Paul had addresses issues that had taken place at church gatherings. Now the apostle delivers facts about the gospel, about the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as his own apostleship.
First the apostle declares the gospel of Jesus Christ as the root for the truth he is about to share with the believers in Corinth.
“1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)
Using the word of God as the basis of his argument, the very gospel by which the Corinthians were saved, Paul states that anyone who believed anything but the truth about Jesus would have believed in vain.
This section of Paul’s letter to the Corinthians does not contradict the concept of eternal salvation rather it calls on believers to seek and arm ourselves with the truth about the physical death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
“3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-5)
The apostle delivers an account of the fulfillment of the gospel which he had received from the Lord, that Christ was sent to live as a sinless man, eventually nailed to a cross where He died for our sins, then rose from the dead on the third day as promised, as prophesied.
Paul uses the apostle Peter’s nickname or “Cephas,” Greek for “Rock” to identify one of the people chosen by Christ to witness the divine rebirth.
“6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.” (1 Corinthians 15:6)
The apostle mentions a large number of witnesses who also saw Jesus resurrected, possibly during a gathering in Galilee where the apostles had been called by Christ. Paul mentions some of the brothers has died since seeing Jesus, no doubt now rejoicing with the Lord in heaven.
“7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.” (1 Corinthians 15:7)
Paul mentions James, the brother of Jesus then chief bishop of Christ’s church in Jerusalem. Jesus has appeared to His brother James before he blessed the apostles in Bethany.
“8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time. 9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.” (1 Corinthians 15:8-9)
Making reference to God’s perfect plan, Paul’s “due time” came when he least expected it, at a time when Paul, then called Saul persecuted Christians. This is a perfect example that God seldom calls those equipped, but equips those He calls.
“10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward 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. 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.” (1 Corinthians 15:10-11)
The apostle gives praise to God for the grace he continued to receive as a part of the divine plan for his life. Paul calls himself a more abundant laborer based on the numerous churches he had planted, the never ending journeys he embarked on and even pressed on in advancing the gospel when imprisoned.
Aligning himself with the other apostles, Paul calls on believers to focus on the fact all apostles preached the same gospel of a sinless man who died for the sins of mankind, then was buried and rose back to life as promised.
This truth is not only at the root of salvation but also should be shared with all those who will listen. Let us pray!
We thank you for your blessings in our lives and for your servant Paul,
We praise you Lord for his wisdom and for his works through this scripture,
We ask you Lord to inspire us to use these verses in our lives
As we grow in you through the teachings of your faithful apostle.
Lord we ask you to strengthen us each day as we endure through battles,
Allow us to praise and love each other through faith in you Jesus,
Shield us from evil through truth, the gospel, salvation and prayer,
Guide us to abide by your word as we spread your gospel to one and all
Becoming examples of faith through our character as we walk the narrow path.
God we pray that you will continue to bless us, to bless our lives and fill us with hope
We ask you Lord to guide our footsteps and lead us to the way everlasting,
Through faith in you Lord we seek salvation and a place with you in heaven
According to your word, your everlasting wisdom and strength.
May your will be done
In our lives, for your life.
We thank you for your love and all you bless us with each day.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre