The Great Fact of This Gospel

2 Timothy

The Great Fact of This Gospel

October 12th, 1958 @ 10:50 AM

2 Timothy 2:7-18

Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel: Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound. Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sakes, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself. Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness. And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus; Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
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THE GREAT FACT OF THIS GOSPEL

Dr.  W.  A.  Criswell

2 Timothy 2:7-18

10-12-58    10:50 a.m.

 

You are sharing with us the services of the First Baptist Church in Dallas.  This is the pastor bringing the morning message entitled Remember the Great Fact of the Gospel.  In our preaching through the Word of God, we are in the second chapter of 2 Timothy, and the reading of the passage is 2 Timothy, 2:7-18;  2 Timothy 2:7:

Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel:

Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evildoer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound.

Therefore I endure all things for the elect’s sake, that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

It is a faithful saying:

Then he quotes an old Christian hymn:

For if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him:

If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him:  If we deny Him, He will also deny us:

If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself.

Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.

Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymeneus and Philetus;

Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

[2 Timothy 2:7-18]

Now, we’ll put these two, the last verse that I read and the first verse that I read together, and the text:

Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel; shun profane and vain philosophies.

Their word will eat as doth the canker: of whom is Hymeneus and Philetus:

Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and have overthrown the faith of some.

[2 Timothy 2:8, 16-18]

The title of the sermon, Remember the Great Fact of the Gospel; “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from among the dead” [2 Timothy 2:8].  That is the simple fact, the bedrock fact, fundamental and enduring.  It is the great fact to which we are to give witness and to which we are to bear testimony, the plain, simple announcement; “Jesus Christ is risen from the dead” [Mathew 28:5-6; 2 Timothy 2:8].

If you embellish that fact in sublime Miltonic verse, it comes to no more.  If you so write it so that little children can read it in their spelling books, it comes to no less.  “He is risen indeed” is the great fact and the great announcement of the good news of the Son of God!  And that fact believed aright brings the soul unto salvation and unto eternal life: “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” [Romans 10:9].

It is the great announced fact of the gospel; “Christ is risen indeed!”  Now, the reason Paul writes this earnest entreaty to his son Timothy, “Consider what I say, the Lord give thee understanding in all things.  Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead” [2 Timothy 2:7-8].  The reason for this earnest entreaty was, as today, so in the day of the apostle Paul, there was, as there is, a tendency to take the great, simple, announced facts of the gospel of the Son of God and to make them, to convert them into metaphysical speculations, make them difficult and devious and hard to be understood.

The simple gospel and the simple message that the common people heard gladly [Mark 12:37], is not enough for the sages in that philosophical day and in this advanced and cultured and enlightened era.  Therefore, we must have speculations, and the great facts of God and of God’s Son must now be interpreted as parabolic, as symbolic, as riddles to be solved.

The gospel of the Son of God is four; three or four simple truths, simple facts.  As Paul described it in 1 Corinthians 15:1 and following, “Brethren, I declare unto you, I make known unto you the gospel, wherein you are saved, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures;  He was buried, and the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures” [1 Corinthians 15:1-4].  The gospel of the Son of God is incarnate deity; His sinless life [Hebrews 4:15], His sacrificial death [Matthew 27:32-50], His resurrection from among the dead [Matthew 28:1-6].  These simple, announced facts are the saving gospel commissioned to us from heaven [Matthew 28:19-20], witnessed to by the apostles and the martyrs.

But, after nineteen hundred years, we have come to the place where that is old and stale.  And our souls pant after some variation, some new thing, a new thought, a new theology, a new speculation.  We are like the children of Israel in the wilderness.  Having eaten the manna, the gift of bread from heaven, they said, “Our soul loatheth this light bread” [Numbers 21:5].  We crave something else, something other and something besides; something appealing to our itching ears [2 Timothy 4:3].

It is not enough for the trumpet to give forth a certain sound [1 Corinthians 14:7-8].  But we desire, fantasia, variations, the gospel with overtones, and the gospel with variations.  We want deep things.  The simple things that God did that astonish the heavens and the hosts of glory are not enough for us.  So we take those great facts, and we turn them into speculations and into riddles and into parables.

