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 1 Corinthians Chapter 15 Part Two

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PostSubject: 1 Corinthians Chapter 15 Part Two   Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:53 am

1 Corinthians 15:21-22

Death came to all those related to Adam by natural birth because of the disobedience of one man. As the father of mankind Adam in his sin brought death to everybody (cf. Gen_3:17-19; Rom_5:12). But because of the obedience (Php_2:Cool of another Man (1Ti_2:5) resurrection will come to all those related to Him by spiritual birth. Paul would later expand this grand truth in his letter to the Romans (Rom_5:12-19). Those who are a part of the body of Christ (1Co_12:27) will one day follow the lead of their Head (Col_1:18), but will not do so immediately. Adam and Eve first sinned, (For since by man [came) but all of mankind since Adam and Eve have sinned and come short of the glory of God. The punishment for sin is death. All of mankind was dead in trespasses and sin, until the Lord Jesus Christ took on the form of man and came to the earth and took our punishment for our sin on His body.
(Death, by man [came] also, meaning Jesus) In the first Adam, all have sinned. In the second Adam {Jesus Christ}, we have been made free from sin. Jesus took our punishment and set us free in His righteousness. Jesus defeated sin on the cross and defeated death when he rose out from among the dead. We should all memorize this last statement. We are free from sin and death, if we continue to place our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and live accordingly. The two “alls” are alike only in the sense that they both apply to descendants. The second “all” applies only to believers and does not imply universalism.
By Adam and Eve, sin entered into the world, and death in payment for that sin entered, also. Jesus Christ is the Tree of Life. Those who have partaken of Jesus have partaken of Life. We are no longer dead to sin, but alive in the Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:23

There will be a sequence in the unfolding of the final events. Paul was not concerned to detail all future resurrections since he was addressing the church and was primarily interested here in fixing their place in the scheme of things. As he had earlier affirmed (1Co_15:20), Christ was their sample and surety.
As He promised (Joh_14:2-3) Christ will return for those who compose the church and the dead in Christ will be raised (1Th_4:16). No time frame was indicated in this sequence but a period of almost 2,000 years has now elapsed. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Because He lives, I will live, also. Jesus had to open the door to heaven for us. He did that very thing, when the curtain was torn from the top to the bottom, as He gave His body in death on the cross. The way to the Father had been forbidden, until that happened. Now the way to the Father is open to all who believe in the name of Jesus.
Revelation 15:5 "And after that I looked, and, behold, the temple of the tabernacle of the testimony in heaven was opened:"
Revelation 4:1 "After this I looked, and, behold, a door [was] opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard [was] as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter."
This door into heaven has been opened to the believers, ever since the curtain in the temple was torn. The invitation to come has been to all who believe, as well. Remember when Stephen was stoned to death. He looked into that open door and saw Jesus standing at the right hand of the Father. Jesus was the first to enter in, and He paved the way for us to enter in. Jesus was the first of the firstfruits.
Christ was the first, as the firstfruits of the resurrection harvest. Because of His resurrection, “those who are Christ’s” will be raised and enter the eternal heavenly state in several stages:
(1) Those who have come to saving faith from Pentecost to the Rapture will be joined by living saints at the Rapture to meet the Lord in the air and ascend to heaven;
(2) Those who come to faith after the rapture (subject to a pre-tribulation belief) and during the Tribulation, with the Old Testament saints as well, will be raised up to reign with Him during the Millennium; and
The only people left to be raised will be the ungodly and that will occur at the end of the Millennium at the Great White Throne Judgment of God, which will be followed by eternal hell.

