The eternal reality is that Jesus came to give His life for us so that could enjoy a resurrection like His. One day He shall call us up and away to be with Him forevermore. And He shall reign on earth forever as King and Lord of all. We were sown in natural way, but shall be raised glorified and spiritual as we take immortality. (1 Corinthians 15:18-40)
Speaker(s): Pastor Thomas Schaller
7:00 PM on 12/23/2020
Somehow I was ready for more. How about you guys? That was awesome. Thank you. We will sing more. We have the ladies coming up on the stage later. We have Mary Laflamme is going to sing a song tonight, too. Isn’t that good?
Welcome. This is our tradition at Greater Grace to have a candlelight service and reflect on the
miracle of the Incarnation, that the Holy Spirit reveals to us who Christ is. I want to draw a little
picture here. Turn to 1 Corinthians 15. This is I think a short introduction. I’m going to draw the picture
like this. 1 Corinthians15:14, we believe that when he came into the world as that child in Bethlehem,
he was actually existing before from everlasting to everlasting, Micah 5:2. He is the Eternal One
and incarnated in human flesh to deal with death. If he is not the Christ, and if he is not risen,
then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain also. Vs. 15.
We are found false witnesses of God if we are saying he has risen, and he isn’t. Isn’t this amazing in our faith we are able to process these thoughts and question if this is true or not. If it’s not true, then we are false
witnesses of God. Who would like to be a false witness of God? Vs. 15b. I want to put up on our
screen a block that represents our faith and truth. We could say it represents Christ. This is
Christ. Same thing. Christ. Christ incarnated. Christ suffered, shed his blood, rose from the
dead. Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father. There are the Corinthians who are
questioning that they believe in Jesus but what kind of Jesus do they believe in? Who do they
believe in? Even now Paul is writing, you don’t believe that he has been raised from the dead?
If you don’t believe that, then there is six things he is saying to these people. What is your faith
if you don’t believe he was raised from the dead?
If you don’t believe God was incarnated, then what do you believe about God? And also is the Jesus that you are worshiping some other kind of Jesus. Hipster Jesus? Social justice Jesus? Communist Jesus? Patriotic Jesus? National American Jesus? What kind of Jesus do we have this Christmas season? Amen. So imagine he is
writing to the Corinthians. They are Christians but they are questioning was he raised from the
dead. Paul takes that on head first and if he is not raised from the dead, then we are false
witnesses of God. We are actually lying, misrepresenting God. Then he goes further. Vs. 15-16.
He’s saying there are people that don’t believe in the resurrection. If you don’t believe in the
resurrection, then you do not believe Christ was raised from the dead, then we are still in our
sins. Vs. 17. That would be a horrible thing to yet be in our sins. We are in a time when the Bible
tells us about the end times and the plagues, the pandemics. We had a taste of it this year. In
my opinion, it would be a very good time to search for God.
It would be a very good time to find out if the Jesus I am believing in is the Jesus that was raised from the dead, and the Jesus that sent the Holy Spirit into the world. Look up at our screen. Here is a picture of you. Do you know
that maybe you know yourself but maybe you know yourself in the wrong way? Do you know
yourself? I don’t. What I know about myself it may not be exactly right. Do you know who Jesus
is? Even Philip the disciple said, show us the Father and Jesus said if you’ve seen me, you’ve
seen the Father. Have I been so long time with you, and you don’t know that? I’m saying these
things just to provoke us tonight. I believe the Holy Spirit in this world is working to show us
who Christ is, and we worship Him and know him. More accurately we know him not perfectly,
but we have the Holy Spirit is sent into the world to show us who He is. The Holy Spirit is sent
into the world to show you who you are. Who are you? That’s an amazing gift that we would realize who we are in Christ.
Am I in my sins? No, I’m not in my sins. I’m in Christ. Am I a sinner?
Yes, but my sins are taken care of, washed away by the blood of Jesus. Do you follow this?
Okay. Let’s finish it. vs. 18. My mother who passed away a little more than a year ago, she’s
perished, not in heaven. She’s not in heaven if Christ is not raised. If he is raised, it will be a
bright and glorious morning. There will be an amazing meeting when the saints are gathered
there, and the roll is called up yonder I’ll be there. That’s the city of God. We read in the same
Bible that told us about the coming of Christ in Bethlehem. Don’t have your faith just on a
Christmas or and Easter but have your faith in a living way day by day in the grace of God, the
Spirit of God, the wisdom of God, and the ways of God. You might say Pastor, how? Just keep
coming to church. Keep listening, believing. God will enlighten our eyes and show us. God will
lead us in the way. God will fill us with the Holy Spirit and show us who Jesus is.
