The Fount
Sunday Worship | October 11, 2020
Join us Sunday as we worship the Lord in-person, outside in the gazebo area on the campus of The Fount at 9:00 AM, and online on Facebook Live (see link below) at 10:30 AM (PDT). Pastor Glen will continue a series of messages on basic Christian doctrines (teachings), called "Doctrine Matters."
Locations & Times
  • The Fount
    18225 Bushard St, Fountain Valley, CA 92708, USA
    Sunday 10:30 AM

The Fount Facebook page

Go to our Facebook page to watch and engage in worship LIVE at 10:30 AM (PDST).
"Doctrine Matters: Resurrection"
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Pastor Glen Haworth
Series Recap
Audacious claims:
Trinity a central doctrine
How we speak of God
Our unique Christian understanding
Jesus a central doctrine
Who Jesus is the most important question
Required the formulation of the doctrine of Trinity
Now: Resurrection
Another audacious claim:
The most important doctrine in the Christian doctrinal system!
Without faith that Jesus rose from the dead there would be no Christianity!
Christianity is not, in the final analysis, about the ethical teachings of Jesus
Nor about His noble death
In fact, without the Resurrection, Jesus’ birth, teachings and death would probably not even be remembered by history.
It is only because His first followers witnessed and believed that He rose from the dead that we are even here today talking about Christian doctrine!
And I’ll even go one more step, it is only because I know He rose from the dead—because He lives in me today—that I am standing here saying what I’m going to say!
When I say that “Doctrine Matters” I mean first and foremost that the Doctrine of the Resurrection matters.
Without the Resurrection…
We wouldn’t care who Jesus was!
And so the Church wouldn’t have had to formulate the Doctrine of Jesus or Trinity
And all of the other doctrines we will examine in this series will have not mattered!
So when I say “Doctrine Matters”…
I mean that ultimately, the Doctrine of the Resurrection matters
Above all others
But all others are elevated in importance BECAUSE of the Resurrection!
So why is this all-important doctrine placed in the #3 slot of this series?
Because they are all inter-connected
Establishing the divinity and central importance of Jesus lays the foundation for the Resurrection.
All four gospels and our passage from 1 Corinthians report the Event of the Resurrection.
If you want to read the gospels:
Mark 16
John 20
Matthew 28
Luke 24
We won’t take the time to exegete each of these passages
Suffice it to say that the witness of Scripture is clear: Jesus died, but God raised Him from the dead to live forever.
And He is alive today.
Just ask one of His followers!
Although, sadly, some who claim to follow Him do not believe that He actually rose from the dead.
Resurrection Deniers
In my experience, it is the doctrine of the Resurrection on which orthodoxy stands or falls.
Whenever we allow ourselves or others to believe that the Resurrection MAY be only allegory, myth, or symbolic rather than actual…
…Certainly when we begin to deny that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is central to the Christian faith
…that one can be a Christian and deny the Resurrection…
We are negating the core doctrine of the Christian faith.
Now, certainly, we can see many layers of meaning in The Resurrection
But our faith rests not in its meaning, but in its having actually happened
This is where otherwise orthodox, traditionalist Christians slip over the edge and then rather quickly abandon many other essential Christian doctrines
Either in response to pressure from popular cultural beliefs
Or just because they lose the focus on what is really important
Substituting some area of theology, such as compassion or social justice…
Their first step is to allow the unbiblical notion that the Resurrection is a symbol or a myth
That it didn’t actually happen in history
And that believing that it DID actually happen in history is not essential to being a Christian
Once you go there, it is a short journey to the heretical belief that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead
Except symbolically
That’s when fanciful notions that Jesus didn’t really die on the cross, that He only “swooned”, passed out, because of the pain and loss of fluids!
And then He married Mary Magdalen and they had several kids… and so on and so on…!
But then, of course, like all other mere human beings, He would have died later on
Which gives rise to “finding the tomb of Jesus” and so on and so on…
And these people have the audacity to continue to claim the name “Christian”!
The Church through the ages has said: “Heresy!”
False teaching, false doctrine
Today we just shrug our shoulders and pass it off as “diversity”!
There is absolutely no biblical foundation to believe that the Resurrection of Jesus Christ did not actually happen!
The Bible is crystal clear on this
The Church has affirmed it from the very beginning
And the Church has labeled as “heresy” any attempt to deny it and remain “Christian”
At least, until today!
Many mainline clergy, bishops, seminaries and laity do not believe that the Resurrection of Christ actually happened in history.
They believe that it is symbol, myth
That it speaks of “higher” values and truth
They deny the “faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3)
And then are aghast whenever anyone tries to hold them accountable to their vows of membership or ordination, which affirms the orthodox faith!
Instead, they seem content to try and change the Church’s teachings based on their vain imaginings (Acts 4:25), insisting that the Church allow their heresy to co-exist along side of the orthodox faith
In the name of “pluralism” or “diversity”
My contention is that any preacher who denies the Resurrection should not be in a Christian pulpit or otherwise speak for the Christian faith!
If by that I am “intolerant”, so be it!
But I think there are some things that one needs to believe in order to be a Christian.
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the first and foremost of those things.
John Wesley would have certainly numbered the Resurrection among the “essentials” around which there must be unity.
From our UM Doctrine
From the Articles of Religion of the Methodist Church, our official doctrine from the Book of Discipline:

