Christ Is Alive – Part 2

Hope for Today (English)
Hope for Today (English)
Christ Is Alive - Part 2
1 Corinthians 15:1-11

The second proposition is


5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.

7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

We often say, “Seeing is believing.” When there is an accident, we want to find witnesses who saw it. So the apostle Paul calls up the witnesses of the resurrection. First, there is Peter. Paul calls him Cephas, which is his Aramaic name. “Were you there Peter?” “Yes, I was there. I saw him. He spoke to me.” Then he calls up the twelve. They were in the room on the day of the resurrection when Jesus suddenly appeared before them and showed them His hands and feet. Ask anyone of them. “Were you there?” They answer, “Yes, we were there; yes, we saw him.”

Then there were over 500 who were together at one time when Jesus appeared in their midst. Paul said the greater part were still living. Ask them. Talk to them. They can tell you, Paul is saying. See what they might say to you. “Were you there when He came?” “Yes, we were there.” “Did you see Him?” “Yes, we saw Him.”

Then there is James, the brother of Jesus, who once was very skeptical. He would not believe. He had grown up with Jesus. How could his brother be anyone special? But James changed. After Jesus’ death and resurrection, James became an ardent believer. Ask him, he was there.

Finally, we have Saul of Tarsus. Ask him. He gives his testimony. He says last of all he saw Jesus, while on the road to Damascus. Paul was breathing out threatenings against the disciples, going with papers from the high priest to capture and bring them back to Jerusalem, probably to supervise their execution. Jesus met him, and Paul said, “I saw Him.” Paul could never forget when the glory of God threw him to the ground. How could he? Having been so against the Lord and hearing Him speak to him so clearly, “Why are you persecuting me?” Paul said he considered himself an overdue baby, born out of due time.

Now it is true that no one else ever arose from the dead as Jesus did. But there was no one else who was born like He was, of the virgin. No one else lived like He did, without sin. No one else died as He did. He wasn’t killed. He gave up His spirit. He is the only one of His kind. He is the Unique Son of God. The Bible makes that clear in several places. For example, John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” He is the only one of His kind.

Only the willfully ignorant refuse to believe the record. Paul listed the evidence, calling up, as it were, those who witnessed Christ’s resurrected body. It was not a hallucination. They could handle him. They saw His hands and feet, marred by nails. In I John 1:1-3, the apostle wrote:

The elder unto the elect lady and her children, whom I love in the truth; and not I only, but also all they that have known the truth; For the truth’s sake, which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us for ever. Grace be with you, mercy, and peace, from God the Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father, in truth and love.

The confirmation of Jesus’ uniqueness is His resurrection from the dead. It is the Confirmation of the Gospel.

The third proposition is


9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which [was bestowed] upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

11 Therefore whether [it were] I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

Paul ranks himself the least of the apostles. He was a persecutor; he breathed out threatenings and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord. Then he said he became what he became by the grace of God. Yes, we are all trophies of God’s grace, whether it be Paul or you.

There were others who confessed as Paul did. He said, “I was a persecutor of the church.” Peter could have said, “Well, I denied Him.” John could have said, “I ran away.” Paul’s conversion motivated him. Jesus met him and he was never the same. That’s what a conversion experience does to anybody. It was the source of his motivation. Paul said that he labored more abundantly than they all. What did he do?

In II Corinthians 11:22-27, Paul reviews what he did:

Are they Hebrews? so am I. Are they Israelites? so am I. Are they the seed of Abraham? So am I. Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

Paul worked more abundantly than they all. Of the disciples, only John died a natural death. All the rest were martyred, including Paul.

Now there’s no difference in who. The what is most important. Whether it was I or they, he said, “We preached and so you believed.” The Gospel was the motivation then as is today. The Gospel is the message to preach because it is the pardon of our sins, by God Almighty, through the resurrection of Jesus.

This motivation needs to grip the church today. Time is running out. We can reach people all over the world as no other generation could. The judgment on us is we are too consumed with personal and private interests. We are like the man in Jesus’ parable who buried his talent. He did nothing with it but return it to his lord unused. What motivates you? Has the gospel truth gripped your heart?

Christ Is Alive.


It is the basis for the saving work of Jesus.


It is the historical proof of the saving work of Jesus.


It is the only message to save a lost and dying world.

Make no mistake about it. His resurrection is the motivation to every true preacher. Romans 10:9 says it right:

If thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

The question, of course, is, Have you done that? Now is the acceptable time.