Welcome to Grace …              Happy Easter!“… if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile;              you are ...
1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction
1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised?
1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised?   – The eyewitnesses1 Corinthians 15:5 ff. “… he appeared to...
1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised?  – The eyewitnesses  – Their accounts
1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised?  – The eyewitnesses  – Their accounts  – The documentation
Author     Date          Earliest    Gap          Number of Accuracy           Written       Copy        between      Copi...
1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised?  – The eyewitnesses  – Their accounts  – The documentation
1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised?  – The eyewitnesses  – Their accounts  – The documentation  ...
1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised?• Has sin been forgiven?“if Christ has not been raised, your ...
1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised?• Has sin been forgiven?  – The Old Testament background
Hebrews 10“The law is only a shadow of the good things thatare coming—not the realities themselves. For thisreason it can ...
1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised?• Has sin been forgiven?  – The Old Testament background
Psalm 22                                   Isaiah 53All who see me mock me;                      He was despised and rejec...
1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised?• Has sin been forgiven?  – The Old Testament background  – T...
Hebrews 10“Day after day every priest stands andperforms his religious duties; again and againhe offers the same sacrifice...
Romans 3But now apart from the law the righteousness of Godhas been made known, to which the Law and theProphets testify. ...
1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised?• Has sin been forgiven?  – The Old Testament background  – T...
1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised?• Has sin been forgiven?  – The Old Testament background  – T...
1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised?  – The eyewitnesses  – Their accounts  – The documentation• ...
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1 corinthians 15 vv 13 14 easter 2013

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  • You get the odd debate every now and again amongst theologians about whether the Cross or the resurrection are more important.What Paul seems to be saying here (amongst other things that concern him perhaps a bit more) is that the question’s a nonsense.Paul is telling us that Cross without resurrection is ‘vain’, and of course resurrection without Cross would be senseless.Here’s the point … you can’t deny the resurrection and keep the central issue of Christianity, which is not ethics or ‘love’, but the forgiveness of sins.The central issue in Christianity is that Christ died for our real sins to avert the real righteous anger of God at the way we (His Creation) have behaved in His world with the life He has given us and that having paid the whole price of that sin has CEASED TO BE LIABLE FOR THEIR PENALTY … the death is a disaster and a failure without the resurrection.The trouble is that MOST of us have no previous experience of anything as outstanding as someone being raised from the dead.People find it hard to believe things they haven’t already seen, things that lie outside our previous experience, and the temptation is there to be selective about how radical a set of things to believe … to make the belief set a little more respectable in a fundamentally secular society.The temptation is not new.Paul wrote (around 55 AD) “… if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”Two fundamental questions and answers, then:Has Christ been raised?Has sin been forgiven?
  • Obviously, if Christianity’s central beliefs are to be upheld, we need to be clear WHY it is held that Christ was raised.The reasons for the resurrection lie within two groups:There’s the documented eyewitness accountsThere’s the testimony to His on-going lifeBut first let’s just check out who these eye-witnesses were …
  • Look at who these people were.They were from amongst the 12 who had lived cheek by jowel with Jesus for the last three years or so watching His every move, hearing pretty much His every word. Familiarity normally breeds contempt, but these men went from disappointed and distress straight to AWE.Five hundred of His followers at one time went straight from disillusionment and despair to a determination to put their lives on the line for Him, and then James and all the Apostles (who would actually stake their LIVES and DIE for the truth of the resurrection) all put their faith in the fact that the Jesus they knew and saw killed and entombed had been raised.But not all of the eyewitnesses wanted or had a mind to believe it.“… 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.”Paul, Saul of Tarsus … another who would live then eventually stake his life on the truth of Christ’s bodily resurrection … was in no sense open to consider the claims of Christ when he was met by the Risen Lord Jesus on the road.These – there were many others – were the sort of people who were the eye witnesses of His resurrection … and they were happy to stick around and answer questions about it!
