I recently did a series on the Apostles’ Creed as the foundation of what Christians profess to believe. The Apostle Paul gave us another “creed” in 1 Corinthians 15 where he proves, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Jesus died, was resurrected and is now in God’s Glory with the Father in Heaven. Let’s go through it. Paul writes…
1 Corinthians Chapter 15
Let me now remind you, dear brothers and sisters, of the Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then, and you still stand firm in it. 2 It is this Good News that saves you if you continue to believe the message I told you—unless, of course, you believed something that was never true in the first place.1 Corinthians 15:1-2 NLT
“Never true in the first place…” I can think of a few things since Paul’s writing of this letter that are absolutely not true that have been taught by a “church”. Things that were “invented”. Let’s see… purgatory … infant baptism … sacraments … salvation by works… but that’s for a future study….
3 I passed on to you what was most important and what had also been passed on to me. Christ died for our sins, just as the Scriptures said. 4 He was buried, and he was raised from the dead on the third day, just as the Scriptures said. 5 He was seen by Peter and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, he was seen by more than 500 of his followers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7 Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as though I had been born at the wrong time, I also saw him. 9 For I am the least of all the apostles. In fact, I’m not even worthy to be called an apostle after the way I persecuted God’s church.
10 But whatever I am now, it is all because God poured out his special favor on me—and not without results. For I have worked harder than any of the other apostles; yet it was not I but God who was working through me by his grace. 11 So it makes no difference whether I preach or they preach, for we all preach the same message you have already believed.1 Corinthians 15: 3-11 NLT
Actually, Jesus was seen by Mary Magdalene first, then she went and got Peter. Maybe Paul used Peter’s name because it’s more recognizable than Mary. Hmmm….
Also, Paul’s life was changed by Grace. He was persecuting Christians until Jesus confronted him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9). Grace is free and undeserved. Paul is proof of that. He did nothing to deserve grace and salvation.
The Resurrection of the Dead
12 But tell me this—since we preach that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying there will be no resurrection of the dead? 13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised either. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then all our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. 15 And we apostles would all be lying about God—for we have said that God raised Christ from the grave. But that can’t be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. 16 And if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is useless and you are still guilty of your sins. 18 In that case, all who have died believing in Christ are lost! 19 And if our hope in Christ is only for this life, we are more to be pitied than anyone in the world.
20 But in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died.
21 So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. 22 Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. 23 But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.1 Corinthians 15:12-23 NLT
Do you belong to Christ? Jesus was raised first. Then all of us who are born-again Christian believers will be raised when He comes back for us — that will be in the Rapture — which could happen any day now! Are you ready?
24 After that the end will come, when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having destroyed every ruler and authority and power. 25 For Christ must reign until he humbles all his enemies beneath his feet. 26 And the last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For the Scriptures say, “God has put all things under his authority. (Of course, when it says “all things are under his authority,” that does not include God himself, who gave Christ his authority.) 28 Then, when all things are under his authority, the Son will put himself under God’s authority, so that God, who gave his Son authority over all things, will be utterly supreme over everything everywhere.1 Corinthians 15:24-28 NLT
Get this — anyone who thinks they have authority over Christ will be humbled and destroyed! Satan is the first one on the list. Can you think of anyone else?
29 If the dead will not be raised, what point is there in people being baptized for those who are dead? Why do it unless the dead will someday rise again?1 Corinthians 15:29 NLT
Remember, the baptism Paul’s referring to here is NOT infant baptism, but adult baptism where a new believer is showing his or herself, and the world, that they are dying to their old life and rising up again in Christ in a new life. They’re leaving their old, sinful self behind and with the help of the Holy Spirit, lead a sanctified life.
30 And why should we ourselves risk our lives hour by hour? 31 For I swear, dear brothers and sisters, that I face death daily. This is as certain as my pride in what Christ Jesus our Lord has done in you. 32 And what value was there in fighting wild beasts—those people of Ephesus—if there will be no resurrection from the dead? And if there is no resurrection, “Let’s feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!” 33 Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.” 34 Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don’t know God at all.1 Corinthians 15:30-34 NLT
The Resurrection Body
35 But someone may ask, “How will the dead be raised? What kind of bodies will they have?” 36 What a foolish question! When you put a seed into the ground, it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it dies first. 37 And what you put in the ground is not the plant that will grow, but only a bare seed of wheat or whatever you are planting. 38 Then God gives it the new body he wants it to have. A different plant grows from each kind of seed. 39 Similarly there are different kinds of flesh—one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.
40 There are also bodies in the heavens and bodies on the earth. The glory of the heavenly bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies. 41 The sun has one kind of glory, while the moon and stars each have another kind. And even the stars differ from each other in their glory.
42 It is the same way with the resurrection of the dead. Our earthly bodies are planted in the ground when we die, but they will be raised to live forever. 43 Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. They are buried in weakness, but they will be raised in strength. 44 They are buried as natural human bodies, but they will be raised as spiritual bodies. For just as there are natural bodies, there are also spiritual bodies.
45 The Scriptures tell us, “The first man, Adam, became a living person.” But the last Adam—that is, Christ—is a life-giving Spirit. 46 What comes first is the natural body, then the spiritual body comes later. 47 Adam, the first man, was made from the dust of the earth, while Christ, the second man, came from heaven. 48 Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man. 49 Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man.
50 What I am saying, dear brothers and sisters, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.
51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
55 O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.1 Corinthians 15:35-58 NLT
In yesterday’s post, I told you about a friend who recently passed away from a terrible struggle with cancer. Just knowing that he no longer is in that old, cancer-riddled, painful body, but free of pain and sorrow with Jesus — in God’s Glory — is what gives me hope to keep doing what I’m doing. Also, notice that there’s nothing about Purgatory here at all. It’s because Purgatory doesn’t exist! It’s an invention of the Catholic Church and I will reveal the details very soon.
The Question is — Where do You Stand?
If you’re not sure, then you need to reread this post and invite Jesus into your heart.
I was watching one of the Bible Prophecy Preachers and he had a cool and simple way of describing the steps of salvation…. the ABCs…
A – Admit you’re a sinner — repent of your sins — do a 180 – stop sinning!
B – Believe that Jesus is Lord — the Son of God and that He died taking your sins away on the cross.
C – Call upon His Name — invite Him — personally!
If you don’t know how to do that, you can pray this simple prayer sincerely, humbly and wholeheartedly….
“Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner. I believe You died for my sins. Please forgive me. Right now, I turn from my sins and open the door of my heart and my life to you. I confess You as my personal Lord and Savior. I surrender my whole life to you and I will follow you for the rest of my life. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”
Next Steps in Your New Walk with Jesus…
- Start reading the Bible daily to get to know God. If you don’t have one, I recommend the YouVersion, Bible.app and Through the Word app — both are free and have a lot of great Bible studies.
- Pray every day. Talk to God. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you daily.
- Find and join a Bible-believing church — preferably a non-denominational one and be baptized!
Jesus Christ is coming back soon! Are you ready?
Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be the Glory!