If Christ is Not Risen 10

ascention_of_jesus_haThe message of the cross is meaningless without the empty tomb. “But now Christ is risen from the dead” (1 Cor. 15:20, NKJV). The resurrection completes the cross.

“In one of the villages of Northern India a missionary was preaching in a bazaar.As he closed, a Muslim gentleman came up and said, ‘You must admit we have one thing you have not, and it is better than anything you have.’

(A Treasury of Bible Illustrations Copyright © 1995, 1998 by AMG International, Inc., PC Study Bible CD)

But that’s the whole point of Easter! Mohammed is in his coffin. But Christ is risen! And He’s alive today! He’s now seated at the right hand of God. We serve a risen Savior!

Here’s the Good News of the Gospel. Christ died on the cross to cover your sin, to calm God’s wrath, and to carry away the guilt and punishment of your sin. But he did not stay dead. He rose again for your justification!

I like the story about the boy and his father who were planning a fishing trip for the next day. That evening, as the father was putting his son to bed, the boy hugged his father and said, “Dad, thank you for tomorrow.”

That’s what hope is. In hope, we look forward to a brighter tomorrow, knowing that the Lord will see us through.

No matter what problems you face today. No matter what pain you are carrying. There’s hope for tomorrow—because Jesus is alive! He’s seated at the right hand of the Father. And he lives forever to intercede for you and for me.

Permissions: You may copy/paste or distribute this post in part or in whole, provided that you acknowledge the name of the author and do not change the words or word order or charge a fee beyond the cost of copying or distributing.

Disclaimer:  I’ve tried to give credit to whom credit is due.  If there is any original thought or reference which I failed to footnote, please call my attention.  Once validated, it will be corrected immediately.

Advertisements

If Christ is Not Risen 9

way_to_emmaus_zund6th, lastly, if Christ is not risen, then the living in Christ are hopeless. “If in this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” (1 Cor. 15:19, ESV). The verb, “hope,” here is a participle, in the perfect tense. Since the main verb, “are,” is present tense, then its action happens at the same time with the main verb. Thus, it should be translated, If in this life only, we are hoping in Christ, we are most to be pitied.”

The adjective, “pitied” (ESV) or “miserable” (NKJV) is from the Greek, eleeinos, “pertaining to being deserving of pity in view of one’s miserable condition – ‘pitiable, miserable’” (Greek-English Lexicon, s. v. ελεεινος). Paul is saying here that if Christ has not risen, then living for Him in this life, today, presently, makes us pitiful and pathetic. In other words, the most pitiful and pathetic people on earth are those who have trusted in a Savior who is still dead today!

What’s the use of living for Christ today, when He is still dead? What’s the use of suffering for Him today? What’s the use of following Him today, when God has not yet forgiven your sins, because God did not accept the death of Christ, by not raising Him from the dead?

If Christ is not risen, what’s the use of following a Christian religion today that offers no hope for tomorrow?

During our recent lunch fellowship after our summer Daily Vacation Bible School (DVBS) at Sitio Ponce, Cebu City, there were delicious humba (Cebuano pork dish), fish, menudo, and kinilaw (Filipino raw fish in sauce), and lots of rice. Can you imagine coming to a party, and everybody brought rice, with no other food to mix it with? Then one of us will say, “Never mind the food, let’s get on with the rice!”

It’s like saying, “Never mind the resurrection, let’s get on with Christianity.” But without the food, there is no fellowship. Without the resurrection, there is no Christianity, and no hope.

But there is hope for the living and the dead today. In the next breath, Paul wrote, “But now Christ is risen from the dead” (1 Cor. 15:20, NKJV).

Permissions: You may copy/paste or distribute this post in part or in whole, provided that you acknowledge the name of the author and do not change the words or word order or charge a fee beyond the cost of copying or distributing.

Disclaimer:  I’ve tried to give credit to whom credit is due.  If there is any original thought or reference which I failed to footnote, please call my attention.  Once validated, it will be corrected immediately.

If Christ is Not Risen 8

christ_disciples_emmaus5th, if Christ is not risen, then the dead in Christ are hopeless.  “Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished” (1 Cor. 15:18, NKJV).

I read a story about the self-made millionaire, Eugene Land. He had been asked to speak to a class of 59 sixth-graders.  “What could he say to inspire these students, most of whom would drop out of school?  He wondered how he could get these predominantly black and Puerto Rican children even to look at him.

