Andrew Fountain - The New Creation


Full sermon notes - The New Creation - 1 Corinthians 15

Two Kinds of Stuff

  1. Things made out of paper, card, tape & glue
  2. Things made out of metal
  • Characteristics?
  • Can you turn something from card to metal?
  • How would you go about changing it?
  • So what was that all about Andrew?
  1. Paper & Card
    • does not last
    • easily damaged
    • not strong
    • can burn
  2. Metal
    • lasts indefinitely
    • resists damage
    • very strong and functional
    • cannot burn
  • No you can’t!
  • Have to start again and copy it
  • So what is that all about

Problem at Corinth

  • There was a problem that some people at the Corinthian church were laughing at the idea of a resurrection
  • 1 Corinthians 15 starts by addressing this problem
  • Ends up with one of the clearest presentations of the “New Creation” in the Bible

1 Corinthians 15

  1. Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel
    • that I preached to you,
    • that you received
    • and on which you stand,
    • 2.and by which you are being saved, (if you hold firmly to the message I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.)
  1. For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received—
    • that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,
    • 4.and that he was buried,
    • and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

  1. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is futile and your faith is empty.
  2. Also, we are found to be misrepresenting God, because we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead, when in reality he did not raise him, if indeed the dead are not raised.
  3. For if the dead are not raised, then not even Christ has been raised.
  4. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is useless; you are still in your sins.
  5. Furthermore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished.
  6. For if only in this life we have hope in Christ, we should be pitied more than anyone.
  7. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
  8. For just as death came through a man,
          —the resurrection of the dead also came through a man.
  9. For just as in Adam all die,
          —so also in Christ all will be made alive.
  10. But each in his own order:
    • Christ, the firstfruits;
    • then when Christ comes, those who belong to him.
    • 24.Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father,
      • when he has brought to an end all rule and all authority and power.
      • 25.For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
    • 26.The last enemy to be eliminated is death.
      • 27.For God has put everything in subjection under his feet.

  1. What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with beasts at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”
  1. …What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.
  2. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare seed—perhaps of wheat or some other grain.
  3. But God gives it a body just as he planned, and to kind of seed a body of its own.
  4. For not all flesh is the same: People have one flesh, animals have another, birds and fish another.
  5. And there are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies. The glory of the heavenly body is one sort and the earthly another.
  6. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon and another glory of the stars, for star differs from star in glory.
  7. So it is with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable, what is raised is imperishable.
  8. It is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.
  9. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
  10. So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
  11. However, the spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and then the spiritual.
  12. The first man is from the earth, made of dust; the second man is from heaven.
  13. Like the one made of dust, so too are those made of dust, and like the one from heaven, so too those who are of heaven.
  14. And just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, let us also bear the image of the man of heaven.
  15. Now this is what I am saying, brothers and sisters: Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Version: NET Bible, plus revisions by AMF

  • Read first section (v.1-4)
    • Paul: “this is so fundamental it is like ABC”
  • Read v.14-19
    • He goes through the implications if Jesus was not raised
  • Read v.20-22
    • He begins to set up two contrasting systems, which will form the basis for the rest of the passage
  • Read v.23-27
    • The order of future events
  • We’ll skip a few verses where he talks more about how absurd it would be to be a Christian and not believe in the resurrection
    • Read v.32
  • Now the next section introduces the difference between the Old Creation and the New Creation
    • Two analogies given:
      • Read v.36-38 —The difference is like that between the seed that is sown and what springs up
      • Read v.39-41 —The difference is like that between vastly different objects
    • He brings them together in v.42-44
      • We die as one kind, and are raised as the other
  • Now maybe you can begin to see the connection with my paper and metal?

The Two Creations

Old Creation New Creation
Adam Christ
Dust the Spirit
Perishable Imperishable
  • How can we be made of the Holy Spirit?
  • Adam was made of dust
    • atoms and molecules of this universe
    • Our bodies are the same basic stuff as the world around us
    • When we die, we return to dust
  • Jesus was raised in the Spirit
  • How can we be made of the Holy Spirit?
    • Well of course we don’t become God
    • As we will see in a moment, the Scriptures clearly teach it
    • So what does it mean?
  • If I was to visit London, England and collect a bag of rocks from the city
    • When I returned if I made the rocks into a little sculpture
    • I couldn’t say “this sculpture is the city of London”
    • I could only say “its made of the same stuff as London
  • Similarly our New Creation identities are made of the stuff of the Spirit

New Creation and the Spirit

  • John 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
  • Rom 1:4 who was appointed the Son-of-God-in-power according to the Holy Spirit by the resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord.
  • Rom 8:11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
  • but as we said before, there is no connection between the two
    • if we are made of one, what do we have to do with the other?
    • how do we get from one to the other?


  • What was Jesus made of when he was born?
  • What was he made of when he was raised from the dead?
  • But what about what he said to Nicodemus in John 3?
  1. Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again [from above] he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
  1. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
  • Was Jesus born of the Spirit “from above”
  • his baptism!
  • Ah, now we are getting somewhere!
  • So after his baptism, was he made of this (paper) or this (metal)?
    • both
  • Which was visible to the eyes?
    • Old
  • (put metal inside cardboard)
    • if you were to set fire to this, or bury it in the ground for a few months, what would be left
  • So when Jesus died, it was only the Old Creation that died
  • So what moment in history did the New Creation start?
    • baptism
  • So if this was the moment, was there any similarity to the Old Creation moment?

Genesis 1

  1. In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
  2. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
  • Mar 1:10 And just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Spirit descending on him like a dove.
  • Luk 3:22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight.”
  • see the similarity
  • it was a little bit like a gestation period
  • life was there, but hidden from our physical eyes
  • same with us. When Jesus returns it will be like birth

Colossians 3

  1. Therefore, if you have been raised with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.
  2. Keep thinking about things above, not things on the earth,
  3. for you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.
  4. When Christ (who is your life) appears, then you too will be revealed in glory with him.
  • So the answer of how we get from here to here is by being joined to Jesus who made the transition
    • we died with him and are being raised with him
    • we are united to him
  • Being United with Jesus is the answer to almost every question!
    • If you have ever taught children in Sunday School... “Jesus!”
  • So what practical difference does it make?

Galatians 2

  1. For through the law I died to the law so that I may live to God.
  2. I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So the life I now live in the body, I live because of the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
  • Once again, this is the New Creation life within us
  • Lets read the end of the passage:

1 Corinthians 15:51-58

  1. Listen, I will tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed—
  2. in a moment, in the blinking of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
  3. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
  4. Now when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will come to pass,
          “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”
  5. “O death, where is your victory?
          O death, where is your sting?”
  6. The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
  7. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
  8. So then, my beloved brothers and sisters, be firm. Do not be moved! Always be outstanding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

Version: NET Bible, plus revisions by AMF

  • What does it mean “your labour is not in vain”
    • what kind of labour would be in vain? (building things out of paper)
  • I have had a lot of success writing computer programs this week
    • but you know the sad thing—they are paper and card
    • That doesn’t mean it is worthless building them—If you do it to God’s glory, everything has eternal value
    • But we should still distiguish
  • Every bit of the love of Jesus you show for another person is made of the stuff of eternity
  • v.57 Thank you God that you have given us the victory!
    • Thank you for the amazing new thing you are doing inside us!

Updated on 2011-08-15 by Andrew Fountain