It is an astonishing thing how a man speaking words that nobody can understand and delivering a message that when it is done, nobody knows what he said—but it appears to be deep and philosophical, probing the great understandings and explanations and interpretations of the facts of life and eternity—when all the time, you have just exchanged the golden shields of Solomon for the brass shields of Rehoboam.  You have exchanged the great facts and the great truths and the simple revelations of God for metaphysical speculations.

It is as though a man were to take the human body and tear out its heart and tear out its bowels, and stuffing it full of speculations and metaphysical philosophy, hand the dead corpse back to us.  “Of whom are Hymeneus and Philetus; who concerning the truth have erred, saying, that the resurrection is past already” [2 Timothy 2:17-18], metaphysical, philosophical, speculative.  “The thing didn’t happen.  There is in it fantasy.  There’s psychological aberration.  They fell into some kind of deep, wishful thinking, and the apparition appeared.  Or it refers to some spiritual occurrence where night turned into day.”

Remember, the simple, great, announced fact that Christ Jesus the Son of David was raised from the dead, and however we may extenuate or speculate, however described, however interpret, it is still the one great, firm arch in the keystone of the revelation of the gospel of the Son of God, that Jesus Christ is alive [Revelation 1:18], that He was raised from the dead [Matthew 28:5-6], that He appeared unto many [1 Corinthians 15:6], and that He reigns in heaven today [Matthew 28:18]; the great fact of the gospel: “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead” [2 Timothy 2:8].

Now may I speak of the conjoined, associated facts with that great, central truth?  “Remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from among the dead.”  He calls Him the Son of the Highest [Luke 1:32]; God’s own anointed, the Christos [Matthew 16:16]; the Greek word for the Messiah, of the seed of Abraham [Matthew 1:1], of the seed of the woman [Genesis 3:15]; of the seed of David [2 Timothy 2:8], the Shiloh of whom Jacob spake, the Christ of God [Genesis 49:10].  He calls Him Jesus, Savior, the only Redeemer of mankind [Titus 2:13-14], and our hope in this world and in the world that is yet to come [1 Timothy 1:1].

He calls Him Jesus Christ of the seed of David [2 Timothy 2:8].  He is the King of Israel [Matthew 21:5].  He is the King of the nations and peoples of the earth [Revelation 19:16].  When He came, He brought with Him the credentials of His kingship.  Through His mother, He traced His lineage from David through his son Nathan [Luke 3:23-38].  And through Joseph, the husband of Mary, He came from King David, through David’s son Solomon [Matthew 1:1-17].  And He presented the credentials of a sinless life, of wonderful word and of marvelous deeds [John 10:25; Hebrews 4:15].  He is a king of the seed of David [Matthew 1:1].

And He died [Matthew 27:32-50].  He could not have been raised from among the dead had He not descended down into death, and His death was no delusion, and no apparition, and no fantasy.  He died literally, actually, according to the Scripture [1 Corinthians 15:3] that could not be broken, that cannot be broken [John 10:35].  No bone in His body was broken, but a soldier to confirm the certainty of His death, took his spear and thrust it into His heart; and the blood ran out, and the ground drank it up [John 19:31-34], and as a dead corpse, He was taken down from the cross, wrapped in a winding sheet, and buried in Joseph’s new tomb [John 19:38-42].

The heavy stone rolled upon grave was sealed by the Roman authority [Matthew 27:62-66], and He lay there a corpse.  He went down among the dead [Isaiah 53:9], and He died and was buried in a sepulcher [Matthew 27:57-60].  But ere, but ere the sun on the third day began its shining circuit, He was raised by the power of God from among the dead [Matthew 28:1-6; Acts 2:24], and He liveth unto God and for us forever and forever and forever! [Revelation 1:18].  This is the great doctrine that is still to be taught! [1 Timothy 4:10-11]. This is the great fact and the great truth to which the apostles and the martyrs gave steadfast witness.  And this is the keystone in the arch of the gospel of the Son of God, “Remember that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead” [2 Timothy 2:8]. 

Now, there are corollary facts—not only conjoined and associated facts—there are concomitants.  There are corollaries.  There are deductions from that tremendous fact.  I name three.  One: by that fact I learned, I know, I am assured that there is another life and another country, and another place, and another time [Revelation 21:1-22:5].

