I Corinthians 15:13-20
(All Scripture is from the New King James Version unless otherwise indicated)
The resurrection took place in the third Garden of God, the place where Jesus was buried and rose from the dead three days later! As we saw in the last Gem…
- …the resurrection was prophesied in the Old Testament!
- …Jesus predicted it several times during His ministry!
- …His followers preached and testified of it in the book of Acts!
Here is Paul’s summation of the resurrection in I Corinthians 15:13 through 20. He brings it from a negative point of view to accentuate the positive!
...if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up— if in fact the dead do not rise. For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Although from the book of Acts, I listed several examples of preaching the resurrection, there are more instances of such ‘preaching’ (in the epistles). Ten of 21 epistles (plus the book of Revelation) directly mention the resurrection! I will give one example (with Scripture) from each of the books, and list other references if there is more than one per book.
- Romans 1:3 and 4 – “…Jesus Christ…declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead….” (see also Romans 4:24; 6:4, 5, 9; 7:4; 8:11, 34; 10:9; 14:9).
- I Corinthians 6:14 – “…God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.” (see also I Corinthians 15:4, 12-21, 35, 42-49).
- II Corinthians 4:14 – “…He who raised up the Lord Jesus will also raise us up with Jesus….” (see also II Corinthians 1:9; 13:4).
- Galatians 1:1 – “Paul, an apostle (…through Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised Him from the dead)….”
- Ephesians 1:20 – “…He [the Father] worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead….” (see also Ephesians 2:6).
- Colossians 3:1 – “If, then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.” (see also Colossians 2:12, 13).
- I Thessalonians 4:14 – “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus.” (see also I Thessalonians 1:9, 10).
- II Timothy 2:8 – “Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel.” (see also II Timothy 1:9, 10; 2:11).
- Hebrews 6:1 and 2 – “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ…not laying again the foundation…of the doctrine…of resurrection of the dead….” (see also Hebrews 7:15-17).
- I Peter 1:3 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead….” (see also I Peter 1:21; 3:18, 21).
- Revelation 1:5 – “…Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead….” (see also Revelation 1:18; 2:8; 20:6).
Let’s continue with studying I Corinthians 15:14: “And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty.” So much depends on the living Christ!
- He is the One who conquered…
✞ ...sin! I John 1:9 – “If we confess our sins, He is faith- ful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (see also Psalm 32:1, 2; 85:2; John 8:34-36). ✞ ...death! II Timothy 1:10 – “...our Savior Jesus Christ... has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel...” (see also Revelation 1:5 – Contemporary English Version). ✞ ...the devil! Hebrews 2:14 – “...as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He [Jesus Christ] Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil...” (see also I John 2:13, 14). ✞ ...hell! Revelation 1:18 – “I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” (see also Revela- tion 20:14). ✞ ...the fear of death! Hebrews 2:14 and 15 – “...through death He might destroy him who had the power of death... the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
- It was the living Christ who ascended to the Father and sent back the Holy Spirit…
✞ ...to help believers! John 14:16 through 18; 16:7: And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever --the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot re- ceive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you....Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you. ✞ ...to indwell every Christian! Romans 8:9 (English Standard Version) – “You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Him.” (see also I John 4:12, 13). ✞ ...to recreate sinners into the likeness of Christ! II Corinthians 3:18 (Contemporary English Version) – “So our faces are not covered. They show the bright glory of the Lord, as the Lord's Spirit makes us more and more like our glorious Lord.” (see also II Cor- inthians 5:17) ✞ ...to eternally seal those born of God through Christ! ➔ II Corinthians 1:21 and 22 (Lexham English Bible) – “...God...sealed us and gave us the down payment of His Spirit in our hearts.” ➔ II Corinthians 5:5 – “Now He who has prepared us for this very thing [heaven] is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.” ➔ Ephesians 1:14 – “...the Holy Spirit...is the guar- antee of our inheritance....” ✞ ...to guide and teach Jesus’ followers! ➔ Isaiah 30:21 – “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, ‘This is the way, walk in it.’” ➔ John 14:26 – “...the Helper, the Holy Spirit...will teach you all things, and bring to remembrance all things that I said to you.” ➔ I John 2:27 (Contemporary English Version) – “Christ has blessed you with the Holy Spirit. Now the Spirit stays in you, and you don't need any teachers. The Spirit is truthful and teaches you everything.” ✞ ...to produce the fruit of the Spirit in every child of God! Galatians 5:22 and 23 (Lexham English Bible) – “... the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self con- trol.”
Can we begin to see
how important to our Christian faith
is the resurrection?