Article III – Of the Resurrection of Christ
Christ did truly rise again from the dead, and took again his body, with all things appertaining to the perfection of man’s nature, wherewith he ascended into heaven, and there sitteth until he return to judge all men at the last day.

We have this as our official doctrine of The United Methodist Church
And yet we allow seminary professors, pastors, bishops and anyone else to NOT believe this, and still be a part of the UMC.
Frankly, this gets at the heart of what’s wrong with our current denomination
And why I am looking forward to the day when we can leave it to form our own, orthodox traditionalist Methodist denomination!
When one is ordained in the UMC, they must answer in the affirmative the question, Do you “accept [the UMC’s] Doctrinal Standards and Discipline and authority?”
Every single ordained elder and deacon must answer “Yes” to this question
And yet, many have denied our church’s teachings
Not only on The Resurrection,
But so many other doctrines as well
And instead of withdrawing from the UMC out of integrity, they remain.
And bishops and Boards of Ordained Ministry shield them from accountability
The way our denomination is currently structured, if the bishops of their Jurisdiction don’t uphold our doctrinal standards, there is no recourse to hold the clergy accountable
That will be fixed in the new denomination, by the way!
In the name of “pluralism” or “diversity” our denomination has drifted away from orthodoxy and is now on the brink of division.
From the Nicene Creed
We’ve looked at this creed previously
It says, very clearly:

On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures

Short and sweet!
Let’s look at what our Scripture reading for today says.

The Fount website
Notice that Paul says of this doctrine, “of first importance”
The Doctrine of The Resurrection is not an optional belief for Christians!
And it is not subject to reinterpretation, as some have done
Instead of denying the doctrine outright, they merely change the meaning of the words!
So that when they say, “I believe in the resurrection of Christ”
What they mean is that they believe in what they have come to interpret “resurrection” to mean
Not what the Church has meant through the ages, but what they mean today
Like our culture, that believes that all truth is relative, so do these so-called “Christians”
So “resurrection” means (to them) that the “idea” of Christ survived the death of Jesus!
Paul would have no part of something like this!
And then Paul goes on to list the witnesses to the Resurrection
The people who actually saw and encountered the Risen Jesus
These same people would be willing to die for their belief in Christ’s Resurrection!
Not for an idea or a myth or a symbol
But for the actual, physical resurrection of a dead body
First to Peter (Cephas), then “the twelve” (although there were only 11, since Judas was dead by the time Jesus rose)
And then to “more than five hundred” people!
And then, and here’s the kicker, He appeared to Paul!
Our personal witness to the Resurrection is that we have met the Risen Lord Himself!
In a little bit, we’re going to sing “He Lives” a great hymn of the church
Part of the Refrain says, “you ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart!”
And that’s not just an idea, a symbol that lives within our hearts; it’s actually the Risen Lord Jesus Christ!
No one saw the resurrection.
No one was there when Jesus rose from the dead
They only saw Him AFTER He rose
And so no attempt is made in the Bible to describe HOW it happened
The “Shroud of Turin” notwithstanding, our faith in not in the HOW of the Resurrection.
Our faith, strictly speaking, is not in the empty tomb or even in the Resurrection itself; our faith is in the Risen Lord!
Because that is Who we have encountered.
The faith of the early Christians was not founded on arguments about the empty tomb!
But on their encounter with the Risen Lord!
And so our witness, our testimony, should not be to try and convince someone in the Resurrection
Rather, we should try and introduce them to the Risen One!
But we can’t do that if we haven’t met Him.
Have you met the Risen Lord Jesus Christ?
Does He live within your heart?
If you’ve never taken the step to welcome Him to make His home in you, today is a good day!
Notice it says, “Those who love me will keep my word…”
That’s how we know that someone loves the Lord, that they keep His Word!
If you would like to start or re-start your journey of Christian faith, I would like to invite you to connect with me or with one of the leaders of this church.
We would love to pray with you and help you along this path of faith!

Next week we’ll be looking at the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit
The Third Person of the Trinity
Read John 16:13-15 in preparation

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