Victory in Jesus
Speaker: David Jordan Topic: Easter Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:1–58
The title of the message is Victory in Jesus. Probably like you. When I was a little kid, I used to draw and color and sometimes my parents would look at the drawing and say just how nice it was. And then they would say, What is that? You know? And you know, those kinds of drawings, we make them all the time.
Well, there are some drawings, some paintings in the world that are incredibly large. For instance, there is an oil painting in Italy that is called paradise. It's 72 feet wide. That's about the length of this room by 30 feet wide. Of course, with Jesus at its focal point. And recently, my oldest saw one of the biggest paintings in all the world.
It's the largest religious painting there is. It's in Forest Lawn Cemetery in Glendale, California. They built a building specifically for this painting. It's 195 feet long by 45 feet tall, and use some 6000 gallons of paint. Now, I was inspired as a child to paint some magnificent works, I'm sure. But these paintings far outweigh anything I've ever done, and I would assume you've never painted anything that large before.
Though we do have some artists here. What inspires such work? You know, at the fall of communism, one of the things that they noted was that communism never produced any great statues, no lasting works, no. No famous paintings, no. No architecture that we are just in all of. There was nothing inspiring about the regime. Ironically, the largest religious painting in the world is not of the Easter Bunny or Easter egg hunts.
Ironically enough, people still try and use that to talk about the the fun and the joy of Easter. But of course, this largest religious painting in the world is called the crucifixion. But what is so interesting to me about it is that Jesus is not portrayed as crucified on the cross. In this painting, he stands in white robe victorious, considering what he is about to do.
You see, the crucifixion is a painting about hope and friends. That is what Easter, as we call it, Resurrection Sunday in Christian circles. That's what Easter is all about. It is about hope. It is about victory. About what Christ has done. Something that you could not do. It is the greatest victory ever achieved, which is the victory over sin and death.
And I want to try and show you from Scripture today that you must believe in the resurrection in order to be saved. ROMANS ten nine says, If you confess with your mouth, Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Notice there is confession, there is action, there is a mental agreement, but there is also profession involved.
And yet part of this profession is belief in the resurrection. We would call that belief in the person and work of Jesus Christ. And you might be asking yourself, well, what else must I believe in order to be saved? Because if you are not saved, then, then Easter is just fun and games and have your fill and move on to tomorrow.
But if you are saved, then this is the pinnacle of the Christian faith. You must believe that Jesus Christ existed. Many people try and discount the miracles of Scripture, forgetting that Scripture portrays Jesus having a miraculous birth. You can't trust in the other things. Scripture says. If you discount the miraculous I mean, even the Jewish Mishnah and the Talmud, which is called the Babylonian Talmud, can cure Jesus lived.
It says this in the Talmud, quote, On the eve of Passover, they hanged Yeshua. This is about 100 years later and of course crucifixion wasn't part of the Jewish traditions. It was Roman. That's why he was nailed to a cross. And the way they describe it in the Talmud is that he was hanged. Even first century historian Josephus, who was born from about 37 A.D. It's about seven years after Christ ascended to about 1 to 7, wrote much about this man, Jesus Christ, and these people that they called Christians.
We have much of his writings. He said this, quote, During the time of Paul and the apostle John in his testimony of Joseph writes, quote, Now, there was about this time Jesus, a wise man. If it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works. A teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure.
He drew over to him both many of the Jews and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ and pilot at the suggestion of the principal man among us, had him condemned to the cross. This is what an unbelieving historian says about Jesus, that he was the Christ, that he was more than a man, that he did these wonderful works.
That pilot was the one who handed him over at someone else's suggestion and he was condemned and died on the cross. Friends, even nonbelievers, agree that happened. At least the majority of them do. So Jesus was a real historical person. The question then is, is what will you do with him and does he make a difference in your life?
