Previously in his exhortation to the Corinthians Paul has reiterated the gospel by which believers were saved. That whoever believed Jesus was God’s only begotten son, sent to live a sinless, perfect life which lead to His death on the cross, was resurrected on the third day thereby fulfilling prophecy, anyone who believes this and repents of their sin will be saved.
Because there was to be only one gospel taught within the church, and in lieu of the fact there is only one truth about the deity of Jesus Christ, Paul now addresses false teaching within the Corinthian church.
“12 Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. 14 And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.” (1 Corinthians 15:12-14)
Some preachers in Corinth had been teaching falsely about the physical resurrection of Christ and those who believe in Him. Because this was contradictory to the gospel revealed to Paul by Jesus Himself, the apostle draws a clear line in the sand placing those who believe in resurrection and faith on one side, along with the truth about the gospel, then calls “empty” the faith and teaching of those who refuse the concept of physical resurrection.
“15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise. 16 For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! 18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.” (1 Corinthians 15:15-18)
Paul now includes those who had died while in Christ as having perished should there be no such thing as the resurrection of Jesus and those who believe in Him. Because His promises and the gospel that stem from Christ are true, those who believe and repent are awarded the ultimate prize when they cross the finish line of this life, which leads to eternal life through resurrection of both spirit and body.
“19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.” (1 Corinthians 15:19)
The apostle declares miserable those who believe Jesus’ promises are for this life only rather than of eternal consequences. The gospel teaches us that the true rewards offered to believers are not found in this world, or this life but the next life where our Father has prepared a place for us.
“20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.” (1 Corinthians 15:20-21)
Paul declares Christ the first fruits of the dead having been resurrected Himself from death. In tune with the Jewish tradition where first crops were offered as a sacrifice to guarantee a plentiful harvest, Jesus became the first fruits of resurrection to guarantee deliverance for those who believe in Him.
“22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 23 But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.” (1 Corinthians 15:22-23)
Making reference to Adam and the sin of mankind which led to death, the apostle declares believers free of the stronghold of death. Because Christ offered HImself, we are guaranteed a harvest beyond measure.
“24 Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. 25 For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 For “He has put all things under His feet.” But when He says “all things are put under Him,” it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted.” (1 Corinthians 15:24-27)
The end described here is comes after the tribulation which follows the rapture. On the day when Christ returns He will eliminate earthly ruling and authority, preparing the earth for its new culmination according to God’s perfect plan for a new heaven on earth, where those resurrected will rejoice in their new physical bodies thereby destroying the last enemy which is death.
“28 Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” (1 Corinthians 15:28)
Paul declares Jesus’ work complete upon the day of His return when all things are subject to Christ, and when He subjects Himself to His father, God almighty.
Fulfilling prophecy, Jesus was raised from the dead. Resurrected just as Christ was, believers must trust in the gospel and preach the truth about resurrection both physically and spiritually. 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