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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
1 Corinthians 15

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-11

Testimonies of Christ's Resurrection - In 1 Corinthians 15:1-11 Paul offers a list of testimonies of Christ's resurrection, a declaration he has made when preaching the Gospel throughout his ministry ( 1 Corinthians 15:1-2). He will offer the testimony of Scriptures regarding the resurrection ( 1 Corinthians 15:3-4), then a list of eye-witnesses: Cephas ( 1 Corinthians 15:5 a), the Twelve apostles' first witness ( 1 Corinthians 15:5 b), the five hundred disciples ( 1 Corinthians 15:6), James ( 1 Corinthians 15:7 a), the Twelve apostles' second witness ( 1 Corinthians 15:7 b), and Paul himself ( 1 Corinthians 15:8-10). All of these witnesses testify to the same message in proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ ( 1 Corinthians 15:11).

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Paul's Gospel — 1 Corinthians 15:1-2

2. Testimonies of the Resurrection — 1 Corinthians 15:3-10

3. The Same Gospel, the Same Faith — 1 Corinthians 15:11

1 Corinthians 15:1-2 — Paul's Gospel - In 1 Corinthians 15:1-2 Paul declares he has delivered the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the churches under his care, a Gospel that has been verified by a number of witnesses.

1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;

1 Corinthians 15:1"which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand" - Comments- They must hold on to the Word of God, which Paul is about to tell them in the next verse.

1 Corinthians 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:2Comments- Paul tells the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 15:2 that their eternal salvation is conditional. The condition that they must meet is to hold fast to their faith in the Gospel until the end. This is one of many verses in the Scriptures that contradict the doctrine of "Once saved, always saved." We are saved and kept by the power of God through our abiding faith in Him ( 1 Peter 1:5). But God created us with a will to choose. It is possible that some people will choose to deny their faith and turn back into the world.

1 Peter 1:5, "Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 — The Testimony of Scripture to Christ's Sacrificial Death and Resurrection - 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 gives us the testimony of Scripture to support Paul's Gospel of Christ's resurrection ( 1 Corinthians 15:1-2). This will be followed by a list of eye witnesses ( 1 Corinthians 15:5-8).

1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

1 Corinthians 15:3Scripture References- Note several Old Testament Scriptures that prophesy of Christ's redemptive work on Calvary:

Genesis 3:15, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."

Psalm 22:1-31

Isaiah 53:1-12, esp. Isaiah 53:10, "Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand."

Daniel 4:24-26

Zechariah 13:7, "Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the LORD of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn mine hand upon the little ones."

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

1 Corinthians 15:4Comments - There are several Old Testament Scriptures that prophesied Jesus Resurrection ( Psalm 16:10-11, Hosea 6:2).

Psalm 16:10-11, "For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore."

Hosea 6:2, "After two days will he revive us: in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight."

Jesus also compared His three days in the heart of the earth to Jonah being in the belly of the whale for three days ( Jonah 1:17).

Matthew 12:40, "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale"s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

Jonah 1:17, "Now the LORD had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights."

1 Corinthians 15:5-10The Testimony of the Eye-witnesses to Christ's Resurrection - After citing the testimony of Scripture regarding Christ's sacrificial death and resurrection ( 1 Corinthians 15:3-4), Paul gives us a list of eye-witnesses to this event. This list is not exhaustive, since it does not list the women at the tomb nor the two on the road to Emmaus. Many witnesses of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus were alive during Paul's day to back up his testimony of Christ's resurrection. Paul knew that in the multitude of witnesses a matter is confirmed ( 2 Corinthians 13:1).

2 Corinthians 13:1, "This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."

The Testimony of Women in the New Testament- Why are the women at the garden tomb, to whom Jesus first appeared, not mentioned in this passage of eye-witness accounts in 1 Corinthians 15:5-8? The Talmud generally excluded the woman's testimony in a court of law; 182] and 1 Corinthians 15:5 is similar to a court scene where testimony is required.

