1 Corinthians 15.12-34 Follow Up April 24, 2018

This last Sunday we looked at 1 Cor. 15.12-34 as we continued to look at what Paul has to teach us about the resurrection. In these verses we saw three truths about our bodily resurrection as Christians.

1. We will be tempted to neglect the truth of our bodily resurrection. In v. 12 Paul says that some in Corinth did not believe in the resurrection. It does not appear they doubted the resurrection of Jesus as Paul has already said they received this message and believed in it. They may have even believed in an afterlife where our souls go to be with God. However, it appears they did not like the idea of a bodily resurrection that is promised to us in the Bible. We too often believe that eternal life is all about our souls being with God in heaven. While it is true that when we die as Christians our souls go into the Lord’s presence, this is not the ultimate goal. The ultimate goal is that our bodies will be raised just as Jesus’ body was raised. There may be any number of reasons why would we struggle with, or neglect, the truth of our bodily resurrection, but we should not be surprised when we are tempted to do this

2. There are dire consequences for neglecting our bodily resurrection. In vv. 13-19 and vv. 29-34 Paul plays a game of “What if?” He tells us all the elements of our faith that fall if there is no resurrection. If there is no resurrection for us, that means there is no resurrection of Jesus because he rose as our firstfruits. If there is no resurrection of Jesus then our whole faith falls apart. Our bodily resurrection is what fueled Paul’s ability to suffer with hope. We too can suffer with confidence in the fact that death does not have the last word over our bodies.

3. Our bodily resurrection is an essential truth. In vv. 20-28 Paul makes the point that our resurrection is part of a process that started with Jesus’ resurrection and is completed when the whole kingdom is handed over to God the Father who is all in all. For Paul, our resurrection is a necessary consequence of the fact that God must reign and rule unopposed. All enemies, including death, must be put under His feet. Our bodily resurrection is not just some optional aspect of end-times theology, it is an essential consequence of who God is.

I pray that this passage gives us joyful hope as Christians as we are reminded of the glorious truth that our bodies are not left to be defeated by death. One day they will rise in glory. Next week Paul will give us more information about the nature of this resurrection. Here are the discussion questions and order of service from Sunday:  1 Cor. 15.12-34 Notes.

 

-Pastor Nathan Hogan

1 Corinthians 15.1-11 Follow Up April 16, 2018

In 1 Corinthians chapter 15 Paul begins to address the topic of the resurrection of Jesus, and the resurrection of Christians. He begins in our text from Sunday: 1 Cor. 15.1-11. In these verses Paul gives a clear and concise summary of the Gospel message. As Christians we need to know the Gospel in order to share it with unbelievers, but we also need to know the Gospel for our own spiritual growth. In Sunday’s sermon we looked at the content and the consequences of the Gospel in 1 Cor. 15.1-11.

1. The Content of the Gospel. In verses 3-7 Paul gives a beautiful summary of the Gospel message: 1) Jesus died for our sin; 2) Jesus was buried and rose again; 3) Jesus appeared to many; 4) He did this in accordance with the Scriptures. The whole Gospel message is something that occurred outside of us. The Gospel is not something we do, but is something Jesus did for us.

2. The Consequences of the Gospel. In verses 1-2 and 8-11 Paul shows the consequences of the Gospel in the church in Corinth and in Paul’s own life. We saw that appropriate an response to the Gospel is faith. The Gospel also produces humility as Paul describes himself as “one untimely born”. He was hopeless and lost before Jesus saved him. We also saw that that Gospel produces perseverance as true faith keeps going. Paul is a vivid illustration of the power of the Gospel as Jesus saved him even though Paul was not seeking the Lord. Paul was not someone we would normally consider a likely convert. Yet, the power of the Gospel still overwhelmed Paul as the Lord appeared to him.

As Christians we are called to know the Gospel, trust in the Gospel, persevere in the Gospel, and live humble lives in light of the Gospel. May we truly be Gospel-centered believers for God’s glory!

Here are Sunday’s discussion questions and order of service: 1 Cor. 15.1-11 Notes.

 

-Pastor Nathan Hogan

1 Corinthians 14.20-40 Follow Up April 9, 2018

This last Sunday we looked at the final text in a series that addressed a number of issues related to the church gatherings in Corinth. Paul has made the case that one of the highest priorities of our worship should be to encourage and build one another up in the Lord. In 1 Cor. 14.20-40 we saw three more priorities that we should pursue in our worship together as a church.

  1. The Priority of an Intelligible Gospel. In vv. 20-25 Paul continues to correct the Corinthians in their misuse of tongues. In these verses he makes the case that tongues are obscuring the Gospel message when unbelievers come to their gatherings. Unbelievers cannot understand the tongues which means they miss the message. Paul wants the Gospel message to be clear to unbelievers so that they might hear the message, repent, and believe in Jesus Christ. We too may struggle with obscuring the Gospel message, but in different ways. We are tempted to try to avoid the hard truths of the Gospel in order not to offend people. Paul, however, wants the full Gospel message to be clear.
  2. The Priority of Good Order. In vv. 26-35 Paul addresses the problem of chaos in the worship of Corinth. People are not taking turns speaking and Paul wants all things in the church to be done decently and in good order because God is the God of peace. While Paul encourages various people to speak in the service, he also commands restraint in only having several speak. Paul wants variety and restraint for the good of the church. We too should pursue good order in our worship together. We must also guard against being legalistic with our order of worship. Paul commands order in worship, but he does not command a particular order of worship.
  3. The Priority of an Awareness that we are Members of the Universal Church. In vv. 36-40 Paul reminds the Corinthians that the Word of God did not begin or end with them. They are not the first or the last to hear the message of Jesus. They are members with all those who call upon the name of the Lord. Remembering this helps to instill humility in our hearts. We too should strive in our worship to be reminded of the fact that we are members with all those who call on the name of the Lord so that we may be humble in our worship.

I pray that these several chapters in 1 Corinthians help to encourage us as a church as we worship together on a regular basis. May we build one another up in the Lord as we pursue the priorities Paul commands. Here are the discussion questions and order of worship: 1 Cor. 14.20-40 Notes.

 

-Pastor Nathan Hogan