Chapter 15: rise, rose, risen, raised 19X
(once in 6:14 Him & Will raise us!)
1-11 Reassurance of the Resurrection
1-4 It’s a fact and is part of the Gospel I preached, you believed!
5-8 It was witnessed!
9-11 Paul’s own witness
12 Rejection of the Resurrection
13-19 Results If there is no Resurrection
13 & 16 Christ not risen; is still dead
14 Paul’s Preaching and their Faith placed in it – no truth or reality Empty.
15 The Preachers lied stating God did something He did not.
16 Christ not risen
17 Your faith futile, useless, fruitless, yet in sins
18 The dead saints are forever dead
19 we are to be pitied
12-34 The Proofs of the resurrection – you accepted the gospel I received and past on to you. A gospel that has at its heart the resurrection. Many witnesses to Lord being alive. Including Paul, who received the gospel directly from Him.
2 Three words are translated “vain”: [eike,] meaning “to no purpose, not securing anything, valueless”; 1Co 15:2 [kenos,] meaning “empty, hollow, lacking in substance, unproductive”; 1Co 15:10,14,58 [mataios,] meaning “lacking in result, useless, meaningless.” 1Co 15:17
Stand – maintain
Keep in memory – Hold fast
Vs 2 [eike] Did I preach an empty Gospel? Without cause, reason, or purpose. Is that what they believed?
Vs 10,14,58 [kenos] Paul’s response to the grace given to him was not emptiness. Paul’s preaching, and their faith in it was not emptiness. Their labours were not empty, valueless.
Vs 17 [mataios] Your faith futile, useless, fruitless
The Christian Assembly and its ministry (11 :2-15 :11).
C To the World-In the Gospel (15:1-11).
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel . . or
“ the evangel which I evangelized “ (v. 1).
As some in Corinth had vitiated the gospel, or robbed it of its glory, by denying the resurrection of the dead, the apostle sets on record the gospel, the glad tidings which he had announced among them.
Paul’s statement is the pattern or full gospel. The passage is not directly connected with the instruction in the preceding chapters regarding gifts (12-14). However, in view of the unscriptural cm pi us u being laid by many on tongues as being the God-ordained seal of having received the Holy Spirit, or the baptism in the Spirit, it is important to note the unfettered simplicity of faith, or receiving the gospel, as being the sole basis of the believer’s standing before God in Christ. Salvation is through Christ, and Christ alone. It is not Christ plus anything, whether it be circumcision, baptism, or tongues. The gospel introduces the believer into a righteous standing before God in Christ. Christ is the impregnable rock foundation upon which he stands (3 :10; Ps. 40: 2).
“by which ye are saved . . .* (v. 2). It is instructive to note the various tenses of the verb “saved” in the New Testament.
They portray four aspects of salvation.
The past tense refers to a time when a person is saved (2 Tim. 1:9).
The perfect tense as in Eph. 2:8 refers to the permanent, abiding effect of that past act.
Then the present continuous tense as in 1 Cor. 1:18; 15:2 refers to a daily experimental salvation.
The verb is also used in its future tense in Rom. 5:9; 1 Thess. 1:10; 5:9.
The past and the perfect speak of salvation from the penalty of sin through the death of Christ.
The present refers to our daily salvation from the seductive power of sin, and is connected with the high priestly ministry of Christ and the ministry of the Holy Spirit.
The future is associated with the coming of the Lord and the redemption of the body.
“unless ye have believed in vain.” Those in Corinth who denied the resurrection did not realize the seriousness of such a denial. They had received the gospel, but the evident conclusion of such a denial would be that their faith was not true or genuine, but superficial and valueless — vain.
There are three words translated “vain” in the chapter with regard to the gospel. If Christ be not risen, the gospel message would be worthless or valueless, like a promissory note of no value (v. 2).
It would also be powerless or fruitless (v. 14), as it would contain no dynamic power to transform lives.
Moreover it would be meaningless (v. 17), a mere superstition, an old wives’ fable.
“For 1 delivered unto you first of all …” (vs 3-5) — as being first in importance.
Elsewhere the apostle affirms that he had received it as a revelation from the Lord (Cal. 1:18).
It was not something which he had received from man.
He considered that he had received it as a stewardship, like the one pound spoken of in the parable (Luke 19: 12-13).
It had been delivered to them also as a solemn stewardship.
In the light of this we might well ask ourselves if we are hiding it under a bushel or under a bed.
