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This lesson is the only one where we consider something that is sequentially out of order in First Corinthians. It is convenient to do this because the theological problem is the same as that which caused the problem in 6:12-20.... the Gnostic view of the body.

Remember that this view states that the body is inherently evil and it doesn't matter what you do with it in this present age as it will pass away.

Notice that Chapter 15 is very different to all the other ones because it is totally THEOLOGICAL and not BEHAVIOURAL, although their wrong theology produced behaviour that was not right.

Read the chapter first before we look more fully at the problem....

1 Cor 15:1-58

1Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand,

2by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you-- unless you believed in vain.

3For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,

4and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,

5and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.

6After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep.

7After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles.

8Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.

9For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

11Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.

12Now 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?

13But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.

14And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.

15Yes, 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.

16For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen.

17And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!

18Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.

19If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

20But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

21For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.

22For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.

23But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at His coming.

24Then 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.

25For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.

26The last enemy that will be destroyed is death.

27For "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.

28Now 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.

29Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead?

30And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour?

31I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

32If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!"

33Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits."

34Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.

35But someone will say, "How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?"

36Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies.

37And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain-- perhaps wheat or some other grain.

38But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.

39All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fish, and another of birds.

40There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.

41There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.

42So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.

43It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.

44It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

45And so it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

46However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.

47The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.

48As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly.

49And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.

50Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.

51Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed--

52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

54So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."

55"O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?"

56The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.

57But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

(NKJ)

(a) The Problem:

We can be certain as to what the problem was that Paul was responding to because it is clearly inferred in verse 12 - some were saying there is no resurrection of the dead.

12Now 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?

But what does the 'resurrection' refer to ?

Which of the following two statements is true ? - Click on the letter of the statement you believe to be true.

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(A) The problem about the resurrection of the dead in Corinth has to do with some believers denying the bodily resurrection of Christ.

(B) The problem is that some Corinthians are denying the future resurrection of believers.

(C) They Corinthian believers are denying the present miraculous raising of the dead saying that it was only possible for Christ to do whilst on earth.

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Paul shows the stupidity of the Corinthians saying that they will not be bodily resurrected by giving three statements that start off with something like... "If the dead are not raised then..." (try to work out the answer youself by reading the verse first before clicking on the question marks to reveal a possible answer).

Verse 16: If the dead are not raised then ????????????????

Verse 29: If the dead are not raised then ????????????????

Verse 32: If the dead are not raised then ????????????????

(b) Reasons for the Problem:

The Corinthians probably denied their future resurrection due to their GNOSTIC view of the body and also their overemphasis on the ALREADY. They thought they were spiritually perfect and that there was no need for a bodily resurrection as the body is a hindrance.

Their wrong view about the resurrection was that only the spirit would be resurrected when they died and their bodies would decay and be left behind. This view was shaped by the prevailing Greek view existing at that time. Don't be affected by secular viewpoints on what happens to you after death ! (e.g.. reincarnation is not scriptural).

(c) Paul's answer to the Problem:

Paul's major concern in this chapter is to argue that there is indeed a bodily resurrection of Christians.

There are three major divisions to this chapter that we will look at individually...

(i) The Resurrection of Christ (verses 1-11)

(ii) The Resurrection of the dead (verses 12-34)

(iii)The Resurrection Body (verses 35-38)

Let us start by going to (i) The Resurrection of Christ (1-11).


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