1 Corinthians 15

  • 1Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
  • 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
  • 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures;

Paul now is returning us to the main simple message of the gospel that we must keep in mind while we teach all the other great things in the scriptures. The simplicity of the gospel must be the main focus of all our conversation and teaching. We must teach all things contained in scripture for they were given to us to teach, and they are not to be neglected but at the same time we must remind all of the main subject of the gospel which saves the soul from sin and makes a difference between eternal death or eternal life. Christ died for our sins.

  • 1Corinthians 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures:

The fact that He died for our sins, was buried and rose again is what brings about our salvation. If those three things had not occurred, we would not be able to have salvation and eternal life. The power of the resurrection is proof of life eternal for those in whose mortal body has literally died and have put their faith and trust in Jesus to save them from sin and grant them life eternal.

  • 1Corinthians 15:5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
  • 6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
  • 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
  • 8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

There were many witnesses who saw the Lord after the resurrection. Paul was one who saw the Lord at a later time on the road to Damascus where he was going to persecute those who were preaching the gospel. So Paul had no motive to lie or pretend any vision of Christ. He was on the other side and didn't like the preaching of the gospel. He was one who was trying to stop the gospel from being preached. There was nothing to gain as far as the world could see from preaching the gospel. At that time preaching Christ caused one to be beaten, jailed and even put to death. There was no getting rich and making huge profits like we see today. It was unpopular to be a Christian or a follower of Jesus Christ. The apostles had nothing in this world to gain by preaching this way. Most ended up being killed for their faith. Why would the apostles and especially Paul who was not an original apostle die for a lie?

  • 1Corinthians 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

God's wonderful grace was shown in Paul. A murderer could be changed and pass from the sentence of death into life because of Jesus Christ.

  • 1Corinthians 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Paul was faithful from the moment he found Jesus Christ and the knowledge of the truth. He did not waver in his purpose even until death. Tradition says that our beloved Paul was beheaded for the gospel he once hated but learned to love.

He did not receive the gospel by anyone else's preaching but by Christ Himself on that road to Damascus. That was the best thing that could have happened to Paul. Had the Lord allowed him to continue on persecuting the church, Paul would have died a sinner and would have been lost forever in hell. Christ's mercy lifted him out of eternal damnation and into eternal life. Because of Paul's faithfulness many Gentiles believe the gospel and are saved.

  • 1Corinthians 15:11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
  • 12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?
  • 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:
  • 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

There is no salvation if Christ was not risen from the dead. That is the proof of the whole gospel.

  • 1Corinthians 15:15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.
  • 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:
  • 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.
  • 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
  • 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

Truly our hope is in eternity. Our life here is but a vapor and is usually full of suffering. We hope in what lays ahead of us in eternity.

  • 1Corinthians 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

Christ had to go before us to make the way. Since He rose from the dead, we also who believe in Him have this hope within us to be raised from the dead and live eternally.

  • 1Corinthians 15:21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

Adam's sin brought death to us all. Christ's obedience brought life to all who believe.

  • 1Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
  • 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.

We will await His coming for our permanent redemption which is now already taken place within us who believe.

  • 1Corinthians 15:24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

There is still much to be fulfilled. Christ will return to put down all rebellion and rid the earth of all sin. He will get back the kingdom from the devil and return it to God. This fulfills more of the  purpose of Jesus Christ's coming to the earth, living as a man, suffering, dying for sin, (when he didn't deserve such a death) and rising again. That part brought us the way of salvation and eternal life. His second coming will bring forth the fulfillment of prophecy where all sin is done away with, the judgment comes and the kingdom returns to the Father. By man the kingdom was lost and plunged into the threat of eternal separation from God. All mankind was bound for an eternal hell because all have sinned and broken the law of God. Through man all was lost but through Christ all who accept this will be saved and be part of the eternal kingdom which lasts forever. That is why Christ had to become a man. Man brought us into a lost condition and only a man (a sinless man) could get it back.

  • 1Corinthians 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
  • 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

That will be a great day. The death Adam brought upon all of us will be done away with by the last Adam, Jesus Christ.

  • 1Corinthians 15:27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him.
  • 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

When he delivers the kingdom back to the Father, God will reign forever. Hallelujah.

  • 1Corinthians 15:29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

This is not teaching and supporting the doctrine of being baptized for the dead or on behalf of someone who has already died. This is only reasoning that if the dead are not raised, then why are some who believe in that doctrine still being baptized for the dead. Apparently the Corinthian church had some who had various doctrines contrary to the truth. Some going so far as to say there is no resurrection. Paul was asking them why then, if they believed there was no resurrection, why be baptized for a dead person? He was not teaching that doctrine. It is clear from other scriptures the one is saved only through individual faith in Jesus for forgiveness of sin and salvation. There is no other name and no other way to be saved from sin and have eternal life. We cannot do this for another person. They must repent of sin and believe in Jesus for themselves.

  • 1Corinthians 15:30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?

Why would the apostles suffer so much persecution and death if the dead are not raised and there is no hope beyond this temporary life?

  • 1Corinthians 15:31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
  • 32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die.
  • 33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

People coming in and teaching these strange doctrines were corrupting others. Paul was trying to return them to sound doctrine and the original faith once given to them. We can be thankful for the bible all in one volume to help us avoid this type of thing.

  • 1Corinthians 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
  • 35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
  • 36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:

When we plant a garden, we are actually using seed which was once alive but is dead when it is planted. When it is planted, watered and cared for, it grows again with a new body.

  • 1Corinthians 15:37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
  • 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
  • 39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
  • 40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
  • 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
  • 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

Our bodies die because of sin and it is corrupt. It will be raised in incorruption but will not ever die again.

  • 1Corinthians 15:43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
  • 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

This is our hope and what we have to look forward to. That new body which is only given to those who have come God's way. That way being Jesus Christ. The others are also raised but only to everlasting torment because they rejected the way of salvation God provided for us by the sacrifice and suffering of His own Son.

Its like this: If a person was drowning in a pool of water and I threw out a life raft for him to hold onto and he refused it, then he would go on and drown rejecting the way of salvation. It is not that God wants anyone to be lost but He made a way to be saved. Unfortunately many would rather cleave to their sins and reject the way God has provided. They want the good life supposedly now and take no thought to eternity. God can't allow sin in the new kingdom or else sin would exist forever, suffering would exist forever and so would evil. He has to put a stop to it. If we die still in our sins there is no way to be saved. That is why we must believe in Jesus Christ and turn from sin in order to have the promise of eternal life.

  • 1Corinthians 15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.
  • 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
  • 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
  • 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
  • 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
  • 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

We have to be changed because things cannot be as they are now forever.

  • 1Corinthians 15:51 Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
  • 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
  • 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
  • 54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
  • 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
  • 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
  • 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

What a hope to rejoice in. The dead in Christ shall rise. Those of us who are alive at His coming will be instantly changed from corruption into a body that cannot ever be corrupt again.

  • Revelation 21:1 And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.
  • 2 And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
  • 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
  • 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
  • 5 And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
  • 6 And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
  • 7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
  • 8 But the fearful, and unbelieving, and abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.

1 Corinthians 16


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