"Because He Lives, So Do I"
This entire chapter speaks to the reason for the resurrection of Jesus and what that means for you and me. Because he conquered sin and death, so can we. The resurrection is more than just something Jesus did; it affects how you live today.
Because He Lives, So do I
(1 Cor. 15:50-58)
A. Let’s be honest, how many people question if Jesus ever was raised from the dead and is still alive now back as a spirit being with the Father in Heaven? People have found the cross and the resurrection foolish to believe since the time it happened. We go by our senses and empirical evidence, of which we have nothing today.
B. But even at the time it was hard to believe. That resurrection morning came and Jesus appeared to Mary, but it wasn’t until that evening that he appeared to the disciples in the upper room. Remember though, that Thomas was not there. John gives us his story, (READ John 20:24-29).
C. What would it have been like touch those nail scarred hands? John would continue (John 20:30-31)
I. Unbelief and How I Live
A. The Gentile world was held closely to its “wisdom” and “knowledge” as being superior to all others. The Jews were no better because they wanted to see miracles as a sign from God, but would not believe the miracles of Jesus. So Paul would write (1 Cor. 1:20-25)
B. You see, what you believe is seen in how you live. The corruption of sin had permeated the Roman Empire. Sin so sick that God turned them over to it, and allowed them to face the consequences of it. The Jews unbelief in Jesus caused God turn his back on the Holy City of Jerusalem and in 70 A.D. allowed the destruction of the Temple and whole sacrificial system would come to a permanent end.
C. When a person chooses to live in unbelief, their life has little meaning except for the fulfillment of self. Without the hope of resurrection and what it means to my life right now, the only thing left is me – and I am not enough.
D. If Jesus has not been raised from the dead, well, then you believe a lie. Listen to Paul (1 Cor. 15:17-19). How you live right now is based upon what you believe.
II. Because He Lives, So Do I
A. But we are here today because we believe that what happen 2000 years ago was real. We believe because of the evidence that has been given to us through the manuscripts we call the Bible. We believe because nature itself declares there is a God. We believe and that belief changes how we live. Instead of living for self we live for God. We live for God because we believe that when this life is over, that life continues on – either to an eternal reward or eternal condemnation. Yes we believe.
B. Because Jesus rose up from the grave we live. Paul helps to see how we ought to live. Listen again to what he says (1 Cor. 15:58)
C. Yes, I live differently because of Resurrection Sunday. Because I believe in the power of the cross, that the blood of Jesus cleanses me from all my sin, I live in victory in this life, knowing I will live in victory in the next.
III. The End Result
A. Death has only one victory – sin. You see, the only power that death has over us physically is if we live this life separated from God. Without God, the resurrection will take place, but not so that I can live forever with Him in glory, but so that I will still live forever absent from His glory. The sting of death is sin. Christians understand that so much, and it is so real, that we responded to that chilling knowledge by going through the first death, burial and resurrection called baptism so that go through the second death, burial and resurrection to eternal life with Jesus Christ our Lord.
B. For many, the idea of eternity brings trepidation. Just the idea of knowing that life will continue on after the physical body has died is scary. God wants you to face the fear in faith, knowing that Jesus has already cross over ahead of you and is the first fruits of what you will become.
C. The end result is that if I am already died to sin and alive to Christ, then death in the body and resurrection in glory is only the next step.
D. John wanted his readers to know that they are living in the light not in sin, because as a person strives, repents and lives doing God’s will, then the blood of Jesus Christ continually cleanses them from all sin so that in death they are clean and perfect before God. Not in their own works, but because of His grace and your working faith.
A. There is but one question as we close: Are you living in sin or are you living in the light? I cannot make this any clearer. Our human, physical body will be destroyed and a resurrection will take place. I will either be raise to eternal life or I will be raised to eternal damnation. The choice is mine and is seen by my actions in this life.
B. If you have died to self, been buried with Christ in baptism, then you were raise a new creation. There has already taken place one resurrection within you. If you have been transformed in this body, then you will be transformed with a new spiritual body when Christ comes again.
C. Therefore, stand firm. Let nothing move you from that conviction. Give yourself over to God’s work because you know that your labor is not in vain. This offer of salvation and eternal life is extended by God through Jesus to you this day. Are you ready to accept it and live the transformed life? If we can help, then come as we stand and sing.