By Rev. Ron Purkey
Read: 1 Corinthians 15:1-34
“Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures.” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4)
First, the historical proof of our resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:1-11). The resurrection of Christ is an historic fact proved by the message of the Gospel, the testimony of witnesses and the conversion of the Apostle Paul himself. If there were no resurrection, there would be no salvation, for a dead savior can save nobody.
“Now,” argues Paul, “I know that you Corinthians believe in the resurrection of Christ, otherwise your faith is empty. Christ was a man, and now he has a resurrection body. If he has a glorified body in heaven, why should we believers not have one also?” This is another aspect of the believer’s union with Christ: because he has been glorified, we shall also be glorified one day.
Second, the personal proof of our resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:12-19). Paul points to the Corinthians’ own personal experience. He had preached the Gospel to them, they had believed and their lives had been transformed (1 Corinthians 6:9-11). But if the dead rise not, then Christ is dead and that Gospel was a lie. Their faith was vain and they were still in their sins. But Christ was resurrected, and you, too, will be resurrected if you have your faith in Jesus Christ.
Third, the doctrinal proof of our resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20-28). Here Paul deals with the Bible doctrine of “the two Adams.” It was through the first Adam’s sin death came into the world; but through the last Adam (Christ), death has been conquered. Christ is the “first fruits;” that is, he is the first of a great harvest that is yet to come. Christ is God’s “last Adam,” and he will reverse the wrong the first Adam brought into this world. When Christ comes again, the dead in Christ will be raised (1 Corinthians 15:23 and 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Jesus will finally put all things under his feet, including death. In other words, to deny the resurrection of the dead is to deny the future kingdom of Christ. If believers are “dead and gone,” then God’s promise for the future is null and void.
Fourth, the practical proof of our resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:29-34). Paul mentions several practices in daily life that prove the resurrection of the body. The church at Corinth was still practicing baptism, and baptism is a symbol of death, burial, and resurrection. The ordinance has no meaning if there is no resurrection of the dead. In 1 Corinthians 15:30-32 Paul warns, “If there is no resurrection, then we ought to eat, drink, and be merry! Enjoy life while we can!”
It’s easy to see these points make sense. “Shame on you!” Paul concludes in 1 Corinthians 15:34. “You ought to have this knowledge.”
There is a home in heaven for all Christians.
Read Ron Purkey’s Bible study outlines at www.rtcol.com/purkey free on the website. Purkey has been an ordained Baptist minister for 50 years.