CENTRAL TRUTH: Christ’s resurrection confirms the promise of eternal life of believers.
STUDY TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15:1-58
MEMORY VERSE: “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”
- Christ’s Death And Resurrection
- Examine The Foundation
- Examine The Facts ii. Resurrection Assured
- Empty Faith
- Resurrection Fact
OBJECTIVE: To investigate the effects of Christ’s death and resurrection and rejoice in the hope this brings.
CHRIST’S DEATH AND RESURRECTION
EXAMINE THE FOUNDATION
1 Corinthians 15:1,2 “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,”
The resurrection of Christ is one of the most important doctrines of Christianity. There were some in the Corinthian church who claimed that Christ’s resurrection did not take place. But Paul logically revealed the errors of this teaching.
In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul reminded the Corinthians of the basic facts of the gospel. He also appealed to them to evaluate their spiritual beginnings. They were saved because of the death and resurrection of Christ. Since the reality of their Christian faith was based on Christ’s resurrection, Paul wanted these believers to understand the seriousness of denying its reality.
QUESTION: Why is it important to believe all of the truths of the gospel?
Paul made a strong statement in verse 2; Christian beliefs in vain unless we accept all the claims of the gospel as true. It does not take much error for the whole substance of belief to become tainted. A heresy often begins as a small variation of accepted orthodoxy. If one claim of the gospel is false, all of the rest is affected as well. We cannot pick and choose what we will believe about the gospel.
EXAMINE THE FACTS (1 Corinthians 15:3-11)
In I Corinthians 15:3, 4, Paul explained he basic elements of the gospel Jesus died, was buried, and rose again 3 days later. This is a simple statement of gospel truth, but it represents the core of Paul’s ideology.
QUESTION: Why did Paul list those who saw Jesus after His resurrection?
Paul validated the claim of Jesus’ resurrection by listing those who had witnessed it, verse 5-8. Many of the witnesses were still alive and could testify of its certainty. Paul did not want anyone to doubt Jesus’ resurrection. So he provided a strong testimony proving the resurrection of Christ did take place.
In verse 9, Paul called himself an apostle, but his authority was probably questioned by some in the Corinthian church. But Paul’s apostolic commission is important because he appealed to himself as a witness of the Resurrected Jesus. 1 Corinthians 15:8-11, Paul’s vision of Jesus on the way to Damascus so affected him that he considered questioning the fact Of Jesus’ resurrection, there and the gospel He left to proclaim.
While we may not have seen Jesus, we know the reality of Christ’s resurrection, because of the testimony of scripture. But we also know this reality because of Christ’s power that is at work in our lives. Like Paul, we have experienced the result of Christ’s resurrection.
EMPTY FAITH (1 Corinthians 15:12-19)
In 1 Corinthians 15:12, it is apparent that some were teaching, against a resurrection of the dead. Paul argued that if Jesus was resurrected from the dead, then a resurrection from the dead is assured for others.
QUESTION: Why was Paul to convince that the resurrection was important in relation to faith?
The antithesis of Paul’s argument is stated in verse 13: if there is no resurrection, Jesus never rose from the dead. Since Paul had preached Jesus as the resurrected Savior, to deny the resurrection had spiritually terminal results.
Paul clearly stated that if the resurrection had not actually taken place, being a Christian is worthless, verse 14. In such case, we are lying, deluded sinners who are wasting our time, verses 15-17. All hope is gone for those who have died in their faith, verse 18, and Christians are the most pitiful creatures known to exist, verse 19.
If Jesus is still dead, He cannot be our Savior, because there is no hope of salvation without the resurrection. Christianity, then, becomes mockery. But Paul was not going to allow the false teaching of others to destroy the truth.
Many cults today try to deny the literal, physical resurrection of Christ because a belief in the reality of Christ as God does not correspond with their other doctrines. But Christ’s resurrection is true and it is imperative that we hold to that truth.
RESURRECTION FACT (1 Corinthians 15:20-23)
Paul concluded his position with a statement affirming Christ’s resurrection, I Corinthians 15:20. Paul could not, and would not, question this fact. Based on this truth, Paul stated Jesus was only the first of many. who would also be resurrected. Jesus is our ‘first fruits,’ verse 20.
Paul used a parallel structure in verses 21, 22 to establish a foundation of Christian hope. Since by Adam’s disobedience sin affected creation by bringing death, then Jesus’ obedience, the effects of sin upon creation are nullified.
In God’s plan, Jesus’ resurrection was the model for the future resurrection of all Christians which will take place at the Rapture. Only if Jesus has been resurrected can there be any hope of a resurrection for believers. The resurrection of believers is not a cyclical re in c arn ati on , but a transformation into the eternal existence of God’s kingdom. All qf this will happen at the appointed time, in their turn.
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