Pastor Travis Burkett
1 Corinthians 15
Hope. This word is often used to talk about our preference for a perceived reality. Such as, I hope the weather is nice. I hope my team wins. I hope I get the raise. While these things are not wrong, Biblical hope isn’t always applied in our daily lives. Biblical hope is different. It’s not a wish but a confidence of what hasn’t yet been fulfilled.
We build our faith in Christ in many ways. We build our faith by growing in understanding of His Word, studying the Bible, praying, etc. Yet, hope frames the reality of what still awaits us. The anticipation of something greater that we have yet to experience. We love. We have faith. But how is our hope? What is our hope fixed upon? How much confidence do we hope in the things to come and how does that transition into our daily lives?
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul talks about hope. The hope he’s referring to centers around the bodily resurrection. So, how do we build this hope in our lives today? I want to give you a few encouraging reminders to have confidence in the hope given through Christ.
The bodily resurrection gives confidence of our union with Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:12-28). What an amazing thought that we have union with Jesus. Because of Jesus’ resurrection, we have been made alive! I remember growing up, I’d drive to a town called Martinsville. I’d stop at McDonald's on my way to visit my grandma and I’d walk up to the counter to order my food. They’d ask for a name for the order (I’d say my last name) and they’d say, “It’s on the house.” Why? My grandma had worked there for years and we shared the last name. They knew me by my connection to my grandma. Think of the reality that because Christ defeated death and was resurrected, we have a connection to the Father! He makes us alive and we have a new identity. Our account has been paid for and we have a sure hope of eternity with God!
The bodily resurrection gives confidence to a proven Gospel message (1 Corinthians 15:4). My favorite time of year is the time we just celebrated, the resurrection of Jesus! That is hope! We have hope because Christ defeated death. Whatever I may be going through, I can have confidence that there is a proven message that gives us hope. Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection! That alone should change the way that we live.
The bodily resurrection gives confidence to live after Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:33-34). The Bible tells us to “be not deceived.” We live in a world full of deceptions and distractions. It’s so easy for our minds, hearts, and focus to shift from God’s purpose to ours. I’m always convicted by early church Christianity. They gave up everything to follow Jesus. Jesus was the center of their entire lives. For us, the question is, has the resurrection given us the confidence to actually model the way Jesus lived His life? The truth about the resurrection of Jesus should change everything for us! 1 Corinthians 15 teaches us to find people that will push us towards the hope of Jesus and the confidence of modeling our lives after Him. 1 John 3:1-3 says, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”
We have hope! We have a sure expectation of things to come. Jesus has risen. We can have confidence that the resurrection has brought: union with Jesus, a proven Gospel message, and the ability to follow after Jesus.