Well, in order to make a difference, you must have beliefs, specific facts about our Lord Jesus Christ even more than the resurrection. You must believe that Jesus is God with us, that He is divine, and that He is without sin. And your belief in Jesus must include willing, faith, willing faith, by the grace of God results in what we call following Jesus, which is the theme of the Gospel of John Friends.
I'm going to read a passage to you from First Corinthians Chapter 15, beginning in verse one. If you turn there with me, if you would, you must believe every single word of this passage, every single word in order to be saved. It is a wonderful passage of the certainty of the Gospel. Notice it says this. Now, I would remind you, brothers of the Gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved.
If you hold fast to the word I preach to you, unless you believed in vain, that is a summary of the willing following Jesus part. Verse three It's the Gospel for I delivered to you as a first importance. What I also received that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, and that he appeared to see first and then to the 12.
Let me ask you a question. Is there anything in that paragraph that you don't believe? 100%. If the answer is yes, then you need salvation. And Jesus Christ. But if you do believe all of this, then the resurrection is your great hope. Jesus was buried, raised on the third day, appeared to the 12. Exactly. Exactly. As the scripture said.
And also, does your life confirm what most of us have just agreed to mentally? Does your life follow that? You say, are we talking about work? Salvation? No, I'm just reading the scriptures. The scriptures say that you have in this passage received the truth. Friends. Have you received the truth of the Gospel? Friends It says you need to stand in it to hold fast to it.
And if this is you that you have received it and stand in it and hold fast to it, then you have received the blessed, eternal life that is given to all who believe. Praise be to God for His marvelous gift. First Corinthians Chapter 15 is one of the clearest descriptions of the Gospel in the Scriptures because it reveals the truth about Jesus Christ.
Look again in verse five with me, if you would, says in that he appeared to see first, then to the 12. And so Paul goes into proofs of the resurrection. Proofs of the resurrection. Do you believe the historicity of the resurrection, while he is giving proofs? Verse six Then he appeared to more than 500 brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive.
The city was full of hundreds of people who had seen the risen Lord Jesus Christ. He says, though some have fallen asleep. Verse seven Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. And last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me, eyewitness testimony is critical in our court of law. Eyewitness testimony substantiates further, as it corroborates with other individual testimonies.
And here we see the testimony coming together. And you say, Yeah, but they all believed in. And so they all gave the same testimony. Well, if I asked you all to take out a sheet of paper right now, everyone who believes in the gospel and to write the gospel and only the gospel and and that specifically, would all of your answers match?
I don't think so. You but we should not discount their testimony for even yet a greater reason. Besides the fact that this is inspired Scripture. You see, these were the people who just a couple of days earlier that Paul is writing about, a couple of days before the ascension, before the resurrection. I mean, these these people were running scared when their leader was taken by a mob.
And Peter pulls out a sword and cuts off an ear. And that's the start of their revolt. Right. And Jesus says, put it away. And he puts the ears back on and and he says, I am he. And by the word of his power, they all fall down. These people all run away scared. And yet something has happened.
Something has changed them that is so undeniable. It's the reason why you're sitting here. Because the truth of the Gospel empowered them. The resurrection became so clear to them that they changed the world. 2000 years later, we are still talking about Jesus Christ more than anyone else in all of history. And it's not even close. The amount of Bibles that have been printed far surpass even second place of what is printed.
That should be on the New York Times bestseller list every day of every year. Because that's the reality, though. The world try and hide these things from you. The fact is, is that Jesus Christ is more pivotal, more pivotal than anything else in all of creation. And what you do with Jesus matters, martyrs make bad liars. And the apostles were martyred.
They died wholeheartedly believing in a risen Lord Jesus Christ. And just think about it. The Romans had literally conquered the world. The Romans were expert at war. They were experts at death. They were experts at power. In fact, they were in power over Jerusalem and all the surrounding regions. All they had to do to quell Christianity forever was produce a body, just one dead body.
