Resurrection Hope (1 Corinthians 15:35-58)

July 23, 2023 | Meritt Raup


The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.

Good morning. It’s great to be with you as we finish our series. This changes everything. So would you please turn to First Corinthians 15. And we will be looking at verses 35 through the end of the chapter. And as we’ve seen these past few weeks, First Corinthians 15 is all about the resurrection fact that Jesus has been raised from the dead. And it really does change everything in our lives. So I hope this series has been an encouragement to you hope that being reminded of the gospel has increased your confidence in Jesus.
I hope that has helped you to live in light of the resurrection today. And we still have one more week to go. And in my opinion, we’ve saved the best for last. This is the final part of our chapter. And it is really a great passage. You know, I, I grew up in the early 2000s. And it’s common in Christian circles to make fun of the contemporary Christian music scene of that time. Many of the songs had cheesy, maybe repetitive lyrics, simple melodies, lacks musical sophistication to say that the upside is that many of them were easy to play, because they only had four chords. I still love many of those songs, though. There’s many good ones. And one of the most popular Christian songs of that time was sung by a band called Mercy Me song called I can only imagine. And this song was hugely popular, both on Christian charts and non Christian charts. And it’s all about imagining what heaven will be like, surrounded by your glory, what will my heart feel? Will I dance for you, Jesus? Or in awe of you be still, while I stand in your presence? Or will to my knees? Will I fall? Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all? I can only imagine. It’s a catchy song. There’s even a movie that was made a few years ago by the same name, and tells the story of Bart Miller, the lead singer, and his his life and what led him to write that song after his dad passed away. This is such a good song because it strikes a chord with us. It’s a nerve that all of us have. We want to know what the future holds. We long for a day that’s better than our own. This isn’t the only example of this either. Some of the most popular Christian books and movies of recent times have been about heaven. Someone has a near death experience. And they claim to have a vision of what the afterlife is like, and they’ve come back to tell us about it. Or people who have even died and gone to heaven and then come back alive. These stories become wildly popular, even despite the fact that many of them are inconsistent with each other. And a lot of them don’t even agree with the Bible’s description of what heaven is like. nevermind the fact that they’re quickly commercialized, make massive profits. You see, we have a deep desire to know what the future holds. We want to know what heaven will be like. So this begs the question, can we only imagine what heaven will be like to have to rely on subjective experiences that may or may not have capitalistic motivations behind them? Is this really the best we can do? Or she would, she would just guess as to what’s going to happen. We started this series by looking at the resurrection victory that Jesus accomplished in the past. Last week, we saw how the resurrection impacts our lives in the present. So today, we will see how the resurrection impacts our lives in the future. This is something that we can truly know from God’s Word. We don’t need to imagine. We don’t need to speculate. So the main idea for today is because Jesus has been raised from the dead. We have unshakable hope for the future. You an unshakable hope for the future. So the rest of our time we’re gonna unpack what this looks like. And so how does the resurrection give us this unshakable hope? Well, first in our passage, we see the resurrection gives us hope for our bodies. Look with me first Corinthians 1535 through 49. It says this, but someone will ask How are the dead rays with what kind of body will they come? How foolish what you sow does not come to life unless it dies. When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just the seed, perhaps of wheat or something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined to each kind of seed he gives its own body. Not all flesh is the same. People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies, and there are earthly bodies, but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is of one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another. And stars differ from Star in splendor. So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable. It is raised imperishable. It is sown in dishonor, is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So it is written, the first man Adam became a living being the last atom, a life giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural. And after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth. The second man is of heaven, as was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth, and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so we shall bear the image of the heavenly man. So, throughout First Corinthians 15, Paul has been proclaiming the resurrection of Jesus, because some of the believers in Corinth, were rejecting it. They’re saying there is no resurrection, not even Jesus has been raised. So this is a letter. So Paul doesn’t have the ability to dialogue with them back and forth like he could in person. And so he brings up a question that he suspects that the Corinthians might have for him. I think this is a question that we have today as well. You know, if Christ has been raised from the dead, we have confidence that we will be raised to. But what will our resurrected bodies be like? What will those bodies be like? So the first thing that we need to know to answer this question is that our resurrected bodies will be bodies. Yes, you heard that right. Our resurrected bodies will be bodies. It might seem self evident, but I don’t think it is. See we have a misconception today that in our society that heaven is this disembodied state. We’re hyper focused on the spiritual realm. Think of every depiction of Heaven you’ve ever seen. What’s it like? Everyone is wearing white robes, playing harps floating along on the clouds with feathery wings will acquire of baby angels singing in the background. And there’s this ethereal, vague spiritual kind of energy just floating there. The physical stuff really isn’t that important. The spiritual stuff is where it’s at. I think we we get this vision of heaven more from Greek mythology, and Cupid than we do from the Bible. The Bible doesn’t devalue our body in favor of a vague spirituality. In the resurrection, we won’t leave our bodies, rather we will get a new body. You know, Paul uses a few metaphors to explain this here in this passage. He says, God gives it a body as he has determined to each kind of seed he gives its own body. You know, when you plant a garden, but the seeds in the ground, you water it, wait a few weeks, and then a plant comes up out of the ground? How weird would it be if you planted a broccoli seed, and then carrots came out of the ground. You don’t expect that to happen. You expect that the seed corresponds to the plant. So this is true in the animal world as well. You know, we expect mammals to give birth to the same kind of mammal birds lay eggs. If you were to hatch an egg, I guarantee you would get the same kind of bird that laid the egg
and same with fish as well. He mentions astronomy in this passage too. We recognize planets by their glory, He says, are the light that they give off. Now the sun shines one way, the moon shines another way or reflects the light from the Sun another way. And each star in our solar system is unique, and they display their own light. So why would we expect anything different in the resurrection? If we have real bodies now, we can expect that in the resurrection, we will also have a real body. The bodies we have today are like those seeds. The seed goes away, so that the plant can come through our our bodies currently will pass away so that our new bodies will be able to come. So we’ll have real bodies. But what will these real bodies be like? And second thing we need to know is that our bodies will be new. They will be new bodies. Your resurrected body will be the same kind of body that you have now. But it will be so much better. Isn’t that good news for us? You know, I had a significant event happened in my life recently. I woke up one morning and my neck was sore. And I didn’t do anything to cause it. I guess I just slept wrong. I guess that means I’m getting older. And some of you right now are wondering, What am I talking about? I have no idea what that’s like, just wait, there’s more coming. I know. We all know that our bodies decay. We get older, we get tired. Our eyesight fades and we need glasses. Our muscles get weaker. We need to stretch before doing any sort of physical activity or else we risk injury. This is a natural part of what it means to be a human. But this isn’t the way things were meant to be. We were created in perfection. But sin has affected our bodies ever since Adam and Eve. So in our passage, Paul compares our current bodies to what our new bodies will be like. This is what he says in verses 42 through 44 says So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable. It is raised imperishable. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness. It is raised in power. It is sown a natural body. It is raised a spiritual body. So here here we see some contrasts that Paul does, he contrasts our old body with our new body and what that will be like. There’s there’s four things about our current body that we see in this passage are first our current bodies are perishable. Eventually we will die. Our current bodies are not made to last forever. Like perishable food, our bodies have an expiration date. Secondly, our current bodies are Dishonored, Dishonored, they don’t reflect the glory for which we were created. Now Jesus is the ultimate example of his body, deserving of the complete full honor, but being dishonored by others. Of course, today we see people using their own bodies for dishonorable things. And tragically, some are even forced by others into dishonorable things. Thirdly, our current bodies are weak, we get tired, we get sick, we get injured. We have limitations that prevent us from doing some things. Fourth, our current bodies are natural. Our bodies are only fit for this life. And we’ll see soon in our passage that merely flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. This isn’t to say that the natural world is bad, but rather that our bodies are being powered by human nature. And we know that human nature if left on its own is corrupt. So the question is, do you want a new body? If that’s what our current bodies are like? I hope you do. So, the flip side what will our new bodies be like for things about our new