The young man did quite well expounding on the death of Christ on the cross for the sins of the world. At the close of the service, he announced that everyone should come back the next night when he would "preach on the resurrection of Christ." After the people left, Moody said, "Young man, many of these people will not be back tomorrow night and consequently have only heard half the gospel!"

Our Scripture text in I Corinthians chapter 15 affirms the resurrection of Christ from the dead.

Paul is telling the Corinthian Christians that our faith rests upon this important fact and explains the reasons for this in the first nineteen verses of chapter 15 and then strongly concludes in verse 20,

"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept."

Paul is writing to these Corinthian Christians and in the first several verses here, he is talking about a group in the church that denies the resurrection of Christ. Look again at verse 12,

"Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?"

And so Paul goes about to establish in their minds that Christ indeed has risen from the dead!!!!!!!!!!! And his argument concludes with verse 20 where he state emphatically,

"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept."

This little verse tells us three important things about the resurrection. It tells of:

THE IMMEDIACY OF THE RESURRECTION

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE RESURRECTION

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE RESURRECTION

Let’s look at these three facts this morning.

#1) The Immediacy of the Resurrection:

We live in a "now" society.

We want and usually get immediate gratification. "I want patience and I want it now!!!!"

One reason that credit card debt is at an all time high is that most of us don’t want to wait and save up before we have enough money to buy something with cash, we want it now!!!!

Most of us don't like to wait for anything.

Warren Wiersbe makes the observation, "The ability to calm your soul and wait before God is one of the most difficult things in the Christian life. Our old nature is restless...the world around us is frantically in a hurry. But a restless heart usually leads to a reckless life."

There is one thing we don't have to wait for. One event that has already happened. We are not waiting for the resurrection of Christ to take place. We are not hoping that one day Jesus will come out of the grave. He has already come out of the grave. Paul said, "But now is Christ risen from the dead!"

The fact that Christ is already risen from the dead is important because it shows us that God accepted the sacrifice that Jesus made for our sins.

The immediacy of Jesus' resurrection is also important because of where Jesus is. He is in heaven and seated at the right hand of the Father!!!

Hebrews 1:3 says,

"Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high."

You might say, "Well, so what? What does that mean to me?"

It means that the One who died for you, sits at the right hand of the throne of God to represent you! That’s what it means!!!!

1 John 2:1-2 says,

"My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."

If you are a born again child of God, Jesus Christ died for your sins!!!!!!

If you are not a born again child of God, Jesus died for your sins as well and He wants you to trust Him today for salvation!!!

But if you are saved today, you have an advocate, a lawyer, one called alongside to help, who sits at the right hand of God and represents us to the Father.

Just imagine that when we sin, Jesus just has to say to the Father,

"Father, He's mine, I died for that sin. And I died for that one too and for that one, and for ALL of them. He’s mine and all of his sins are covered under the blood!!!!

Not only is Jesus in Heaven now as our advocate, He's there as our high priest.

Hebrews 4:14-16,

"Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."

Imagine Jesus knows what you are going through, because He’s gone through it Himself!!! And He is our High Priest who goes before God the Father on our behalf and pleads the blood.

· Have you been tempted to worry? So has Jesus.

· Have you been tempted to give up? So has Jesus.

· Have you been tempted to steal? So has Jesus.

· Have you been tempted to be dishonest? So has Jesus.

· Have you been tempted to be lazy? So has Jesus.

· Have you been tempted to lose your temper? So has Jesus?

And He can stand before God and look at your sin and mine and say to God the Father that His blood was sufficient to cover our sin debt.

Paul said to these Christians in Corinth, "Now is Christ risen from the dead." Not in the future, not when we get to heaven, but NOW!!!!!

THE IMMEDIACY OF THE RESURRECTION

#2) The Importance of the Resurrection:

If Christ tarries His coming, every one of us will face a physical death. The Bible says that in Adam all shall die. And for most of us, when we die it will not be international news or even national, state or local news. Our death will only be significant to a few people.

But Jesus death was important because of who He was.

He was God in the flesh. God incarnate. He became man without ceasing to be God.

He was God in human form.

John 1:1 says,

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

Then in verse 14 says,

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth."

Ezekiel 18:4 says,

"the soul that sinneth, it shall die."

Jesus never sinned and therefore was not required to die and so why did He die?

TO pay for your sins and mine, that’s why!!!!!

II Corinthians 5:20 says,

"For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."

I Peter 2:24 says,

"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed."

When Jesus died on the cross He had accomplished everything He was supposed to accomplish in this life. That's why He cried "It is finished!

So we know why Jesus died. He died for us. His death is important. But His resurrection is also important. When Jesus rose from the dead, it proved that God had accepted Jesus' sacrifice for sin.

The resurrection of Christ from the dead is so important! It’s important because it is a living Savior who offers us eternal life. It is a man who conquered death that is offering us forgiveness for sin and a life in Heaven! It is faith in this living Savior that brings us forgiveness and eternal life.

???? Have you placed your faith and trust in Christ? If not, please do so today!!!!!!

THE IMMEDIACY OF THE RESURRECTION, "Now is Christ risen from the dead."

THE IMPORTANCE OF THE RESURRECTION, Our sins forgiven and the gift of eternal life.

#3) The Implication of the Resurrection:

1 Corinthians 15:20,

"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept."

When it was harvest time in Israel, the Israelites were to bring some of their crops as an offering to the Lord before they harvested the crop. This was called the "first fruits". God was to get the best of the crop and He was to get it first. It was like New Testament tithing of the first 10%.

The implication of the resurrection for us is that Christ is the "first fruits" of them that slept. The fact that Christ is the first fruits of the resurrection implies that others will follow. In fact this resurrection is promised right in

1 Corinthians 15:22-23,

"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming."

What does this mean for us?

It means that one day we, who are Christians, will have a new, resurrection body.

It means that not only need we not fear death because our spirits go to Heaven, we need not fear death because we, like Christ, will rise out of the grave!!!!!!!!!!

Paul told these Corinthian’s who doubted the resurrection, that he had some problems with their Theology!!! Look in verse 14 of I Corinthians chapter 15, where Paul writes under the Inspiration of the Holy Spirit,

"And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain."

Paul says that we are all wasting our time if Christ be not risen!!!!

Then down in verses 17-19 he adds,

"And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable."

Paul adds that not only is our faith vain and worthless, but you are still in your sins. As a matter of fact, he adds that their loved ones that were "supposedly" saved, are all going to hell!!!!

And then he adds that "we" as believers are of all men most miserable, because in this present life, if all we have is Christ, and He is not raised, then we have no hope.

But the fact is that we do have that Blessed Hope that one day we will see Christ face to face in Heaven’s glory.

How about you today? Do you know if you died right now if Heaven would be your home or do you have a doubt about that? You come in a moment as we sing and take care of that most important matter.