  • Their accounts are recorded in the Gospels and in Acts … copies of which still exist from within the lifetime of contemporaries.These accounts were open to examination within years by the people who were also eye witnesses of the resurrection and by the people who wished passionately it had never happened.You would have thought that when so many people witnessed the same events there’d be disagreement about how it was … but although the resurrection accounts in the Gospels were clearly written by very different people from very different backgrounds there wasn’t any significant disagreement at all.(What are the odds of getting 500 people in one place all agreeing about a major event they’ve all witnessed?!)… and sticking by those accounts cost them dearly.
  • More than that, the accounts were recorded in credible documents that come down to us in a credible manuscript tradition … what do I mean?I mean that there are two strong manuscript arguments that indicate the historical evidence for Christ’s death and resurrection is compelling.Firstly, the sheer number of early manuscripts available to corroborate these accounts is overwhelming.I have a table here to demonstrate what I mean …
  • You can see that the weight of evidence that supports the accounts in the Gospels is very heavy indeed.No-one suggests that Pliny’s historicity is compromised by there being only 7 copies of what he wrote coming down to us.No-one suggests Caesar’s Gallic Wars is unreliable because there are only 10 copies to be compared to see that we have the right text in our hands.But there are around 5,600 copies written less than 100 years after the events to corroborate and support the historicity of our NT texts about the resurrection.The sheer weight of the evidence for the NT’s historical account of the resurrection is overwhelming.
  • We are establishingthat the accounts were recorded in credible documents that come down to us in a credible manuscript tradition … we’re saying that there are two strong manuscript arguments that indicate the historical evidence for Christ’s death and resurrection is compelling.Firstly, the sheer number of early manuscripts available to corroborate these accounts is overwhelming.Secondly the manuscripts we HAVE corroborate one another very, very strongly.What I mean is that the huge number of manuscripts that we have all back each other up very strongly, EXCEPT where we know that there were reasons of their own that the people who made those copies had reasons of their own to be fiddling with the text to further their own ends and agendas.The table we were looking at shows that 99.5% of the time this huge number of copies of the Scriptures corroborate one another.Now, historically, that means the accounts of the resurrection are very reliable indeed.Lord Dacre of Glanton (Hugh Trevor Roper) ‘the best attested fact in the ancient world is that Jesus Christ died and was raised from the dead.’Has Christ been raised from the dead?This isn’t just the answer of faith …Historically, the accounts are reliable so, YES!
  • Paul spells out the implications of this clearly …“if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”But if Christ then HAS been raised … far from futile, it’s not only justified but FRUITFUL!Here’s the second line of evidence that corroborates the resurrection, and it’s one that we shouldn’t forget.The Risen Lord Jesus still impacts, influences and (in fact) INHABITS the lives of people He gore on calling to Himself.He’s not just Risen and returned to Glory.He’s Risen, alive and living in His people.So lives continue to be touched and changed … unusual, unexpected and unpredictable people’s lives as they meet with the still-living Jesus.The implication of Jesus the Saviour being still alive is that He goes ON saving lost people’s lives.
  • Paul writes: “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”He directly links Christ having been raised from the dead to the actual forgiveness of sins.But as ever with Paul the ex-Pharisee the whole theology of forgiveness kicks off in the OT.
  • Paul grew up knowing a LOT about sin and atonement.Those ideas do NOT sit at the root of our culture … but they sat at the root of his.In Paul’s spiritual formation, sin was a clearly established phenomenon … it was clear in his mind that God as the Creator had the right to legislate in His world, that He HAD done so, been defied and continues to be defied as our sinful human nature erupts to the surface to this day.More than being clear about what sin is, Paul’s upbringing and training in God’s Word led him to see clearly that sin always brings judgement.Now, over against that negative side of the issue, the OT goes to great trouble to spell out how God deals with that problem of sin.The consequence of sin is passed to a sacrificial victim that lays down its life to pay the penalty of sin.But during the entire period of the OT there was never – not EVER – a case of any one of those bulls and goats getting up and walking away from the altar.The reason is obvious.Not one thing in the whole of that OT sacrificial system was ever able to wash away sin.
