Barnabas Network International | Online Resources for Churches

Home

  Study No. 8       The Resurrection

 

BIBLICAL FOCUS:     1 Corinthians 15:1-58  

 

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. (1 Cor 13:4-7 NLT)  

 

INTRODUCTION:   In this study, Paul deals with the one major theological problem that confronted the CorinthianChurch; a problem that was undermining their understanding of the Resurrection and, as always with deviant teaching, negatively effecting their conduct.  

 

1.   THE DIFFICULTY   To understand the difficulty, we must recall from some of our previous studies that Greek philosophy greatly effected the thinking of all Corinthians - Christian or not.  Many pagan philosophies regarded the spiritual or immaterial part of creation as good but the material part (including the body) as evil.  This concept is called 'dualism'.  The difficulty arose in Corinth because of the attempt to "marry" Christian theology - which was divinely given - and pagan philosophy which was of human creation.  The result of that marriage..."there is no resurrection of the dead" v. 12.  

 

In our 21st century we are continually under pressure to revamp our Christian teachings in order to make them more acceptable to intelligent, modern man.  Let's look at 1:17-25 for a comment on that...also 2:1-5 and 10-16.   Especially did the Greeks have a problem with the concept of a bodily resurrection (see Acts 17:29-32).  

 

2.   THE DOCTRINE  

 

a)  Resurrection in the Past  (vs. 1-11)   Jesus' resurrection is an historical fact conclusively proven and basic to any hope we may have of resurrection.  The historical evidence is very weighty and is usually denied not because it isn't compelling but because of the moral implications and demands involved.  

b)  Resurrection in the Present  (vs. 12-19)   Christ's resurrection is vitally connected with our own spiritual standing - see vs. 14, 17, 18 and also Romans 4:25. You can see the enormous implications for our own state before God if we deny Christ's resurrection.  

c)   Resurrection in the Future   (vs. 20-57)   Here is the guarantee of our own resurrection in the last day (vs. 20-22)  Compare this with John 5:28,29.  In dealing with the resurrection of all, Paul seeks to answer some anticipated questions:-  

1.   How are the dead raised? (vs. 36-41)   Paul illustrates this from three realms - vegetable, animal and celestial.   Each has a body according to the power of God and the purpose of God.   See also 1 Cor. 6:14 and Romans 8:11.  

2.   With what kind of Body are the dead raised(vs. 42-50)  Imperishable (not subject to decay); Glorious (no defiling presence of sin);  Power (no longer limitations and handicaps); Spiritual (perfectly adapted for new sphere of operation).  

3.  What of those alive at Second Coming(vs. 51-57)  The dead are raised imperishable; the living are transformed immediately.  Either way we shall all be changed.  

 

3.  THE DECISION  

1. You believe in Christ's Resurrection; don't invalidate that by denying what Jesus taught about the resurrection of all the dead. God's revelation is more important than man's theorising.  

2.  A right belief directly effects the kind of life you lead (vs. 32-34).  

3.  On the basis of this teaching, get on with the Lord's work with strong confidence and great hope for the future of all things. (v. 58)    

 

THINK TANK  

 

1.   Under point 2a, we spoke about the moral implications and demands if one accepts the fact of Jesus' resurrection. What are these?  

2.  Identify from vs. 12-19, six consequences that follow if Jesus has not been raised from the dead.  

3.  Verse 29 has always been thorny. Have you thought about its meaning?  Does this make valid the idea practiced by the Mormons of being baptised for the dead?  

 

CONCLUSION   The Corinthian believers were alive and vital....but immature and self-centred. Is there any one impression or lesson or observation you would like to make about these studies? What, for you, is the key lesson from this early Church?      

Download free ministry resources.
give us your feedback.