The wise men followed the star and they found him. The shepherds went to where the angels told them to go
and they found him. How few people were there. Simeon and Anna were in the temple and
they saw him. The family moved down into Egypt and the prophet said out of Egypt I will call
my son and they went and settled in Nazareth. That’s where he lived. If you met him, would
you know him? No. Isaiah 53. There would be no beauty in him that we would desire him. We
would not recognize him. Not until the Jordan River when he was baptized, and the Spirit came
down and John the Baptist knew behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
The sins of the world. Wow! That who was raised from the dead is seated at the right hand of
God and has the power of the Holy Spirit given to us so we could know him. Every one of these
could be reversed because it’s rhetorical speech. Let’s read the last part. Vs. 19.
Why would we be miserable if in this life only we believe in Jesus but only it’s for this life? It would be like
following somebody that didn’t have any power. It would be like believing in some religious
leader who died and was gone. Like Mohammed or Buddha or anyone else or Confucius. If only
in this life we are believing in Jesus and doing only what Jesus said, only in the context of this
life then he said we would be of all men most miserable. But what did he say? He said we have
a living hope. He said that we translated from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of his
dear Son. He said we are not in our sins. We are in Christ. He said we set our affections on the
things above not on things below, while we look not at the things that are seen but we look at
the things that are not seen. We read about the city of God at the end of the Book of
Revelation. And we realize there is a real city that is waiting for us and we are anticipating it.
We realize that we are sisters and brothers in a mystical unity and God is our Father.
We realize our life is not in vain, hallelujah! Our life is not in vain. Our testimony is not in vain. Our life is
not empty. Our life has value. That our Heavenly Father hears our prayers and answers us.
There were two bachelors living here in Baltimore city. Their house was a pigpen. There’s
garbage in the sink. I’m elaborating to wake some of you up! And one of them said, let’s pray
for wives! And the brother that shared this with me the other day, he said that man prayed,
and we got wives. And by sight it would be impossible. He said that man was a man of prayer.
That man was a man of prayer. That man would pray for things and he got them. That man,
God answered his prayers. Our God is alive. Our God is not dead. Our God answers prayer. Our
God gives to us things we don’t deserve. God gives us great grace every day. Ours is a living God that overcame death. Our God was incarnated in Christ. How could it be anything greater? Our
God is a living God that’s between you and I. Our God. We are the family of God. If you were to
read this text from vs. 14-19 and reverse all these things,- if Christ is risen then our preaching is
valuable, and your faith is valuable. Yeah, and we are true witnesses of God because we have
testified of God that he raised up Christ and if Christ is raised, your faith has value and you are
not in your sins.
Then they also that have fallen asleep are with him and not in the ground and
have not perished. But if in this life we have hope and in the next life we have hope then we are
all men most happy not most miserable but most blessed. Amen. Wow! Just a little more
preaching. Just a little bit. It’s the same text. 1 Corinthians 15, many of you know that the Laflamme’s
lost a son in a tragic car accident years ago and Mary and her family are like heroes for us in
many ways. When we lose something in this world precious, we have hope because Christ is
raised. Christ was not just any man. He was God. This is the mystery of our faith. God came.
God told us there is a future. In this chapter, it describes. I recommend you reading this chapter
through this coming year and having it written in your heart. Vs. 38. What kind of a body? A
resurrection body as it has pleased him. Resurrection body of someone who has died. What
kind of body? A resurrection body.
Has anyone seen a birth of a baby or kittens or have you seen an animal born? Have you seen things procreate and come alive? Have you ever seen bodies making bodies? It’s a marvel. But what happens when a body produces – God makes a spiritual body? I have never seen that. A spiritual body as it pleases God. As it pleases God. How
do we know this is true. Christ came in a physical body but raised in a glorious body. Raised
from the dead. Vs. 39. Meaning the protein that makes up the flesh is different. The proteins
are different. There are different kinds of flesh, so is the resurrection of the body. There’s
different degrees of glory. There are different manifestations with our glorified body. How do
you know that? Because it is written there. Look at it with me. vs. 40. A blade of grass has a
degree of glory, but a palm tree has another, and a sequoia tree. And wait! A star and a moon
and a galaxy has another. So is the resurrection of the dead. What are we talking about here?
Christmas. Christmas is the very seed evidence that God who is Spirit came into our world,
made flesh to make our flesh spiritual.
To take our mortal body and make it a spiritual body. It’s written here. Read it. vs. 42. Are there any believers here listening or on the internet, you are listening and maybe you have a lot of doubt about your faith and doubt about Christ and the prophets, doubt about the resurrection and where we go after we die. Those doubts should be
addressed by God’s Word, by the Spirit. Those doubts should be addressed by the Holy Spirit
leading us in the faith. I need to have ears to hear and be a worshiper of the living God who
doesn’t want me to live here without a message. Do you have a message? “People are good.”
