1 Corinthians 15:12-17 Easy-to-Read Version
We Will Be Raised From Death
12 We tell everyone that Christ was raised from death. So why do some of you say that people will not be raised from death? 13 If no one will ever be raised from death, then Christ has never been raised. 14 And if Christ has never been raised, then the message we tell is worth nothing. And your faith is worth nothing. 15 And we will also be guilty of lying about God, because we have told people about him, saying that he raised Christ from death. And if no one is raised from death, then God never raised Christ from death. 16 If those who have died are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised from death, then your faith is for nothing; you are still guilty of your sins.
The Word of God for the Children of God.
Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.
Doubters Going to Doubt, Haters – Hate
We are at the closing words of Paul’s First Letter to the followers at Corinth.
Despite the Corinthian Christians being saved by grace through faith in Christ, Paul had some severe concerns about their ungodly conduct, their spiritual immaturity, their argumentative behavior, and their abuse of spiritual gifts.
When any church fellowship allows carnality to enter its gates and permits the philosophy of the world to infiltrate its ranks, it is not the least surprising that doubts, false doctrines begin to proliferate and false teachers enter the flock of God – knowingly, unknowingly muddying the crystal-clear message from God.
Sadly, this is what happened at the Church at Corinth to such a great extent… that the central, foundational facts of their faith in Christ’s death, burial, and Resurrection became so distorted the saints had started to deny the likelihood of Christ’s actual resurrection and of their very own resurrection from the dead.
Although they did acknowledge that there was some form of life after death … they had started to suggest that there would be no bodily resurrection from the grave – they didn’t believe in the physical resurrection of the body through God.
These early 1st Century Christians, with their limited understanding, bought into the mistaken belief that there is no physical resurrection from the dead.
Though some may have yet believed in some type of spiritual afterlife – Paul found it necessary to cover this complex, growing misunderstanding, in great detail in 1st Corinthians 15 – which is often called the Resurrection Chapter.
In this closing part of his letter, step by step, Paul was guiding these confused Christians through the gospel message of grace – that Christ died for our sins according to the Words of available Scripture, and that he was buried, and was raised from the dead, according to the Scripture.
He made the substantial effort to remind them that following his death, Jesus appeared to James and the other apostles and that He ate and drank with them.
He further reminded them through the availability of many yet living witnesses who saw Him with their own eyes and touched Him with their very own hands.
These early believers in Corinth needed be bottle and spoon fed “spiritual milk” before given their forks “stab, dig into,” with gusto, to feast and feed on, fully ingest the “best spiritual meat and potatoes” of the most fulfilling, nourishing central tenets of their faith to understand that Christ was their very pattern –
and that all who believe on His name must follow in His footsteps… for He is the firstborn from the dead – the first of many who will be raised into life immortal.
To mature in their faith, know their old sin nature was put to death with Christ on the Cross, and they received a new nature, a new life being the life of Christ.
And just as they are identified with their new life, this new life hidden in Christ, with Christ’s resurrection, so they are identified with His bodily Resurrection.
Why We Can Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus Christ
1 Corinthians 15:1-8 Easy-to-Read Version
The Good News About Jesus Christ
15 Now, brothers and sisters, I want you to remember the Good News I told you. You received that Good News message, and you continue to base your life on it. 2 That Good News, the message you heard from me, is God’s way to save you. But you must continue believing it. If you don’t, you believed for nothing.
3 I gave you the message that I received. I told you the most important truths: that Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say; 4 that he was buried and was raised to life on the third day, as the Scriptures say; 5 and that he appeared to Peter and then to the twelve apostles. 6 After that Christ appeared to more than 500 other believers at the same time. Most of them are still living today, but some have died. 7 Then he appeared to James and later to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, he appeared to me. I was different, like a baby born before the normal time.
With these words, Apostle Paul pointed out believing on Christ’s Resurrection is foundational to the Corinthian follower’s faith – because He lives, we will also live, in newness of life – in newness of the abundant life only available in Christ.
Translating This Into Our 21st Century Context
Scripture teaches that we will one day receive a body like unto His glorious body… uncorrupted by sin – an immortal body of flesh and bone that will never die – for His life-blood was shed at Calvary so that we might receive His resurrected life in an incorruptible body, through the power of the Spirit.
Like Jesus, we are to be raised spirit, soul, and BODY.
If Christ had not been raised from the dead, then everything about the glorious gospel of grace, and our faith in the Lord Jesus would be false and worthless!!
“If Christ has not been raised, then your faith is worthless,” Paul wrote, “and you are still in your sins!” 1 Corinthians 15:17
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, the emptiness of the Tomb, the immovable stone rolled away are the exact cornerstone of our Christian faith.
