Read I Corinthians 15
Paul is convincing the Corinthian believers of the resurrection. They believed in the resurrection of Christ but denied that believers would be resurrected. But the two are dependent on one another. If one is not true then the other is not true.
The resurrection impacts all that we believe as Christians. Paul explains the impact of the resurrection on Christianity in I Cor 15.
For sake of time lets just look at a couple of results of the resurrection.
I Cor 15:14 – And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
If Christ is not Risen then…
I. Our preaching is vain or empty – We are lying when we preach. Our words are empty. They give false hope and motivate people to live their lives by something that is unprofitable. We cause people to live a miserable life for nothing.
*v. 4 – Without a doubt Paul believes Jesus rose v. 5-8 Paul states that many saw Jesus after His resurrection. Many of which were still alive during the writing of this letter.
Paul’s point is obvious – They know and the world knows that their preaching is powerful not because of awesome words or wonderful personalities but because of the message and the spiritual messenger.
Everywhere Paul went he caused great division. Some believed, were born again, and received the Spirit of God. That is POWERFUL!!! Some rejected and wanted to kill Paul. These are not the fruits of a weak, unimportant message. His preaching, the same message we preach today is powerful!!! It is that Jesus has risen from the grave!
Paul said he had no reserves or shame to preach the Gospel because it was, in itself, the very power of God unto salvation. (Romans 1:16) This is because Jesus rose from the dead. If Jesus didn’t rise there is no power in this false message. But Paul had seen and experienced, as well as millions of Christians since the resurrection, the power of preaching the Gospel message.
This veracity and power of this message is seen from the lives of men like Stephen that preached the Gospel even unto death.
Acts 7:59 – And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.
Preaching is powerful, not just from the pulpit, but from the members of the body as they do the work of the ministry. As you go out and share the good news remember how powerful your message is. It is THE POWER OF GOD UNTO SALVATION!!! The reason it is powerful is because our Savior rose from the grave. He conquered sin, death, and hell. He conquered all evil.
Don’t look at how tough, rough, and cold the unbeliever is. Keep your eyes of faith on the unlimited power of God and the comforting fact that His message is His power to save the lost.
Our preaching is not in vain. It is powerful because Jesus rose from the grave!!!
II. Our faith is in vain – Paul goes on and says if Christians do not rise again then Christ is not risen and if Christ is not risen then our faith is in vain.
It means our faith is like a vapour. It is empty, worthless, pointless. Why go on believing if Christ did not rise? Why go on believing and following Christ if He is dead and our lives do not go beyond the grave? Paul was a common sense kind of guy and the way these Corinthian believers were thinking just didn’t make sense to him.
He said I face death everyday because of this message. If it is not completely true and if we are not going to be resurrected with Him then by all means lets throw in the towel.
But there was no way that was happening with Paul. Paul said labored more than anyone earlier in the chapter. Then later in the chapter he challenged the believers to also abound in the work of the Lord. Why? Because it is true! Christ is alive and believers also will rise and be rewarded for their work.
Paul says that if Christ is not risen then our faith is worthless or fruitless. But the evidence speaks for itself. Every believer can look in his own life and see what the gospel has done in their life. It has brought change. It has produced fruit. It is not empty. It is not a dead faith. It is alive and living inside of them.
Christ Himself has taken up residence in His followers. We are in Him and He is in us now. Our faith is not empty. Our faith is full. James said that if your faith is empty, pointless, worthless, without fruit then it is dead (James 2:26). But this is not because Christ did not rise, because faith in Him has been producing fruit for thousands of years in millions of people. So the problem is not Christ, it is you. You need to check yourself. Are you really a Christian? If not take Christ right now by faith as your Savior.
He is risen and wants to live inside of you and bear fruit.
Jesus says in John 15:4, “Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.”
If you have this faith, faith in the risen Son of God, then you will know without a doubt that our faith is not in vain by the fruit this faith produces in your life.
Conclusion: Christ is risen, therefore preaching His Gospel unleashes the power of God on the souls of men. Christ is risen, therefore our faith is alive and conforming us to the image of the Son of God day by day.