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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible
1 Corinthians 15

 

 

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Introduction

The Resurrection Of The Body
- First Corinthians Fifteen -

1 Corinthians 15:1-58 provides us with a detailed description of Christ"s resurrection from the dead and also of our own resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation of the entire Christian system. "If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain." (1 Corinthians 15:14) The resurrection is the major proof that Jesus is indeed the Son of God. Paul wrote that Jesus was "Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead." (Romans 1:4) It would be very inconsistent to profess faith in Christ and deny His resurrection.

It is by the resurrection of Christ that we can now be forgiven of our sins. If Christ was not raised then there could be no forgiveness. It is by the resurrection of Christ that we can have assurance that we will be raised. Just as we will die because of Adam, we will be raised to life because of Jesus Christ. We have the assurance that Christ was the first to be raised to life, and His people will be raised to life when He returns in the air. The resurrection of Jesus gives the faithful final victory. "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." (1 Corinthians 15:57)


Verses 1-11

Christ and the resurrection gospel - 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 : "Christ was raised to life" is the very heart of gospel preaching. Paul and all early gospel preachers proclaimed that Christ died for our sins, He was buried, and three days later He was raised to life again. The thing that made the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus so significant was that He is the only man that ever died for our sins. Psalms 16:10 directly predicted the resurrection of the Christ. "For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption."

The proof of the resurrection was in the fact that Jesus appeared to Peter, then to the twelve, after that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren, then to James and finally to Paul, himself. Paul was overwhelmed that the Lord had appeared to him because he had caused so much trouble for God"s church. He considered himself to be the least important of all the apostles. He felt that he did not even deserve to be called an apostle. Seeing Jesus and being forgiven caused Paul to work even harder than others in the Lord"s kingdom. Paul attributed all of the good that was in him and the entire good that he did to the grace of God.


Verses 12-19

Consequences of denying the resurrection - 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 : Paul asked, "If we preach that Christ was raised from death, how can some of you say that the dead will not be raised to life?" If there is no resurrection then Christ was not raised. If the dead were not raised the apostles told lies about God by saying that He raised Christ from the dead. If there is no resurrection their preaching was in vain.

It is an absolute truth that if the dead are not raised to life, then Christ could not have been raised. If Christ was not raised our faith is useless and we are still in our sins. If there is no resurrection those that died with faith in Jesus have perished like all the unbelievers. If there is no resurrection the dead have just come to an end and there is nothing left. The theory of some at Corinth that said there is no resurrection led to the obvious conclusion that, "If our hope in Christ is good only for this life, we are worse off than anyone else."


Verses 20-34

Christ"s resurrection and our resurrection - 1 Corinthians 15:20-34 : Paul declared that Jesus had been raised from the dead. His resurrection assures us that we too will be raised to life after death. We die because of Adam, but life is our because of Christ. The contrast is that Adam brought death and Jesus brought life. Each person will be raised to life in his own time. Christ was raised from the dead and we also will be raised when Jesus returns in the air. At that time Christ will have "put down all rule and all authority and power." The last enemy that Christ will overcome is death. Then He will deliver the kingdom to God the Father. The kingdom is the church and it has been in existence sense that first Pentecost after Jesus" resurrection.

Some brethren at Corinth were in gross error concerning their teachings. Some thought that there were no resurrections. Others were being baptized for the dead. Paul asked if the dead are not raised to life why were they being baptized for those dead people. He also showed them that risking their lives for the faith would make no sense if there is no resurrection. He said, "If the dead are not raised to life, "Let"s eat and drink. Tomorrow we die." Association with friends that are teaching error will destroy or corrupt. Paul said, "Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God..."


Verses 35-58

Changes brought by the resurrection - 1 Corinthians 15:35-58 : Some were asking, "How will the dead be raised to life? What kind of bodies will they have?" They were taught that changes would take place. What sprouts up from the seed looks different from the seed. God gives everything the kind of body He wants it to have. All animals are made of flesh, but each is different. Heavenly bodies and earthly things are likewise different. Even the sun, moon and stars are different. So, our body when raised from the dead will be different from its present condition. Those ugly, weak, mortal bodies will become beautiful, strong and immortal. Our physical body will be changed into a spiritual body.

Adam was a person that had received life from God. Jesus, the last Adam, is a life giving spirit. The Adam with the physical body came first and then the spiritual. That is just how it is with each of us also. We first have a physical body. It is earthly, temporary, and made of dust. Our resurrected body will be like the body of Him that came from heaven. It will be a heavenly body. Our earthly body will decay because, "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incur-eruption." We will either face death or live till Christ comes. In either case our bodies will be changed. If you are living when Christ returns that change will take place suddenly. We will all be changed so that we will never die again. Death will lose the battle and we will have victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. The conclusion is that sense death does not end it all we should be, "steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord..." (1 Corinthians 15:58) The resurrection proves that everything you do for the Lord is worthwhile.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:4". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/box/1-corinthians-15.html. 2014.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, December 7th, 2019
the First Week of Advent
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