bodies that we have to look forward to first your new body will be imperishable. You will live for eternity. You’ll never be corrupted. You’re teeth won’t get cavities, your body will never break down. More than this your new body it will be glorious. When Moses went up the mountain to get the 10 commandments for the second time, he got a glimpse of God’s glory. And after he came down from the mountain, he had to wear a veil over his face because his face was shining so bright. So, God’s glory shone on him from the outside. And that’s what he went through. So imagine what we will be like, when our entire bodies will be pure and undefiled by sin, God’s glory radiating in us from the inside out. Like a precious gem that sparkles in the light, except for all of eternity, and so much brighter than that. Even more than this, your new body will be powerful, powerful, you will have power to do all the things that you want to do for God’s glory. There won’t be any limitations on us. You won’t be weakened by disease, you won’t get injured, you won’t get tired, because we’ll be imperfect rest in God’s presence for all of eternity. Even more than this, your new body will be spiritual means you will be fully empowered by the Holy Spirit. Without your old fleshly nature getting in the way. Think how awesome it is that we can be empowered by the Holy Spirit today, and see the fruit of that in our lives. Then imagine all the times that our own flesh gets in the way. We’ve all had that experience where we want to be able to do something but our own fleshly nature prevents us from doing that holds us back from living in the Spirit. You won’t have any resistance by your flesh. You’ll be fully empowered by the Holy Spirit, free from any sort of sin in our lives. So our new bodies will be imperishable, glorious, powerful. Spiritual, is that the kind of body you want. It’s kind of body I want. This is the kind of body Jesus had posed His resurrection as well. Jesus’s body was the first resurrection body. It was an actual body. He wasn’t a ghost. He ate food. He touched people, people could touch him. But he had a new body. He had the ability to appear in a locked room. Not sure how that worked. But it must have been pretty cool to see. So his body was certainly imperishable, glorious, powerful, and spiritual. So it will be with our resurrection to this honor, give us unshakable hope. Especially when we face serious bodily suffering today. Especially when you get older, when you feel the massive weight of a diagnosis. When you’ve been struggling for months or years, you don’t know what’s wrong, and doesn’t seem like there’s an end in sight. When you know that there is no cure this side of heaven. The truth is, you may never get healed completely in this life. Jesus never promises us immediate healing in this life. But because Jesus rose from the dead, you can have hope that one day you will be raised with a new body. No more suffering, no more pain, no more disease. Your new body will be imperishable, powerful, glorious, be a spiritual body. You have His resurrection body for all of eternity. Hope you long for that day. It’s an unshakeable hope that we can have even in the midst of our bodily suffering today. Romans 811 says if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, then He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you. The hope that we have for our bodies, it’s an unshakable hope. So these bodies sound great, something we can look forward to. But where will we live? What good is a new body if the world that we live in is still broken? So second in our passage, we see that the resurrection gives us hope for our world. Hope for our world. Would you look with me versus 5357
says this, I declare to you brothers and sisters, that full flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. Nor does the Imperator the perishable inherit the imperishable. Listen, I tell you a mystery. We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed in a flash in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet, for the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been closed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the same that is written will come true, death has been swallowed up in victory. Where O Death is your victory, where O Death is your sting. The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. Our new resurrected bodies won’t be helpful. We still live in an old world. So Jesus will one day return to this world to make all things new. You know, I went to Six Flags yesterday, some of our students, and one of the things that we did a lot was wait in line. We had to wait our turn through either rollercoasters, we had to get through the boring part, in order to get to the fun part. Sometimes the fun part only lasted for a few seconds, whereas the waiting lasted for a few minutes and maybe an hour or two. I think there are some parallels here to how we view heaven. We think of life on Earth, as the boring part. We need to get through until we can finally make it to the fun part, which is heaven. Or maybe we think of earth like a train station. Now you’re you sit in the terminal. You wait for the train to come, it’s going to take you away from this place, to the better place. But this isn’t entirely the way the Bible describes heaven. Yes, it’s true that when we die, we will immediately be in the presence of Jesus. And Jesus right now is raining in heaven on his throne. So yes, in some sense, we do go away to heaven. But the Bible more often