Is Doctrine Important (part 2)

15 January 2002

"Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners"- I Cor 15:33 Over the centuries, this 15th chapter of I Corinthians has been respected as one of the most important chapters in all of the bible by preachers, pastors and teachers of God's word. The reason is because it contains the bedrock of all that Christians believe: the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ. This doctrine is important because every hope, all of our faith and ever other doctrine we hold sacred stands of falls upon the fact that Jesus Christ rose bodily from the grave and is in heaven today with God the Father. "Evil communications" had become a problem at Corinth. Evil communications means "false doctrine" and the good manners Paul speaks of is "morality". Good doctrine produces holiness! Philosophers of the day said the resurrection of the body was metaphysically impossible. The Sadducees said there was no resurrection and other teachers said the resurrection was past already. Paul reveals the impact this false doctrine would have upon God's people: "let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die". In other words, lets fill our cup of lust to the brim for this life is all we have. Paul put it in perspective by reminding them of the importance of this doctrine. If Jesus did not rise bodily from the grave then preaching is worthless, we are liars, your loved ones who professed Christ are perished forever, your faith is worthless and you are still in your sin(v.12-19). But if He did rise from the dead, preaching is profitable, we are honorable men who tell the truth, your loved ones are with Jesus, your faith is powerful and your sins have been atoned. This chapter reveals more about the resurrection, about the resurrected bodies of the saints and the end times than any other chapter in the bible. It comforts the soul because it demands that none of God's children will be left behind. That they will not disappear, they will all be resurrected at the same time. It tells us that when people die, they will immediately go to one of two places, heaven or hell. There is no purgatory. That dead spirits do not have the opportunity to walk around scaring people as the satanic and sadistic movies and documentaries would like for people to believe. This doctrine demands the deity of Jesus Christ, that He was and is God. It demands that He won the victory over death, hell and the grave. It demands that all He died for will rise again on resurrection morning. My, what a contrast! You see, the Church was founded upon the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Paul, nor any of the apostles and preachers of that day would have baptized anyone who did not believe this cardinal doctrine. It was the doctrine most declared in the beginning of the church. Peter preached it at Pentecost, Paul preached it and it is the cornerstone of all that we believe. If there is not an empty tomb at Jerusalem all we believe is a hoax. Yet, Christianity is not founded upon a hoax. It is founded upon firm evidence that Paul reminds the Corinthians of. That same Jesus that walked the shores of Galilee and healed the sick, raised the dead and preached His own gospel was the same Jesus that rose from the dead. Paul confessed that he saw the resurrected Christ, Peter saw Him and over 500 brethren at one time saw that same Jesus. Surely, that would be enough evidence to convince any judge or jury! Yet, they made up stories saying that His body was stolen, that he just swooned and never died, that the people a hallucination and really did not see Jesus. Yet, the most powerful evidence is found in the heart. As the hymn goes, "He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today; He walks with me, He talks with me along life's narrow ask me how I know He lives; He lives within my heart". Every believer today is a walking testimony of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Their lives have been raised to a higher, more noble, more holy walk because He lives within them. Is this doctrine important? You bet it is!