“Scrapping his notes, he decided to speak to them from his heart.  ‘Stay in school,’ he admonished, ‘and I’ll help pay the college tuition for every one of you.’ At that moment the lives of these students changed. For the first time they had hope. Said one student, ‘I had something to look forward to, something waiting for me. It was a golden feeling.’ Nearly 90 percent of that class went on to graduate from high school.” (http://www.sermonillustrations.com/a-z/h/hope.htm.  Accessed April 11, 2009)

If Christ is not risen, then there is no resurrection of the dead to look forward to.  If Christ is not risen, then the dead who trusted in Christ while they were still alive, are hopeless.  They have no hope for a future resurrection.

If they have no hope for a future resurrection, then I’m wasting my time visiting the dying in the hospitals.  I’ll be wasting their time telling them that they will live again someday if they have trusted Christ!  I’ll be wasting my time telling the dying that there is still hope in heaven.

If there is no hope for a future resurrection, then there’s no point in preaching a sermon for the living during a funeral, except to bury the dead.  All our loved ones who died in Christ are lost anyway.

If Christ is not risen, then it does not matter whether your dead loved ones lived for Christ.  It does not matter if they served Christ.  It does not matter if they believed in Christ.  There’s no use following Christ when you’re alive, when there’s no hope of seeing Christ when you’re dead.

Permissions: You may copy/paste or distribute this post in part or in whole, provided that you acknowledge the name of the author and do not change the words or word order or charge a fee beyond the cost of copying or distributing.

Disclaimer:  I’ve tried to give credit to whom credit is due.  If there is any original thought or reference which I failed to footnote, please call my attention.  Once validated, it will be corrected immediately.

If Christ is Not Risen 7

doubting_thomas_caravaggio4th, if Christ is not risen, you are still in your sin. “If Christ has not been raised . . . you are still in your sins” (1 Cor. 15:17, WEB).

Paul said that Christ “was delivered up because of our offenses and was raised because of our justification” (Rom. 4:25, NKJV). “Justification” here is from dikaiosis, “putting into a right relationship with God” (Concise Greek-English, s. v. δικαιωσιν). Now if Christ is not risen, then you are not yet justified. You are not yet in a right relationship with God. If you are not yet justified, then you are still in your sin. If you’re still in your sin, then you’re still not saved from it.

A wife wanted to go to church, but got sick that day. So her husband went alone. When he came home, she asked, “What did the pastor preach today?” A man of few words, the husband answered, “Sin.” She asked, “What about sin?” The husband said, “He’s against it.”

If you’re not saved from your sin, then you are still under the wrath of God, and the condemnation of God, because God is against sin!

If Christ has not risen, then Christ is still dead. If Christ is still dead, then God did not accept His payment for sin. If God did not accept it, then God has not yet forgiven you. If God has not yet forgiven you, then you are still in your sins and will suffer in hell someday (John 3:16, 36).

But because Christ is risen, God proves that He forgives your sins. Because Christ is risen, God’s puts you into a right relationship with Him!

Permissions: You may copy/paste or distribute this post in part or in whole, provided that you acknowledge the name of the author and do not change the words or word order or charge a fee beyond the cost of copying or distributing.

Disclaimer:  I’ve tried to give credit to whom credit is due.  If there is any original thought or reference which I failed to footnote, please call my attention.  Once validated, it will be corrected immediately.

If Christ is Not Risen 6

risenlord3rd, if Christ is not risen, then the witness is worthless. “Yes, we are found false witnesses of God, because we testified about God that he raised up Christ, whom he didn’t raise up, if it is so that the dead are not raised” (1 Cor. 15:15, WEB).

How many of you have told somebody in the past that Christ is risen from the dead? Did you really do that? Then you are a liar. If Christ did not rise from the dead, then you are a false witness. That’s what Paul is saying here in v. 15.

“False witnesses” (NKJV) or “misrepresenting” (ESV) is actually from the noun, pseudomartures, from the prefix, pseudes, “false, liar”; and martur, “witness, record” (Strong, s. v. ψευδομαρτυρες). It means, “false witness; one who gives false testimony” (Concise Greek-English, s. v. ψευδομαρτυρες).

