For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. — 1 Corinthians 15:21-22
Utter devastation was all I saw as I drove across the mountain pass — mile after mile of blackened, burned-out hillside. Former homes, outbuildings, and automobiles had become charred hulks. The forest fire, the result of one camper’s carelessness, had blazed fast and hot as it swept across the area, leaving devastation in its wake. It was almost hard to believe one negligent action could cause so much damage.
What a different scene met my eyes when I drove through the same area a few years later. Homes had been rebuilt. Workable automobiles were parked in the driveways. Livestock roamed the hills. The area had been reforested with small trees, and shrubbery was starting to grow back. Though there were burn scars left, life had begun anew.
Since the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden, utter devastation has ruled in the unregenerated lives of men and women. During my lifetime, I have seen lives ruined by the effects of sin. Drugs and alcohol have reduced many to mere shells of what they had been. Their disfigured bodies bear the scars of their sins; their minds have suffered a similar impact. Some have lost all self-esteem because of the immoral lifestyles and sinful choices they have made.
What a joy it is to share the Gospel and the hope of new life in Christ with those who do not know Him. Restoration is possible! Even though they are dead in trespasses and sin, they can be made alive through Jesus Christ. What a joy it is to see them pray and ask Jesus into their hearts, and become new creatures in Christ Jesus. Yes, there may be scars from their sins, but life has begun anew, and there is a hope of Heaven in their hearts.
Paul encouraged the Corinthians to “awake to righteousness and sin not.” We, too, can be encouraged and thankful that Christ died for our sins, and we can rejoice in the fact that we have new life through Him. Take time right now to praise the Lord for His wonderful salvation!
Corinth was a Greek city, and in general, the Greeks believed in immortality of the soul but not physical resurrection of the body. When Paul preached at Athens and declared the Resurrection of Christ, many laughed and mocked him (Acts 17). Most Greek philosophers considered the human body a prison for the soul, and they welcomed death as deliverance from bondage, thinking the soul alone would enter an eternal state. Christianity, in contrast, teaches that the body and soul will be united after resurrection. Because the church at Corinth was in the heart of Greek culture, Paul addressed this point of confusion and disbelief among members of the church at Corinth.
Belief in Christ’s Resurrection from the dead is vital to the Christian faith because it is absolute proof that He is God. Because He arose, as believers we have the assurance that our sins are forgiven, that Christ represents us before the Throne of God, and that some day we, too, will be resurrected.
Paul lovingly but fervently emphasized to the Corinthian church the importance of their belief in the Resurrection, giving detailed examples of what resurrected bodies will be like. He explained that Christians who are resurrected will be recognizable, each having their distinct personality and individuality. However, unlike physical bodies on earth, resurrected bodies will be perfected through Christ’s work. He likened the difference to seeds planted in a garden. Plants look very different than the small seeds from which they grow — God gives them new “bodies.”
(Hannah’s Bible Outlines - Used by permission per WORDsearch)
III. Answers to inquiries
D. Concerning the doctrine of resurrection (15:1-58)
1. The necessity of the resurrection (15:1-34)
a. The confirmation of Christ’s Resurrection (15:1-11)
b. His Resurrection is the foundation of the faith (15:12-19)
c. His Resurrection is the pledge of ours (15:20-28)
d. His Resurrection is a motive for service (15:29-34)
2. The method of the resurrection (15:35-57)
a. The illustration from nature (15:35-41)
b. The interpretation of the illustration (15:42-49)
c. The instructions to the living (not all will die) (15:50-57)
3. The conclusion (15:58)
The death and Resurrection of Christ and salvation through faith in Christ alone are basic tenants of the Christian faith. Ask yourself: How well can I defend these principles? What texts would I use to defend them? Take some time today to study and commit to memory important texts relating to the death and Resurrection of Christ, and salvation through faith in Christ.