“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you…”
Paul is not proclaiming the gospel to the Corinthians for the first time. They had already heard and believed the gospel, but they needed to rethink and review what the gospel was. Why would believers need to do this? Because fundamental truth is always easily forgotten.
There is a co-relation of words in this verse. The word gospel and the word preachedare forms of the word euangelion. Literally, Paul is saying, “The gospel which I gospeled to you.” First, the word means good news in a general sense. Second, in the New Testament it is used to refer to God’s promised and provided salvation in Christ. The article the with gospel means this is the only one there is; there is no other.
THE VALUE OF THE GOSPEL STATED 15:1B-2A
“…which (gospel) also you received, in which also you stand, 2by which also you are saved...”
ItsValue in Their Past
The word receivedis an aorist tense, referring to a definite and definable act, and carries two ideas with it. First, it means to take to oneself or to take over, to appropriate.Second, it means to agree and thus approve of something.Paul is now going to review the content of that gospel for them.
ItsValue in Their Present
The tense of the word stand is perfect, referring to a past completed action with abiding results. They are viewed standing on the gospel as their foundation.
ItsValue in Their Future
The verb are savedis a present tense and thus means you are being saved, anticipating the full salvation brought at Christ’s return and our glorification. Notice that each of the three statements has the word also in it. It is used to indicate climactic progression. It moves from their initial reception to their final destiny.
THE CONDITION OF THE GOSPEL PRESENTED 15:2B
“…if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.”
The “If” Element
So far, Paul has made a general statement addressed to the whole church. What guarantee is there, however, that everyone who reads these words is part of the group that Paul has called saved? He now shows what is required to be part of that group. The saved ones are those who have taken hold of the gospel that Paul preached.
The “Unless” Element
This does not mean that someone could believe the gospel and then not be saved. If so, these words would stand in conflict with pas- sage after passage in the New Testament. The words in vain mean at random or without basis. The total value of faith lies in its object; and Paul is going to show that part of that gospel is the resurrec- tion, without which our faith has no basis.
“For I delivered to you as of firstimportance what l also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.”
The Importance of the Gospel Emphasized 15:3a
If all of God’s revelation is true, in what sense is the gospel of first importance? The gospel is most important because it is foundation- al and preliminary to everything else. The gospel is primary and cardinal, central and indispensable.
The Source of the Gospel Indicated 15:3b
When Paul says that the gospel is “what I also received,” he is telling us that he is not the source of the message. He is pointing to the doctrine of revelation—the “topside down” doctrine—the God to man doctrine.
The Elements of the Gospel Enumerated 15:3c-5
The word that in the middle of verse 3 is like a quotation mark, or like the adverb namely.An enumeration is about to begin. There are four verbs involved in the gospel: died, buried, raised, and appeared. Three of them are in the aorist tense, pointing to a definite, defin- able, and historic event. The verb raised, however, is in the perfect tense. The emphasis is on a past completed action with abiding results. Why would Paul put this word in perfect tense? The answer lies in the theme of chapter 15. Paul is showing the abiding results of the resurrection of Christ.
The four verbs fit together as couplets, with the first member stat- ing a fact and the second offering proof that the fact is true. Christ died; how do we know this was a real death? We know it was a real death because He was buried. Christ was raised; how do we know this? We know it because he appearedand was seen.
Of the four verbs, it is important to note that only one of them has an attached prepositional phrase. Attached to the verb Christ died is the phrase for our sins. This phrase interprets the significance of Christ’s death. The word for carries the idea of substitution. Christ died in our place in such a way as to take the guilt that was rightly ours and the penalty that was justly ours, and He bore each in such a way as to make sin no barrier in the salvation of the sinner. This is truly good news! It is noteworthy that the term according to the Scripturesis repeated in a passage so short. It teaches us that this whole thing was no accident but was the outworking of a divine plan.
THE PROOFS OF THE RESURRECTION 15:5-11
“…and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.6After that He appeared to more than fivehundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; 7then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; 8and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also.9For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fitto be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what l am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. 11Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed.”
THE WITNESS OF THE CHIEF APOSTLE: CEPHAS 15:5A
The verb appearedoccurs four times and is translated as though it were active voice (subject producing the action of the verb). The word in the original is passive voice (subject acted upon by some outside agency). The normal meaning of the word is to see. Thus, we should have He was seen by Cephas, the twelve, etc. The transla- tion appearedemphasizes what He did; the translation was seen emphasizes what happened to Him. The correct emphasis is the latter—the human testimony to the resurrected Christ. It should also be added that this verb is always used of the physical act of seeing. The witnesses did not see Him in their mind’s eye; they saw Him with their physical eyes. Why is Cephas (Peter) mentioned before the other apostles? It is because Christ’s appearance to Peter prepared the disciples for Christ’s appearance to them (Luke 24:34).