Jesus said, “‘The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him, and the third day He will be raised up’” (Matt. 17:22-23, NKJV). Now if He did not rise from the dead, then the number 1 liar in the world was Jesus Christ!

Not only that. The apostles, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and Paul, were all liars also. This means also that your Pastor is also a liar! If Christ is not risen, then our witness is worthless!

But because Christ is risen, then He is worth trusting today.

A Buddhist in Africa was converted to Christianity. They asked this Buddhist why did you change your faith? Here’s what he said: “It’s like this: If you are walking along and came to a fork in the road and two men were there, and one was dead and the other was alive, which man’s directions would you follow?” (Merritt, A World Without Easter, sermonsearch.com)

Because Christ is risen today, then His Word is worth obeying and He is worth following.

Permissions: You may copy/paste or distribute this post in part or in whole, provided that you acknowledge the name of the author and do not change the words or word order or charge a fee beyond the cost of copying or distributing.

Disclaimer:  I’ve tried to give credit to whom credit is due.  If there is any original thought or reference which I failed to footnote, please call my attention.  Once validated, it will be corrected immediately.

If Christ is Not Risen 5

mary_and_the_resurrected_lord_haA story is told “about a man out in Los Angeles who called himself ‘the human fly.’ People were amazed at his ability because he could climb up a sheer wall almost like a fly. On one particular day he was going up the wall of a huge department store in Los Angeles. He was making his way carefully up the sides of this building until he almost came to the roof. . . He saw a little protrusion sticking out from the building like a piece of stone. . .

The problem was it was just beyond his grasp . . . So he stood on his toes on that ledge and reached out and gave just a little jump and grasped it with his hand. When he did, he came falling off of that building down to his death.

When they went over to his body . . . in his hand they found the crust of a spider’s web. What this man thought was brick was nothing but a spider’s web.” (Merritt, A World Without Easter, sermonsearch.com)

If Christ is not risen, what you believe about Christ is nothing but a spider’s web.

What’s the point of the birth of Christ if not the life of Christ? What’s the purpose of the virgin birth of Christ if not for His sinless life? What’s the sense of the life of Christ if not the death of Christ? And what’s the meaning of the death of Christ on the cross if not for the resurrection of Christ afterwards? If Christ was not raised from the dead, then the whole purpose of His coming here and dying on the cross is pointless.

Paul said that Jesus “was delivered up because of our offenses and was raised because of our justification” (Rom. 4:25, NKJV). Without the resurrection, the cross is meaningless.

Permissions: You may copy/paste or distribute this post in part or in whole, provided that you acknowledge the name of the author and do not change the words or word order or charge a fee beyond the cost of copying or distributing.

Disclaimer:  I’ve tried to give credit to whom credit is due.  If there is any original thought or reference which I failed to footnote, please call my attention.  Once validated, it will be corrected immediately.

If Christ is Not Risen 4

images72nd, if Christ is not risen, then your faith is futile. “If Christ has not been raised, then . . . your faith also is in vain” (1 Cor. 15:14, WEB). “Faith” here is from the Greek, pistis, “the content of what Christians believe – ‘the faith, beliefs, doctrine’” (Greek-English Lexicon, s. v. πιστις).

In the Greek, there is the article, he, for pistis, or he pistis, “the faith.” When you see the article, it identifies what kind of faith it is. Paul is not talking about faith in Christ, but the faith about Christ. He’s talking about the body of doctrine which the apostles taught. This faith is now written in the Bible. According to the sectional context in 1 Cor. 15, that includes the doctrine found in vv. 3-4, that Christ died to pay the penalty of our sins; that He was buried; and that He rose again according to the Scriptures. It also includes “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3, NKJV).

Paul is saying that if Christ is not risen, then the faith that you believe is futile. The body of Christian teaching is empty and pointless. The content of Christian beliefs that you trust today is empty, without purpose, and senseless.

Permissions: You may copy/paste or distribute this post in part or in whole, provided that you acknowledge the name of the author and do not change the words or word order or charge a fee beyond the cost of copying or distributing.

Disclaimer:  I’ve tried to give credit to whom credit is due.  If there is any original thought or reference which I failed to footnote, please call my attention.  Once validated, it will be corrected immediately.

If Christ is Not Risen 3

s1005016James Merritt tells about a story of a little 6-year-old boy complained to his mother that he had a stomach ache and his mother said, “That’s because your stomach is empty; you would feel better if there were something in it.”

