Saturday, March 30, 2013

A Pre-Resurrection Sunday Meditation - 1 Corinthians 15

1 Corinthians 15:20 "But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep."

Today we turn our attention to the greatest Biblical text on the resurrection outside of the Four Gospels - 1 Corinthians 15.  Paul's first letter to the Corinthian church was designed to be corrective, since the church had given herself over to division. (1 Corinthians 1:10)  1 Corinthians 15 shines above the skyline of this Corinthian epistle like a bright star piercing a storm ladened sky.  For today's blog I want to offer a brief outline of this great chapter for the reader's faithwalk.  May you be encouraged in your faith as you study the truths contained within this grandest of chapters:

1 Cor 15 - The Living Gospel: The Biggest and Best News! 
I.   The Elements of the Living Gospel                   15:1-11
      A. Effects of Salvation                                      15:1-2
      B. Event of Salvation                                        15:3-9
      C. Experience of Salvation                               15:10-11
Comment: Paul functions as a teacher, spelling out the most important features of the Living Gospel.
II.   The Living Christ of the Living Gospel              15:12-19
      A. Proof the the Living Christ's Identity              15:12-14
      B. Preaching centers on the Living Christ          15:15-16
      C. Personal faith connects to the Living Christ  15:17-19
Comment: Paul then switches hats, from being a teacher to that of a lawyer, showing the logic of the Living Gospel
III. The Doctrine of the Living Gospel                       15:20-28
      A. Character of God                                           15:20
      B. Curse conquered by the cross                       15:21-23
      C. Coming of Christ                                            15:24-28
Comment: By inspiration of the Holy Ghost Paul continues, switching tone yet again to that of a great theologian & prophet, showing the height and breadth of the Living Gospel in every major area of Bible truth.
IV. The Power of the Living Gospel                          15:29-49
      A. Power to Endure Suffering                             15:29-32
      B. Power to excell in Godliness                          15:33-34
      C. Power to overcome unbelief                           15:35-49
Comment: Having focused on the head, now Paul appeals to the heart as an evangelist, driving home the point of the power of the Living Gospel.
V. The Encouragements of the Living Gospel          15:50-58
     A. Rich inheritance                                               15:50-53
     B. Ridding of sin and death                                  15:54-57
     C. Rigors of ministry are worth it                          15:58
Comment: In this final section, having functioned in the roles of teacher, lawyer, theologian, prophet and evangelist, Paul concludes this wonderous chapter as a pastor, compelling the conscience and imagination of his readers to see the encouragements of the living Gospel. 

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