April 10, 2022

The Radical Gospel

(1 Cor. 15:1-11)

I. The Person of Jesus Christ (vv. 3-4)

II. Faith in the Word of God (vv. 1-9, 11)

III. Grace of God (v. 10)

A. The Doctrine of Grace

B. The Source of Grace

C. The Placement of Grace

        We begin the 3 part resurrection sermon series…

        To better understand Resurrection, you need to understand the Gospel! Why Gospel? (v. 1) – evangelion, evangelidzo (evangelize the Gospel) – 1 root (noun and verb). The goal is to draw our attention to the Gospel! How does the Gospel relate to the resurrection? 3 key elements of the Gospel that help us understand the value of the resurrection!

I. The Person of Jesus Christ (vv. 3-4)

        One preacher shared how in his church there was a man sitting somewhere in the back, and when the preacher would do well preaching, he would voice out his approval by saying “Praise the Lord”! But, when the preacher would struggle, the same person during the sermon could loudly say: “Help him Lord”! J

        By what principles do we evaluate preaching, reading the Bible?

        Another preacher shared how he had a sister in the church who listened very carefully to his preaching, and waited for him to bring up Jesus Christ, and if the preacher would delay with this task, she would loudly say: “Lift Him up; lift Him up!”

        For this sister, it was important to hear the teaching on Jesus Christ! But, how do we evaluate the sermon, the church or the Gospel?

        The Gospel is not a program, but a person (relationship)!

        (v. 3) “Christ died for our sins” – the 5 main words of the Gospel!

        When God created the universe and mankind, He did it by speaking the world into existence, but when Adam and Eve sinned, we observe that God personally was involved in taking care of Adam and Eve (Gen. 3:21)!

        This shows that the issue of solving the problem of human sin cannot be solved without the personal involvement of God!

        Listen carefully. There are two ways how forgiveness is granted. The first way is when someone carelessly scratched your car on the parking lot, and the driver apologized, so you decided to let them go. What it means that your forgiveness, assumes that you absorb the cost of repairs.

        The second way is more intricate. This is when, for example, I violated the speed limit, and in court, you, being the good judge, rightly, and lawfully demand the legal penalty from me: you issue a fine, but then you leave the judge’s seat, take out the necessary amount of money out of your own pocket, and immediately pay my fine! If in the first case, only mercy was shown. In the second, justice and mercy were served! That is why Christ had to suffer and die! God’s mercy and justices have met at the cross!

        (Heb. 9:22) – without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins!

        (v. 4) Christ’s resurrection confirms the sufficiency of His sacrifice!

        The sufficiency of the sacrifice – is important due to the magnitude of the human sin! It is forever great – that’s why the Bible talks about eternal retribution in hell! Then, the payment for our sins must match in its greatness and value, the debt and the offence that our sin caused, that’s why for eternal weight of sin, there must be a payment of the equal value, the eternal Son of God!

        The proof (Rom. 4:25) is the key for Resurrection! (Acts 17:31) is the proof of eternal judgment and eternal forgiveness.

        Could it be that Jesus is part of your life but not the point? Maybe you are looking for forgiveness without commitment. Maybe a program and not relationship? Maybe a method, and not a person?

        How do you check your true heart? If we were to remove Christ from your life, will your life still make sense, or it will come nothing?

        (Phil. 1:21) – for me, the life of Christ is not a desire and aspiration, but a fact and reality!

        You see, we do not have faith in faith, or we don’t hope in hope, or trust in trust. We hope, believe and trust the living person of Jesus Christ. That is why the resurrection is vital for every believer!

II. Faith in the Word of God (vv. 1-9, 11)

        You believed (v. 11) How?

        (v. 11) – from preaching! What is the sermon about? (v. 3) – Christ!

        (vv. 3-4) (2X) According to the Scriptures… this is important detail!

        How does this process of faith take place? (vv. 1-2)

  • Received – This (2:1-3) – information about Christ
  • In which you stand (2:4-5) – the action of the power of God
  • Being saved (passive, continuous action). We are already saved (1:21), but we continue to move towards eternity and final salvation!
  • Hold fast (John 14:21) – the keeping of the Word, leads to richer and better vision of Christ!

(vv. 5-9) Why did Christ appeal to 500 (v. 6)? At the time of this writing, many of these people lived throughout the Roman Empire and could personally testify of the resurrected Jesus! This is an apologetic note! This is the foundation of our faith!

So, the resurrection of Christ, is the fact confirmed by witnesses! Scripture is based on the facts!

III. Grace of God (v. 10)

A. The Doctrine of Grace

        This text says that who believers are, is not due to them being better than the rest, and not because God foresaw their good life in advance, and that they will turn out to be ok, or will make the right kind of choices, but because of God’s grace! Friends, this doctrine of grace is so humbling! Where you are in life right now in relation to eternity is because of God’s grace! A gift!!!

        Paul shows this very vividly in previous verses.

        (v. 8) – untimely born (miscarriage birth) – “I am the misfit”

        (v. 9) – unworthy (because he persecuted the church)

        (v. 10) – but Grace! Grace not only brought us to where we are now, but grace also keeps us where we are now. If it wasn’t for grace, friends, we would not be here today!

        If you were to come to my house, and my house was a mess, you would rebuke me, moreover, you would explain why it is not right, also explain what I should do, and you would show how to, and even help me clean the house… Will I boast afterwards in my neatness and discipline?

        It’s like me teaching my sons to mow the lawn… the first few times, I go with them and push the lawn mower… yes, they mowed, but not without my help and guidance!

        So is it with the spiritual life – the grace of God is in us and with us, working in and through us! Any achievement in life of a believer is an action of God’s grace! And here the nature of grace is revealed – it is free, and does not give a chance for boasting!

        (Titus 2:11-14) – teaches, leads, directs!

        Grace is the beginning, the middle, and the end of our salvation!

B. The Source of Grace

        Grace of God (3X) – Grace is grace because its source is in God! Why is it important? God is self-sufficient and inexhaustible. If we associate our grace with any human, if will ran dry or ran flat sooner or later, but if the grace is linked to eternal God, then, by definition, grace is inexhaustible because God is eternal!

        Why is it important? I don’t know about you, but I often feel the sinfulness of my flesh. If grace were in the hands of man, or in my own hands, then there will be always a chance that it might run dry, and I would never have confidence. But, since grace is in the hands of God, when temptations creep up on us, and seize us by the throat, trying to choke us, we receive much needed grace!

        (Heb. 4:16) – if you turn to a person, you will not get through. Did you receive grace at the right time?

        How do we receive this grace? (Col. 1:3-6) – in truth!

C. The Placement of Grace

        This is not a simple doctrine, but a sort of a teacher, who not only explains the subject, but who influences us!

        Grace does not replace our effort, but makes it possible!

        (2 Tim. 2:1-2) – Grace strengthens us. For what? (v. 2) – for service! (v. 3) – to endure the suffering associated with the ministry!

        (2 Cor. 9:7-9) – the grace to be sacrificial. God enriches us with grace to be sacrificial!

        Thus, grace humbles us (James 4:6)

        Grace teaches us to be patient and merciful to others.

        And now, the most important thing – if Christ has not been risen, there is not access to such grace!

        (2 Tim. 2:1-2) – Christ!

        (Heb. 4:14-15) – high priest, advocate!

        Therefore, the resurrection of Jesus is the most important element of the Gospel!

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