First Corinthians 15
Key Verse: 15:12
Since you believe in Christ’s Resurrection, how can you not believe in the resurrection?
appears that an influential group of teachers are opposing Paul’s teaching
concerning the physical, or bodily, resurrection in
Paul’s response is in this chapter 15 in three parts:
i. Jesus Died
ii. Jesus was resurrected
i. Paul’s apostolic doctrine was common doctrine for all true believers
ii. Paul’s apostolic doctrine was what influenced their beginning
i. 15:12-19 – Christ was not raised so the Christian faith is a lie
ii. 15:20-28 – Christ was raised and so we will all be raised. Christ was the first fruits, or the beginning, of resurrection that will have it’s ultimate fulfillment in the destruction of death itself.
iii. 15:29-34 - If there is no resurrection for us then why do we live committed to things that do not matter.
The Corinthian problem began with their false identification of spiritual. They had received the Spirit, manifested spiritual gifts, considered themselves part of the angelic realm and no longer needed to be concerned with marriage, sexual responsibilities, the effects of sin, Paul’s “elementary” teaching nor with a physical body. The resurrection was unnecessary for their new spiritual state.
church thinking had to adjust to the death of the believer. Christ’s resurrection meant salvation but
some early believers did not necessarily connect Christ’s resurrection to their
own or other people’s resurrection from death.
Most of the Christians were still alive and waiting for Jesus. This issue is seen in Paul’s letter to the
Thessalonians that he wrote from
Paul’s theology is that with Christ’s resurrection, God set into motion the complete overthrow of death.
Paul does not try to prove the resurrection but restates it to the Corinthians.
15:1-2 - They have already believed
15:3-5 – An early Statement of Faith or Christian Creed
15:5-7 – A collection of commonly stated events that prove the above Statement of Faith
15:8 – Paul’s experience
15:9-10 – Paul’s apostleship
“I remind” or “I make known” picks up on the “ignorant” option of 14:38. The “spirituals” are “ignorant” because they have ignored Paul’s previous instruction.
“For What I received” is a technical term from Paul’s Jewish training and refers to transmission of religious instruction. It is also used in 1 Cor. 11:23.
“Christ died for our sins”
“According to Scripture”
“that he was buried”
“that he was raised on the third day according to scripture.”