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Sermon #5540

A Complete Redemption

A Sermon on 1 Corinthians 15:12


1 Corinthians 15:12 ESV KJV
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? (ESV)

Sermon Description

Why is it so dangerous to deny the physical and bodily resurrection of believers? There were those in the early church who denied this doctrine. This is one of the reasons that the apostle Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthians, to dissuade them of this great error. In this sermon on 1 Corinthians 15:12 titled “A Complete Redemption,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones says that without the resurrection, there is no hope. It is only in the resurrection that Christ completes the redemption that He began on the cross, and it is only by the bodily resurrection that death will finally be conquered and vanquished. Jesus died to not only save souls, but also to redeem the whole world from the bondage and corruption of sin. By resurrecting the bodies of those that believe, this corruption that began with the sin of Adam is removed. It is a lie of the devil that says Christ will not complete the salvation that He began. This resurrection is no mere spiritual event as some have claimed. The bodily resurrection means that Jesus perfectly saves all those that repent and believe in His gospel. It means that Jesus alone is Savior and Reconciler between God and sinful man.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon focuses on 1 Corinthians 15, especially verse 12 which asks how some can say there is no resurrection of the dead if Christ has been preached as risen.
  2. The apostle Paul is arguing for the importance of belief in the literal, physical resurrection of Jesus and of believers. He says this is essential to the Christian faith.
  3. If Christ did not rise physically, there would be no Christian church or preaching. The disciples were disheartened until they saw the risen Christ.
  4. If Christ did not rise, the apostles are false witnesses. They proclaimed Christ's resurrection, so if that did not happen they are liars.
  5. Denying the resurrection contradicts Christ's own teachings and prophecies about his death and resurrection.
  6. The resurrection proves that Jesus is the Son of God. It convinced the apostles and turned Paul from persecutor to preacher.
  7. The resurrection shows that Christ's death fully satisfied God's justice and the law. Our sins are forgiven.
  8. Without the resurrection, Christ would not have conquered death, the last enemy. But Christ defeated death.
  9. Without the resurrection, faith is in vain and we are still in our sins. There is no salvation apart from Christ's resurrection.
  10. We must believe not only in Christ's resurrection but also in the future resurrection of believers. Christ is the firstfruits, then all who are his will be made alive.
  11. Some say the resurrection is only spiritual, that new life in Christ is the resurrection. But Paul says this view spreads like gangrene. We must believe in the literal resurrection of the body.
  12. Belief in the bodily resurrection is essential to understanding salvation and the coming kingdom. Salvation redeems not just the spirit but the whole person, body and spirit. The kingdom will transform not just us but the whole creation.
  13. In summary, the resurrection of Christ and of believers is essential to the Christian faith and hope. Without it, there is no church, no preaching, no proof Christ is God's Son, no conquest of death, no forgiveness, no salvation, and no future kingdom. We must hold fast to the literal, physical resurrection.

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Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.