“Resurrection, Pt. 2” – 1 Corinthians 15:20-34 – Message Notes Only – Watch & listen at the Chapel’s Facebook page.
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In part I, The Proofs of the Resurrection, the Apostle clearly laid out five main areas of proof that resurrection is real:
1. The Church in Corinth. (Vs. 1-2)
2. Prophecy fulfilled. (Vs. 3-4)
3. Witnesses (Vs. 5-7)
4. Paul's personal witness. (Vs. 8-10)
5. Rhetorical argument and oratory. (Vs. 11-19)
The Gospel is encapsulated simply:
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures...
(1 Cor. 15:3-4)
If one does not believe these truths;
"Christ died for our sins...He was buried...He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures."
He is not saved, at worst; at best he is severely confused.
The Apostle had to address this issue in Corinth, and we must address it today in the Church.
The resurrection of Christ validates His sacrificial atonement on the cross, and our salvation and resurrection at the end of the age.
The Priority of the Resurrection
"...Christ is risen from the dead..."
* A statement of absolute truth.
* Corroborated by the Apostle Peter also.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
(1 Pet. 1:3)
We have a living hope because we have a living Savior.
"...and has become the first fruits..."
* The Lord Jesus was sacrificed as our Passover Lamb during the Passover Feast. (Ex. 12:1-14)
* He rose from the grave during the Festival of "First Fruits." (Ex. 23:16, 19)
"First Fruits" were gathered at the beginning of the harvest once the harvest had begun, the rest of the harvest was then assured.
Christ was the "First Fruits," guaranteeing our "harvest," the resurrection of "those who have fallen asleep" in Christ.
"...since by man came death..."
* "Man" - Adam, the first man. (Gen. 1:27)
* "Came death":
And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." (Gen. 2:16-17)
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings.
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned--
* He physically died at 930 years of age. (Gen. 5:5)
"...by man also came the resurrection of the dead."
* "Man" - Jesus, the God man.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Jesus said to her, "I Am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
"For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive."
* A better translation: For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. (1 Cor. 15:22, NIV)
The first "Adam" was made from the earth, but the last Adam, Christ, came from heaven.
The first Adam disobeyed God and brought sin and death into the world.
The last Adam obeyed His Father and brought righteousness and life!
"...each one in his own order..."
* "Order" - A military term denoting rank.
"...Christ, the First Fruits..."
* Christ resurrected first.
"...those who are Christ's..."
* Believers second.
"...at His coming..."
Matthew 24:3-9, 21-22, 29-32
1 Thessalonians 4:14-17
Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed--in 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.
(1 Cor. 15:51-52)
"Then comes the end..."
* The end of the age, "The Church Age." The period of time from Christ's ascension to the Father (Mk. 16:19) until His return for "the harvest." (Matt. 13:36-43)
"...when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father..."
* The kingdom (dominion) was forfeited when we sinned in the garden. (Gen. 1:26-31, 3:17-19, 22-24)
You have made Him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under His feet...
* Satan was given authority over the earth, and Christ didn't dispute it. (Matt. 4:8-9, Lk. 4:5-8)
* But the day will come when Christ reclaims His kingdom, and destroys "the prince of the power of the air." (Eph. 2:2)
The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.
Returning "the kingdom to God" after He ends "all rule and all authority" of Satan.
As it was written by Daniel the prophet:
"Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven."
"For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet."
* A prophetic reference from King David of Christ:
The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool."
* Referenced by Christ to show His deity. (Matt. 22:44)
Christ reigns from His seat at the Fathers "right hand" (Mk. 16:19) until the resurrection of the righteous, then He will reign physically from Jerusalem in the kingdom that will never end. (Zech. 14)
...that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
"...all enemies under His feet."
* An ancient image for fully conquering and subjugating one's enemies.
"The last enemy that will be destroyed is death."
* "The last enemy" - From Christ's enemies (Vs. 25) who is our enemy also, and Satan's most powerful tool.
* Death will end with the resurrection of the righteous. (1 Cor. 15:54-55)
"For He has put all things under His feet..."
* "He" - God the Father.
* "His" - Christ the Son.
"...it is evident that He (the Father) who put all things under Him (the Son) is excepted."
* Authority is established;
God the Father
God the Son
God the Spirit
"Now 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."
* God has established this "chain of command" to His glory and purpose.
But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.
(1 Cor. 11:3)
"...that God be all in all..."
* When Jewish thinkers spoke of God being "all" they meant that He ruled everything; "all in all" was a rhetorical emphatic way of speech.
"Otherwise, 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? "
* This is, again, one of the most difficult verses to translate and understand in all of Scripture.
The Greek language used here can be contradictory, leading to different meanings.
Most importantly, we need knowledge of what "baptism" was and is, and its primary meaning.
In the early church, "baptism" was a ritual that signified a person leaving one belief system, and making allegiance to another, i.e.; Jewish proselyte immersion, or from Judaism into Christianity. (Acts 2:38, 41)
It was understood that a new convert would be baptized immediately after conversion. So, to be baptized was synonymous with conversion.
It was not "proxy baptism" as the Mormon's practice, where a "believer" is baptized on behalf of a dead relative with the hope of saving the deceased soul.
Salvation and the choice to be baptized thereby proclaiming salvation is a personal choice made in obedience to Christ.
He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.
...that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Each person must decide for themselves. This is why "infant baptism" has no effect on an individual’s salvation.
And furthermore, "baptism" is not a requirement for salvation. Salvation is by grace alone. (Eph. 2:8-9)
Here are some reasonable translations of "baptized for the dead":
1. A Christian was “baptized” for a new convert who died prior to baptism.
2. Christians were "baptizing" new converts to fill the ranks of Christians who had died.
3. Christians were "baptized" because of the lives and testimony of dead martyrs.
And this is my personal understanding of this Scripture:
People were "baptized" because they believed in the resurrection of the dead and wanted to be able to participate in eternal life with Christians who have already died (usually loved ones).
They had come to understand their own mortality, and the sentence of death upon them from their own sin. (Rom. 8:10)
"...I die daily..."
* Better translated: "I face death every day." (NIV)
* Paul also understood the death of the "old man" also.
"...beasts at Ephesus..."
* Paul was in Ephesus when he wrote these epistles to the Corinthians.
* Ephesus and Corinth had gladiator games as did Rome. Christians were often martyred there.
* Paul is speaking figuratively. Roman citizens could not be executed in this manner according to Roman law.
"...if the dead do not rise, "let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."
* Paul quotes Isaiah. (Isa. 22:13)
* The meaning is: if there's no afterlife, why forfeit the pleasures of today?
"Evil company corrupts good habits."
* Or, "Bad company corrupts good morals." (LRV)
* We are influenced by those we keep company with.
"Birds of a feather, flock together."
* Paul is quoting the Greek poet Menander, a common saying in Macedonia.
The believer’s body is the "Temple of the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor. 3:16-17) and must be kept separate from the sins of the world.
2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1
"...awake to righteousness and do not sin..."
* Some Corinthian believers were fellowshipping with unbelievers and were falling back into their previous sinful lifestyle.
"...I say this to your shame."
* Paul had taught them better than this. It was shameful behavior.
It was time for the Corinthians to "wake up" and "clean up."
High time for us also!
We have been given the promise of eternal life in a brand new resurrection body.
In light of this, how should we live?
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