“Always Remember” 1 Cor’s 15:1-8 (prayer) Opening - (Read 1 Cor 1:4-9 can be on screen)

 

I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way—with all kinds of speech and with all knowledge— God thus confirming our testimony about Christ among you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also keep you firm to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, who has called you into fellowship with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

Wonderful - encouraging words - he is affirming that Christ is with them… affirming the love of the gospel for them… any church would long to hear from the mouth of Paul

 

The TIDE TURNS:

10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[a] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas[b]”; still another, “I follow Christ.”

13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name.

Paul raises concerns over actions / false applications / and manipulated meanings of the truth of the gospel…

 

Paul’s words - ADMONISH, CORRECT, and restate the doctrine. pleads w/them to simply get their act together…

 

 

Various issues / topics: division among leaders, living void of the Spirit, acting like infants, an abundance of arrogance, sexual immorality, boasting, sin: in married life, in foods, celebrating the Lord’s supper, worship; to name a few…

 

Oddly the first verses in 15, Paul’s words soften again, reminiscent of chapter one’s opening… (verse by verse)

 

Now, brothers and sisters - term of endearment, unity and a common origin in Christ

 

 

I want to REMIND you. Don’t FORGET - Who / why do we remind people? They’ve forgotten / are forgetting…

I want to REMIND you of the GOSPEL - Absolute, unchangeable truth of God’s love demonstrated in the life of Jesus…

 

I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you- Offered to you by word, deed, example…

which you received- Heard, embraced, rejoiced over, taken into you hearts…

 

and on which you have taken your stand- Willingly made the core of your being… convinced / convicted of it’s righteousness

 

By this GOSPEL you are SAVED, Made righteous in the eyes of God, found forgiveness and eternal life…

 

if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Do all in your power to maintain the integrity of the Word - “hold” it so tightly nothing sinful can touch it…

Hold FIRMLY to the word so nothing SINFUL can touch it.

 

Otherwise, you have BELIEVED in VAIN. Believed an untrue gospel - changed, altered- to accommodate yourselves - making your believes in vain…

 

For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance Paul’s divinely inspired truth of the gospel- given freely - is the most important gift he could ever give…

 

 

Here is what he passed on: Christ died for OUR SINS according to the Scriptures, that He was BURIED, that He was RAISED on the third day according to the Scriptures, absolute , basic core of the gospel… what the Corinthians received, took a stand for, and by which they were saved!

 

With the principles of the gospel laid out - Paul moves on to another point which is absolutely critical to the Corinthians: credible evidence of the resurrection - to believe upon…

 

he appeared to Peter, to the Twelve. to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living,he appeared to James, then to all the apostles

 

Significance? People saw Jesus! He called Mary by name, he showed his hands, side… he ate with them on a beach, appeared at a dining room table breaking bread, he passed through locked doors - did what only the living could do…

 

and last of all He appeared to be ABNORMALLY born.-EKTROMAproperly means one born prematurely, It’s found nowhere else in the New Testament; which means, one that was "EXCEEDINGLY UNWORTHY;" not worth regard; unfit to be employed in the service of the Lord Jesus; he felt himself "vile," guilty, unworthy, abominable as a persecutor, and as unworthy to be an apostle

 

So why is this text so important for this First Sunday after Easter? Danger: is that we may get so lost in the business of our lives - that we may easily forget the beauty, wonderment, power and meaning of Easter!

 

Thus, Paul’s words offer three insights to help us to always remember how Easter impacts our lives…

 

1st is this: The ISSUES and CONCERNS of Paul with the Corinthian church can be found in today’s church as well…

These issues / concerns can easily arise when believers forget the power of God’s love revealed within the Gospel…

When personal DESIRES are allowed to OUTWEIGH the truth of the GOSPEL

When personal STRUGGLES seem BEYOND the Gospel’s reach…

 

When the REALITY of God’s love and RESURRECTION POWER seem so far removed

 

In all of these circumstances, the natural human instinct is to turn to self

preservation or self-satisfaction… thus opening the danger of leaving the gospel behind…

 

Second: Paul confesses his own personal INADEQUECIES for discipleship, and Jesus’ APPEARING to him

 

In Paul’s writing, he focuses on the Corinthian church, but he does so by addressing the individual behaviors within the church…

-  he addressed decisions and actions relative to individuals…

-  he’s highlighting the reality that unity with Christ is an individual decision and response…

 

He emphasized his point when he pointed to himself as the “least” of the apostles… the risen Christ had come to - even him

 

Third: Paul fully realizes the BLESSINGS of his FAITHFULNESS to Christ, and he longs for the Corinthians to join him…

 

Their success is based upon their best efforts to remember and be faithful to the gospel he presented to them in word and deed! Just as it is for us today…

 

Bottom Line: Life MOVES on. The secular calendar and the Christian calendar

will continue to run full steam ahead… leaving the Easter season in its wake. And all of that is normal. Yet ironically, this normalcy simply highlights why it’s critical that we “ALWAYS REMEMBER”... the wonderment and majesty of EASTER - everyday!