Pastor Shane Ham and Pastor Steve Williams : The God Who Can Raise the Dead

Unbelievable · 1:54 · Recorded April 12, 2020

The God Who Can Raise the Dead

2 Corinthians 1:8-9 (NIV) “We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead.”

1 Corinthians 15:1-8 (NIV) “I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved…For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appear-ed to me also.”

Easter and the God of miracles

If all that exists is material, everything is ultimately immaterial.

Colossians 1:16 (NLT) God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see.

The resurrection is foundational to our faith.

1 Corinthians 15:13-14, 17 (NIV) If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith…And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.

So what difference does it make?

I don’t have to live in fear of death.

1 Corinthians 15:54-55 (NIV) “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?”

Hebrews 2:14-15 (TLB) Since we, God’s children, are human beings—made of flesh and blood—he became flesh and blood too by being born in human form; for only as a human being could he die and in dying break the power of the devil who had the power of death. Only in that way could he deliver those who through fear of death have been living all their lives as slaves to constant dread.

I can experience the freedom of total forgiveness.

1 Corinthians 15:56-57 (NIV) The sting of death is sin. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 17:31 (NIV) “He has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to all men by raising him from the dead.”

Acts 2:21 (TLB) Anyone who asks for mercy from the Lord shall have it and shall be saved.

It gives life eternal significance & identity.

1 Corinthians 15:19-22 (TEV) If our hope in Christ is good for this life only and no more, then we deserve more pity than anyone else in all the world. But the truth is that Christ has been raised from death, as the guarantee that those who sleep in death will also be raised…be-cause of their union with Christ.

Turning the corner to faith

1. Grasp the difference between evidence & proof.

Luke 1:1-4 (NLT) Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples. Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write a careful account…so you can be certain of the truth.

2. Consider the massive movement Christianity represents.

Acts 2:32 (NLT) “God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this.”

3. Examine Jesus’ footprint in history.

Acts 26:24-29 (ESV) As he was saying these things in his defense, Festus said with a loud voice, “Paul, you are out of your mind; your great learning is driving you out of your mind.” But Paul said, “I am not out of my mind, most excellent Festus, but I am speaking true and rational words. For the king knows about these things, and to him I speak boldly. For I am persuaded that none of these things has escaped his notice, for this has not been done in a corner.

4. Let yourself make the ultimate “taste test”!

1 Peter 1:8-9 (NCV) You have not seen Christ, but still you love him. You cannot see him now, but you believe in him. So you are filled with a joy that cannot be explained, a joy full of glory. And you are receiving the goal of your faith—the salvation of your souls.

Matthew 28:16-17 (NIV) Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.

Believing is a matter of the heart more than the head.

Check out “Evidence for the Resurrection” by Josh McDowell:
  • What’s your favorite memory of an Easter Sunday?

  • When did the real meaning of Easter sink in for you? How has it come to mean more to you since?

  • What do you wish you understood better about Jesus’ resurrection? What aspect of it do you wish you could have witnessed firsthand?

  • On a scale of one to ten, with one being “totally skeptical” and ten being “completely convinced,” how would you rate your current stance concerning the miraculous? Why did you choose that number? What would it take for you to move higher on the scale?

  • Which of the reasons for believing in Jesus and his resurrection do you find the most compelling to your own faith & why?

  • What do you think people fear the most about death? Why? Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 in your Bible. Make a list of the issues to be faced if Christ wasn’t raised from the grave. How does it make a difference for you personally knowing Jesus was raised from the dead?

  • Read Acts 2:21 again on your notes. How does it make you feel to realize that God will accept “anyone” in spite of their failures when they come to him in faith? What do you think happens to a person who truly grasps that they are fully and unconditionally loved?

  • Parents – Check out the information on our kid’s page at where you’ll find info on Sunday services and family resources to help you as you navigate this current season.

  • Not Today

  • Lion And The Lamb

  • Way Maker

  • This I Believe

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