Read This Week: 1 Corinthians 15

For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. – 1 Corinthians 15:53-57 NIV

We were reminded once again last week of the brevity of life with the passing of NBA legend, Kobe Bryant, and his 13-year-old daughter. They, along with 7 other passengers, died tragically in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. What didn’t make the news were the countless others around the world who said goodbye to family members, friends, loved ones, and co-workers. But, no matter the circumstances, death is a reality for us all – the rich and poor, the free and oppressed, the famous and obscure.

It is always fascinating to see how different societies process and handle death and how people go about dealing with and answering the question of the afterlife. Corinth was a Greek city and greatly influenced by the philosophical assertions of the Stoics. Their ideology denied life beyond the grave and openly mocked the notion of Jesus’ resurrection. This fatalistic attitude had also made its way into the church, and Paul was determined to address it.

In chapter 15, he recounts for us the resurrection of Jesus and gives personal testimony to seeing the risen Christ. His powerful teaching on the resurrection presents us with the central message of the gospel. It is the greatest affirmation of the Christian faith that Jesus was indeed raised from the dead. This truth is the believer’s power for salvation (Romans 10:9) and assurance of eternity in the presence of God.

Without the resurrection, the message of Christ does not have ultimate validity (v.14). If Christ was not raised, our faith is without the forgiveness of sins and ultimate freedom (v.17). Had Jesus died permanently on the cross, he would not be able to deliver us from the power of sin and death. But, because of the resurrection, the sacrifice of Christ has an eternal meaning (v.19) and gives us hope beyond the grave (v.18, 54-55).

When we consider the finality of death and experience grief in the wake of losing those we love and care about, we can have peace. We can weep not as those who have no hope as Paul also wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4. We don’t have to fear the inevitability of death. We can remain committed in our service to God. We can be unshakeable through our hard times. We can still be passionate about helping others and love them with reckless abandonment. We can do all of this because of the victory of the resurrection and the hope it gives us now and forever.

8 Comments

  1. Jeri Centers on February 5, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    I heard from the Lord this week at Wednesday’s Ladies’ Bible Study. It comes from 1 Corinthians 15 verse 58. God is saying to me that once you receive the salvation of the Lord Jesus, walk in the way of that salvation. Do not turn back into sin. Stand in Him.

    What that means to me is to not be moved by false doctrine. Then determine to work for the Lord every moment, until He comes.

    • Jason on February 6, 2020 at 11:09 am

      I appreciate this word, Jeri. There is a progression in your thought that is so important and necessary. You began with salvation and then moved to sanctification and the ability to withstand sin while knowing the difference between truth and false doctrine. Then you laid out obedience to serve the Lord until He comes back. That is a succinct and clear understanding of what it means to live the Christian life.

      We all need to be reminded of this no matter where we are on the journey or how long we’ve been walking with the Lord. Thank you for sharing what God laid on your heart.

  2. Heidi on February 6, 2020 at 10:01 am

    1 Corinthians 15:58 says, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm (steadfast), immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord [always being superior, excelling, doing more than enough in the service of the Lord], knowing and being continually aware that your labor in the Lord is not futile [it is never wasted or to no purpose].”

    God was showing me that Paul was reminding the Corinthians believers the one thing that made them believers was their faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the gospel was and still is the power of God for salvation to all who believe. All that we do for God is never wasted even when it appears like they are rejecting Jesus and His love through His teachings and messages keep going keep loving for the kingdom.

    God was saying to us, “Always remember the day you became apart of the family, what a wonderful day that was, you were born again, it was your spiritual birthday, I became your Father and I love doing life with you, helping you, and guiding you in the right direction! In life it’s everyone’s job to help each other, so continue to reach out because we’re all a family. Be aware that all you do for others is not for nothing. God sees everything you do. So, learn to do it in joy.”

    Keep blessing others for Jesus, for all he came here to do for you and me. That’s love from the Father.

    • Jason on February 6, 2020 at 11:44 am

      Wonderful post, Heidi! Christians and followers of Jesus need to be reminded of and hear the gospel too, not just those who are far from God. It is a needed reminder of what we’ve been saved from and set apart for. It is also a tremendous reminder of the power of Christ’s resurrection and what that means for the believer’s life. In moments like these, I like to always go back and read the amazing truth of Romans 8:11:

      “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” (NIV)

      The same power that raised Christ from the dead is the same power that lives in us today! What an incredible truth and reality as we seek to live and serve Jesus. We have all we need!

  3. Kathy on February 7, 2020 at 2:18 pm

    In reading 1st Corinthians 15, here is what God was showing me: You must receive the gospel and you must stand in it. My son Jesus Christ died for your sins. Your sins were responsible for His death. Do not take that lightly. The burial of Jesus is a part of the gospel. Jesus did not become a sinner. He bore the full guilt of your sin. The fact that He rose again the third day, is also a part of the gospel. No one saw the actual resurrection of Jesus, but many people saw the resurrected Jesus.

    The grace that saves you also changes you. My grace is given to you to encourage you to work. I do not want you to receive my grace and become passive. You work in a partnership with me because I want you to share in my work. If you neglect your end of the partnership, My grace doesn’t accomplish all that it might and is therefore given in vain. My son, Jesus paid your admission to the resurrection.

    In thinking about all the ways Jesus suffered and took my sins on Him, I am overwhelmed at times that He did this for me. God’s grace is truly a gift, and he needs us all to partner with him. I do not want to become passive and grow weary in doing Kingdom work. I want to continue letting God change me, for I know He knows what is best for me.

    • Jason on February 10, 2020 at 12:06 pm

      I share your feeling and thought when reflecting on the sacrifice of Christ for me and my sins, Kathy. His grace is overwhelming and at times, difficult to comprehend and bear. It does, however, give me the spiritual impetus to keep going and transforms my heart into one of gratitude, peace, and joy.

      Furthermore, it is of the greatest effectiveness in helping me to not become passive and grow weary in doing Kingdom work. Like you, I want the weight of his death and the glorious victory of His resurrection to continuously change me and motivate me to live for and serve HIm.

  4. almaschmidt on February 8, 2020 at 5:45 pm

    This week, God gave me a song during our Bible study. It was an amazing time spent with God, our Pastors, family, and friends.

    Glory, glory, glory, Glory of the heavens
    Our sun is the light, our stars are bright

    The moon glows through the night
    The beauty and glory is what we share

    All of God’s creations seeing it different
    Uniting together
    Glory, glory, glory
    Amen

    • Jason on February 10, 2020 at 11:58 am

      Alma, it is so wonderful to have you back on the blog and sharing the songs that God lays on your heart. I appreciate this latest one about the beauty of God and His creation. It made me think of one called “So Will I” that ministered to me and my family last year. Part of it goes like this:

      God of creation
      There at the start
      Before the beginning of time

      With no point of reference
      You spoke to the dark
      And fleshed out the wonder of light

      And as You speak
      A hundred billion galaxies are born
      In the vapor of Your breath, the planets form
      If the stars were made to worship so will I
      I can see Your heart in everything You’ve made
      Every burning star
      A signal fire of grace
      If creation sings Your praises so will I

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