Photo credit: James Emory (CC-By-2.0)
Why is it so important that Jesus’ tomb was empty?
Photo credit: James Emory (CC-By-2.0)

Pastor Phil Winfield, senior pastor at Grace Church in Des Moines, IA, on Sunday started a four week series focusing on the Resurrection of Jesus since Easter is quickly approaching. His first sermon in that series was entitled The Resurrection Dilemma and Winfield preached from 1 Corinthians 15:12-26.

Here’s the audio of the sermon:

Here is the sermon Bible text:

12¬†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?¬†13¬†But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.¬†14¬†And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching¬†is¬†empty and your faith¬†is¬†also empty.¬†15¬†Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up‚ÄĒif in fact the dead do not rise.¬†16¬†For if¬†the¬†dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen.¬†17¬†And if Christ is not risen, your faith¬†is¬†futile; you are still in your sins!¬†18¬†Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.¬†19¬†If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death, (1 Corinthians 15:12-26, NKJV).

Below are notes to accompany the sermon:

The gospel plainly stated:

What the gospel is (1 Corinthians 15:3-8)

  • Ôā∑ ¬†Jesus died for us and was buried.
  • Ôā∑ ¬†Jesus rose for us and was seen.

What the gospel does (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)

  • Ôā∑ ¬†If we receive it, we have acceptance.
  • Ôā∑ ¬†If we believe it, we have salvation.

If the dead do not rise (v. 12-19)

  1. Christ would be lifeless (v.13)
  2. Our message would be meaningless. (v.14)
  3. Faith would be worthless. (v.14)
  4. Preachers would be useless. (v.15)
  5. Mankind would be hopeless. (v.17)
    • If Christ is not risen, you are still captive to your sin.
    • Now, if He didn’t rise, He lost. Sin won. Satan won.
  6. Death would be endless. (v.18)
    • Death would be final; death would be heartless; death would mean endless grief if the dead do not rise!
    • Death would be a destiny instead of a doorway.
  7. Our piteous life would be pointless. (v.19)

But the dead do rise. (v.20-26)

  1. Paul stated the problem in life – sin. Jesus is the final answer to our fatal flaw. (v.21-22)
  2. Paul announced the promise of life – resurrection at His coming. Jesus is the first fruit of the full resurrection. (v.20, 23).
  3. Jesus provided the proof of life – Jesus rose. Jesus is the faithful victor over our fearful enemy. (v.23-26)

So just how important is the resurrection of Jesus?

“…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is unto salvation,” (Romans 10:9-10, NKJV).

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