The Irreducible Message of the Gospel

The Irreducible Message of the Gospel

The Irreducible Message of the gospel
TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11



As we gather for worship this morning, I’d like to call you to worship from 1 Peter 1:3–4…

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.”


“Low In The Grave He Lay”


Reading 1: The Cross

John 19:1–6, 16-18
1 Then Pilate took Jesus and flogged him. 2 And the soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head and arrayed him in a purple robe. 3 They came up to him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” and struck him with their hands. 4 Pilate went out again and said to them, “See, I am bringing him out to you that you may know that I find no guilt in him.” 5 So Jesus came out, wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe. Pilate said to them, “Behold the man!” 6 When the chief priests and the officers saw him, they cried out, “Crucify him, crucify him!”……. 16 So he delivered him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, 17 and he went out, bearing his own cross, to the place called The Place of a Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.

“Something Greater”


Apostles’ Creed 
(third or fourth century)

I believe in God the Father Almighty
Maker of heaven and earth.
And in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord;
Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
Born of the Virgin Mary,
Suffered under Pontius Pilate,
Was crucified, dead, and buried;
He descended into Hades;[1]
The third day he rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Ghost;
the holy universal Church;
the communion of saints;
the forgiveness of sins;
the resurrection of the body;
and the life everlasting. Amen.

[1] Many churches use “Hell” instead of “Hades.” The Bible is unclear whether or not Jesus went anywhere besides paradise after his death and before his resurrection. However, a number of texts suggest that he went to Hades, the place of the dead. Hades appears to be the original word used in the creed, and is not the same as the word for Hell. See Luke 16:23; Luke 23:43; Acts 2:27; Ephesians 4:8-9.


Reading 2: Christ’s Death

Matthew 27:45–51
45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49 But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.” 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit. 51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.

“O Praise the Name”

Reading 3: The Resurrection

Matthew 28:1–10
1 Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” 8 So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”

“Praise The King”


Lord, our experience of the your resurrection feels like the celebration of the crowd after a sporting event. Today we find ourselves in the stands, viewing the arena below, in which the giant of death faced off directly with the Lord of heaven.

Only this sporting event is actually a brutal affair in which only one contestant will survive. And we know that the only reason you are in the ring is because we, through our rebellion, unleashed this monster of death. So we do not sit passively in the stands as if the possibility of victory bears nothing of eternal significance.

Rather we wait on pins and needles waiting for the final outcome. At first it appears as though death has the upper hand as you lie dead inside the tomb. Yet hidden in your suffering, death was also breathing its last. Both opponents lie dead, death and death’s victim, you, Lord Christ.

Yet the play is in review, and the umpire of heaven has reversed the call. His verdict now declared….

“Christ has died, but his death was undeserved,
Another’s guilt he bore.
Therefore reset the clock of human time
And proclaim Christ the undefeated Lord.
Now raise him up again to life,
For he is not to blame.
He has suffered for his guilty bride,
And his rescue deserves eternal fame!
Cause her to also rise with him
To share his life and innocence!
For through his cross he’s sealed forever
Death’s impotence.”

Christ you are the exalted victor over death, sin, and the grave! Would you now come through your Word and make this victory sweet to our hearts? Let the gravity and the weight of it loosen the grip of all other preoccupations, anxieties, and cares. Remove the blindness that plagues us and keeps us from living in the light of this great victory!



1 Corinthians 15:1-11


Pastor Mark Kernan

Title:  “The Irreducible Message of the Gospel”

Main Idea:  You cannot call yourself a Christian if you deny the resurrection because the promise of the gospel is forever anchored in Jesus’ literal resurrection from the dead.

Sermon Outline:

I.   The Origin of the Gospel (15:1-2)

II.  The Content of the Gospel (15:3-5)

III. The Proof of the Gospel (15:6-11)


“Christ The Lord Is Risen Today”