1 Corinthians 15 – First Importance

1 Corinthians 15:1-2 – After all these controversial questions, Paul is prompted to remind them of the gospel.
1 Corinthians 15:3-4:

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures

Everything rests on this truth. Everything. All else – the roles of women, proper worship, the use of spiritual gifts – is secondary and arises from what was done by Christ on the cross.
1 Corinthians 15:10 – Paul worked harder than any other, but why? It was the product of the grace of Christ. It wasn’t his motivation or his ability, it was the effect of grace on his heart that produced his work for the gospel.
1 Corinthians 15:19 – Too often I think Christians, myself certainly, live for the benefits of a life of discipleship here in now. We focus on how Christ or God’s ways can make our life here and now better. But it doesn’t fix it all, for we are still a fallen people in a fallen world. But we pretend that Jesus makes it all better now. He does, but the fullness of that fix will not be realized here, it is for the hope of that perfection, that complete fix for what ails us that will only come in heaven that we should long for. There are times, when life seems too hard, or more often when dealing with broken me is overwhelming, that I long to go home and be with God, but mostly I trudge along, thankful for a better life now. Though there are benefits here, Christ did not come to give us our best life now, he came to give us the best life – eternally. And ironically, keeping in mind our future perfect one means we have the proper perspective to deal with the here in now. So looking ahead to eternity means a better today.
1 Corinthians 15:29 – Some glorious day, I’m gonna ask Paul what the heck this means. 😛
1 Corinthians 15:35-37 – This illustration has my mind reeling a bit. I plant a seed, one little pod, and it turns into a tree or bush or corn stalk, none of which is worth comparing to the seed that was planted. On little orb turns into a glorious plant.
So, we die and are buried, what will we arise to be? Paul is implying, just as a seed can’t imagine what it will become, that we cannot fathom what we will arise to become.
The parallel isn’t just for the resurrection. When we submit to Christ and are buried in baptism, we cannot imagine what the simple, broken soul that is plunged into that water will arise to be. Clueless teenagers and college students turn to biblical scholars and evangelists. The shy become bold, the selfish become servants, the liars true and on and on. “It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.” (1 Corinthians 15:43)

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (emphasis mine)

Oh, how I long for that day. To be truly changed, transformed from this caught in the middle of the here and now, heaven and Earth broken being to the heavenly perfection. No more sin.
1 Corinthians 15:58 – “Therefore …” Since death has been swallowed, since we will be changed, since we have the hope of eternity, since Christ has come “… be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

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