The Meaning of the Resurrection
A Sermon on 1 Corinthians 15:17
17and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.
17And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
Why does the resurrection matter? Christians can be confused about how significant the bodily resurrection of Christ is for their lives. In this sermon on 1 Corinthians 5:17 titled “The Meaning of the Resurrection,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones preaches on the resurrection and how it is at the heart of the Christian faith. Because Christ rose from the dead, all who believe can be assured that they too will rise from the grave. Jesus Christ is the first of the new creation who rose from the dead as the final and ultimate proof that He has overcome death, sin, and Satan. The resurrection matters because it is the hope of every believer. This resurrection is not a spiritual resurrection or a figurative resurrection, but every believer will rise from the dead with their own body just as Jesus Christ did. Just as Jesus’s body after the resurrection was a better body, so also believers will be given a new body by God. This is because the new creation is not only a restoration of what sin has corrupted, but it is also a perfection of the original creation. For in Jesus Christ, God has overcome all sin and evil for those that trust in Jesus and what He has done.
The passage under consideration is 1 Corinthians 15:17 - "And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins."
1 Corinthians 15 is a familiar but often misunderstood chapter. We must understand the apostle Paul's object and argument.
Paul's argument is that Jesus literally and physically rose from the dead. He appeared to many eyewitnesses. This is essential Christian belief.
To believe in the literal, physical resurrection of Jesus is absolutely essential to the Christian faith. Without it, preaching and faith are in vain.
The resurrection proves Jesus is the Son of God. It shows the purpose of His death was to deal with our sins. If He did not rise, we are still in our sins.
The resurrection proves Jesus' sacrifice was sufficient to satisfy God and atone for sins. God raised Jesus to show He accepted His sacrifice.
The resurrection guarantees believers will also be resurrected. Our redemption will be complete - spirit, soul, and body.
The resurrection guarantees the coming of the eternal kingdom. Jesus will reign until He destroys all enemies, including death. Then He will hand the kingdom to the Father.
Therefore, we must stand firm in the faith, be steadfast and unmovable. We must always abound in the work of the Lord, knowing our labor is not in vain.
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.