talks about how Jesus will come back and bring heaven to earth. In John chapter 14, Jesus says He’s going away to prepare a place for us. When he’s finished, he’s going to come back to get us so that we can be with him. In Acts chapter one after Jesus ascends into heaven, and angel tells the disciples that Jesus will return in the same way that we saw him leave. And in First Thessalonians, 416 and 17, it says that, For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. And after that we who are still alive and are left who will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. This is the same scene that Paul is describing here in First Corinthians 15, Jesus is going to return to the earth. It’s going to be a glorious scene, everyone will know what’s happening. But trumpet will sound announcing the King is here. And we will be the welcoming party for him. You know, in ancient times, when a king conquered a city, he would wait until his soldiers secured the city from the inside. Everything inside of the city walls was taken care of. And then there’ll be a triumphal entry, where the king would approach the city and all his soldiers would go out of the city to meet him on the way and then they would usher him into the city as the new victorious king. There’s a grand celebration in a parade, basically. This is what it will be like for us when Jesus returns. We don’t escape Earth as if this is a temporary type of purgatory. Rather, we will meet up with Jesus as he’s coming back and we will be with him as we celebrate this new world that has come. So Jesus is coming back. What will he do when he comes back? Jesus will make the whole world new. There will be complete restoration and renewal starts with people. We will get our resurrected bodies when Jesus returns. But Jesus resurrection includes everything. The entire The world will be remade. Natural disasters will be over. plants won’t be affected by disease anymore. They’ll produce fruit they the way they were intended to produce fruit. Animals won’t eat each other anymore. The lion will take a nap next to the lamb. There won’t be any conflict between people. There won’t be any conflict between nations because every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, the perishable will be changed to be imperishable. The complete reversal of all the effects of sin on our world. This transformation in the world doesn’t only include the things of the world, it also includes the forces at work in the world. The most powerful of those, of course, is death. The great equalizer, none of us want to experience death. Yet none of us can avoid it. Death has the final say in this life. When Jesus returns, death will be defeated forever. Then the same will come true Death is swallowed up in victory. The greatest power in our world today will be gone with just one gulp. Which is why I think there’s a little divine trash talk here, where oh, death is your victory. Where O Death is your sting. one gulp and you’re gone. Sin will no longer have a presence in our lives. Death is dead, Christ is risen. Revelation 21 describes it like this. Said I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, Look, God’s dwelling place is now among the people and he will deliver or he will dwell with them. They will be his people. And God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There’ll be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. And He who was seated on the throne said I am making everything new. And then he said write this down for these words are trustworthy and true. What an incredible hope that we have. As believers. Sin was defeated when Jesus rose from the dead. We have hope that when Christ returns, all things will be made new. The main response for us is simple. Praise the Lord. What else can we do accept praise him for that. Amen. Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks, and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen. Thanks be to God, because He gives us the victory in Jesus Christ. Worship is the right response. And as we worship, we eagerly wait for that day. We wait with confident anticipation. We long for the day that Jesus will set everything right. We want to have this hope that the wrong in the world will be set, right? It’s good for us to want that date to come. So when you see the brokenness of the world, just look at the news any day of the week long for all of that to be set, right? You know, Psalm 130 that we read earlier, describes it like this. I wait for the Lord. My whole being waits. And in His word, I put my hope. I wait for the Lord. More than Washington wait for the morning. More than watchmen wait for the morning. Come Lord Jesus. Let this be our posture as well. And parents. This is the story that we need to tell our kids. See, our kids longed to be part of a grand story where good overcomes evil. One of the many reasons that our young people are walking away from the faith as they get older is because they don’t feel like the Bible or Jesus connects with the big problems that we have in this world. So when your kids are faced with the brokenness that we see in our world, what hope are you going to give to them? There’s no grander vision of hope, than to know that both ourselves and the world we live in, will be finally set right by Jesus forever. Because Jesus rose from the dead we can have unshakable hope for the future. So if you’re, if you’re listening today and you’re not a believer in Jesus, I wonder how much you thought about what comes after death.
