Sermon Outline for
1 Corinthians 15:1-7
– Of First Importance –
I. The Witness of the Word – 15:3b-4
Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures
Jesus made this same point.
From the Old Testament – all the way through, from Genesis 3:15, to the sacrificial system, to the forgiveness and compassion of God the Father. All of this points ahead to a Divine Saviour, the Promised Redeemer.
More specifically regarding Christ’s suffering:
- Psalm 22, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me”
- Isaiah 53 - But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. Isaiah 53:5
…that he was buried
“Was buried” points both to Jesus death and to his resurrection:
- He really died. You don’t bury people who are still living
- The nature of the resurrection – he got up in the body that was buried, new life for a corpse
… he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures”
- See Hosea 6:2
- Compare Jonah 1:17 to Matthew 12:40
In the Old Testament, there is an expectation of a LIVING Saviour and a resurrection WITH Him.
Isaiah 53:12 – The key Old Testament crucifixion passage ends with the testimony to the LIVING SAVIOUR
See also Job 19:25-27 and Isaiah 25:6-9
II. The Witness of History – 15:5-7
I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world-and they couldn’t keep a lie for three weeks. You’re telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible. – Charles Colson
III. The Witness of New Lives – 15:1-3a
Paul is declaring a gospel that this church already knew. See 1 Corinthians 1:4-9
See Hebrews 3:12-14
Our salvation is "from outside ourselves." I find salvation not in my life story, but only in the story of Jesus Christ. Only those who allow themselves to be found in Jesus Christ – in the incarnation, cross, and resurrection – are with God and God with them. – Dietrich Bonhoffer, Life Together
Text Application Questions
Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-7
Why did this church that knew the gospel need to be reminded of the gospel again? See 1 Corinthians 1:4-9.
How do we stand in the gospel?
What does it mean that they were being saved by this gospel? How are we who are believers being saved by the gospel today?
What was the Apostle Paul getting at when he said “…unless you believed in vain”?
What did Paul say was “of first importance”?
Does this report of eyewitness of Christ’s resurrection give you more confidence in your faith? Why or why not? Compare 1 John 1:1-4
Do you think there is any reason for the way the Apostle Paul presents these names? In other words, why does he call out Cephas (Peter) and James by name?
In what ways can we be witnesses of the gospel of Christ this coming week?