wpe8.gif (5608 bytes)

Easter
Good Questions by Josh Hunt
1 Corinthians 15:1 - 20

Introduction

I don't know if it is still in print or not, but Josh McDowell wrote a compelling book a few years ago called The Resurrection Factor. In it he details the empirical evidence supporting the resurrection. You might want to read such a book in preparation for this week's teaching. Lee Storbel has a book on The Case for Christ which seems to offer similar help.

1 Corinthians 15: 1 - 20(1)

OPEN

DIG

  1. As we read this passage, look for every if/then statement. If you are comfortable doing so, circle each occurrence of the word "if."
  2. Paul begins by reminding people of the gospel. What is the gospel? Suppose someone at work were to ask you how to become a Christian, what would you tell them?(2)
  3. The first if statement is in verse 2. You are saved if you hold firmly to the word. What happens if you don't?(3)
  4. Verse 3 says Christ died for our sins. Why was it necessary for Christ to die?
  5. Paul makes the point that in Christianity, everything hangs on the resurrection. What are some of the more compelling proofs for the resurrection that you have heard over the years?
  6. Paul says he was the last one Christ appeared to. When did Christ appear to Paul?
  7. Look at verses 9 - 11. How would you describe Paul's self-perception based on this passage?
  8. Why did Paul describe himself as the least of apostles?
  9. Do you get the feeling that Paul still felt badly (guilty?) for persecuting the church?
  10. How does following Christ tend to affect our view of ourselves? Do we tend to think more or less of ourselves as a result of following Christ?
  11. What did grace do for Paul in verse 10?(4)
  12. Verse 12 really gets into this if/then section. Let's make a line down the middle of the board. The line is the word "if." Let summarize these if/then statements on the board by putting a word on the left side of the line that reminds us of the "if" and a word or two on the right side that reminds us of the "then."
  13. Paul says a lot of bad things are true if there is no resurrection. How can we be sure that Christ was raised?
  14. Can the resurrection be proved?(5)
  15. In general, would you say that Christianity is a provable faith?
  16. Would you say that Christianity is a reasonable faith, supported by reasonable evidence?
  17. What are some of the arguments against the validity of the resurrection? What arguments are you familiar with? Let's make a list on the board.(6)
  18. How would you argue each of these?
  19. How did you become convinced of the validity of the resurrection?
  20. Let's close in prayer worshiping God for sending Jesus. Let's thank the Father for sending Jesus and praise Him for His power as demonstrated in the resurrection.

1. 1 Cor. 15:1-20

Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. [2] By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

[3] For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, [4] that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, [5] and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. [6] After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. [7] Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, [8] and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

[9] For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve 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 to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. [11] Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.

[12] But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? [13] if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. [14] And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. [15] More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. [16] For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. [17] And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. [18] Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. [19] if only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.

[20] But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. [NIV]

2. The only way to teach this basic skill is to tell them and then let them practice. I would suggest that a couple of times a year you spend the whole hour practicing on one another the skil of sharing our faith. We learn by doing.

3. Some say you loose your salvation. Others say you demonstrate that you never had it. Either way you are in deep weeds.

4. We normally think of grace as God being nice to us, which it is. But, it is also God's power working through us, as is illustrated here.

5. Perhaps beyond reasonable doubt. Not absolutely proved.

6. Some have suggested, for example, that Jesus did not really die. Others have suggested that the disciples lied about the resurection.