That's all they had to do. And these experts of war who set soldiers to guard the tomb, are you going to say that they just fell asleep and Jesus swooned and then woke up from some cold air in the tomb after he was tortured beyond recognition that he was in a coma. That's scientifically untenable. It's not a sustainable position.
The fact is, is that Jesus's bones aren't there because he is still using them.
So why is the resurrection so important to us? Look in verse 17 with me friends first Corinthians 1517. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only we are of all people, most to be pitied.
This is the position of the atheist or the agnostic who is not sure if there is a god and doesn't care. They think we are pitiable people because they do not believe that Jesus Christ has risen from the dead. And Paul agrees that if that is indeed the case, we are most to be pitied and are wasting our lives.
Those who have died are just no more. Romans 623 says this, though For the wages of sin is death. But the free gift of God is eternal life. And Jesus Christ, our Lord is Jesus Christ, your Messiah and Lord. If so, then you have eternal life.
Jesus had to die, according to Hebrews 922, which says Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness of sins. One day we will put on immortal bodies and everybody said, Amen. That's right. Can't wait for that immortal body. You won't need to use the treadmill anymore. Eat whatever you want. It'll be great. But Paul goes on all the way through verse 52 to prove that we are going to have an immortal body, something imperishable, something that doesn't waste away or get tired or get sleepy, something that is always ready and alert.
Something that is perfectly crafted to worship God without sin for all of eternity. Look in verse 54 with me, if you would. Paul recounts For us the glorious, wonderful truths for all believers. He says this When the perishable puts on the imperishable and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written. Death is swallowed up in victory.
Oh, death. Where is your victory? Oh, death. Where is your sting? The sting of death is sin. And the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
Jesus Christ defeated death even mocks it. Oh, death. Where is your sting? You know, a little bee is just a fuzzy little thing without a stinger, right? It's just a cute little thing that makes noise. There's no power. There's no fear in one of those or in a thousand of those. If they have no stinger, they're harmless. Sin has been rendered harmless through the power of the cross.
The sting used to be sin when God's law is broken. The sting of sin is death. But the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ conquered sin and death. And thanks be to God that we had the victory through Him alone. That's your question. When you woke up today and you forgot to iron your outfit, what were you thinking about today?
Yesterday, when you're planning for the day, what were you thinking about? I mean, we thank God for many things. I thank God for you, for you all here today. I thank God that in his sovereign will, he wanted each and every one of you here today to hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some to consider submitting to and some to rejoice in.
I thank God that he has brought you here. I thank God that I get the privilege of knowing you who call Grace Bible Church your home, that we get to grow in the sanctification and the love of the spirit that we get to grow in the knowledge of him. That we get to understand what it means to forgive one another and to provide forgiveness and to extend the forgiveness that God has given us that we get to celebrate the unity of the church and the love of the spirit that we get to use our gifts to build up the body of Christ, which Ephesians four 1116 says that it only builds itself up in love
when each part. That's you and me. Our working properly. I love that church has to be done together in order to be a church. I love those things. I'm so thankful for those things. Friends, we have so much to be thankful for that Jesus Christ has secured so much to love God for.
Is that the greatest thing that we're talking about today? The salvation has been secured through Jesus Christ. You want to when it's all said and done, it doesn't matter what job you have. It doesn't matter how much money you make, what clothes you wear, what house you're in, what friends you have, what app you get to use all day long.
Who subscribes to your channel or who knows you exist? What matters is that Jesus knows you exist. None of that other stuff matters at all. Doesn't matter if all your foods burning right now and the Easter lunch is gone and it's going to taste horrible. That doesn't matter when you stand before God. We need to have clarity of what matters.
And what matters is that our name is written in the lamb's Book of Life. All of the excuses, all of the it's just myth. All of the Jesus didn't exist. Won't stand up when you stand before God.
