1. In this chapter Paul wrote to the Christians in Corinth about "the resurrection." 2. The problem that they had concerning the resurrection is identified in vs.12 -- some said: "there is no resurrection of the dead." 3. In dealing with this issue Paul first established the fact that Christ had been raised from the grave. a. (vs.1-4) He reminded them of the Gospel message that he had preached in Corinth: the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. b. He then listed a number of witnesses who saw Jesus after He was raised (vs.5-8). 4. (vs.12-19) Paul discussed the connection that exists between the Lord's resurrection and the resurrection that will occur when Jesus returns.
I. PAUL REVEALED THE ULTIMATE CONCLUSION THAT MUST BE REACHED BY THOSE WHO SAY THAT THERE IS NO RESURRECTION
A. See vs.13, 16. B. This presents a dilemma -- if there is no resurrection, then Christ was not raised.
II. PAUL ALSO REVEALED THE CONSEQUENCES THAT MUST BE FACED BY THOSE WHO HOLD THIS BELIEF
A. The consequences of this belief are that: 1. our preaching is vain (vs.14a) 2. our faith is vain (vs.14b, 17a) 3. those who claimed to see the Lord after His resurrection are false witnesses (vs.15) 4. we are yet in our sins (vs.17b) a. (Romans 4:25) Jesus "was raised again for our justification." b. If Christ was not raised there is no justification, and we are sinners. 5. those who have died in the Lord are perished (vs.18) a. The resurrection gives us comfort concerning our loved ones who have died in the Lord (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). b. If there is no resurrection this comfort cannot be experienced. 6. if we only have hope in Christ in this present life we are to be most pitied of all men (vs.19). a. Consider the suffering that the apostles endured (4:9-13). b. If there is no resurrection to look forward to, then the apostles suffered all these things in vain. B. Additional consequences: 1. An essential part of the Gospel message is taken away (vs.3-4). 2. Jesus is made to be a liar. a. (Matthew 20:18-19) He said that He would be raised. b. (John 5:28-29) He also said that all men will be raised. C. Thankfully, we are assured that the resurrection will occur because Jesus was raised from the grave.
III. MANY EFFORTS HAVE BEEN MADE TO DISCREDIT THE LORD'S RESURRECTION
A. (Matthew 27:62-66) Man tried to prevent His resurrection from occurring. B. (Matthew 28:11-15) Man tried to cover up His resurrection after it occurred.
1. The truth is that Jesus was raised just as the Bible says (Matthew 28:1-8). 2. Because Jesus was raised from the grave, we have the hope of being resurrected when He returns.