  • Hebrews 10 then quotes Psalm 40:6-8 – “Sacrifice and offering you did not desire—    but a body you have prepared for me    burnt offerings and sin offerings[b] you did not require.7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come—    it is written about me in the scroll.[c]8 I desire to do your will, my God;    your law is within my heart.”There was an understanding throughout those OT days that God was going to do something other than the OT sacrificial system to actually pay the price of sin.And here comes Jesus, in a body, dying the death of the Cross.Now, there’s a lot more OT prophecy about Him than that.Isaiah 50:6Isaiah 53:12Psalm 34:20 – bones not brokenZech. 11:13 – 30 pieces of silverBut the central issues about what the cross did are in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53 …Psalm 22:18 – dividing garments
  • OK … so Paul KNEW all of that.
  • Now, the NT picks up on all of that background.And what it says is not just that Christ truly was raised from the dead (we’ve seen that) but that the forgiveness of sin was the result of his dying and rising from the dead.
  • Then there’s the testimony of Paul himself here in 1 Cor. 15“… if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”Here’s what the NT teaches about it all …
  • The NT says clearly that sin HAS been forgiven and that Christ’s resurrection shows that this price HAS been paid …
  • Has sin been forgiven?It HAS!And we see that in the ways that burdens of sin and guilt get raised from people turning from their guilty lives in sin to follow Jesus Christ.
  • Then there’s just one more thing.In NT times there were instances of those who were dead being raised.Paul himself had personal experience of this, having been stoned to death at Lystra in Acts 14, he was surrounded by the believers who prayed for him, and then he walked back into the city.Then in Acts 20 “Seated in a window was a young man named Eutychus, who was sinking into a deep sleep as Paul talked on and on. When he was sound asleep, he fell to the ground from the third storey and was picked up dead. 10 Paul went down, threw himself on the young man and put his arms round him. ‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said. ‘He’s alive!’ 11 Then he went upstairs again and broke bread and ate. After talking until daylight, he left. 12 The people took the young man home alive and were greatly comforted.”To us this seems a bit bizarre … but I’ve been reading a book recently that documents how the church undergoing persecution survives it, and in their experience it happens that God raises dead people today.It appears that not they but WE in the sceptical, secular West who are out of line here … in Matthew 10 Jesus sends out HIS followers to DO this:“7 As you go, proclaim this message: “The kingdom of heaven has come near.” 8 Heal those who are ill, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy,[a] drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give.”Look – He says it like it’s ORDINARY!Well, apparently, it IS in His extraordinary Kingdom.
  • Christ HAS been raised.You can see it in the strength of the historical testimony to the fact and in the effect of the living Jesus on the lives of His people to this day.By His death and resurrection Christ demonstrates that at last the price of sin is paid.Christ rose from the dead indicating that the price of sin has been fully paid up so that it’s penalty is spent and has GONE.“if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.”But He has been raised … as we’ve seen.So your faith is not futile because the resurrection shows Christ has dealt with your sins.
  • 1 corinthians 15 vv 13 14 easter 2013

    1. 1. Welcome to Grace … Happy Easter!“… if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” 1 Corinthians 15:13-14
    2. 2. 1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction
    3. 3. 1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised?
    4. 4. 1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised? – The eyewitnesses1 Corinthians 15:5 ff. “… he appeared to Cephas, and then tothe Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundredof the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom arestill living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appearedto James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appearedto me also, as to one abnormally born.”