People get tired of following Jesus because they get addicted to sin. They get addicted to self. Whether it's immorality in person or on a screen. People are addicted to themselves. Eventually, their excuses lead back to their own idols. They don't want to admit there is a god, so they live however they want. Claiming Christianity to go against all rationalistic and scientific evidence.
And if they then go to evolution, you have to say, well, there's very little evidence supporting what you have to say. What is repeatable about evolution? So out goes the scientific method. What is repeatable about knowing the origin of the world? What is observable? What is? What is something you can test? Evolution is much newer than Christianity. It takes so much faith and very little science to believe in evolution.
But our faith, they say, is blind. Our faith is in nothing. That also is not true. Our faith is in a person. Jesus Christ. See, the fact is, is that people don't come to Jesus because the light exposes the darkness. And we need to have compassion and we need to be able to listen to what's going on and in people's lives who don't know Jesus.
And we need to have a relationship so that we can share the gospel and the truth.
But many of them have rejected the truth at age ten and never thought about it again. Just talking to some people in town. One of the stores here and Percival just said, Hey, you know, when's the last time you read your Bible? Have you read it since you were ten years old? And the answer was No, of course not.
It's just not for me. And I would just and I encourage them said, well, you don't want to live your adult life from knowledge you gained as a child. Right? You want to go back into the scriptures and read it for yourself. And if you want to reject it, at least reject it from an adult's perspective. But what about those of us who claim to know Jesus?
Are you 100% positive that you're saved, or are you 99% sure? Or maybe just 50, 50? Well, the people who know you agree, if you say you're 100% sure you're saved, would that would your life demonstrate that you are saved visibly to the world? Jesus Christ told his disciples to follow me and so prove to be my disciples that the world may know that God has sent me.
This has to be visibly demonstrated to the world. People can see what we do on the weekend, what we think in our minds when they say we love Jesus. If people knew my thoughts besides emptying the place where they know that I love Jesus, would our thoughts honor the Lord? Or would we regret people knowing even what we think?
See, our victory over sin comes only one way through Jesus Christ. Our Lord. And you can't just say that you agree with the truth of Scripture and then never follow Jesus. That's what the demons do. They know Jesus. They agree He's the Son of God. They even confess. I know who you are, the Holy One of God. But they do not follow him, and they will be cast into the Lake of Fire.
So if a person believes what doesn't follow Jesus, they have demon like faith. I pray everyone here who knows they aren't living for Jesus gives their lives to Him and secures true victory, over sin, through Jesus Christ alone. As I mentioned in the class this morning on the work and person of Jesus Christ, he didn't get his flesh ripped off his back so he could be 50, 50.
He didn't just donate a little blood. He gave it all.
If you've been saved by the grace of the Lord Jesus, it will be as evident as the hot sun. On a clear summer day. And only God can help you be more like Jesus Christ. You cannot do it on your own. You cannot just try and live better, think better, do better. That's that's works. You need to trust in the person and work of Jesus Christ.
There is no one like him in all of the earth. Buddha is dead and gone and we have his bones. False Hindu gods were never alive. Mohammed is dead. Joseph Smith. All the popes. Brigham Young dead. Jesus, his tomb is empty. He is alive forever more. And for those who have been saved by his grace, Paul doesn't just leave us with theology and something to agree with and hope we're following.
He gives us something to do. Look, in first Corinthians 15 and look in verse 54. When the perishable puts on the imperishable and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written. Death is swallowed up in victory. Oh, death. Where is your victory? Oh, death. Where is your sting? The sting of death is sin.
And the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, and then you see this wonderful transition word in verse 58, therefore. And of course, you know, we always need to see what therefore is there for. So we need to look and understand what he is saying.
Therefore, my beloved brothers notice he is talking to believers. He is reminding them all of these things I've been discussing. Therefore, my beloved brothers, beasts said fast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. The first action that you need to do right away, now and forever more, is to be steadfast and immovable.