THE WITNESS OF THE CHIEF BODY: THE TWELVE 15:5B
The twelve is the official name of the apostolic body. At this point, there were only ten present since Judas and Thomas were not there. With the mention of the twelve, the sentence ends; but the list of those who saw Jesus continues. This could well be intended to show that the resurrection gave authorization to the apostolic ministry of the twelve but did not do so for others. The appearance of Jesus to the five hundred did not make them apostles.
THE WITNESS OF THE LARGEST BODY: FIVE HUNDRED BRETHREN 15:6
The reason for mentioning this group is two-fold. First, they are mentioned because of the sheer force of the large number. Second, they all saw Him at the same time. This was not a group of isolated incidents; it was one incident involving many people. The time between the resurrection and the writing of I Corinthians is about twenty-five years; some of the witnesses would have died in that period.
THE WITNESS OF THE CLOSEST RELATIVE: JAMES 15:7
James was the half-brother of the Lord and later the head of the Jerusalem church. His high position in the church would make him an important witness. The Lord’s earthly brothers refused to believe on Him during His earthly ministry (John 7:5) but are found among believers after the ascension. The resurrection must have been the event that convinced them that Jesus was the Messiah.
THE WITNESS OF THE CHIEF DOUBTER: THOMAS 15:7
Thomas had been absent when the Lord first appeared to the twelve but is now present. While he is not specifically named, he is included because the appearance was to all the apostles. His doubt was expressed in the need to touch the Lord and feel the wounds.
THE WITNESS OF THE CHIEF HATER: PAUL 15:8-11
Paul’s Past as a Persecutor 15:8-9
In describing himself as untimely born, he is using a word that means miscarriage and was used as a term of contempt. The word points to a sudden and violent transition while still in a state of immaturity. This is an apt description of Paul’s call to the apostle- ship. His claim to be the least of the apostles is based on his past conduct toward the church. In stating that he is not fit,he focuses on a theme throughout all of his writings: His weakness is the occasion for the Lord to be all his strength. This appears frequently in II Corinthians.
Paul’s Present as an Apostle 15:10-11
Grace transformed Paul, motivated Paul, and enabled Paul.
THE OBJECTORS TO THE RESURRECTION 15:12-19
THE TRUTH STATED 15:12A
“Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead...”
Paul begins with an assumption that is true to the facts. There is no question that the apostles believed and preached the resurrection. The word preachedis a present tense verb showing that the action was repeated and continual. The word raised is a perfect tense, pointing to a past completed event with abiding results. The apos- tles preached Christ as raised and now living as the risen Savior.
THE DENIAL EXPRESSED 15:12B
“…how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?”
Some at Corinth denied the resurrection of the body. This did not mean that they denied the resurrection of Christ, however. The verse does not say that some among them were saying, “Christ is not raised.” It was not His resurrection they doubted; it was their resurrection which they doubted. Their assumption was that death was the last thing that happens to the body.
THE REFUTATION MADE 15:13-19
“But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised.16For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.19If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.”
The First “If” and Its Conclusion 15:13
The word if introduces a first class conditional sentence. This type of sentence assumes the ifstatement to be true, either as to fact or for the sake of the argument. It is the latter that is true here.
Assuming that there is no resurrection of the dead at all, one cannot logically believe that Christ was raised. The logic revolves about a major premise, minor premise, and conclusion. Major premise: There is no resurrection of the dead. Minor premise: Christ died. Conclusion: Christ did not rise from the dead.
The Second “If” and Its Conclusion 15:14-15
If Christ did not rise from the dead, two conclusions must follow. First, the apostolic preaching is a myth. The word vain means unreal, myth, empty, hollow, devoid of reality, without content. Second, the apostolic preachers are liars.
The Third “If” and Its Conclusion 15:16-19
Again, for the sake of the argument, it is assumed that Christ did not rise, leading to two more conclusions. First, our faith is vain. The word worthless means to be without effect, without results.Second, dead believers are in their final state. Denial of the resurrection throws everything into complete confusion. If they remain in the grave, they remain in the hold of death, apart from Christ, and thus perish!
THE AFFIRMATION OF THE RESURRECTION 15:20-28
THE FOUNDATION OF GOD’S RESURRECTION PROGRAM 15:20-22
“But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who are asleep.21For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead.22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.”
