Sunday, March 27, 2016

The Seed Must Die Before It Can Live

The Seed Must Die to be Born!

“The Seed Must Die to be Born!”

Russell H. McCullough / Archdale church of Christ, 2525 Archdale Drive, Charlotte, NC 28210
www.archdale.org / gospelcall.blogspot.com – 27 March 2016
“From Ulster Plantation to the Carolina’s with the Gospel” *
Text: I Corinthians 15.35 - 44
Thesis: “Death does not follow life, LIFE follows death!”

1          Introduction

A. Life full of burial reminders: Buried in WINTER, buried in SLEEP, buried in DARKNESS
B. Life full of resurrection reminders as well: Raised in SPRING, raised by AWAKINING, raised in LIGHT.
C. The Bible is also full of burial reminders: The earth was at the beginning buried in DARKNESS, we are buried in SIN, sin buries us in DEATH.
D. The Bible is, therefore, full of resurrection reminders: The earth was raised in LIGHT, we are raised in REDEMTION, we are raised to ETERNAL LIFE!
E. This is all wonderfully illustrated by the wonderful TULIP! 
             1) The wonderfully beautiful flower springs to life only
                  After the seed is buried in death, dishonor and decay!
F. All these death, burial and resurrection illustrations are not random or accidental…they are reminders of the singular most urgently important event in all of human history…the GOSPEL, the DEATH, BURIAL AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST!
G. “DEATH DOESN’T FOLLOW LIFE, LIFE FOLLOWS DEATH!”
H. “THE SEED MUST DIE TO BE BORN!"

2        How are the Dead Raised? – 15.35 – 36A

A. The reality of His Death in real time and space – John 19.31 - 37
B. The reality of His Death in Prophesy – Isaiah 53.9
C. The reality of the most secure tomb in human history!
D. The reality of the foolishness of denial – I Corinthians 15.31 – 34
E. THE UNDENIABLE RESURECTION MUST BE PROCEEDED BY AN UNDEIABLE DEATH AND AN UNDENIABLE BURIAL!
1) The veracity of Christianity rests upon the Resurrection, the veracity of the Resurrection rests upon His burial and the veracity of His burial rests upon His undeniable death.

3        “What you sow does not come to life unless it dies!” 15.36b - 41

A. The buried seed is NOT the “body that is to be!”
B. God gives the dead seed a body that HE chooses!
C. The glory of the new body is not the same as the dead seed.

4        The risen body is far more glorious than the dead seed – 15.42 - 44

A. Sown perishable – raised imperishable!
B. Sown in dishonor – raised in glory!
C. Sown in weakness – raised in power!
D. Without Christ’s Gospel, we are corrupt, condemned and powerless.
E. With Christ, we are imperishable, glorious and powerful now and forevermore. 
F. God be praised forevermore for His unspeakable gift!
G. LET US PRAY

5        The Meaning of the Text

A. The meaning of the text flows back to the context – 15.1 -8
B. The gospel is meaningless absent the Resurrection
C. The Resurrection is meaningless without a verifiable Death
D. The Death of Christ is unsubstantiated without a verifiable Burial
E. “WHAT YOU SOW DOES NOT COME TO LIFE UNLESS IT DIES!”

6        The Challenge of the Text

A. The challenge of the Text flows back to 15.22
B. How does one get “in Christ” to be made alive?
             1) Galatians 3.27
C. Why is baptism so very essential for being “alive in Christ?”
             1) Romans 6.1 – 9
                       a. We must die to sin as Christ died on the cross
                       b. We must all be buried with Christ in His burial
                                 (1) In Christ our corruptible bodies are united
                                        With His Body which saw NO corruption!
                                       Acts 2.27
                       c. We must all be raised with Christ in order to walk
                            “in newness of life” as He walked again alive
                            Forevermore!

7         “The Gospel Call”

A.   Romans 6.8 – 11 - “Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with Him.  We know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him.  For the death He died He died to sin, once for all, but the life He lives He lives to God.  For you also MUST consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
B.   Won’t you come and:
·       Die to the love and practice of sin
·       Be buried with Christ in baptism
·       Be raised with Christ to walk a new life
·         My fifth great uncle was Hugh Gaston who was rector at the Ballywillan Presbyterian Church (pictured above left) in County Antrim, Ulster Plantation (Northern Ireland) and wrote the most dangerous book of his time; Gaston’s Collections.  It allowed “the ploughman to know more Bible than his clergyman.”  Hugh fled to South Carolina where he died prematurely of the measles.  He is buried just one hour south of Charlotte in Chester County, S.C. in “Burnt Meeting House Cemetery.”   Uncle Hugh continues to inspire my ministry to this very day.  You can read more about Uncle Hugh here: http://www.ballywillanpci.org/rev-hugh-gaston 

Ruins photo courtesy of: ballywillanpci.org. 

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