182] The Talmud says, "A descendant of Noah may be put to death by the decision of one Judges , by the testimony of one witness, and although he was not warned previously. However, the testimony must be from a Prayer of Manasseh , and not from a woman; and the testimony holds good even if given by one of his relatives." (Tractate Sanhedrin: Chapter 7) See Michael L. Rodkinson, New Edition of the Babylonian Talmud, vol 7-8 (New York: New Talmud Publishing Company, 1902), 170; The Talmud says, "A heathen is executed on the ruling of one Judges , on the testimony of one witness, without a formal warning, on the evidence of a Prayer of Manasseh , but not of a woman, even if he [the witness] be a relation." (Tractate Sanhedrin: Folio 57b) See Isidore Epstein, ed, Contents of the Soncino Babylonian Talmud, trans. Jacob Shachter and H. Freedman (London: The Soncino Press) [on-line]; accessed 3July 2010; accessed from http://www.come-and-hear.com; Internet.

1 Corinthians 15:5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:

1 Corinthians 15:5 — "And that he was seen of Cephas" - Comments- 1 Corinthians 15:5 tells us that Jesus appeared to Peter, implying that Peter was alone at the time. We read in Luke 24:34 where the two on the road to Emmaus hurried back to Jerusalem, and after finding the eleven apostles, said, "The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon." This is the only other reference we have Jesus appeared to Peter before appearing to the twelve.

1 Corinthians 15:5 — "then of the twelve" - Comments- We are not to take the number "twelve" literally in 1 Corinthians 15:5, but it should be understood to represent the apostles of the Lamb. Although there were only eleven apostles during the forty days following Christ's resurrection who were eye witnesses of His appearances, the term "the twelve" became a familiar reference to the apostles. The Gospels tell us Jesus appeared to His eleven disciples on two occasions ( Luke 24:36-49, John 20:19-31). It is possible that Paul refers to this second visitation in 1 Corinthians 15:7, "that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles."

1 Corinthians 15:6 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.

1 Corinthians 15:6 — "After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present" - Comments- Jesus' appearance to five hundred brethren is possibly the event recorded in Matthew 28:10-16 where Jesus appeared to many in a mountain in Galilee.

Matthew 28:10, "Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me."

Matthew 28:16, "Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them."

1 Corinthians 15:6 — "but some are fallen asleep" - Comments- This appears to be a subtle challenge from Paul that there are still eye witnesses to Christ's resurrection alive at this time.

1 Corinthians 15:7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.

1 Corinthians 15:7 — "After that, he was seen of James" - Comments- In 1 Corinthians 15:7 Paul tells us that Jesus appeared to James , but he does not make a distinction between the two apostles that go by this name, or to James the brother of the Lord, who joined this band of disciples soon after the Resurrection ( Acts 1:17), and who became pastor the church in Jerusalem ( Acts 15:13). However, context leads us to believe that it must have been James , the Lord's brother since the other two apostles by that name were included in the phrase "then of all the apostles."

Acts 1:14, "These all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren."

Acts 15:13, "And after they had held their peace, James answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me:"

We do have a brief account of this divine visitation to James in the apocryphal Gospel of Hebrews.

"‘Now the Lord, when he had given the linen cloth unto the servant of the priest, went unto James and appeared to him (for James had sworn that he would not eat bread from that hour wherein he had drunk the Lord"s cup until he should see him risen again from among them that sleep)', and again after a little, ‘Bring ye, saith the Lord, a table and bread', and immediately it is added, ‘He took bread and blessed and brake and gave it unto James the Just and said unto him: My brother, eat thy bread, for the Son of Man is risen from among them that sleep'." 183]

183] Apocryphal New Testament being Apocryphal Gospels, Acts , Epistles, and Apocalypses, trans. Montague Rhodes James (Oxford: The Clarendon Press, c 1924, 1963), 3-4.

1 Corinthians 15:7 — "then of all the apostles" - Comments- The phrase, "then of all the apostles" in 1 Corinthians 15:7 possibly refers to the second appearance of Jesus as recorded in John 20:26-31.

1 Corinthians 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

1 Corinthians 15:8Comments- Paul actually saw Jesus on his Damascus Road experience ( Acts 9:3-6). It was not just a vague vision. Paul treats his vision of Jesus just as valid as these other testimonies of the resurrection.

1 Corinthians 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.

1 Corinthians 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 laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

1 Corinthians 15:10"and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain" - Comments- We have been saved by grace to do good works. Some people have received God"s grace in vain, because they never fulfilled the purpose of why they were created.

Ephesians 2:8-10, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

1 Corinthians 15:11 — The Same Gospel, the Same Faith - Paul concludes that the Gospel he has preached ( 1 Corinthians 15:1-2), being verified by the Scriptures ( 1 Corinthians 15:3-4), and by numerous eye-witness accounts ( 1 Corinthians 15:5-10), is the same Gospel, so that all have the same faith in Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

1 Corinthians 15:11Comments- In 1 Corinthians 15:11 Paul focuses on the message, and not the messenger.


Verses 1-58

Glorification (The Resurrection of the Saints) - In 1 Corinthians 15:1-58 Paul the apostle discusses the redemption, or glorification, of the Church at Christ's Second Coming. Our resurrection with a glorified body is the final stage in the sanctification of our mortal bodies. Because of the primary theme of this epistle being the sanctification of the believer, Paul explains the resurrection of the saints from the perspective of the office and ministry of the Holy Spirit rather than from the perspective of Jesus' return in clouds of glory. Thus, we learn that at Christ's Coming the Holy Spirit's role is to raise the saints from the dead and transform our mortal bodies into immortality. Thus, this chapter places emphasis upon the resurrection of the saints, which is the role of the Holy Spirit at the Second Coming. Also, in following a thematic scheme, or structure, of this epistle, we can note that the purpose of our sanctification discussed in the preceding chapters is to get us ready for the resurrection of the saints.

Outline- Note the proposed outline:

1. Testimonies of Christ's Resurrection — 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

2. The Necessity of Christ's Resurrection — 1 Corinthians 15:12-28

3. The Hope of the Believer's Resurrection — 1 Corinthians 15:29-34

4. The Image of Our Resurrected Body — 1 Corinthians 15:35-49

5. The Assurance of Our Resurrection — 1 Corinthians 15:50-58

The Occasion for the Discussion of the Resurrection of the Saints- Although this epistle addresses a number of issues brought by the delegates from Corinth, it is not clear whether this issue on the resurrection was a part of these questions or simply brought to Paul's notice by other circumstances not mentioned in the epistle.

The Doctrine of the Resurrection of the Saints- 1 Corinthians 15:1-58 gives us the longest discourse in the Scriptures on the doctrine of the resurrection of the saints. Other related verses on the resurrection of the saints can be found in the following passages are:

1. Romans 8:17-25

2. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

3. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-12

4. Revelation 20:1-15


Verses 12-28

The Necessity of Christ's Resurrection - In 1 Corinthians 15:12-28 Paul explains the necessity of the resurrection of Christ Jesus. His resurrection was necessary for the forgiveness of our sins ( 1 Corinthians 15:12-19) and for our future resurrection and redemption ( 1 Corinthians 15:20-28).

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. For the Forgiveness of Our Sins — 1 Corinthians 15:12-19

2. For Future Redemption (Order of the Resurrection) — 1 Corinthians 15:20-28

1 Corinthians 15:12-19 — The Necessity of Christ's Resurrection for the Forgiveness of Our Sins - 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 explains that the resurrection of Christ was necessary for the forgiveness of our sins. Thus, this passage of Scripture gives the negative consequences of what would happen if there were no resurrection:

1. Vs 13 - Christ has not risen.

2. Vs 14 - Our preaching and our faith is in vain.

3. Vs 15 - We are false witnesses.

4. Vs 16 - Christ has not risen. (a repeat of verse 13)

5. Vs 17 - We are yet in our sins and our faith is worthless.

6. Vs 18 - Those fallen asleep have perished.

7. Vs 19 - We, of all men, are most miserable.

1 Corinthians 15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?

1 Corinthians 15:12"Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead" - Comments- In 1 Corinthians 15:1; 1 Corinthians 15:11 Paul says that the Gospel has already been preached.

1 Corinthians 15:1, "Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;"

1 Corinthians 15:11, "Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed."

1 Corinthians 15:14"and your faith is also vain" - Comments- That Isaiah , your faith in Jesus Christ is worthless.

1 Corinthians 15:17"ye are yet in your sins" - Comments- If Christ has not been raised, then there has been no forgiveness of sins.

