April 21, 2019

We Live Because He Lives

Passage: 1 Corinthians 15:13-14
Service Type:

Sermon prepared by the Holy Spirit

And Pastor Andrew T. Okai

Resurrection Sunday

April 21 2019

 

Sermon text: 1 Corinthians 15:13-14

Sermon theme: We live because He lives

 

Introduction

Grace, mercy, and peace...

 

Today we celebrate the glorious resurrection of our Lord from the dead, which we consider as the greatest event listed on the Christian calendar...

 

We consider it the greatest because of all the Lords, He is the one and only Lord who challenged death head on and came out victorious...

 

Now, a few years ago in my Easter message I gave you the stats on the founding leaders of some of the most influenced religions of the world – and since that time, the stats has not changed...

 

And here are the most recent statistics on religious Lords...

Bahaullah of the Baha’i Faith died 1892...

Gautama Buddha of the Buddha faith died in 300 BC...

Mahatma Gandhi of the Hindu faith died January 30, 1948...

Prophet Mohammed of the Islamic faith died June 8, 632 AD...

Jesus Christ of Nazareth, son of the Living God died on AD 30, and three days after his death, he got up out of his tomb – he still lives today...

 

He is risen!  

 

And this account is not a made up fairytale; instead, it is a historical truth – because there are three substantial evidences that prove this to be true...

  1. The empty tomb
  2. The real experiences of his disciples...

Appeared to Mary Magdalene in Mark 16:9

Appeared to the two men on the road to Emmaus Luke 24:13-31

Appeared to the disciples while they were hiding John 20:19

Appeared to Thomas 8 days later in John 20:26...

Appeared to more than 500 people at one time 1 Corinthians 15:6

Appeared to the Apostle John on the Island Patmos and he makes this claim in Revelation 1:18 as

Revelation 1:18 I am the living one; I was dead, and now look, I am alive forever and ever! I hold the keys of death and hades.

 

 

  1. The preaching of the apostles had the resurrection at its center – and has been the central theme of the Christian church ever since that time... Acts 2:22-24“Men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with mighty works and wonders and signs that God did through him in your midst, as you yourselves know this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.

 

It is the central themes of the life of the church...

Sermons: sermons after sermons focus on the finished work of the cross...

 

Songs: redeeming love has been my theme and shall be till I die... In Christ alone my hope is found, he is my light, my strength, my song, this cornerstone, this solid ground, firm through the fiercest drought and storm...

 

Testimonies: of Christians...

  • GOING THROUGH PERSECUTION: during the martyrdom of Polycarp “For 86 years I have served him, and he has done me no wrong. How can I blaspheme my king and my savior?
  • GOING THROUGH REDEMPTION: during our redemption experience, we realize that is his dying and rising that saved us and has given us this new hope...

 

Let’s get away from the bible a little and hear what a circular Jewish historian had to say about the resurrection...

Flavius Josephus was not a follower of Jesus, rather, he was a commander of the Jewish forces in Galilee who later became a Roman citizen and became a historical writer...

 

Historian Flavius Josephus writes...

About this time there lived Jesus, a wise man, if indeed one ought to call him a man. For he was one who performed surprising deeds and was a teacher of such people as accept the truth gladly. He won over many Jews and many of the Greeks. He was the Messiah. And when, upon the accusation of the principal men among us, Pilate had condemned him to a cross, those who had first come to love him did not cease. He appeared to them spending a third day restored to life, for the prophets of God had foretold these things and a thousand other marvels about him. And the tribe of the Christians, so called after him, has still to this day not disappeared.”

 

 

And this is why the Apostle Paul says it like this in our second reading this morning:

1 Corinthians 15:13-14 if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is our faith.

Our preaching is useless and so is our faith – as I looked at this phrase in this text, I started calculating the number of years that I have preached Jesus for (27 years)... 27 unwavering years... (And I’m just as convinced and convicted as I was from the beginning).

 

And why is that? Because this Jesus that I preach lives!

I know it because he has changed me...

I know it because he has changed others...

 

He says also that “if Christ has not been raised from the dead, then our Faith is useless: why, because the resurrection is the most important truth of the Christian faith... “It is through faith that we hope that we get to live again”

 

So here are my convictions regarding my faith in Christ...

  • I have experienced Jesus personally... Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. I’m concern about how Jesus feels everyday...
  • I have enjoyed Jesus relationally... Romans 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. – Enjoying Jesus... (While folks are getting high on drugs, I’m getting high on Jesus)

 

I have come to the conviction that Jesus lives in me – and because he live lives in me, he’s not a label that I hang around my neck or place around my forehead – He is the very life that I live...

 

He is risen!

It is my prayer this morning that these truths would encourage your faith this morning, and bring you to the realization that Easter for the church is all about the one who was dead, and now lives forever - and that we live because he lives...