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2-20-22 “He Reigns”

“He Reigns” (1 Corinthians 15:21–26, 30–42)

David Peterson / General

Kingdom of God / 1 Corinthians 15:21–26; 1 Corinthians 15:30–42

Sermon type: Textual-Topical

Proposition: This world is not normal. It is a world where death reigns. Christ has come establishing his counter-reign of life.

Introduction

1. What is normal? The cycle of abuse.

I. The World Isn’t Normal — World of the Living Dead (1 Cor. 15:21)

1. Luke 6:27-38 — Seems abnormal

2. Normal in this world is: Hate your enemies, do evil to those who hate you, curse those who curse you, get even, etc. etc. etc.

3. Why? We’re really not alive. We’re dead (1 Cor. 15:21), Genesis 2:17: “you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

II. Normal Appeared in the Only One Truly Alive (1 Cor. 15:22)

1. Jesus lived in perfect unity with the Father (Lent — 40 days in the wilderness)

2. He embodied what he taught.

3. Peter at Pentecost (Acts 2:24b): “it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” (NIV).

III. The Reign of Life will Bring an End to Death (1 Cor. 15:26)

1. Paul, believed in the Ascension of Christ (Eph. 1:21, 2:6)

2. Peter at Pentecost (Acts 2:33): “Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear” (NIV).

Conclusion

Hubert Humphrey was a former vice-president of the United States. When he died hundreds of people from across the world attended his funeral. All were welcome, but one – former President Richard Nixon, who had not long previously dragged himself and his country through the humiliation and shame of Watergate. As eyes turned away and conversations ran dry around him Nixon could feel the ostracism being ladled out to him.

Then Jimmy Carter, the serving US President, walked into the room. Carter was from a different political party to Nixon and well known for his honesty and integrity. As he moved to his seat President Carter noticed Richard Nixon standing all alone. Carter immediately changed course, walked over to Richard Nixon, held out his hand, and smiling genuinely and broadly embraced Nixon and said “Welcome home, Mr President! Welcome home!”

The incident was reported by Newsweek magazine, which wrote: “If there was a turning point in Nixon’s long ordeal in the wilderness, it was that moment and that gesture of love and compassion.”

Source: Reported in Maxie Dunnam, The Workbook on Living as a Christian, pp.112-113 (cited here.)

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