TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
Regarding First Corinthians 15:1-11, Thomas Constable said, “By denying the resurrection, the Corinthians were following neither Apollos, nor Cephas, nor Christ. They were pursuing a theology of their own. The point of this passage was to present the Gospel message, including the account of Jesus Christ’s resurrection, as what many reliable eyewitnesses saw and all the apostles preached. Paul did this to stress that Jesus’ resurrection had objective reality, not to prove that He rose from the dead. Even though Paul had a different background from the other apostles, he heralded the same message they did. Consequently his original readers did not need to fear that what they had heard from him was some cultic perversion of the truth. It was the true Gospel, and they should continue to believe it.”
Today, we are continuing our series drawn from the Word of God, the Holy Bible, and a historical text based on the Word of God, the Holy Bible, that was passed down from the early church all the way to us today — the Nicene Creed. In this series, we are talking about the importance of the historical Christian faith that was passed down to us from the early church, how that we as Christians who are falling away from it ought to return to it, and how that the world ought to hear it so they can believe on Christ.
Regarding the importance of creeds in the church, Andrew J. Spencer said, “Scripture is the ultimate authority, but when the creeds are rightly presented, they connect us to the theologians who were wrestling with the Bible in light of the controversies of their day. The creeds help us to interpret Scripture rightly to avoid the heresies that drove the creation of the creedal statements in the first place. Creeds do not replace the authority of Scripture; they help ensure continuity of [the correct] interpretation of Scripture.”
In this series, we have looked at the following factual statements from the Nicene Creed based upon the Word of God:
We believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
begotten from the Father before all ages,
God from God,
Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made;
of the same essence as the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven;
he became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary,
and was made human.
He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered, died, and was buried.
The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures.
He was seen alive by Mary Magdalene and the other women,
the disciples, and over five hundred other brethren;
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again with glory
to judge the living and the dead.
His kingdom will never end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life.
He proceeds from the Father and the Son,
and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.
He spoke through the prophets.
Today, we will wrap up this series by looking at the final section of the new Nicene Creed, which reads as follows:
We believe in one holy universal and apostolic church.
We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
and to life in the world to come. Amen.
From these words, we see the promise of the resurrection. In John 5:28-29, Jesus Christ said, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” Just as Jesus Christ was physically raised from the dead, everyone will be physically raised from the dead one day. We often emphasize that death is not the end for someone’s spirit, but the Bible teaches that death is not the end for our bodies either.
When Jesus rose from the dead, the power of death over the human race was finally broken. The great English writer, J.R.R. Tolkien, coined a new term to describe such an event. He called it a “eu-ca-tas-tro-phe” — that is a sudden reversal of a certain catastrophic ending. All of us who place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ will take part in the resurrection unto life. We will one day rise from our graves. Just as death could not hold Him, it will not hold us. In John 6:39, Jesus Christ said, “This is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.”
We also see the assurance of eternal life. In John 10:28, Jesus said, “I give unto them [His followers] eternal life; and they shall never perish.” We may not be able to say that we are certain about much in our lives on this earth, but we can say that we are certain about eternal life because the assurance of eternal life rests in Jesus Christ and Him alone. First Peter 1:3-4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.”
On Earth, food has an expiration date, machines wear out and get rusty, houses become victims to mold and decay, money dwindles, and our bodies grow weaker with age. But in Heaven, we are promised an inheritance that cannot be corrupted and that never fades away. We who are saved by faith and kept by the power of God will receive this eternal inheritance and be able to enjoy it forever. David Guzik said, “We cannot experience this inheritance unless we are born again. It would be like rewarding a blind man by showing him the most beautiful sunset or taking him to an art museum. Unregenerate man does not have the capacity to enjoy this inheritance.” This wonderful eternal life with eternal rewards is reserved only for those who have placed their faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
Isaac Watts wrote:
Happy the man to whom his God
No more imputes his sin,
But, washed in the Redeemer’s blood,
Hath made his garments clean!
His spirit hates deceit and lies,
His words are all sincere;
He guards his heart, he guards his eyes,
To keep his conscience clear.
Happy beyond expression he
Whose debts are thus discharged;
And from the guilty bondage free,
He feels his soul enlarged.
Now, if you are with us today and you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, allow me to show you how you can place your faith and trust in Him for Salvation from sin and Hell.
First, accept the fact that you are a sinner, and that you have broken God’s law. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”
Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”
Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”
Now that is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.
Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the Cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your Salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. I am sorry for my sins, and today I choose to turn from my sins. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. I trust Jesus Christ as my Savior and I choose to follow Him as Lord from this day forward. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.
If you believed in your heart that Jesus Christ died on the Cross, was buried, and rose again, allow me to say, congratulations on doing the most important thing in life and that is accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour! For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light Society.com and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”
If you accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior today, please email me at [email protected] and let us know. There is some free material that we want to send you. If you have a prayer request, please e-mail that to us as well, and we will pray for you until you tell us to stop.
God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.
Daniel Whyte III has spoken in meetings across the United States and in over twenty-five foreign countries. He is the author of over forty books including the Essence Magazine, Dallas Morning News, and Amazon.com national bestseller, Letters to Young Black Men. He is also the president of Gospel Light Society International, a worldwide evangelistic ministry that reaches thousands with the Gospel each week, as well as president of Torch Ministries International, a Christian literature ministry.
He is heard by thousands each week on his radio broadcasts/podcasts, which include: The Prayer Motivator Devotional, The Prayer Motivator Minute, as well as Gospel Light Minute X, the Gospel Light Minute, the Sunday Evening Evangelistic Message, the Prophet Daniel’s Report, the Second Coming Watch Update and the Soul-Winning Motivator, among others.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theology from Bethany Divinity College, a Bachelor’s degree in Religion from Texas Wesleyan University, a Master’s degree in Religion, a Master of Divinity degree, and a Master of Theology degree from Liberty University’s Rawlings School of Divinity (formerly Liberty Baptist Theological Seminary). He is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Ministry degree.
He has been married to the former Meriqua Althea Dixon, of Christiana, Jamaica since 1987. God has blessed their union with seven children.