Steadfast and immovable in what? In the doctrine that you now understand that we two will be raised from the dead to immortal life. You want to be able to stand before God without regret. You don't want to think through the what ifs. And I should have done that, and I wish I would have done this. And you need to be able to stand before God without regret, as you are raised to glorious hope before Him.
This this doctrine tells us about the the strength that we will one day receive. And we live with the resolve to live for Jesus Christ, with the joy of His name. Parents, we should have more joy in knowing Jesus than seeing our children find the Easter eggs. And when the bad news comes, we remain immovable because our life is built on the rock of Jesus Christ that is steadfast in the good news of the Gospel.
And you say, What does that look like? Well, there are three men in history known as the Oxford Martyrs. They were burned alive at the stake by the Catholic Church under Queen Mary. The first. Their crime. They did not believe that the elements, when they took them in communion, literally became the flesh and literally became the blood of Jesus Christ.
They thought it was just bread and wine. Remember, Jesus gave them that ordinance while he was still alive. To this day there is a memorial statue statue in Oxford, near the site of their execution. One of them named Latimer, spoke to another named Ridley. And you may have heard this before. Ridley was getting a little scared, didn't like to be a candle.
Latimer said this Be of good comfort and play the man. Master Ridley, we shall this day light such a candle. By God's grace in England, as I trust, shall never be put out. That was in 1555. That is steadfast and immovable. You're like, That's a little dramatic. While pastors are a little dramatic. I haven't been threatened with being burned alive.
Most of our situations are. Somebody was mean to us or somebody didn't like us or somebody doesn't believe the way we believe. And so they make everything uncomfortable.
Is that really the depth of the power of God? I mean, is that all there is? I mean, that would be pretty weak. But for someone to have the courage to see the fire and it says later that Latimer put his hand in the fire willingly to why all the families while the people watched. That's courage. I don't know if I'd have that depth of courage.
I don't know if I'd be that steadfast or that immovable. But that's the power of God that is available to us. And when Paul, who was beaten and shipwrecked and and given 40 lashes minus one many times, he knows what it means to be steadfast and friends, whatever trial you're going through. It's less than what he's describing. It is much less whether your boss likes you or not or is mean to you or not, or your neighbors have little yappy dogs that bark all night long and you just want to take out the rifle and just end it so you can sleep.
Whether that's your biggest problem. Jesus is worth more than all that. You have a little yappy dog. I don't have anything against it. It's just a favorite illustration. The second thing you're supposed to do is this be always abounding in the work of the Lord. And listen to this. Especially if you've been a believer for a while, knowing your labor is not in vain.
Your prayers for your unsaved family, your labor is not in vain. Your work to the Lord that no one sees your labor is not in vain. You're witnessing when no one responds. Your labor is not in vain. What equips a person to abound in the work of the Lord? Second, Timothy 316, says all scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction and for training and righteousness that the Man of God may be complete.
Equipped for every good work. So what equips us for every good work? All Scripture again, cautions one, nine and ten. And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you asking that you may be filled with knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding why so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him, bearing fruit in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God being filled with the knowledge.
God is not just something that makes people prideful. It allows them to do the will of God. It is why are our sermons and our messages are full of Scripture so that you may be equipped by God's Word. And then second Corinthians nine eight is such a wonderful verse, says this and God is able to make all grace abound to you so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.
How does that one happen? The grace of God equips us. The grace of God is always at work in your life, dear believer. He is always working to make you sufficient for what he's called you to do. He wants you to know him more. And he is equipping your mind to receive the truth via the Holy Spirit. He wants you to know what good works he has planned for you, like Ephesians two versus nine and ten, right where his workmanship is.
Craftsmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works. He wants you to be equipped for those good works. And He is doing that by his grace, through the Word of God.
So as we fill our hearts and minds with Scripture, God fills our hearts and minds with His grace so that we can abound in every good work. You can do this and you will not have to do it alone. Matthew Henry in the 1600s said they have the best grounds in the world to build upon the. They have all the assurance that can rationally be expected.
