I Corinthians 15 | Printed Text I Corinthians 15: 1-8, 12-14, 20-23, 42-45
Devotional Reading Isiah 53: 4-12
In last week’s lesson we studied prophecy from the book of Isaiah. We learned that Isaiah prophesized that God would send a chosen one to be an instrument of righteousness for his people. The chosen one is Jesus Christ and Isaiah prophesied Jesus’s coming more than 700 years before his birth. The prophecy of God sending a chosen one, The Messiah and Savior are all fulfilled in Jesus Christ.
In our lesson today Christ has lived, died and arose from the grave. The day of Pentecost has come and gone, and the early church has been formed. In our printed text we find, the Apostle Paul on the scene. The year is about 50AD, and Paul has been converted to Christianity and is ministering to the church at Corinth.
The Apostle Paul’s history in the bible goes back to the time after Christ resurrection and the formation of the early church. During that time, his name was Saul and he was a zealous persecutor of the church. Saul spent his pre-conversion years hunting down and terrorizing believers of The Way (Christians). Scripture tells us that Paul held the garments of the people who stoned Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Paul ad gone to the authorities to get authority to go to Damascus to arrest followers of the way. (Christians) Then, one day as Saul was traveling on the road from Jerusalem to Damascus to arrest Christians, he met Jesus Christ. As he was traveling, Saul was surrounded by a bright light from heaven that blinded him and knocked him to the ground. Then, he heard a voice from heaven say, “Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me. Saul ask, “Who are you Lord?” and the Lord answered him directly and clearly by saying, “I am Jesus who you are persecuting.” The remainder of the Saul’s story involves his conversion from zealous prosecutor of the church to an exuberant and fanatical Apostle of God. Paul went on to write at least 13 books of the New Testament and is considered one of the greatest and most prolific advocators for Christ of his time.
Paul went on three missionary journeys. Theologians believed that during his 2nd Missionary journey, Paul established the church at Corinth. Like some other churches of that day and today, the church at Corinth had some problems. In
I Corinthians, Paul addressed many issues of the church, including divisions in the church, sexual immorality, incest, fornication, marriage and divorce, idolatry and others. After addressing those issues that were plaguing the church, there was the issue of disbelief of resurrection of the dead.
Some members of the Church at Corinth that did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. To address this issue, Paul reminded the Corinthians of the good news he had preached, they accepted, and were standing firmly on.
Resurrection Clarified (I Corinthians 15:1-4)
Paul reminded the Corinthians that Christ died for their sins just as the scripture said. Also, Christ was buried and arose from the grave on the 3rd day as scripture says. This is the Good News Paul preached before and it will save them if they continue to believe and stand firm on it. Paul went on to explain the foundation of the Christian faith.
1. Christ died for our sins.
a. If Christ had not died for us eternal damnation is the price we would have to pay for the penalty of our sins. God sent Jesus to be a sacrificial offering for sin so that our sin debt is paid once and for all times, and we that believe have been redeemed.
2. Christ was buried and placed in a grave with a stone seal and guards placed outside to ensure his death.
3. On the 3rd day Christ arose from the grave with all power in his hand.
a. When Christ arose from the grave, he took away the sting of death and death was conquered. Jesus is the first fruit of many place their belief in Christ that will rise from the grave.
Resurrection Witnessed (vv. 5-8)
The Apostle Paul argued that there were many who witnessed seeing the resurrected Lord. There was Peter and the twelve disciples. More than 500 of Jesus’ followers, including his half-brother James and other apostles. Last, the risen Lord was seen by Paul. Therefore, the resurrection is real because it was witnessed by many who were still alive in Paul’s day.
Resurrection Guaranteed (vv. 12-14, 20-23)
The Apostle Paul refutes claim that there will be no resurrection and argues, that if there is no resurrection then Christ did not rise from the dead either and all their preaching and teaching and believing is in vain. All of them (the Corinthians) would still be in sin and condemned to eternal damnation. Paul continues his argument by stating that Christ did not die and conquer death for himself only. Christ is the first of many that will rise from the dead. Christ resurrection assures us that all who believe in him will also arise from the dead one day. So, just as death came into the world through a man, (Adam) now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. (Jesus Christ)
Resurrection Promises (vv. 42-45)
No one knows the exact reason the Christians at Corinth disbelieved in the resurrection, but Paul emphasizes that the resurrection is not just an idea of Christianity, but it is one of the cornerstones instead. Paul argued, if Christ died for their sins and was not resurrected, then they would not have been justified and Jesus’s death was in vain. Paul’s argued further that although human’s will die, and their bodies are subject to decay and will disintegrate…that is not the end for those who put their hope and faith in Christ. Everyone who belongs to Christ will be given a new spiritual life. Paul states that, it is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. “Our earthly bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised in spiritual bodies. Just as there are natural bodies, there are spiritual bodies.” (NLT I Corinth 42-45)