Christ's resurrection

Christ's resurrection

Two questions were asked when talking about Christ’s resurrection among the Corinthians.

(the first question)

The first question is: some church people say that there is no resurrection of the dead. (15:12) Is this true?

Paul’s answer to this question is first of all to restate the gospel he preached to the Corinthians. Christ died for our sins and was buried and rose again the third day. (15:3-4) He then named many witnesses who saw the resurrected Jesus one after the other: Cephas, the twelve, over 500 disciples, James his brother, all the apostles, and, last of all, Paul himself. (15:5-8)

Paul then made a series of unacceptable and unrealistic assumptions (15:13-19) to reject the false claim. If there is no resurrection of the dead, then:

  1. Christ was not risen
  2. Paul’s preaching is in vain
  3. The Corinthians believed Christ in vain
  4. The Corinthians are still in sin
  5. Paul has become false witness
  6. The dead believers will perish anyway
  7. The living believers are most miserable since we put our hope in resurrected Christ
  8. Those who baptized the dead did it in vain (15:29)
  9. Why would Paul face jeopardy every hour (15:30)
  10. We might just eat and drink and wait to die (15:32)

He immediately reassured the Corinthians by giving us the assurance that:

  1. The risen Christ becomes the first fruit of the dead believers
  2. All are made alive in Christ
  3. Those who belong to Christ will rise at his second coming
  4. In the end Christ will put down all power and authority and reign
  5. All things will be subdued under Him
  6. Christ will deliver the kingdom to the Father

He warned the Corinthians not to be deceived by false prophecies and not to sin. (15:33-34)

(the second question)  

The second question about Christ’s resurrection is: How are the dead raised up? With what body do they come? (15:35)

The answer to the question is: the risen body is unlike the dead body, just as the seed sown and died under the soil will later turn into grain or wheat. Our earthly body is—

  1. sown in corruption but raised in incorruption,
  2. sown in dishonor but raised in glory,
  3. sown in weakness but raised in power,
  4. sown a natural body but raised a spiritual body.

When will our body be raised? The answer is: at the last trumpet, “the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” (15:52) That is the moment when death will be destroyed.

Paul again warned the Corinthians to be steadfast and abound in the work of the Lord always. Their labor will be rewarded. (15:58)