How many of these high school boys and girls are taught to repeat that famous Hamlet soliloquy written by Shakespeare referring to that “unknown country from who’s bourne, no traveler ever returns.”  Thank the Lord, praise God it isn’t so.  There has been one traveler who came back, immortalized, glorified, not resuscitated, as the fire department brings back a man who’s been drowned.  Or like somebody buried by Elisha’s bones, who touching those bones, rises to live again [2 Kings 13:21].  No resuscitation, but a Man who died and whose spirit went up to God [Luke 23:46], and who came back to tell us of the glorious things that God hath in store for those who love Him [1 Corinthians 2:9; Revelation 1:5-19].

For it is the revelation that God gave to Jesus Christ which has been written large on the page of the sacred Book, that we might know of its golden streets, that we might know of its gates of pearls [Revelation 21:21], that we might know of the tree of life that blossoms and blooms and fruits in the Paradise of God [Revelation 22:1-2], that we might drink of the water of life and live forever [Revelation 22:17].  These things, these things did He come back to describe to us, He who was dead and entered into heaven and came back [Revelation 1:5-19], to tell us of the marvelous things God hath in store for those who love Him [1 Corinthians 2:9].

That’s one corollary.  I know then, by His resurrection from the dead [Matthew 28:5-6], there is another land, another place, another country, and another time.  I know this, a corollary, that this body shall be raised and shall live again; the resurrection of the dead [1 Thessalonians 4:16-17].  Our Lord’s body was no phantom, it was no spirit.  When He stood in the midst of His disciples and they were afrighted, supposing that they had seen a spirit [Luke 24:36-37], He said to His disciples:

Handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones,

 such as ye see Me have . . .

And when they believed not for joy, He said, Children, have you here any meat?

And they gave Him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

And He did eat before them.

[Luke 24:39-43]

It was the Lord Himself.  It was the Lord, glorified.  It was the Lord resurrected and immortalized.  It was the Lord Himself “Reach hither thy finger, Thomas, and behold the scars in My hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into the scar of My side; and be not faithless, but believing” [John 20:27].

It is the Lord indeed.  He is alive.  He is risen! [Matthew 28:5-6].  It is the great announcement of the gospel of the Son of God!  And even then, when He appeared to those early disciples, He did not appear in all of His glorification.  For when John saw Him in the vision of Patmos [Revelation 1:9-16], he fell at His feet as dead [Revelation 1:17].  Our eyes could not look upon Him in the full magnitude of what it means to be glorified, to be resurrected, to be immortalized.  It was too much for John.  It would have been too much for those early disciples.

It is too much for us.  Our eyes are hidden.  We can hardly enter into the glory of the those incomparable promises and those heavenly, celestial thoughts.  As Paul in the most glorious language that literature could bear, speaking of our resurrection, our resurrection, this body, “It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power” [1 Corinthians 15:42-43].

We are able to realize the grave, the decay, the decomposition of the body, and thereby, we oftentimes are filled with dread and with terror and with foreboding.  No, nay, not to us; the great fact of the gospel is that we shall rise again [1 Thessalonians 4:16-17].  And our hearts ought to be lifted up and our spirits encouraged by the incomparable hope and the glorious promise.  “Though through my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh, shall I see God” [Job 19:26]; raised from the dead according to my gospel! [2 Timothy 2:8].

There’s another corollary, another concomitant to that great fact.  The fact that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead [Matthew 28:5-6; 2 Timothy 2:8], was a confirmation, an affirmation, of the claims of Jesus Christ, every word that He said.  Every promise that He made is as of God Himself, who cannot and who will not lie [John 17:17; Titus 1:2].

When our Lord said to the palsied man, “Thy sins be forgiven thee, take up thy bed and walk” [Mark 2:5, 9], they who heard murmured, saying, “Who is this Man that He can forgive sins?” [Mark 2:7].  And He, knowing of their askance, said, “Which is easier to say? To this man palsied, Arise, take up thy bed, and walk, or thy sins be forgiven thee” [Mark 2:9].