1 Corinthians 15:18Scripture References - Note other verses that refer to the sleep of the saints:

1 Corinthians 11:30, "For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep."

1 Corinthians 15:51, "Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,"

1 Thessalonians 4:14, "For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him."

1 Thessalonians 5:10, "Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him."

1 Corinthians 15:20-28 — The Necessity of Christ's Resurrection for Our Future Redemption: The Order of the Resurrection - In 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 Paul explains how the resurrection of Christ was necessary for the atonement of man's sins. In 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 Paul explains how the resurrection of Christ was necessary for man's future redemption. This passage of Scripture reveals the order of the resurrection:

a) Christ, the Firstfruits — ( 1 Corinthians 15:20-23 b)

b) The Church — 1 Corinthians 15:23 c

c) The Kingdom Established — 1 Corinthians 15:24-25

d) Death Destroyed — 1 Corinthians 15:26

e) Christ Restored to His Glory — 1 Corinthians 15:27-28

1 Corinthians 15:20"But now is Christ risen from the dead" - Comments- Paul begins a dramatic change by referring to what God has already done. He begins to build a case for the resurrection. We see this same strategy used in Romans 3:21, as Paul explains the Gospel.

Romans 3:21, "But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;"

1 Corinthians 15:20 — "and become the firstfruits of them that slept" - Comments- There are a number of different offerings that are given in the Scriptures: the tithe, the burnt offerings, grain offerings, peace offerings, sin offerings, guilt offerings, and first fruits offerings. God cannot tithe because the tithe is ten percent of the profit earned on something from man's labours, and God has entered into rest. He cannot offer the Levitical offerings because He is sinless. However, God can give a firstfruits offerings. He is the first giver of all things. He prepared an offering from the foundation of the world ( Revelation 13:8); therefore, the offering of His Son Jesus Christ for man's sins ( John 3:16) is a first fruit offering ( 1 Corinthians 15:20).

Revelation 13:8, "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."

John 3:16, "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Song of Solomon , that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

1 Corinthians 15:21"by man came also the resurrection of the dead" - Comments- The resurrection of the dead has already begun. Jesus is the first one to be raised from the dead. We are next.

1 Corinthians 15:28Scripture References- There are other Scriptures that refer to Jesus being subject to the Father:

John 14:28, "Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I."

1 Corinthians 3:23, "And ye are Christ"s; and Christ is God"s."

1 Corinthians 11:3, "But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God."


Verses 29-34

The Hope of the Believer's Resurrection - In 1 Corinthians 15:29-34 Paul explains how the hope of the believer's resurrection is the basis for some religious sacraments, for his daily sacrifices, and for the believer's sanctification.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. The Basis for some Religious Sacraments — 1 Corinthians 15:29

2. The Basis for Paul's Daily Sacrifice — 1 Corinthians 15:30-32

3. The Basis for Our Sanctification — 1 Corinthians 15:33-34

1 Corinthians 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?

1 Corinthians 15:29Comments- Paul's states in 1 Corinthians 15:29 that some people associated with the early Church were baptizing for the dead. The ablative case is used with the preposition υπέρ (for), so that this phrase can be translated, "Baptized in place of (or instead of) the dead ones." This most likely means that some early Christians were being baptized in proxy for their dead ancestors, which, in this context, would be an act that shows faith in a future resurrection. Perhaps some Christian groups were practicing this act in hopes of the salvation and redemption of loved ones. Thus, Paul uses it in his argument in support of a resurrection.

We do know that the modern-day Mormon Church practices the rite of baptizing for the dead. 184] Perhaps these members of the early Church were Jewish converts who already were placing much importance upon their ancestry before their conversion, and thus incorporated the act of baptizing for the dead into their religious practices.

184] James E. Talmage writes, "And, as baptism is essential to the salvation of the living, it is likewise indispensable to the redemption of the dead." See James E. Talmage, The Articles of Faith: A Series of Lectures on the Principle Doctrines of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Salt Lake City, Utah: The Deseret News, 1899), 152-153.

This is the only reference to this activity in the entire Holy Bible. The Scriptures say that a matter must be confirmed in the mouth of two or three witnesses. Since there is only one verse in the Scriptures to witness to this custom, it is not valid to make a doctrine or church ordinance out of it.

2 Corinthians 13:1, "This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."

In contrast, there are two references in Scripture to foot washing. Therefore, many Churches practice this as an ordinance, because there is valid evidence to consider this a church ordinance.

John 13:5, "After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciples" feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded."

1 Timothy 5:10, "Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints" feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work."

1 Corinthians 15:31"I die daily" - Comments- "I daily live in danger of death" (Thayer, BDAG). Perhaps, "I die to my desires each day and chose to do God's will."