1 Corinthians 15:24

Following the resurrection of the church, another period intervenes until the end when Christ will deliver His kingdom to God the Father (cf. Mat_13:41-43). As in the preceding verse, no time frame was specified and the chronological sequences set forth may indeed be almost momentary (1Co_15:5) but then again they may be prolonged (cf. 1Co_15:23). If about 2,000 years can elapse between the first and second phases in this selected presentation of events, a lapse of half that time, that is, a millennium, between the second and third phases should cause no consternation. There is a time when the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Savior.
Revelation 11:15 "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, the kingdoms of this world are become [the kingdoms] of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign forever and ever."
In an earlier lesson we saw that Christians are the Lord's kingdom on this earth now. We are a kingdom in exile, until our Lord who is in exile too, comes and sets His kingdom up on this earth. Jesus will be King of kings and Lord of lords.
“Then cometh the end”: This involves the restoration of the earth to the rule of Christ, the rightful King. “End” can refer not only to what is over, but to what is complete and fulfilled.
He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God”: In the culmination of the world’s history, after Christ has taken over the restored world for His Father and reigned for 1,000 years, all things will be returned to the way they were designed by God to be in the sinless glory of the new heavens and new earth.
“Put down all rule”: Christ will permanently conquer every enemy of God and take back the earth that He created and that is rightfully His. During the Millennium, under Christ’s rule, rebelliousness will still exist and Christ will have to “rule them with a rod of iron” (Rev. 19:15).
At the end of those 1000 years, Satan will be unleashed briefly to lead a final insurrection against God. But with all who follow his hatred of God and Christ, he will be banished to hell with his fallen angels to suffer forever in the lake of fire.

1 Corinthians 15:25-26

This figure comes from the common practice of kings always sitting enthroned above their subjects, so that when the subjects bowed or knelled, they were lower than the sovereign’s feet. With enemies, the monarch might put his foot on the neck of a conquered ruler, symbolizing that enemy’s total subjugation. In the millennial kingdom, Christ’s foes will be in subjection to Him.
Death as a personification of Christ’s ultimate opponent (cf. 1Co_15:55; Heb_2:14) will be nullified. It is not human bodies which will be destroyed, as some in Corinth were saying, but the destroyer of bodies, death itself. Christ has broken the power of Satan, who held the power of death (Heb 2:14), at the cross. But Satan will not be permanently divested of his weapon of death until the end of the Millennium. Then having fulfilled completely the prophecy of Psalm 8:6. Christ will deliver the kingdom to His Father and the eternal glory of Revelation Chapters 21 and 22 will begin.

1 Corinthians 15:27-28

The reprise of these verses is found in 1Co_15:57. It is by the power of God that the incarnate Christ victoriously mediates His authority (cf. Php_3:21). This work of the Son will find ultimate completion in the glory of the Father (cf. Joh_17:4-5). Lest anyone misunderstand what should be ‘evident,” Paul does not mean by “all things being put under Christ,” that God the Father is so included. It is actually the Father who gave Christ His authority (Matt. 28:18 and John 5:26-27) and whom the Son perfectly serves.
Ephesians 1:20-22: "Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set [him] at his own right hand in the heavenly [places]," "Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come:" "And hath put all [things] under his feet, and gave him [to be] the head over all [things] to the church,"
Matt. 28:18 "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth."
John 5:26-27 "For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;" "And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man."
The Word of God {Jesus as we know Him} created all things. It is only correct that He would rule over His creation. Read the first chapter of John to find that the Word is Creator God.
That too is the ultimate goal of the church (cf. 1Co_10:31; Eph_1:6, Eph_1:12, Eph_1:14). When God is all in all (cf. Rom_11:36), the new creation will be consummated and the resurrected Christ and His church will share in that experience (cf. Rev_22:1). Jesus is spoken of as the Son and that has to do with His being in the flesh of man on this earth at the time of His ministry. When Jesus was in the flesh of man, He was subject to the Father. In fact, Jesus was the Son, while He was here on the earth as our Savior. In heaven, before He came to the earth, He was the Word of God. The one we know as Jesus is eternal Spirit, the same as the Father, and the Holy Spirit in heaven.
Therefore, Christ will continue to rule because His reign is eternal, but He will reign in His former, full, and glorious place within the Trinity, subject to God in the way eternally designed for Him in full Trinitarian glory.