You might try that yourself.  Find a man who has been paralyzed all of his life, and all of his muscles have atrophied, and he is old, and go speak to him, make him well and whole again.  You might try it.  Our Lord said, “Which is easier to do? Tell that man to arise, or to say to that man, Thy sins be forgiven thee? [Mark 2:9].  But that you may know that the Son of Man hath power on earth to forgive sins, He saith to the sick of the palsy, I say unto thee Arise, take up thy bed and walk, and the sick of the palsy arose, whole and sound in body and limb, and carried his bed and walked” [Mark 2:10-12]; the great confirmation that He had power on earth to forgive sins, He was able to do what He said He was able to do.  Thus it is in the great fact of the resurrection from the dead; He said, “Destroy this body, this temple, and in three days I will raise it up” [John 2:19].

And when they asked Him, “What sign givest Thou that Thou art the Son of God, the Son of the Blessed?” [Matthew 12:38; Mark 14:61]. He replied, “As Jonah was in the in the belly of the whale; so the Son of Man shall be in the heart of the earth” [Matthew 12:39-40]; but as Jonah was vomited out on the land and out of the body of the whale [Jonah 2:10], so the Son of Man shall be raised from the corrupting dead [Matthew 12:40; Mark 9:31].

And He arose! [Matthew 28:5-6; Luke 24:4-6].  Had it not been for the resurrection of our Lord, He would have been a false prophet.  He might have been a good man.  He might have been a great rabbi.  He might have been an incomparable teacher, but He would not be our Lord.  He would not be our Redeemer.  He would not be our Savior.  He would not be our coming King.  He would be damned, and His body turned to corruption like the body of every other sinner whoever died in the earth!

The great fact of the gospel of the Son of God is this, “Remember that Jesus Christ was raised . . . from among the dead” [2 Timothy 2:8].  It is the confirmation of His great claim to be the Son of God [John 10:30] and the Savior of the world [John 3:17].  That confirmation comes to us in two things: one, it is the acceptance of His sacrifice [Hebrews 10:12].  When He died, He entered beyond the veil and there made propitiation, expiation, satisfaction for all the sins of His people and brought His own blood as the sacrifice before God, who demanded payment from us [Hebrews 9:12, 10:10, 20].  And His sacrifice is in our stead [Romans 5:8; Hebrews 10:5-14].  He died in our behalf, for us; in our stead [1 Corinthians 15:3; 2 Corinthians 5:21].  And God does not exact payment twice.  When the debt is paid, it does not need to be paid again.  And the debts for all of my sins have been paid by the atoning blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ [Romans 5:11; Hebrews 2:9; 1 John 2:2].  In the cross of Christ, I glory.  “God forbid that I should boast, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ” [Galatians 6:14].  “This is the blood of the new covenant, shed for the remission of sins” [Matthew 26:28].  It is the sign, raised for our justification [Romans 4:25]; it is the sign of the acceptance of His sacrifice.  We are free.  We are children of the resurrection.  Sin no longer—no longer has any bond, has any hold; we are free!  We are a redeemed, blood-bought people! [1 Peter 1:18-19].

A second thing: this resurrection of our Lord confirms that other of the great promises that He made, that He will come back again.  He said, “And the third day I shall come back again.  I shall live again.  I shall rise again” [Mark 9:31].  And the third day, He did it! [1 Corinthians 15:4]. After tarrying forty days in the earth [Acts 1:3-8], a cloud received Him out of their sight, and He ascended up into glory [Acts 1:9], but He said, “I will come again” [John 14:3].  And He, was who was able to rise from the corruption of death and the grave [1 Corinthians 15:20], shall be able to keep His grace and final word!  We shall see our Lord again [Acts 1:11].

“If I go, I will come again, and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there ye may be also” [John 14:1-3], confirmed by the resurrection from the dead.  “Remember Jesus Christ . . . raised from the dead according to my gospel” [2 Timothy 2:8].

And in the little, brief time that remains, may I speak of that gospel?  Remember Jesus Christ raised from the dead according to my gospel [2 Timothy 2:8].  Remember.  Remember.  The Sabbath day was instituted as a sign, as a memorial between God and Israel [Exodus 31:13-17].  It was a sign of the covenant of the law of Moses.  “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy [Exodus 20:8].  It is the sign of our covenant throughout all your generations.”  And every Sabbath day to the Hebrew was a reminder of the covenant of the law God made through Moses [Exodus 31:13].