Its Statement 15:20
I Corinthians 15:12-19 and 15:20-28 are structured the same way. Each begins with a premise and then shows its implications. The premise of 15:12-19 is in verse 12, “there is no resurrection of the dead.” The premise of 15:20-28 is in verse 20, “now Christ has been raised from the dead.” The resurrection reverses all the conclusions of 15:12-19, i. e., the apostolic preaching is not void, our faith is not futile, we are not yet in our sins, those who sleep have not perished, our hope is not limited to this life, and Christians are not the most pitiable of all men.
It is important to understand why Christ is designated as first fruits. The reference is to the Old Testament custom of bringing the first sheaf of grain to the temple the day after Passover. First fruits indicated four things. First, it representedthe whole crop. Second, first fruits consecrated the whole crop. Third, first fruits anticipated the whole crop. Fourth, first fruits guaranteed the whole crop (Leviticus 23:10-11). Christ’s resurrection is the first sheaf of first fruits. The resurrection of dead believers is the crop that is guaran- teed to follow.
Its Explanation 15:21-22
The key idea here is how death came in the past and how life will come in the future. Both Adam and Christ were instruments of change. Adam brought disaster; Christ brought deliverance. The presence of life and death is expressed abstractly, then con- cretely. First, it is stated abstractly in verse 21, showing that each came through a man.Second, it is stated concretely in verse 22 in identifying the respective men as Adam and Christ. The word in points to relationship and union. In union with Adam, we die; in union with Christ, we live.
THE EXECUTION OF GOD’S RESURRECTION 15:23-28
It Has an Order 15:23-25
“But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, 24then comes the end, when He delivers up the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power.25For He must reign until He has put all His ene- mies under His feet.”
The Order of Resurrection
The word order was a military term referring to a company or a division. It shows that there is a marching order for the resurrec- tion of the dead, each coming forth with its own group and at its own time.
The Time of Resurrection
The sequential and chronological order is indicated by the words Christ…after that…then.Christ is the commencement; after that is the continuation; and then is the culmination. The culmination restores perfect order to the universe.
It Has a Culmination 15:26-28
“The last enemy that will be abolished is death.27For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, ‘All things are put in subjection,’ it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjec- tion to Him. 28And when all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to theOne who subjected all things to Him, that God may be all in all.”
Believers are subject to Christ; Christ is subject to the Father— perfect order in the universe.
THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE DENIAL OF THE
THE IMPLICATIONS OF THOSE BAPTIZED FOR THE DEAD 15:29
“Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them?”
This verse is very difficult and has been interpreted more ways than any other in Scripture. In interpreting a difficult passage, there are two important rules to follow. First, one should always attempt to give words their normal and most basic meaning. Second, one should always interpret harmonistically. This means the interpretation of a given verse must harmonize with the immediate context and the whole of Scripture.
Applying these rules, I suggest the following simple interpretation of this verse. First, the word for is a preposition indicating substitu- tion—taking the place of another. Living believers are seen as taking the place of the dead ones. As believers die, new ones come along and fill up the ranks—they are “baptized in the place of dead believers.” Second, since baptism symbolizes union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection, if there is no resurrection, then baptism symbolizes only death.
THE IMPLICATIONS FOR THOSE WHO SUFFER 15:30-32
“Why are we also in danger every hour?31I protest, brethren, by the boasting in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.32If from human motives I fought with wild beasts at Ephesus, what does it profitme? If the dead are not raised, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”
If death ends all, what is gained by suffering for truth? Paul found that living in the light of eternity was powerful for two reasons. First, it formed a motive for good conduct now. Second, it formed a motive for avoiding temptation. Belief in the resurrection was more than a truth; it was a moral safeguard. If this life is all there is, then it is logical to cram all the pleasure into it that we can.
Why would the resurrection of the body be such a powerful moti- vation for Paul? To answer this, we must remember that we tend to think of the soul and spirit as separable from the body. The soul and spirit are separate from the body, but they are not separable from the body. Man is not man who is not body, soul, and spirit. \
The physical body has an eternal spiritual destiny just as much as the soul and spirit. There are three levels of fellowship with the Lord. First, the fellow- ship that we have with Him now is in our body, soul, and spirit. The body that we have now cannot enter heaven. For this reason, this first state of fellowship cannot last forever. Second, there is the fellowship that we have with Him at death. Soul and spirit go to be with the Lord, but the body goes to the grave. Third, there is the fellowship that we will have with Him at the resurrection. Body, soul, and spirit will then be united to be with the Lord forever. This is our hope, and we anticipate nothing less. Being man does not end with this life; and where there is no body, soul, and spirit, there is no man.