You might be tempted to ignore it. I just want to think about that right now. You might be tempted to prolong it. Well, I can think about that when I get older and closer to dying. I’m going to be tempted to console with vague sentiments. Well, I know they’re in a better place. And maybe you’re tempted to deny it. And this life really is all we have. The reality is, we all need hope. We all know this world isn’t the way it should be. Let me tell you today that you can have this unshakable hope can be yours, too. First Peter, verse, chapter one, verse three says, according to His great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope, for the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Because Jesus has been raised from the dead, you can have this live in hope. Because of God’s great mercy. All you need to do is put your faith in Him. So there’s hope for what comes after death, also gives us a hope for what we do today. So finally, in our passage, last verse, we see that the resurrection gives hope, for our ministry, hope for our ministry. Look with me, verse 58. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm, let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. This is the conclusion of our passage, but also really, our entire series. This is therefore brothers and sisters, based on all we’ve talked about these last three weeks, because Jesus’s resurrection has been declared to us. His victory has been proved to us. His victory has been shared with us. Because without the resurrection, we live a pitiful life. But with the resurrection, we live a powerful and a purposeful life, because we have hope for our bodies, because we have hope for our world. Therefore, give yourself fully to the work of the Lord. Stand firm in it. Let nothing move you from it. The resurrection gives us the motivation to labor for the sake of Jesus. You know, considering what Jesus has already done, and what he will do in the future. How can we not serve Him with our lives, he is worth it. The resurrection also gives us the power to labor for the sake of Jesus. We’ve been raised spiritually. And we have the Holy Spirit as this downpayment, of our inheritance. And we live today empowered by the Holy Spirit. In any work that we do is by God’s grace at work in us. We have the motivation we need, we have the power that we need. So you can give yourself fully to this work, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. The work you do in Jesus is building something eternal. Your work will be fully rewarded in the resurrection. You’re building a treasure in heaven that will last for eternity. moth and rust will never destroy that. You may never get fully rewarded in this life for it. But we have hope that we will hear those words, well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master. So we can labor for the Lord because we know it’s not in vain. This means we we aren’t bleak pessimists. This world is hopeless. Nothing we can do is ever going to change anything. Let’s just huddled together. Let’s wait it out. Hope Jesus comes back soon. We don’t want to have a fatalistic attitude. But at the same time, we aren’t blind optimists. If only we did blank, then the world will be fixed. All we need is this one thing. Then we can do it. All our problems will be dealt with if we just did this one thing right here right now. The reality is we’ll never be able to make the world a perfect place on our own. Only Jesus can do that. So then this means we are bold realists. We are bold realists are bold and that we step out in faith in our ministry. We might even take some risks for the sake of ministry. We give ourselves fully to it But we realistically know that our labor will never be enough to perfect our world. Only Jesus can do that when he returns. But we nevertheless know that all the work that we do in faith, for the sake of Jesus is worthwhile. And it will be completed in the resurrection. So give yourself fully to this work. Stand firm in this, let nothing move you from it. Because we know that our labor in the Lord is not in vain. So, can we only imagine what heaven will be like I think we can do much more than that. We have an unshakable hope for our future, because of the resurrection. We can confidently say that the resurrection changes everything for us. So let’s stand firm in that let’s never forget it. Let’s praise God for it. We have unshakable hope in Jesus Christ. Let’s pray together.
Gracious Heavenly Father. We thank You today that you give us victory in Jesus Christ. We have confidence that death has been defeated, and one day it will be swallowed up in victory. We’ve hoped that our bodies will be made new that we will be like Jesus in our resurrected bodies. Follow after his it’ll be imperishable love the power will be glorious will be spiritual body that will last forever. Pray that as we consider these truths that we would worship you because you are worthy of it. Now we would have hope in you. We will have something to look forward to when we are faced with this world of brokenness and sin. Help us to stand firm in this. So we give You all the praise that you deserve. We say we pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

© 2020 Cityview Community Church