1 Corinthians 15:3-4, “3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures”
The phrase, “He was raised on the third day” speaks to authority of Jesus offering eternal life to all who trust in Him. The resurrection is the validation. The resurrection is the proof.
I remember when I was in college I was returning a DVD I had purchased at Wal-Mart, and I tried to return the DVD directly to the entertainment part of the store. Rookie mistake!
The person behind the counter says, “You can’t return that DVD here. You need to go to the front of the store.” So I walked to the front of the store to return my previously purchased DVD, and from behind me I hear this man yelling, “Stop, thief, stop thief” and pointing in my direction.
1 Corinthians 15:1-2, “1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.”
The good news of Jesus is received, the good news of Jesus is where we stand, and the good news of Jesus is where we find life. In verse 2 the Apostle Paul writes the phrase, “by which you are saved.”
Listen to me, Jesus not only saves us from sin, but we are also saved to life. Yes, Jesus conquers our sin through His life, death, and resurrection. Yes, Jesus brings eternal life in heaven. But, Jesus also brings life today.
The Corinthian church was believing this lie that this physical life of pleasure, power, and purpose is all there is, so while we are here we need to try to get as much as we can out of life.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-4, “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven— 2 A time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted. 3 A time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build up. 4 A time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance.”
When you read Ecclesiastes it is considered a part of wisdom literature. It is written by Solomon, who is one of the wisest people in the world, and in Ecclesiastes 3 Solomon in all his wisdom is looking at the pattern of life over and over and he draws these conclusions.
Ecclesiastes 3:9-11, “9 What profit is there to the worker from that in which he toils? 10 I have seen the task which God has given the sons of men with which to occupy themselves. 11 He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart, yet so that man will not find out the work which God has done from the beginning even to the end.”
In verse 9 Solomon asks, “What’s the profit?” Solomon is making an observation on the repetitive cycle of life never making any progress, so that in verse 9 Solomon asks, “What’s the point of life?”
Galatians 6:1, “1 Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.
Galatians is written by the Apostle Paul to a region of churches in Galatia, modern day Turkey, and in verse 1 you see the phrase, “Restore one another in a spirit of gentleness.” The word, “restore” in the original language means to “equip, mend together, expose rips and tears, and build up in truth,” because even though we profess to be followers of Jesus, we still wonder into sin. Did you see that in verse 1?
We are a people who get caught up in sin. The word “caught” used in verse 1 means to be “overtaken by sin” or “ensnared by sin,” so that the Apostle Paul is describing biblical relationships as people who get caught up in sin, and then rally around one another to restore, expose, and build up in truth.
2 Corinthians 8:3-5, “3 For I testify that according to their ability, and beyond their ability, they gave of their own accord, 4 begging us with much urging for the favor of participation in the support of the saints, 5 and this, not as we had expected, but they first gave themselves to the Lord and to us by the will of God.”
The first and second letter to the Corinthians is a real letter to real people from the Apostle Paul, and in chapter 8 the Apostle Paul references a local church in Macedonia (Modern Day Greece), and the Apostle Paul describes the Macedonian people as a people who are begging for opportunities to give away money.
In fact, in verse 3 the Macedonian people are giving away money according to their ability, and beyond their ability. Isn’t that amazing? Surely there is a layer in your soul pushing back and saying, “Well, when I have more money I will give away more money.”
Isaiah 54:1, “Shout for joy, O barren one, you who have borne no child; break forth into joyful shouting and cry aloud, you who have not travailed; for the sons of the desolate one will be more numerous than the sons of the married woman,” says the Lord.”
Now, the metaphor of a woman being able to give birth to children is a powerful metaphor today, but in Isaiah’s day it would have been an even stronger description, because there was incredible pressure on women in the ancient culture to give birth to as many children as possible.
Isaiah 9:3-4, “You shall multiply the nation, you shall increase their gladness; they will be glad in Your presence as with the gladness of harvest, as men rejoice when they divide the spoil. 4 For You shall break the yoke of their burden and the staff on their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor, as at the battle of Midian.”
In verses 3 and 4 we see the “glorious light” of verses 1-2 personified as a person. The you” in verses 3 and 4 is the “glorious light” that is going to “increase their gladness. The word, “gladness” in the original language is the English word, “joy,” so that in verses 1 to 4 there is promise of a glorious light who is going to bring unimaginable joy and the glorious light is a person.
The glorious light isn’t a force. The glorious light isn’t a religion. The glorious light isn’t a philosophy to learn, but this glorious light promised in Isaiah 9 is a person to be known.