OBLIGATIONS IMPOSED BY THE DOCTRINE OF THE
“Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company corrupts good morals.’ 34 Become sober-minded as you ought, and stop sinning; for some have no knowl- edge of God. I speak this to your shame.”
Paul turns to Greek literature and quotes from Menander’s comedy Thais saying, “Bad company corrupts good morals.” It should be remembered that the doctrine of inspiration does not preclude the use of sources. What, however, is the bad company from which the Corinthians should separate themselves? The answer is found in the word some in verse 34, which links to the same word in verse . The some who were corrupting them were those who questioned the resurrection. The corrupting influence was doctrinal, not social. The verb become sober-minded is an aorist tense. The Corinthians are here and now to get serious over this matter. The present tense of stop sinning matches the present tense of do not be deceived. They are to stop the sinful practice of allowing themselves to be deceived.
THE ANSWERS CONCERNING THE RESURRECTION 15:35-49
THE FIRST QUESTION: “HOW ARE THE DEAD RAISED?” 15:35-41
The First Step Toward the Resurrection Is Physical Death 15:35-36
“But someone will say, ‘How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?’ 36You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies;”
Verse 35 contains the two questions that are answered in this para- graph. The question of 35a is addressed in 36-41; and the question of 35b is addressed in 42-49. The words You fool! point to the fact that one may overlook the obvious—nobody can be raised until they have died. This gives the Christian a unique view of death:
Death is a first step, not a final step! Death is the doorway and prelude to glorification. The metaphor for burial is that of a seed being sowed in the ground. Properly speaking, believers are not buried, they are sown. The implications of this metaphor will be picked up in the rest of the chapter. The metaphor is appropriate because it is only by the dissolution of the material particles of the seed that life comes forth; so also the believer’s physical body.
The GlorifiedBody Will be Distinctly Different from Our Present Earthly
“…and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else.”
A kernel of grain is sown and kernels of grain are reaped, but there is a pronounced difference.
Neither the Seed Itself nor the Sower Provide the New Body 15:38
“But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own.”
God gives the seed a body that accords with His sovereign will. The body that accords with His will is exactly the right body. Our resurrection bodies will be perfectly suited for the environment in which they are to function.
The Resurrection Body Will be Perfectly Adapted to Its
“All fleshis not the same flesh,but there is one fleshof men, and another fleshof beasts, and another fleshof birds, and another of fish.40There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another.41There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.”
The Analogy from the Animal World 15:39
One should note that Paul clearly distinguishes man from animals. This distinction is marked off by the words one fleshof men, and another of animals (beasts, birds, and fish). Variety and adaptation to intended environment is the point being made.
The Analogy from the Celestial World 15:40-41
Once again the emphasis is on infinite variety and perfect adapta- tion to intended environment.
THE SECOND QUESTION: “WITH WHAT KIND OF BODY DO THEY
The Resurrection Body 15:42-44
“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; 43it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.”
The Nature of the Resurrection Body 15:42
The words so also introduce the application of the point made in verses 39-43. The emphasis is on the properties that our resurrec- tion bodies will have. Paul gives first the pre-resurrection condition followed by the post-resurrection condition. The transition be- tween the two is brought about by the resurrection or the return of Christ. The nature of our present bodies is expressed by the word perishable. The Greek word is phthora, which refers to all things whose tendency and final end is deterioration. Science refers to what is called the second law of thermodynamics, which states that any system left to its own devices tends to move from order to disorder, and energy levels become lower and lower until they no longer exist. Everything about these present bodies of ours wears out; there is no exception to the rule.
This perishing or deteriorating condition is described in Romans 8:21 as slavery; it is a condition that precludes us from the kingdom of God as long as it exists (I Corinthians 15:50). The post-resurrection body is imperishable. There is nothing in this material world that is not deteriorating, so examples do not exist. The imperishable body will have incomparable glory.
The Glory of the Resurrection Body 15:43a
Dishonor is compared with glory. This fits the analogy of the sown seed perfectly. The seed is put in the ground and covered with dirt where it cannot be seen— dishonor. When the ear sprouts from the earth—glory.
The Power of the Resurrection Body 15:43b
No better illustration of powerlessness could be found than that of a dead body. The power of a body freed from the ravages of sin will be incomparable.
The Adaptation of the Resurrection Body 15:44
The words natural body refer to the body that Adam was given when he was created and with which we are all identified. What, however, is a spiritual body?