1 Corinthians 15:32 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 to morrow we die.

1 Corinthians 15:32 — "If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus" - Comments- Scholars suggest one of two meanings in this statement from Paul. If Paul was using the phrase "beasts" literally, then there was an event that was not recorded in the book of Acts where Paul was thrown to the lions as a form of punishment and survived. However, this form of punishment was not given to Roman citizens. Therefore, some scholars suggest that Paul used this phrase in a figurative sense to say that he faced some of his most bitter opposition among the people of Ephesus when he stayed there approximately three years during his third missionary journey. It was in this city that Paul spent the most time and from which he had the most effective outreach of ministry during the history of his service as an apostle of Jesus Christ. We do see one other figurative use of this type of phrase in Psalm 35:17, "Lord, how long wilt thou look on? rescue my soul from their destructions, my darling from the lions." Josephus records the statement of Agrippa's servant running to tell him of the death of the Roman Emperor Tiberius, saying, "The lion is dead." (Antiquities 18610)

1 Corinthians 15:32 — "If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus" - Comments- The Corinthians well knew what befell men who were thrown to the wild beasts; for in their own city was built a Greek amphitheatre where gladiators fought to the death, and people were eaten by lions and other beasts. Thus, Paul uses an event within their own culture in order to drawn an analogy of his struggle as an apostle to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:32 — "what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die" - Comments- Clement of Alexandria says Paul is quoting from an ancient Greek poet when he writes, "what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die."

"Accordingly to the Corinthians (for this is not the only instance), while discoursing on the resurrection of the dead, he [Paul] makes use of a tragic Iambic line, when he said, "What advantageth it me if the dead are not raised? Let us eat and drink, for to-morrow we die. Be not deceived; evil communications corrupt good manners." (The Stromata 114)

Some scholars say Paul was referring to a motto of the Epicureans, "let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die," which would have been prevalent among the heathen in Corinth.

1 Corinthians 15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

1 Corinthians 15:33Scripture References- Note a similar verse:

Proverbs 22:24-25, "Make no friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt not go: Lest thou learn his ways, and get a snare to thy soul."


Verses 35-49

The Image of Our Resurrected Body - In 1 Corinthians 15:35-49 Paul explains the transformation of our bodies at the resurrection of the saints.

1 Corinthians 15:37"thou sowest not that body that shall be" - Comments- A farmer, in planting corn, does not plant the entire cornstalk. Instead, he plants just the kernels of corn.

1 Corinthians 15:41 — "another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory" - Comments- Scientists estimate that there are 225 billion galaxies in the universe. Each galaxy consists of 500 million stars. This means that there are 1025 stars in the universe, yet God knows them all by number and by name ( Psalm 147:4). The farthest stars detected by astronomers are 14billion light years away from earth, or 84billion trillion miles away. 185]

185] Carl Baugh, Creation in the 21st Century (Glen Rose, Texas: Creation Evidence Museum), on Trinity Broadcasting Network (Santa Ana, California), television program.

Psalm 147:4, "He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names."

Science is also learning with the modern telescope that each star is unique with its own beauty and design. This fact is also confirmed in Scripture. If God calls each star by a unique name ( Psalm 147:4), it means that God sees each star as a unique creation. Today, man is calling stars and galaxies by numbers. This is because fallen man lacks the capacity to see each star"s uniqueness and to create for it a name.

Also, 1 Corinthians 15:41 says that each heavenly body varies in its glory, or radiance. This also, confirms that each star is uniquely different.

1 Corinthians 15:45 — "the last Adam was made a quickening spirit" - Comments- The phrase "the last Adam" means that there will never been the need for an additional redemption for mankind. Christ's work on Calvary was total and complete for man's eternal redemption. Otherwise, Jesus would have been called the "second Adam," and others would have followed in order to complete our redemption. However, Jesus' death and resurrection completed our redemption. There will be no other types of Adam.


Verses 50-58

The Assurance of Our Resurrection - In 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 Paul offers the believers in Corinth the assurance of their resurrection.

1 Corinthians 15:52Word Study on "moment" - BDAG says the Greek word "moment" ( ατόμω) (G 823) means, "uncut, indivisible because of its smallness." Strong says this word is a compound of the negative particle " α," meaning "not," and the word τέμνω, which means "to cut." When used of time, it represents an extremely short unit of time that cannot be divided. The English word "atom" is derived from ατόμω.