On the first day of every week, Christ’s children of the faith gather in places of prayer, singing the songs of hope and of Zion, in remembrance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ [Matthew 28:1-6].  Not just on an Easter, every Lord’s day is an Easter to the child of the King, remembering that Jesus was raised from the among the dead according to the gospel [1 Corinthians 15:4].

Now that gospel; it is a gospel of justification, complete justification [Romans 4:25].  He died unto sin once [1 Peter 3:18], but now that He liveth, He liveth forevermore! [Revelation 1:18].  Sin is done with and dead! [1 Corinthians 15:55-57].  He hath brought in everlasting righteousness.  “He was delivered for our offenses, He was raised for our justification,” Romans 4:25, “raised for our justification.”

We are not saved by diligently keeping our high resolves, by long penances, by the hope that maybe in good works God might justify us in our ourselves.  But we are saved, we are justified [1 Corinthians 6:11], our names are written in the Book of Life [Revelation 20:12, 15, 21:27], we are delivered someday without spot and blemish in the presence of His glory [Ephesians 5:27; Jude 1:24] because we have believed unto everlasting life [1 Timothy 1:16].

It is a finished work [John 19:30].  He hath died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and He has been raised for our justification according to the Scriptures [1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Romans 4:25].  I am saved by looking unto Him, by trusting in Him [Isaiah 45:22; John 3:13-18; Acts 16:30-31].  And what the law could not justify, Christ, in His atoning grace [Romans 8:3-4; Ephesians 1:7], hath more than done all that I could not, in my weakness and in my frailty, in this poor body of sin and depravity and death.

It is a gospel of complete justification for, for the Son’s sake, for Jesus’ sake God forgives [Ephesians 4:32], “When I see the blood, I will pass over you” [Exodus 12:3-7, 12-13, 23].  It is a gospel of great encouragement.

Our Savior went through the baptism of grief, down and down and down, until He was numbered with the dead [Isaiah 53:3-8, 12].  He who sits on the throne today is a great High Priest who is able to sympathize with His people.  Tried in all points like as we are [Hebrews 4:14-15], He tasted death for every man [Hebrews 2:9].  No sorrow He has not borne.  No grief that has not laid heavy upon His soul.  No disaster, and disappointment, and trial that He has not gone through.  And He was raised for our encouragement, that we might have a faithful High Priest, able to save to the uttermost them who come unto God by Him [Hebrews 7:25], wherefore, “Come boldly, come boldly, unto the throne of grace, that ye might find grace to help in time of trouble” [Hebrews 4:14-16].

Tell it to Jesus.  Make it a matter of prayer.  Lay it before His blessed throne.  He went down and down and down, until, finally, He was numbered among the dead [Isaiah 53:12], that He might be raised for our salvation, our justification, and our encouragement [Romans 4:25].

And this last, so brief a thought for which hours ought to be dedicated.  It is a sign.  It is a pledge.  It is a field of our final and ultimate and consummating triumph and victory.  “Remember Jesus Christ . . .  was raised from among the dead according to my gospel” [2 Timothy 2:8].  Shall liberalism destroy the Christian faith and all that remains is to bury it as a corpse?  Shall communism, as in China, finally subvert the great Christian message, the work of the saints and the missionaries, and it be the relic of a religious phase that died in the long generations ago?  Shall it?  Could it?  Might it?

Oh, my brother, remember Jesus Christ, dead and down and down and buried, and His disciples forsook Him, and fled [Matthew 26:56], and it looked as if the cause of God were destroyed!  Nay! Nay! In that day, in that dark and darkest hour, did He win a victory that shook the gates of hell and that astonished the angels in the earth and in heaven! [Matthew 28:5-6; 1 Corinthians 15:54-57].  The Caesars have passed away.  We read of them in dust-covered, musty, old history books.  But Jesus Christ is the Master of the legions of heaven above [Matthew 26:53, 28:18], and His sainted followers are true and faithful unto death in the earth below [Revelation 2:10].

