Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

Easter Special 2005.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

PSA 14:1 The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.”

His name was Saul of Tarsus, later called the apostle Paul, who when he got his education in religion and philosophy, was motivated to kill Christians.
As a zealous Pharisee and an unbeliever, Paul was the persecutor of the Church until his conversion, 1CO 15:9,GAL 1:13-14.

GAL 1:13 For you have heard of my former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to persecute the church of God beyond measure, and tried to destroy it;

GAL 1:14 and I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries among my countrymen, being more extremely zealous for my ancestral traditions.

In genuine humility, Paul wrote that he was the worst sinner who ever lived, and that he was the least of all the apostles.

They were following a “dead” leader, and they were hiding away in caves of the earth talking about this cult of followers called “the way.”

1CO 15:1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand,
1CO 15:2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.

1CO 15:3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
1CO 15:4 and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,

1CO 15:5 and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.
1CO 15:6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep;
1CO 15:7 then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles;

1CO 15:8 and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.
1CO 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

1CO 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.

1CO 15:11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.
1CO 15:12 Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?

1CO 15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised;
1CO 15:14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.

1CO 15:15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised.

1CO 15:16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised;
1CO 15:17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; YOU ARE STILL IN YOUR SINS.

It means we are all unforgiven.

Life without forgiveness is as pointless, and meaningless, and empty, and torturous as you can imagine, and then some.

This first story is one of hatred and revenge.

In time of trouble, for us to stand around looking upon one another in despair is to say that there is no hope and no help from God.

Since He is risen I’m forgiven.

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