Well, that afternoon the pastor stopped by for a visit, and the little boy said, “Preacher, how are you feeling?” He said, “Well, my head hurts.” The little boy said, “Well, that’s because it’s empty; you’d feel better if there were something in it.” (James Merritt, A World Without Easter, http://www.sermonsearch.com)

Worse than an empty preacher is empty preaching. Preaching is empty if there is no risen Savior to proclaim. If Christ is not risen, then there’s nothing worthwhile to preach, no sermon to study and prepare, no worship service to attend. No matter how beautiful the sermon, no matter how eloquent, and no matter how touching, that sermon is senseless without a risen Savior.

Permissions: You may copy/paste or distribute this post in part or in whole, provided that you acknowledge the name of the author and do not change the words or word order or charge a fee beyond the cost of copying or distributing.

Disclaimer:  I’ve tried to give credit to whom credit is due.  If there is any original thought or reference which I failed to footnote, please call my attention.  Once validated, it will be corrected immediately.

If Christ is Not Risen 2

images6The apostle Paul outlined 6 consequences if Christ is not risen from the dead.

1st, the preaching is pointless. “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty” (1 Cor. 15:14, NKJV). “Preaching” is from the Greek noun, kerugma, which means, “what is preached, message, proclamation”
(Concise Greek-English, s. v. κηρυγμα). This means that the Gospel itself is vain or empty, if there is no resurrection of Christ. Apostolic doctrine becomes pointless.

The word, “empty” (NKJV) or “vain” (ESV), is from the Greek adjective, kenos, “without purpose – ‘in vain, for no purpose’”
(Greek-English Lexicon, s. v. κενος). If Jesus is not risen, then the Gospel is empty, without purpose, pointless, and senseless.

What’s Good News about the Gospel when the Savior who died on the cross is now still dead? What’s the point of salvation from sin, when the Savior is dead?

If Jesus is not risen, then my ministry here is pointless. My years of studying for my Bachelor of Theology are senseless. I wasted my 3 years studying for my Master of Divinity, if Christ is not risen from the dead.

If Christ is not risen, then going to church is senseless. For you are merely worshiping a dead Savior. You will just be wasting your time listening to me. And I will just be wasting my time preaching to you about a dead man.

Permissions: You may copy/paste or distribute this post in part or in whole, provided that you acknowledge the name of the author and do not change the words or word order or charge a fee beyond the cost of copying or distributing.

Disclaimer:  I’ve tried to give credit to whom credit is due.  If there is any original thought or reference which I failed to footnote, please call my attention.  Once validated, it will be corrected immediately.

If Christ is Not Risen

(This is the first of a series of posts on the Resurrection of Christ.  It is based on the sermon that I preached last April 12 at GGCF-East Capitol.  Read on and grow in the faith of biblical Christianity.)

k0014482Today is Resurrection Sunday.  Christianity is anchored on the resurrection. The resurrection of Christ is the heart of Christianity.

Without the resurrection of Jesus, Christianity would be purposeless.  I can imagine many will stop believing on the cross. For it is useless to believe in a man who died on the cross, but who did not rise from the dead.  Many will stop going to church.  For it is useless to go to church and worship a dead Savior.  Many will throw away their Bibles.  For it is useless to read an erroneous Bible.

“Now if Christ is preached, that he has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead” (1 Cor. 15:12, WEB)?  Some people in the church in Corinth questioned the resurrection.  They taught that there was no resurrection.  Some of them got influenced by the teachings of the Gnostics.  The Gnostics believed in the Greek philosophy of dualism.  They taught that the spirit is good; but the body is evil.  How then can God raise an evil, dead body?  The resurrection, according to them, is nonsense (Acts17:32).

However, Paul answered, “But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen” (1 Cor. 15:13, NKJV).

The question for us today is:  If Christ is Not Risen, Then What?

In our next posts, we will study 6 Consequences or Outcomes if Christ is not risen.

Permissions: You may copy/paste or distribute this post in part or in whole, provided that you acknowledge the name of the author and do not change the words or word order or charge a fee beyond the cost of copying or distributing.

Disclaimer:  I’ve tried to give credit to whom credit is due.  If there is any original thought or reference which I failed to footnote, please call my attention.  Once validated, it will be corrected immediately.