1 Corinthians 15:29

Experiential argument
In this fourth collection of arguments against those who deny the Resurrection, Paul drew on Corinthian practice (1Co_15:29) and also on his own way of life (1Co_15:30-32).
Up to 200 explanations have been given of this verse! Most of these interpretations are inane, prompted by a desire to conform this verse to an orthodox doctrine of baptism. It is clear from the context, however, that Paul distinguished his own practice and teaching from that described here. He merely held up the teaching of being baptized for the dead as a practice of some who denied the Resurrection.
How the false teachers came to this view may never be known, but just across the Saronic Gulf, north of Corinth, lay Eleusis, the center of an ancient mystery religion lauded by Homer and widely popular. The rites of initiation into this pagan religion were washings of purification in the sea without which no one could hope to experience bliss in the life hereafter. A vicarious participation in the mysteries was not unknown. Given the Corinthian propensity for distortion in matters of church practice (11:2-14:40), it was likely that some in Corinth (possibly influenced by the Eleusinian mystery) were propounding a false view of baptism which Paul took up and used as an argument against those who denied the Resurrection. No interpretation of this text is entirely satisfactory, but this view has as its chief strength the natural reading of the Greek verse, an asset singularly lacking in other explanations. Also it is noteworthy that Paul referred to those (not “we”) who are “baptized for the dead.” Other Scripture passages, clarify certain things which he (Paul) does not mean. For example, it does not teach that a dead person can be saved by another person who was baptized on his behalf, because baptism never has a part in a person’s salvation.
A reasonable view seems to be that “they … which are baptized” refers to living believers who give outward testimony to their faith in baptism by water because they were first drawn to Christ by the exemplary lives, faithful influence and witness of believers who had subsequently died. Paul’s point is that if there is no resurrection and no life after death, then why are people coming to Christ to follow the hope of those who have died?

1 Corinthians 15:30-32

In contrast to the practice of those cited in 1Co_15:29, Paul now mentioned his own lifestyle as a forceful statement of his conviction about the certainty of the Resurrection. Some of the Corinthians may have accused Paul of duplicity (cf. 2Co_1:12-14; 2Co_2:17; 2Co_6:Cool, but no one thought him a fool even though he affirmed that he would be one if he ministered without certainty of the Resurrection. Many times his life was imperiled (I die every day; cf. 2Co_6:4-5; 2Co_11:23-28). He is saying here, why would we go through the persecutions on this earth in the name of Jesus, if there were no eternal life?
Paul continually risked his life in self sacrificing ministry. Why would he risk death daily, even hourly, if there were no life after death, no reward and no eternal joy for all his pain? Paul endured great persecution for the church of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:36 "As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the daylong; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter."
Paul endured whatever hardship was necessary to bring the gospel to all who would hear. I am sure, to him, it seemed as if the persecution was constant. We are told also, if we are Christians, to take up our cross daily and follow Jesus. If you are sold out to the Lord Jesus, you will suffer persecution from the world. We do not have to die on the cross for Christianity, but we do have a cross to bear.
Luke 9:23 " And he said to [them] all, If any [man] will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me."

At least once he thought he would die (2Co_1:8-9), probably referred to here as his fight with beasts at Ephesus. Though this was probably not an arena experience, it was like it in that Paul saw no hope of deliverance. Why face that if this life were all there is? This reminds me very much of the way many of our young people feel about their lives today. Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die. You see this would be a statement from a person who did not believe in life after death. I believe that much of the suicide today is a way of escape from realities. Young people have so many problems to face that people growing up 50 years ago did not have. The problem is a spiritual problem. Children, who have not been schooled in the teachings of the Bible, do not realize that there is help for the problems they are facing. The world cannot help them face tomorrow.
The world has no solutions to the problems. The only solution to their problems is found in the Lord Jesus Christ and in His Word {Bible}.
The scripture sounds as if it is talking about wild animals, but the beasts here are not animals, but men with beastly natures. He is saying, why did I fight so hard to win them to the Lord, if there is no resurrection?
The Epicureans (and less philosophical men before them; cf. Isa_22:13) would be right — pursue pleasure and avoid pain. But Paul knew there was more, and his life testified to that fact (cf. 1Co_9:24-27; 2Co_4:16-18).