1 Corinthians 15:52Comments- Scholars believe that 1 Corinthians 15:52 is a description of the Rapture of the Church, which immediately precedes the seven-year Tribulation period. Irvin Baxter makes the comment that this last trumpet is a reference to the seventh trumpet that sounds in the book of Revelation. 186] We read in Revelation 10:7, "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets." He suggests the "mystery of God" refers to the Church of Jesus Christ, that mystery that was hidden in ages past. The finishing of this mystery would be the church age, which ends at the time of the Rapture of the Church.

186] Irvin Baxter, Jeremiah , Understanding the End Time: Lesson 12 - The Seven Trumpets (Richmond, Indiana: Endtime, Inc, 1986) [on-line]; accessed 1October 2008; available from http://www.endtime.com/Audio.aspx; Internet.

Scripture Reference- Note a similar verse on the Rapture found in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 :

1 Thessalonians 4:16-17, "For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

1 Corinthians 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

1 Corinthians 15:53Comments- Andrew Wommack explains that one third of our salvation is already complete when we were born again in our spirit. He says, "Right now, your spirit is as saved, sanctified, holy, and empowered as it will be throughout all eternity. Someday you'll receive a new body and a new soul to match up with your new spirit." 187]

187] Andrew Wommack, Spirit, Soul & Body (Colorado Springs, Colorado: Andrew Wommack Ministries, Inc, 2005), 19.

1 Corinthians 15:54 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.

1 Corinthians 15:54 — "Death is swallowed up in victory" - Old Testament Quotes in the New Testament - This is a quote from Isaiah 25:8 :

Isaiah 25:8, "He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it."

1 Corinthians 15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

1 Corinthians 15:55Old Testament Quotes in the New Testament - This quote is taken from Hosea 13:14 :

Hosea 13:14, "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes."

Note other translations that show this quote more clearly:

Brenton, "I will deliver [them] out of the power of Hades, and will redeem them from death: where is thy penalty, O death? O Hades, where is thy sting? comfort is hidden from mine eyes."

NIV, "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction? I will have no compassion."

YLT, "From the hand of Sheol I do ransom them, From death I redeem them, Where is thy plague, O death? Where thy destruction, O Sheol? Repentance is hid from Mine eyes."

1 Corinthians 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

1 Corinthians 15:56Comments - Before Israel came under the Law at Mount Sinai, they were murmuring and complaining in sin, yet no one died. As soon as Moses came down from the mount with the tablets of the Law, God judged Israel through the sword of the Levites as they slew three thousand men ( Exodus 32:28). Israel continued to break the Law and God continued to judge them until Jerusalem was finally destroyed in 586 B.C. by the Babylonians. As long as Israel was under the Law, their sins were before God, and God was just in bringing judgment upon His children.

Exodus 32:28, "And the children of Levi did according to the word of Moses: and there fell of the people that day about three thousand men."

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:57Word Study on "thanks be to God" - The Greek construction ( χάριν ἔχω τῷ χριστῷ ἰησοῦ) or ( χάρις τῷ θεῷ) 188] or some variation of this phrase is found no less than thirteen times in the Greek New Testament ( Luke 17:9, Romans 6:17; Romans 7:25, 1 Corinthians 10:30; 1 Corinthians 15:57, 2 Corinthians 2:14; 2 Corinthians 8:16; 2 Corinthians 9:15, Colossians 3:16, 1 Timothy 1:12, 2 Timothy 1:3, Philemon 1:7 [t.r.], Hebrews 12:28). It is properly translated in a variety of ways; "I am grateful to God," or "I thank God," "Let's give thanks," or "with thanks to the Lord."

188] Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Carlo M. Martini, Bruce M. Metzger, M. Robinson, and Allen Wikgren, The Greek New Testament, Fourth Revised Edition (with Morphology) (Deutsche Bibelgesellschaft, 1993, 2006), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), 1 Corinthians 15:57.

1 Corinthians 15:57Comments- Notice that this great promise of victory is conditional, made possible only "through our Lord Jesus Christ." Many Christians do not walk in victory in certain areas of their lives. This is because they have not turned these areas of their lives over to the Lord and learned to trust Him. God's promises to us are always conditional to our walk of faith.

