Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Who needs the sermon?

Today I preached for class - a funeral sermon. It was ok. But what was truly awesome was the Scripture. I chose to use 1 Corinthians 15:35-44; 50-58. I got goose bumps when I read it. When I finished reading it, I just wanted to sit down - anything I said afterwards would pale in comparison. I'm not saying we don't need to preach, we don't need to interpret Scripture - heck, every time you read it you're interpreting it. But I think there are some times, where if its read well, it speaks for itself - and here's one example:

But someone may ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?”

How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.

When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another. The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.

So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body...

I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed —
in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.


Rhett Smith said...

Great text Don...I wrote my NT exegetical paper on I Cor. 15:12-19....I love that passage.

Juliabohemian said...

I'm not saying that the scripture doesn't stand on it's own. But, to some people it's like Shakespeare. It helps to have someone explain it to you in a way that directly applies to your life.
I can only imagine what kind of charisma you must have, just by reading your blog entries.