Hope in Resurrection: A Harvest of Faith

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"Only Two Certainties In Life are Death and Taxes"
The apostle Paul — Death/Taxes/Resurrection
What happens after we die? How do you view resurrection? What does it means for believers today.
Christ was raised as the first of the blessing, then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back, to receive the blessing of the harvest of faith 1 Corinthians 15:23 (NLT)
Paul first takes on the larger question of belief in the resurrection of the dead before taking on the real, specific problem of bodily resurrection. 1 Corinthians & 2 Corinthians (Commentary)
Next week — How the dead are raised. Today — How hope in the resurrection brings a harvest of faith.
(S2) — Paul/spiritual leader/letters/problems...early church.
Those who did not believe in the resurrection of the dead, were causing confusion among believers — if gone uncorrected would have dire consequences to the spread of the gospel...
So he first addresses Spiritual leaders...
But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? 1 Corinthians 15:12 (NLT)
Who were they?
Acts 23:8The Sadducees say there is no resurrection or angels or spirits...
Acts 17:32 “When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt...
Division among Christian is nothing new! Baptism/communion/Definition of love/Sexuality, infallibility of scripture as absolute truth.
There are some bedrocks of the Christian faith…Jesus’ resurrection is one of them
(S3)Paul lays out his case by affirming his and others witness — About Jesus being seen alive after being beaten, left for dead and in cased in a tomb.
5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, 7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles.1 Corinthians 15:5-7
Paul’s personal encounter...His proclamation was not some pie in the sky notion, he was not a bonified theologian/religious leader. Persecutor of Christians who had met the risen Christ...
Still there were some who didn’t believe who had in a sense “Muddied the Waters”... “Introduce something...that makes it less clear or more confusing.”
Lawyers casting doubt on jury members.
The dangers of false, misguided mixed messaging today...
Valentines Day — TV — Victim’s of abuse — Parents love...
(S4)Reflection on an Italian Jewish family and Exile — Elanor Foe
“Elanor was confused and frustrated by the mixed messages she received from her parents: her mother a refugee from Nazi Germany, turned her back on everything from her homeland: to her it was ok to be Jewish as long as you didn’t look, sound, or act Jewish.; Her parents believed family is everything but distanced Eleanor and her sister from their extended family; her father insisted money wasn’t important, but went on to earn a seven figures; her parents marriage, admired by many, seemed so unhappy inside their home; her father though proud of his family history shared little of it with the girls.”
(S6) — Untruth can cause confusion, sending mixed messages can cast doubt on the faithful...
13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. 14 then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. 15 And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:13–15 (NLT)
If Jesus had not risen, it’s all for nothing! This church, its history, it’s witness over the years. The lives transformed. Today: our worship, serving, loving, healing...
Truth must begin here…but it goes beyond to ALL THOSE who proclaim the gospel of faith…
(S7) — We don’t always get it right…Why we have God’s truth…need each other

To not believe in resurrection, is to not believe in who Jesus is, what he came to do, and desires to do in us!

In verses 16–19, Paul unpacks the downward theological spiral that denying the resurrection of the dead creates for a believer. 1 Corinthians & 2 Corinthians (Commentary)
Pointing out the consequences Paul then gets very personal...
(S8) — 3 consequences of unbelief
16 And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! 1 Corinthians 15:16–18 (NLT)
What do we see there?
Ineffective Faith — Faith not rotted in Jesus alive is dead, and detrimental to spreading the good news of Jesus. Even if we have the best intentions.
I am not afraid that the people called Methodists should ever cease to exist either in Europe or America. But I am afraid lest they should only exist as a dead sect, having the form of religion without the power. And this undoubtedly will be the case unless they hold fast both the doctrine, spirit, and discipline with which they first set out. John Wesley –
The Guilt of sin — Unresolved sin burdens the believer. The stain of sin left uncleansed keeps us from living our best for God.
21 We belong to Adam...When Adam sinned…death came into the world…
Jesus alive doesn’t make us sinless, but he can help us to sin less! Only the risen Christ can free us from the weight of guilt!
The lost are not found — Those without Jesus are destined to the grave. For them resurrection of the dead is not possible.
Jesus’ main mission was to seek and save the lost — left the 99 to find one…If you claim his resurrection then he found you!
(S9) — A lack of belief in the resurrection leads to...
There were those who tried to muddy the waters…there still is today. How do we know? take the lit mess test…how effective are you in the kingdom work? is there any guilt…has Jesus found you?
(S10) — Then as Paul further states...
20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. 1 Corinthians 15:20 (NLT)
The firstfruit is the best of God...Jesus is alive so we can live our best for God — EFFECTIVE in faith — Free from GUILT — Found and SAVED for the work of Jesus.
Like many people you may believe in the resurrection....Easter — But do you really believe Jesus is alive in you? If you do then Paul tells us there will be fruit or evidence of it in your life


22 Everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 1 Corinthians 15:22 (NLT)
Belief in the resurrection of the body, is to believe Jesus has risen and when we do, we bear the fruit of God’s blessing — New and abundant life both here and now and eternal...
Some things are certain in this life — Death/Taxes…and Resurrection
Because Jesus’ Resurrection is TRUE, then YOUR Resurrection IS Possible!
Moe than just believing it...What will you do with it?
1. How can you be more effective in the kingdom work here and now?
2. Is there any unresolved guilt that Jesus needs to remove?
3. Are you truly seeking Jesus?
HOPE IN THE RESURRECTION....brings a harvest of faith.
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