First, the spiritual body does not preclude many of the properties of our natural bodies. We know this because of the appearances of Christ in His resurrected body. We also know that our bodies will be like His (Philippians 3:20-21). He had the power of language (Luke 24:44), and He had the power of reason (Luke 24:27). The parts of His resurrection body were the same as in His earthly body (John 20:20), and He was physically recognizable in His resurrec- tion body. Second, the spiritual body is adapted to the environment of heaven.
The Precursor of the Resurrection Body 15:45-49
“So also it is written, ‘The firstman, Adam, became a living soul.’ The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.46However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual. 47The firstman is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.48As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. And just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”
The words so also introduce the Scriptural support showing that the physical body is the precursor of the spiritual body. It should be noted that Christ is not called the second Adam but rather the last Adam. To call Him the second Adam would leave a possibility for a third, fourth, etc. To call Him the last Adam is to affirm that He is man’s only hope—there is none to follow Him should He fail. It is as certain that we will bear the image of the heavenly as it is certain that we now bear the image of the earthy. Death, then, is a reminder that life is coming.
THE MYSTERY CONCERNING THE RESURRECTION 15:50-53
THE PROBLEM THAT REQUIRES THE CHANGE 15:50
“Now I say this, brethren, that fleshand blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.”
The term fleshand blood refers to the bodies of living believers; the word perishable refers to the bodies of dead believers. These bodies, due to sin, are neither fit nor qualified to enter the kingdom of God. This condition cannot exist forever; something must be done; there must be change.
THE EVENT THAT PRODUCES THE CHANGE 15:51-53
“Behold I tell you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52in 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. 53For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
The word mystery means something that was once unknown due to the absence of revelation on the subject. New Testament mysteries are never mysterious but are always set in the context of presently revealed truth. The question assumed by these verses is, What about those believers who are alive when Christ returns? The detailed answer to this is found in I Thessalonians 4:13-18 where Paul says living believers will be “caught up…to meet the Lord in the air.” Living or dead, change must occur in these present bodies.
The event that changes these bodies is viewed from the standpoint of its suddenness as found in the words in a moment that translate the Greek word atomos(our atom), which signifies anything that is too small to split. I Thessalonians 4:16 ties it to a shout, the voice, and a trumpet. Verse 53 once again affirms the absolute necessity for the change. The first word of the verse is dei, which underscores it as emphatic. It is a word conveying the idea of absolute necessity. It was used in telling Nicodemus that he must be born again (John 3:5). Heaven can have no part in death or dying—either its pres- ence or its product.
THE VICTORY OF THE RESURRECTION 15:54-58
THE VICTORY WILL BE THREE-FOLD 15:54-56
“But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.55O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ 56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;”
There Will be Victory Over Death 15:54-55
The word swallowed is very forceful. It is a compound made up of the verb meaning to drink and a preposition meaning down. Our word gulped expresses the idea well. The metaphor is appropriate because there is nothing as all consuming as death. These two verses are a comfort only to men and women of faith and patience to wait for its fulfillment.
There Will be Victory Over Sin 15:56a
There Will be Victory Over the Law 15:56b
These two tie together in the sense that there is no sin where there is no law to violate. The law, in this sense, fosters sin.
THE VICTORY WILL BE OURS 15:57-58
“…but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.”
It Is Our Present Possession 15:57
The word gives is present tense. It is looking at something that has not occurred and yet is absolutely certain of fulfillment—so much so that it may be regarded as presently ours. The present tense also indicates that the program is already in progress now.
It Is Our Present Motivation 15:58
The victory that is being given to us now is a powerful motivation for living the present.
It Has Value in Terms of Stability
The word beis ginomai, which means to become and points to growth in the areas about to be mentioned. The continuous growth aspect is emphasized by its present tense. Note that the goal is not to be unmoved but rather unmovable. There is no room for debate concerning the truthfulness of I Corinthians 15.
It Has Value in Terms of Activity
The words always abounding are separated in the Greek text. The order is “always in the work of the Lord abounding….” Being placed at the beginning and the end of the clause creates great emphasis.
It Has Value in Terms of Assurance
Our labor is not in vain because of the certainty of the resurrection.
APPLICATIONS FOR LIVING
We should regard I Corinthians 15:1-5 as the key New Testament passage concerning the nature of the gospel.
Due to the reality of the resurrection, we should live in the constant anticipa- tion of glorification(15:49).
The key to stability is constant realization of our hope (15:58).
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