A Hope Too Good to Be True

New Philly Sydney
Preached by Paul Yoo on March 27, 2016, Sunday.

Text: 1 Corinthians 15:12-26, 32, 54-58

Discussion Questions

CG questions written by Paul Yoo.

  1. The Christian response to death is utterly unique amongst all religions, philosophies, and belief systems. It is the only one that enables us not only to transcend the fear of death, or merely to avoid and deny death, but to defeat death itself.

    What are some of the typical responses of our culture and generation to the problem of death? What are some of our culture’s patterns in avoiding and denying death? What answers and resources does our culture give in overcoming the fear of death? What is your heart’s response when faced with the reality of death?
  2. Passing through death to a meager and mediocre future life would be barely scraping by death. But the Christian hope is that we will not barely overcome death, but that we will completely demolish and destroy and trample all over it. What are some of the Christian’s glorious hopes mentioned in the sermon, according to 1 Corinthians 15? Why might some people say this hope is ‘too good to be true’?
  3. Read 1 Corinthians 15:3-6. What is the objective basis that makes the Christian’s glorious hope more than just pie-in-the-sky wishful thinking but a sure and certain hope? Do you find the apostle Paul’s reasoning here sound and persuasive? What difference does it make that a Christian’s hope is rooted in objective, historical reality?
  4. Our greatest enemy is ‘sin and death’. But as a Christian, Jesus’ resurrection is the firstfruits for us. His defeat of death means we will defeat death, so that we can not only face death with faith and courage, but even taunt death to its face. If the hope of the Christian is that our greatest enemy (sin and death) can’t hurt us in any way, then what can our lesser enemies – illness, financial restrictions or trouble, obstacles in our career, disappointments, being snubbed or insulted by others, social and relational alienation or estrangement, irritations of family life, car accidents, traffic tickets – do to us? How do you currently respond to these challenges in your life? How does the hope of the resurrection transform the way you respond? If we can taunt death, what is a proper response in the face of these lesser troubles?
  5. Read v. 58. Paul is saying that the hope of the resurrection should make a profound impact on how we live our lives now. How does the reality and hope of the resurrection make a Christian (treat the following one at a time): (a) steadfast, (b) immovable, and (c) always abounding in the work of the Lord (which is not limited to serving the church, but any and all labors for the Lord, both in private devotion and obedience and in public service for the kingdom)?

    Is your Christian life marked by steadfastness, or by fits and starts? Is your faith immovable, or are you easily shaken and thrown off-center off-balance by the trials and temptations of life? Are you abounding in Christian obedience and service, or do you put strict limits on it?

    How does the resurrection, and thus “knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain”, produce a boundless and endless energy for Christian labour? How does it lead us to dream big for the Lord?

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