As surely as Christ is risen, they shall rise and Christ is as surely risen as the Scriptures are true. It all goes together. The Scripture is false. Our faith is false. If Jesus never lives, we're pitied or to be pitied. If what Jesus said isn't true and didn't happen, then we will just die and be no more. The author of Hebrews and 610 Hebrews 610 said, For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name and serving the Saints as you still do.
Do you ever feel like the work in the Lord that you put forward just goes unnoticed? Do you ever feel like, you know, I just keep serving and serving and serving. And the only time I hear something is what? When something goes wrong. Right. That's when we chirp up. But can I just tell you that God sees your work in labor of love for His glory, though no one say thanks, though no one pats you on the back and gives you welcome.
God sees and God knows. And He is just. And He will not overlook your labor of love, even rewards those who lend to the poor, according to Proverbs 1917. Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will repay him for his deed. Give a cup of cold water to someone in the name of the Lord, and He will reward you for that.
It's not that we have to change the whole world. We just have to be willing to do what God is calling us to do. And life is full of opportunities to abound in our work for the Lord. And I want to tell you that you are doing the work of the Lord. Those of you that I know and you are doing it well.
But I want to encourage you to press on still more.
Revelation 219. Jesus is encouraging the churches. He says, I know your works. Your love and faith and service. Patience, endurance. And that your latter works exceed the first. He's telling them he sees the effort that they're putting in and that they are growing. And he will then encourage and exhort them to not leave their first love. These works that we do, friends, they are not in vain.
And maybe this sermon has been something that you already knew, something that you maybe even agree with. But you find yourself slow to work or slow to attend church or quick to complain or make excuses about all those things.
Maybe it's time for a fresh start. Maybe it's time to get back on the horse. After you've been kicked off, maybe you've got some deep scars from church or some really good excuses why you don't believe. But I would encourage you to come to Jesus Christ and you will not be disappointed. 18th century theologian John Gill said Christ will not forget their work in labor of love, which they have shown to his name and his people, but will take notice of them as fruits of his own grace and bestows rewards upon them.
It's not I who live but Christ in me when when God makes His grace abound in me. And then we simply carry out the work of God. Because the grace that He supplies, He rewards us for allowing Him to do the work through us. That's a pretty good deal.
Consider how the resurrection changes a man. Consider how the victory in Christ makes someone new. Josephus even went on to say that first century historian who didn't believe in Jesus Christ as the risen Lord. As far as we know, said this, those that loved him at the first did not forsaken, for he appeared to them alive again on the third day as the Divine Prophets had foretold these and 10,000 other wonderful things concerning him and the tribe of Christians so named from him are not extinct to this day.
We are here. We worship Jesus Christ together. And if you believe in the resurrection and love our Lord Jesus Christ, then the victory is yours and let us rejoice for Jesus is risen. Let's pray, Father God, I thank you for every single person you have brought here today. I pray, Lord God, that you would use the Scripture to soften our hearts or.
I pray that you would help us to. To know you more. To love you. I pray, Lord God, that you would help us to submit ourselves to the truth of your word, to set the excuses aside, and to be sold out for Jesus to live 100% for His glory. Lord, I pray that if there's someone here who doesn't know you, you her has been just playing church, that they would come to know you fully today, that they would ask you to forgive them of their sins.
And Lord, you said you are faithful and just and will not turn away any who come to you, but that you will provide for forgiveness and Jesus. Lord, I pray that you would give the rest of us courage to be steadfast and immovable, to be always abounding in the work of the Lord. Now, let's just take a few moments right now and talk to God.
If you don't know him, I pray that you would at least ask him to show himself to you. And if you do know him, just take a moment to ask God to help you to be steadfast and abound in His work.
Lord God, what a privilege it is to be here and to preach your word and your truth. I thank you for these precious saints and everyone that you brought here today. Lord God, may we live for your glory as we celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.