That’s not a message. And it’s not true from God’s point of view. “ I don’t know where we go
after we die. I don’t know if there is a heaven. I don’t know anything about it. I don’t go to
church. I don’t read my Bible.” You sound like a Corinthian. Paul is teaching the Corinthians and
saying that is ridiculous. That is ridiculous. Look at what he says in vs. 43-44.
What was Jesus’ body? It was sown a natural body. It was raised a spiritual body. He had no sin. His body was
perfect. His blood was spotless. His blood is eternal. His body was sown, and he was buried in a
grave, but he was raised a spiritual body, a mortal body glorified. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. Vs. 45. What does he quicken? You and me. He’s made a quickening
spirit. Have you been made alive lately? Have you been quickened by Christ. One day our
mortal body will be in the grave and he will say, the trump will blow and the dead in Christ will
be raised in a twinkling of an eye. Our mortal bodies that are decaying in the graves and in the
sea and in the air and in all this world that is natural will be glorified, raised up. How do we
know this? Vs. 46. Right now, it is a natural body. I have some blood pressure medication. I
have some medications that I take.
I have a natural body. I have my hair falling out, my teeth falling out, my bones creaking a little more and my joints not as flexible as they used to be. Why? We have a natural body but afterwards that which s spiritual. Vs. 47-49. That’s a good
one. As we bear the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. But we
have not yet seen what we shall be, but we know when we see him, we will be like him. This is
amazing. Let’s not have Christmas simply what a beautiful time for family, what a beautiful time
for children. How magical it is. How precious it is. And as believers, we celebrate it in a
traditional way and in many ways as we possible can, but let’s carry it in our hearts all year
round. Let’s have a message all the time. Let’s tell people that we are not made to die. We are
made to live. Let’s tell people there is another answer. There is a better one. There is Christ.
They are lonely, hurting, empty, guilty, troubled, afraid. Maybe this coming year will be a lot
worse than the one we just had. Isn’t that good news!
Who knows what’s going to happen. Are you ready? Are you ready? Are you ready for the coming year? Are you ready? Do you have anything spiritual moving in your heart? Are you ready? Do you have any Word of God dwelling
in you? Are you ready to meet God? Are you ready? Are you afraid or are you ready? Are you
prepared? Are you believing? Is God changing you? Where is that sketch up there? Are you
getting Jesus Christ right in your heart and mind and know who he is? It takes some investment,
a life of faith. Say I’m going to go to church. I’m going to believe God. I’m going to start reading
my Bible. I’m going to go to the New Year’s Eve service if I can if God leads. That’s up to you.
You are welcome. Then the Sunday after and the Sunday after in the services. What God is
doing in these amazing days. I’m saying it to provoke you and encourage you in your faith.
Whatever that means. We are going to meet him one day.
Maybe it’s not too far off. The world is in a lot of trouble and they need people like you and me. We’re not going to be like – we don’t want to be just kind of going through life without any message. Let’s go through with
something in our hearts that comes from God. I see Jesus . I see Jesus. I see Jesus. I believe in
Jesus. Jesus is here. I believe in Jesus. I believe our country needs Jesus. I believe the Spirit can
move through our country and change hearts and save souls. I believe Jesus is the answer for
people and the answer for our troubles in this life. Many will believe. Many do not but that’s –
many will, and many do, and this is our prayer this coming year. That’s a good word for us
tonight. Thank you for your love, your faith, your hearts. We had some guys in Bible college
come forward for preachers. I’ll finish now. Billy Graham, we showed a video in our Homiletics
class. Billy Graham preaching with fire in Madison Square Garden in 1957.
I think it was 1957. I asked in the Homiletics class, “how many of you guys would like to preach like Billy Graham?
Come up front.” So they came up front. I want to ask those guys to stand up in the auditorium
right now. If you came forward that day, would you just stand up. There we go. Wait a minute. Stay standing. Wait a minute. It is a work of the Spirit that any of us would be standing with this
in our hearts and say, Lord, do this work, however you do it and touch our country and bless
our country. We need people with a message.
We don’t need people worrying and afraid. We need people with a message. We don’t need people who are depressed and discouraged and empty and lost. We need people that are focused and have a message that is from Jesus Christ
our Savior because Christmas long ago what a great day that was. But that reality is with us
today. The same reality and that’s what we are living in. we pray for these guys. (prayer).
Please enjoy these sermon notes from the messages preached at Greater Grace Church in Baltimore. These notes are provided to aid in your study and understanding of the Word. Note that these notes do not represent complete, word-for-word transcriptions. Also, they may contain omissions as well as some errors in spelling and structure, etc., as we attempt to provide them as soon as possible. Our hope is that these notes serve as a way to help you search and connect with messages on related subjects and passages. Thank you for your interest in the ministry of Greater Grace.