God’s Resurrection Program—1 Corinthians 15:20-28

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Levi Durfey

 

INTRODUCTION

 

20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. (1 Corinthians 15:20–28)

 

In this passage, we find a description of God’s resurrection program. What do I mean by a program? I mean that there are a series of things that have happened and that will happen. 

 

Maybe you have gone to a play before, perhaps a school one. What did you receive at the door? A program. The program told you the order of events in the play—Act I, Act II, Act III and so on.

 

That’s what this passage is for God’s resurrection program. The resurrection is not just limited to that Sunday morning two thousand years ago. That wasn’t even Act I. The program of the resurrection began with Adam and the Fall of man in the Garden. 

 

The program continues until the day that all enemies of God are defeated and the eternal state begins—that will be the final act.

 

What we will see in this description of God’s resurrection program is:

1) the need of the resurrection; 

2) the order of the resurrection; and 

3) the completion of the resurrection.

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If Christ Be Not Risen—1 Corinthians 15:12-19

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Levi Durfey

 

INTRODUCTION

 

It seems unbelievable to us, but in Corinth, there were Christians who believed that Christ rose from the dead, but they, when they died, would not rise from the dead.

 

1 Corinthians 15:12 

Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, 

how say some among you that 

there is no resurrection of the dead?  

 

Why were some Christians not believing that they would be raised from the dead? This is yet another case of Christians letting the culture influence the way they believe. 

 

It seemed right to them not to believe in the resurrection of the dead because that’s what most Greek and Roman people believed then. When the body died, they believed, that was it. The spirit would live on, but never again in a body. It didn’t seem like a big deal to believe the same thing as a Christian.

 

Our culture influences what we believe as Christians today also. In our day, the teaching of evolution is difficult for many Christians to get past in many ways. 

 

There is, of course, how Christians try to fit evolutionary teaching about creation into the Bible (such as Theistic Evolution). But evolution has affected every area of how we live, so it seeps into our lives in ways that we don’t even notice. 

 

Recently, I read a survey that showed that half of Americans don’t believe that humans are anymore special than animals (http://www.uncommondescent.com/evolution/nearly-50-americans-now-think-humans-not-special/). 

 

That is from the teaching of evolution and it affects how we live today. It’s why euthanasia and abortion don’t seem so bad to many people

 

It’s why animal rights activists are becoming more and more numerous. It’s even why pet owners treat their pets as little children, dressing them up and spending so much money on the comfort and care of their pets.

 

Ultimately, the teaching of evolution tells us that, since humans are the same as other animals, our destiny is also the same—we cease to exist after we die. 

 

The idea of a resurrection is impossible for unbelievers to believe. And also, many Christians face doubts about Christ’s resurrection and their own resurrection because of the prevalence of evolutionary teaching in our culture.

 

So the Corinthians had let their culture determine their unbelief in their own resurrection, while still believing that Christ rose from the dead. 

 

How does Paul handle this problem? He says that if there is no resurrection of the dead for believers, then neither was Christ risen from the dead.

 

1 Corinthians 15:13 

But if there be no resurrection of the dead, 

then is Christ not risen:  

 

That’s logical isn’t it? It’s like saying, if there are no cars, then there is no NASCAR racing. No resurrection of the dead, then Christ didn’t rise from the dead. Simple logic. 

 

But Paul does more, he goes on to list six negative results that would be true if Christ be not risen from the dead.

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Is Your Spiritual Growth Noticeable?—1 Timothy 4:15

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Levi Durfey

 

INTRODUCTION 

 

In the first letter to Timothy, Paul writes words of counsel:

 

12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity. 13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery. 15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. (1 Timothy 4:12–16)

 

Right now, I want to focus us in on verse 15—

 

1 Timothy 4:15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. 

 

This is a challenge to all of us as Christians. Are we in God’s Word so much that other people will notice that we are growing? If not, why not? If we’re not, how do we get into God’s Word in a way that will help us grow?

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The Effects Of Grace—1 Corinthians 15:8-11

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Levi Durfey

 

INTRODUCTION

 

1 Corinthians 15 is the great chapter in the Bible about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the future resurrection of every believer in Jesus Christ. But in the verses we’ll look at now, the apostle Paul takes a momentary bunny trail to describe the effects of God’s grace in his life.

 

If you’ve ever taken out a loan, or been a student in college, you know what a “grace period” is. It’s the time after the deadline for a loan or assignment has passed where you don’t have to take a late fee or a bad grade. 

 

I remember in college that there would always be a few procrastinators who, on the day a paper was due, would clamor and beg the professor for a “grace period.” For some reason, the two months they had just wasn’t enough.

 

When the professor would give in and allow the paper to be handed in after the weekend, the effects of the grace period on those procrastinators was remarkable. What they should have spend two months doing, they did in two days (with the help of a lot of Mountain Dew). 

 

Grace has an effect in our lives. The person who claims God’s grace has forgiven them, but continues in the same old sin without remorse, has not encountered the powerful, life-changing, grace of God. Notice how Paul describes the effects of grace in his own life:

 

8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed. (1 Corinthians 15:8–11)

 

What do we learn about the effects of grace from these verses?

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