutely proves that although you will die, sin does not have to be victorious over you when you die.
This is why Paul can say what he says in 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.