    5. 5. 1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised? – The eyewitnesses – Their accounts
    6. 6. 1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised? – The eyewitnesses – Their accounts – The documentation
    7. 7. Author Date Earliest Gap Number of Accuracy Written Copy between Copies of Copies original & copyPliny 61-113 A.D. 850 A.D. 750 yrs 7 ---- 480-425Herodotus 900 A.D. 1300 yrs. 8 ---- B.C.Suetonius 75-160 A.D. 950 A.D. 800 yrs 8 ---- 460-400Thucydides 900 A.D. 1300 yrs 8 ---- B.C.Caesar 100-44 B.C. 900 A.D. 1000 10 ---- circa 100Tacitus 1100 A.D. 1000 yrs 20 ---- A.D. 384-322Aristotle 1100 A.D. 1400 49 ---- B.C. 2nd Cent. 1st Cent.New A.D. less than A.D. (50- 5600 99.5%Testament (c. 130 A.D. 100 years 100 A.D. f.)
    8. 8. 1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised? – The eyewitnesses – Their accounts – The documentation
    9. 9. 1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised? – The eyewitnesses – Their accounts – The documentation – The implications
    10. 10. 1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised?• Has sin been forgiven?“if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile;you are still in your sins.18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ arelost.19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are ofall people most to be pitied.”
    11. 11. 1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised?• Has sin been forgiven? – The Old Testament background
    12. 12. Hebrews 10“The law is only a shadow of the good things thatare coming—not the realities themselves. For thisreason it can never, by the same sacrificesrepeated endlessly year after year, makeperfect those who draw near toworship. 2 Otherwise, would they not have stoppedbeing offered? For the worshipers would havebeen cleansed once for all, and would no longerhave felt guilty for their sins.3 But those sacrificesare an annual reminder of sins. 4 It is impossiblefor the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.”
    13. 13. 1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised?• Has sin been forgiven? – The Old Testament background
    14. 14. Psalm 22 Isaiah 53All who see me mock me; He was despised and rejected by mankind, they hurl insults, shaking their heads. a man of suffering, and familiarI am poured out like water, with pain. and all my bones are out of joint. Like one from whom people hide their facesMy mouth is dried up like a potsherd, he was despised, and we held himthey pierce my hands and my feet. in low esteem. 4 Surely he took up our pain17 All my bones are on display; and bore our suffering, people stare and gloat over me. yet we considered him punished by18 They divide my clothes among them God, and cast lots for my garment. stricken by him, and afflicted. 5 But he was pierced for ourAll the ends of the earth transgressions, will remember and turn to the LORD, he was crushed for our iniquities;and all the families of the nations the punishment that brought us will bow down before him, peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.future generations will be told about 6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,the Lord. each of us has turned to our own31 They will proclaim his righteousness, way; and the LORD has laid on him declaring to a people yet unborn: the iniquity of us all. He has done it!
    15. 15. 1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised?• Has sin been forgiven? – The Old Testament background – The New Testament testimony
    16. 16. Hebrews 10“Day after day every priest stands andperforms his religious duties; again and againhe offers the same sacrifices, which can nevertake away sins.12 But when this priest had offered for all timeone sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the righthand of God, 13 and since that time he waits forhis enemies to be made his footstool.14 For by one sacrifice he has madeperfect forever those who are being made holy.
    17. 17. Romans 3But now apart from the law the righteousness of Godhas been made known, to which the Law and theProphets testify. 22 This righteousness is given throughfaith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is nodifference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all havesinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all arejustified freely by his grace through the redemption thatcame by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as asacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of hisblood – to be received by faith. He did this todemonstrate his righteousness, because in hisforbearance he had left the sins committed beforehandunpunished26 – he did it to demonstrate hisrighteousness at the present time, so as to be just andthe one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.
    18. 18. 1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised?• Has sin been forgiven? – The Old Testament background – The New Testament testimony – The revolution in lives we observe
    19. 19. 1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised?• Has sin been forgiven? – The Old Testament background – The New Testament testimony – The revolution in lives we observe – The objective evidence of resurrection
    20. 20. 1 Corinthians 15:13-14• Introduction• Has Christ been raised? – The eyewitnesses – Their accounts – The documentation• Has sin been forgiven? – The Old Testament background – The New Testament testimony – The revolution in lives we observe – The objective evidence of resurrection• Conclusion

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