We are never to despair.  His resurrection is the sign and the pledge of our ultimate and our final victory [1 Corinthians 15:19-22].  What of these saints?  What of these martyrs?  What of these apostles?  Has their testimony fallen to the ground?  Nay, nay; when John saw the heavens roll back as a scroll [Revelation 6:14], there he saw every one of them.  Blood-bought, their robes washed white in the blood of the Lamb, not a man vanquished; not one [Revelation 7:9-14].

We are to live in the heart of that triumphant assurance.  He may be nearer than we think.  The end of all things may come before the last gibe has fallen from the lips of the latest new skeptic.  He who died for us [1 Corinthians 15:3], He who was raised for our justification [Romans 4:25], He is our all-conquering Savior! [1 Corinthians 15:55-57].

“If we be dead with Him, we shall live with Him: If we suffer with Him, we shall reign with Him: If we deny Him . . . He cannot deny Himself.  He abideth, forever faithful [2 Timothy 2:11-13].  “Remember Jesus Christ raised from the dead according to the gospel” [2 Timothy 2:8].

Now while we sing our appeal, somebody to give his heart to the Lord in faith; somebody to put his life with us in the church, would you come and stand by me?  In these stairwells on either side, front and back, if you’re in the balcony, come down those stairwells, those staircases, and come and stand by me.  In this press of people, this throng on this lower floor, into the aisle and down here to the front, “Preacher, I give you my hand; I have given my heart in faith to Jesus Christ.”  A family you to come or one somebody you, while we sing, make it now.  While we stand and while we sing.

JESUS CHRIST RAISED FROM THE DEAD

Dr. W. A. Criswell

2 Timothy 2:7-18

10-12-58

I.          Remember the basic fundamental fact – Jesus Christ was raised from the dead

A.  The stupendous miracle(Matthew 28:5-10, Romans 10:9-10)

B. Tendency to reduce it to mere metaphysical speculation(2 Timothy 2:7-8)

1.  Three or four facts constitute the gospel – incarnation, life, death, resurrection of Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4)

a. After nineteen hundred years, we think these are stale

2. Crave something new, appealing to our itching ears (Numbers 21:5, 1 Corinthians 14:8)

3.  Thus it was in Paul’s day

1. Sought to regard facts as mysterious, parabolic

2. Took historical facts as myths to be interpreted, riddles to be solved

3. Hymeneus and Philetus – took away fact of resurrection(2 Timothy 2:17-18)

II.         Remember the associated facts with the great, central truth

A.  The great truth that Jesus the Son of the Highest was the anointed of God

1. Calls Him Christos – the anointed one, Messiah, sent of God

B.  Calls Him Jesus – Savior

C.  Of the seed of David – the true King of Israel, of the nations(Genesis :10)

1. Credentials of His kingship

2. Credentials of His sinless life, wonderful words, marvelous deeds

D. He died – could not have been raised had He not descended into death(John 19:31-33, 38-42, Matthew 27:65-66)

E.  As soon as sun rose on third day, Jesus rose again

III.        Remember the corollaries of that great fact

A.  A tangible proof there is another life

1. Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”

2. Not resuscitation, but resurrected

B.  A gospel of resurrection life(Revelation 1:17, 21:9-22:5, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, Luke 24:39-43, John 20:27, 1 Corinthians 15:42-43, Job 19:26)

C.  Affirmation of the claims of Christ(Mark 2:5-12, John 2:19, Matthew 12:38-40, Jonah 2:10)

1.  Acceptance of His sacrifice(Hebrews 9:12, 10:10, 20, Galatians 6:14, Matthew 26:28, Romans 4:25)

2.  Resurrection confirms promise He will come back again (Mark 8:31, Acts 1:9, John 14:3)

IV.       Remember the gospel

A.  Gospel of complete justification(Romans 4:25, 1 Corinthians 15:3-4, Isaiah 45:22, John 3:16, Exodus 12:13)

1.  It is a finished work (John 19:30)

B.  Gospel of great encouragement(Isaiah 53:3-8, Hebrews 4:14-16)

C.  A sign and pledge of our final and ultimate triumph and victory(Matthew 26:56, Revelation 7:9-14, 2 Timothy 2:8, 11-13)