I am excited to begin a new sermon series Easter Sunday.
Amazingly, I have never begun a series on Easter Sunday. I have always ended the series on Easter. My pastor friends will tell me that I have done this all wrong in the past–the series should begin on Easter. I can’t wait to give it a try and see how it works.
The subject also excites me. The series is called “Things to Come” and it is taken from 1 Corinthians 15. I Corinthians 15 is Paul’s word about the resurrection–Christ’s and ours. He points out that if Christ has not been raised, neither will we be raised. All of our hope is in Christ.
Most of Paul’s letters are words of help and encouragement to local churches. He dealt with issues and concerns in belief and behavior. The issue in Corinth had to do with those who were saying “that there is no resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:12). Paul knew that without the resurrection, there is no gospel.
Alan Johnson, writing in The IVP Commentary Series on 1 Corinthians summarizes the essential nature of the doctrine of the resurrection. This occurs in two sections. In the first (1 Corinthians 15:1-34), Paul emphasized the resurrection of Christ and the connection between His resurrection and our coming resurrection. “Then he argues that the resurrection body will be a new creation, a body that has been radically transformed from our present earthly body yet is in some sense continuous with our present life. This transformation will happen instantaneously when Christ comes. Our future mode of existence will be adapted fully to the Spirit (vv. 35-57).”
Finally, this magnificent hope will lead us to stand firmly throughout life. “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work in the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain (I Corinthians 15:58).
The resurrection points us to our hope for our future with Christ and provides for our faithful service for Him on earth.