(i) The Resurrection of Christ (15:1-11)

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Read verses 1-11 again:

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.

In this section we find the BASIC GOSPEL MESSAGE FOR THE UNSAVED.

This is the main content of the gospel Paul passed on to the Corinthians and is the wisdom of God. He hopes they have not believed in vain which would be the case if they deny bodily resurrection.

There are four main parts to the gospel message:

Part One: Verse 3 - Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures.

Part Two: Verse 4a - He was buried.

Part Three: Verses 4b - He was raised on the third day.

Part Four : Verse 5 on - People's lives were changed as they saw His resurrected form.

Why does Paul include this section on the resurrection of Christ if the primary problem he's addressing is that of their belief that they will not be resurrected in their bodies when they die ? The answer to this is probably that Paul is emphasizing that Christ Himself was BODILY RESURRECTED - if this is so then we also will be BODILY RESURRECTED. Christ is the pattern son - we are to be like Him in all things but His deity.

Notice that Paul includes himself as having seen Jesus in His resurrected body (on the road to Damascus) - this is probably because he is defending his position of Apostle that some were questioning. He bends over backwards to show it's only by the grace of God and he's not boasting in this, otherwise he would be guilty of what the Corinthians were doing (boasting in their 'special position' as Christians).

Now we follow Paul's argument into the main issue (ii) The Resurrection of the dead.


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