If Christ did not rise from the dead, your faith is in vain. But you can be assured that the good news is true. Jesus Christ “was buried [and] he was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures” (1 Corinthians 15:4).
Throughout the ages, countless skeptics have tried to disprove the Resurrection experience, but after two thousand some odd years, it stands to the test of time.
Scriptural Proofs of the Resurrection
2 Timothy 3:14-17 Easy-to-Read Version
14 But you should continue following the teaching you learned. You know it is true, because you know you can trust those who taught you. 15 You have known the Holy Scriptures[a] since you were a child. These Scriptures are able to make you wise. And that wisdom leads to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by God. And all Scripture is useful for teaching and for showing people what is wrong in their lives. It is useful for correcting faults and teaching the right way to live. 17 Using the Scriptures, those who serve God will be prepared and will have everything they need to do every good work.
Here are at least six proofs that reveal Savior Jesus actually rose from the dead:
First Proof— The Resurrection was foretold by Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests, and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life. —Matthew 16:21
Second Proof— The Resurrection is the only reasonable explanation for His empty tomb.
Joseph brought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. —Mark 15:46
Third Proof— The Resurrection is the only reasonable explanation for the appearance of Jesus Christ to his disciples.
He was buried…raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and…appeared to Peter and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to…me also, as to one abnormally born. —1 Corinthians 15:4-8
Fourth Proof— The Resurrection is the only reasonable explanation for the beginning of the Christian Church.
The Coming of the Holy Spirit
2 When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. 2 Suddenly a noise came from heaven. It sounded like a strong wind blowing. This noise filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 They saw something that looked like flames of fire. The flames were separated and stood over each person there. 4 They were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began to speak different languages. The Holy Spirit was giving them the power to do this. – Acts 2:1-4
This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him. —Acts 2:23-24
Fifth Proof— The Resurrection is the only reasonable explanation for the transformation of the disciples.
The disciples went into hiding in an upper room “for fear of the Jews” (John 20:19).
After seeing and talking with Jesus for approximately six weeks, they went out to “turn the world upside down” (see Acts 17:6), and fearlessly proclaiming Jesus Christ (also see Acts 3:12-26; 4:1-33; 8:4; 17:6).
Sixth Proof— The Damascus Road Experience: The witness of the apostle Paul and the transformation of his life, can be reasonably explained only because of the resurrection of Christ. Acts 9:1-22
“Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ” (Acts 9:22).
There are undoubtedly more “proofs” other far more educated people can bring to the forefront of a public debate, discussion on this critically important topic.
I am a laity person – I have no seminary nor any theological school background.
It is my prayerful intent and hope that by anyone reading this devotional, that a whole host of significant discussions will be forthcoming and undertaken in all manner of places and times amongst Christians everywhere this writing is read.
Quality time and effort is expended in diligent study of the Word of God for His Children, not just study but significant times spent fellowshipping and prayer.
There is a great many “1st Century Corinthian followers” among us even today.
There are many on the streets who will not hesitate to “in your face” directly confront our faith and our knowledge of the central tenets of the resurrection.
It absolutely matters to the Kingdom of God that we can make our sure defense.
Someone’s eternal soul hangs by the very barest and least visible of threads.
How prepared are any one us reading this devotional to walk up to any stranger
Ask the single most important question anyone, every one needs to hear:
IS IT WELL WITH YOUR SOUL TODAY?
Let us pray that soon and very soon we can all come together to console each other, to reconcile ourselves with God, study the truth of God’s Word and read and plumb the deepest depths of this amazing 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians, and let us discover and let us extract and let us each share the truest wonders of the bodily resurrection that is now ours in Christ.
All who have been saved by grace through faith in Him, have been promised their earthly, perishable body will be raised a heavenly, imperishable body.. and our mortal flesh will be changed into immortality in the twinkling of an eye.
How wonderful would it be for the Kingdom of God to know we can sing with all the saints: “Where exactly O death is your victory and Where O grave is your sting?”
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
Heavenly Father, thank You for the amazing 15th chapter of Corinthians which goes into such specific detail about Christ’s victory over sin and death – on our account. I praise and thank You that because of His great sacrifice on the Cross and glorious, bodily Resurrection, we too are raised into newness of life in Christ – not only in this world but also into the eternal ages to come, where we will be clothed in our eternal, resurrected bodies – for when we see Him as He is we shall be like Him, for which I cannot, will not cease to praise Your holy name. Thank You, in Jesus’ name, AMEN.
Adeste Fideles! Laeti Triumphantes! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.