Are we allowing business or pleasure to take precedence over the claims of the gospel? (Luke 8:16).
Four elements of the gospel are particularized
a) Christ died;
b) Christ was buried;
c) Christ is risen, and
d) He was seen or appeared to chosen witnesses (Acts 10:41). The first three are the basic, fundamental, historical facts, the fourth is evidential.
The historical, redemptive facts. The Christians faith is based on incontrovertible facts.
a. “Christ died . . In Paul’s brief statement of the gospel two important truths are stated.
It was a sacrificial death in fulfillment of the prophetical foreshadowings and direct prophecies of the Old Testament.
As a sacrificial death it was propitiatory in that it pacified the wrath of Cod by exonerating the law, and satisfying the demands of righteousness.
That was its Godward aspect (Rom. 3:25).
It was expiatory in that it put away our sins, which was its manward aspect.
And it must ever be remembered that it was voluntary in the absolute sense of the word. He laid down His life.
He was never a dying man, or in the process of dying. Death to Him was an act. He dismissed His spirit.
There were many direct prophecies fulfilled in His death, such as Ps. 22; 69; Isa. 53: 5-12, and many others. It has been computed that 25 prophecies were thus fulfilled in the death of Christ.
In that way His death was a verification of the Old Testament prophecies.
b. Christ was buried … (v. 4). The burial certified the fact of His death, and focuses attention on the fact of His resurrection.
Isaiah had prophesied of the manner and circumstances connected with His burial (53:9).
c. “lie rose again . . .” (v. 4). In the preaching of the apostles great emphasis is laid on the resurrection, as also in the epistles.
The resurrection Is a fact, and not a fiction. It is not a myth, but a miracle.
The fact that He would be raised was prophesied in Ps. 2:7; 16: 10; Isa. 53 ; 10-11.
That it would take place on the third day was foreshadowed in the waving of the sheaf of first fruits (Lev. 23 ; 10), and in the experience of Jonah as stated by the Lord (Matt. 12 :40).
The burial and the resurrection are bracketed together by the phrase “according to the Scriptures’.
In this connection it is well to remember the triple sign given to the disciples on the resurrection morning, that is,
the open sepulchre with the soldiers fled,
the seal broken, and
the stone rolled away;
the empty tomb and the grave clothes still lying in their folds (John 19:1-9).
Thus the redemptive work of Christ and the revealed Word of God are inextricably interwoven in the message of the gospel.
The evidential facts and witnesses (vs 5-11).
d. “He was seen of Cephas …” (vs 5-8), or rather “He appeared to Cephas. . .” (cf. Luke 24 : 34). The post-resurrection appearances of the Lord arc important as they substantiate the truth of the resurrection. The credibility of their witness is therefore vital. His appearances were many and covered a protracted period of time, some 40 days. The witnesses were many and varied. None of them had anticipated the resurrection. On tho contrary they had discredited such a possibility, and did not believe the news until they received concrete evidence of its truthfulness. All but one had known Him intimately for over three years, and one had known Him all through
— UUU A 413
avowed enemy. Having known Him intimately, the apostles looked at Him, carefully examined His features when they saw Him, and they handled Him and listened to His voice (1 John 1:1). He not only appeared to individuals, but to the twelve as a group, and later to all the apostles together, as well as to 500 brethren at once. When that took place is not recorded. The majority of the 500 were still alive when the epistle was written. As the witness of women was not accepted as evidence in court, the witness of the women recorded in the gospels is not called for. This Is in keeping with the teaching of the epistle and the New Testament with regard to the place allotted to women in public ministry. The apostle leaves no loophole to question the credibility of the witnesses, and he emphasizes the unanimity of their testimony (cf. Matt. 26: 51; Mk. 14 : 59). Moreover, at these appearances He continued talking to them concerning the kingdom of God (Acts 1:3). The reference to the twelve and then to all the apostles makes it evident that Paul recognized Matthias as one of them. The reference to James is of special value, because up until the crucifixion none of the family had believed Him to be the Messiah. James, and also Jude, were therefore converted after the resurrection. Paul’s own witness (vs 8-11). The apostle dwells at some length on his own witness for some very evident reasons. He was not one of the twelve. He had not companied with the Lord, and had not been present at any of the post-resurrection appearances. However, he parallels his own experience with theirs as being equally objective in character and of equal value. He speaks of himself as one “born out of due time” as an “untimely birth” (Job 3:16 LXX), as an abortion (J.N.D.).