Frances J. Roberts writes, "My promises are of no avail to thee except as ye apply and appropriate them by faith. In thy daily walk, ye shall be victorious only to the degree that ye trust Me 1Can help thee only as ye ask. I shall meet you at every point where ye put action alongside they prayers. Only as ye walk shall the waters of adversity be parted before thee." 189]

189] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 14.

Scripture References - Note similar verses:

Romans 8:37, "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us."

1 Corinthians 15:57, "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

2 Corinthians 2:14, "Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place."

Frances Roberts goes on to write that we are not to look for the victory, but rather, we are to look for the Lord. When we find Him, we shall see the victory that He brings. Note:

"Ask for the victory. I will come and bring it. Don't look for the victory - look for Me, and ye shall see the victory that I shall bring with Me. After I have come, ye shall behold the miracles that I will do." 190]

190] Frances J. Roberts, Come Away My Beloved (Ojai, California: King's Farspan, Inc, 1973), 46.

1 Corinthians 15:56-57Scripture References - Note a similar verse:

Romans 7:24-25, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."

1 Corinthians 15:55-57Comments - Our Victory Over Death in Christ- Who or what can overcome death? It is not tears of loved ones, nor sorrow that conquers death. Only the power of the resurrected Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has ever conquered death. I remember the call that came to my home late one night on January 4, 2003. On the other end of the phone was a security guard that usually rides with me in the car. He had gone to our workplace to borrow a phone. He told me that his daughter had just did and that he needed my assistance. I Came to his home in a little while. It was not far from my house. He lived in a "squatter's village." His house was made out of mud brick and was about 8 feet by 10 feet. As I walked thru the dirty cloth that hung for a door and looked upon a bed, I saw the small body of a dead child wrapped in a blanket lying next to its mother. The child had not been dead more than two hours. I picked up the body and lay it close to the edge of the bed and sat down on a stool that the father offered me 1Calmly told them that I wanted to pray for this child, and that God might have mercy and restore her to life. I placed one hand upon the cold head and another upon the chest of this small, skinny body. The child was 2 ½ years old and had died of malaria, which was easily curable, but poorly treated because of poverty. She was skin and bones, since the medicine has caused the child not to eat. She had suffered with this disease for over a week. I sat there for about one hour and prayed out to God for this child to come back to life. The mother and dad humbly kneeled down on the dirt floor and prayed beside me. Some of the time, I Could have sworn that I felt that little heart beat, but it could have been the pulse in my hand as I pressed it upon the chest. I Checked her pulse and there was none. The body had become stiff and cold. But during the time of prayer, somehow inside I knew that this precious child was much better off now, and that she was with Jesus even as we prayed. For this child to come back meant a life of poverty and suffering.

Finally, I asked the father for a Bible. I read to them of the soon coming rapture and resurrection of the dead in Christ from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 in order to comfort them with these words. I explained that if they would live a Godly life, they would see their child again. He told me that he was a Christian. I read Matthew 19:14 where Jesus said about children, "for of such is the kingdom of heaven." I told them that all children go to heaven to be with Jesus if they die before an age of accountability. I then read the story of David when he fasted and prayed while the first child of Bathsheba died in 2Samuel 12. I told them how David said, "Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?" This was why we prayed together. Now, as David said, we can go to her, but she cannot come to us. Finally, I left the home, having experienced the power of death. No crying and prayed to God that night overcame physical death. But the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, knowing that He conquered death, hell and the grave, knowing His love for us and how we now have eternal life, became a source of strength equal to the power of death. For I knew that this child was in the loving arms of Jesus. I went back home that night to my wife and two little children and thanked God for their health and life, very much aware of how precious their lives were to me, and how much more to our Lord Jesus, who gave His life for them on Calvary.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:58"be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord" - Comments- A man cannot abound in the Lord's work or in any task in his life without first being steadfast and refusing to be moved. A man who bounces around one job to another will never abound in a job. He will never rise up to promotion. But a man who will labor with his hands will increase ( Proverbs 13:11). A church cannot grow without first having steadfast people who are willing to stay in the church and work hard. Abounding only comes after steadfastness and unmovableness are being practiced.

Proverbs 13:11, "Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase."

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/1-corinthians-15.html. 2013.

Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, December 11th, 2019
the Second Week of Advent
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