The Risen Christ… our Faith’s Reality!
1 Corinthians 15
In this chapter Paul dealt with another problem in the Corinthian church.
He affirmed that the Christian faith rests upon the resurrection of Christ and has a sure conviction of the resurrection on the final day of all who believe in him.
Having dealt with a number of problems related to worship in the church at Corinth, Paul turned to a doctrinal controversy over resurrection.
Some teachers had entered the church at Corinth, denying the possibility of bodily resurrection.
They did not deny the fact of life after death, but probably suggested that we would simply be spirit beings and not have literal bodies.
The apostle here gives his classic answer to these denials.
Paul reminds them of the good news which he had preached to them, which they had received, and in which they now stood.
This was not a new doctrine for the Corinthians, but it was necessary that they should be reminded of it at this critical time.
It was this gospel by which the Corinthians had been saved.
It was by the gospel of the resurrection that they had been saved—unless, of course, there was no such thing as resurrection, in which case they could not have been saved at all.
The “if” in this passage does not express any doubt as to their salvation, nor does it teach that they were saved by holding fast.
Rather, Paul is simply stating that if there is no such thing as resurrection, then they weren’t saved at all.
In other words, those who denied bodily resurrection were launching a frontal attack on the whole truth of the gospel.
To Paul, the resurrection was fundamental.
Without it there was no Christianity.
Truly Christians are to be pitied more than anyone if our hope in Christ ends in death.
Especially given all the hardships endured for the sake of faith, a resurrection-less end would be a disaster.
Have you ever been offered a guarantee on something which you have committed – either with money or talents?
You commit to something on the promise that the guarantee is true. For example:
Buy this car, then you will receive free oil changes for two years.
Take this pill and you will be guaranteed to lose weight.
Do what we ask and we can guarantee your safety.
There are all kinds of offers which people will pitch to you.
But if you notice what works the most in the guarantee is personal testimonies.
People will claim that these offers have worked for them, so it will work for you.
I can trust the eternal lifetime guarantee of Jesus because He proved it.
Jesus is the only One to raise from the dead.
You know that you trust the mechanic who has repaired and replaced many parts before.
You trust the doctor who has successfully completed many surgeries.
You can trust Jesus who has the eternal experience that is necessary for overcoming death.
You know death is a frightening prospect.
Like a surgery, or some other traumatic broken experience that you and I may go through, we don’t look forward to the prospect of dying.
It’s frightening in a way to think that when your heart stops beating, that you will stop existing.
I can’t make myself come back to life. I can’t see what is beyond death.
Even Jesus needed God’s help in being resurrected.
But now that Jesus is resurrected, He can help me.
“In Christ, all will be made alive.”
That is not a spiritual, allegorical interpretation.
I will be made alive. But that can only happen because Jesus was made alive.
He was given the keys to death. He knows how to unlock it.
Like a locksmith who comes when the doors are locked and you can’t get your keys, God made Christ exclusive keys over death.
When you come to death and you wonder how the afterlife will be unlocked for you, you just need to trust Christ.
He will unlock the keys of death for you.
“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6)
In view of all of this, let us be confident today in our faith because of what Jesus has done.
He broke the power of death so that we might have eternal life with Him.
SELAH (let us pause and calmly think about these things)
Thursday, Dec 08
by Two Listeners
“But now it is Christ risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the Resurrection of the dead.”
— 1 Corinthians 15:20-21
And greater works than these shall ye do, because I go unto My Father.
While I was on earth, to the great number of those with whom I came in contact, Mine was a lost cause.
Even My disciples only believed, half-doubting, half-wondering.
When they all forsook Me and fled it was not so much fear of My enemies as the certainty that My Mission, however beautiful they thought it, had failed.
In spite of all I had taught them, in spite of the revelation of the Last Supper, they had secretly felt sure that when the final moment came, and the hatred of the Pharisees was declared against Me I should sound some call to action, and that I should lead My many followers, and found My earthly kingdom.
Even the disciples who had eyes to see My Spiritual Kingdom had thought material forces had proved too strong for Me.
But with My Resurrection came hope. Faith revived.
They would remind each other of all I had said. They would have the assurance of My Divinity,
Messiahship, the lack of which had hindered My work on earth, and they would have all My Power in the unseen – the Holy Spirit – to help them.
Remember, I came to found a Kingdom – the Kingdom.
Those who lived in the Kingdom were to do the work — greater works than I was able to do.
Not a greater Power shown, not a greater Life lived, but, as men recognized My Godhead, opportunities for works in My Name would increase.
My work on earth was to gather around Me the nucleus of My Kingdom, and to teach the Truths of My Kingdom to them.
In those Truths they were to live and work.
Now unto Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
“Come join the Adventure!