1 Corinthians 15:33-34

Paul’s concluding advice with reference to those who continued to deny the Resurrection was like his former counsel concerning immoral people in the church (1Co_5:1-13) — don’t associate with them. The statements of those, who are not saved, and those who do not believe in life after death of the body, are just confusing and deceiving. By word or example, evil friends are a corrupting influence. Hope in the resurrection is sanctifying; it leads to godly living, not corruption. Some in the church did not know God and were a corrupting influence, but not for those who hoped for life in God’s presence.
Why listen to the statements of those who are lost? If you wanted to find your way, you would first find someone who knew the way and then follow them. Paul is saying; do not even listen to their doubting.
Previously he had compared immorality in the church to yeast in bread (1Co_5:6). Here he quoted the pagan writer Menander to the same effect: Bad Company corrupts good character. False teachers should be avoided (cf. 2 Cor. 6:14-7:1) because though they claimed great knowledge they were in fact ignorant of God (cf. 1Co_8:2). Stay in the path that the Light of Jesus has illuminated for you. Do not walk in the dark. This awake refers to wake up from a stupor. We Christians are warned over and over to walk in the Light. We are to have no fellowship with darkness, if we are Christians. Righteousness means in right standing with God. If we are to stay in right standing with God, we must not sin. Sin separates us from God.
Even some, who proclaim Christianity, are still walking in darkness. If they are walking in darkness, they will stumble and fall, because they do not have the Light of God directing them. Paul is saying that even some of the Corinthians have not the knowledge of God. Definitely the ones, who do not believe in life after death of the body, do not have the knowledge of God. Were the wise Corinthians this easily deceived? (cf. 2Co_11:3).
We will see in the next lesson some of the arguments these people who do not have the knowledge of God bring up.

1 Corinthians 15:35-37

Answers to Certain Questions

In the preceding section (1Co_15:1-34) Paul had taken up the question implicit in 1Co_15:12, why believe in the Resurrection? He answered it with arguments rooted in history, logic, theology, and experience. He then addressed two other questions: How is the resurrection achieved? What is the nature of a resurrected body?
Answers about the resurrection of the dead
One objection to belief in anyone’s resurrection might be its incomprehensibility. This was the point of the questions how are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come? In the last lessons, we were going into some believing in life after death of the body, and some who do not. Now, Paul is bringing up the question of how they will be raised up. It goes without saying that he is speaking to those who are proclaiming Christianity, but still do not believe in the resurrection. The Jews were taught that man is dust, and to dust he shall return. This is true of the physical body. This is the same old misunderstanding of the difference between the flesh and the spirit. Those who look with physical eyes at the literal message in the Scriptures can never understand God who is Spirit or His Word, which is understood by the spirit.
They had the truth but shamefully did not believe and follow it; thus, these questions did not reflect a genuine interest in the resurrection but were mocking taunts, by those who denied the resurrection, perhaps under the influence of Gnostic oriented philosophy. But supposing it was true, they queried as to how it could ever happen.
There is a body that rises, but it is not flesh and blood. When a seed is planted in the ground it dies; decomposing, it ceases to exist in its seed form, but life comes from inside that dead seed. Just as God gives a new body to that plaint that rises from the dead seed, so He can give a resurrection body to a man who dies.

1 Corinthians 15:50 "Now this I say, brethren that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither doth corruption inherit in-corruption."

We would have gotten to this Scripture in this lesson, but it explains this very well right here.
Paul did not consider these sorts of questions a wise person would ask, as is obvious from his response, how foolish! Literally how senseless or thoughtless to his imaginary interlocutor. Belief in the Resurrection was like belief in seed-time and harvest. Neither could be completely understood but both were real. A plant which sprouted from a seed was directly linked to it but remarkably different from it, so too was the relationship of a natural and a resurrected body. It is a dangerous thing to call someone a fool, so Paul is indirectly and not directly calling them a fool. He is saying, are you so foolish to believe that the same seed that you plant grows into a seed? When you put a little seed in the ground, it actually dies and then a new plant springs forth from the seed. It is so strange for a little acorn to be planted in the ground and then a short time later in the very spot where you planted the acorn a little tree pops out of the earth. If you plant a bean, you will not get corn. The plant that comes from the seed is very similar to the seed and you will be able to relate it to the seed that you planted, but it will not be identical. This is the same with our body that is planted. A new body comes forth, but you would be able to relate the new body to the old, because Jesus still had the nail prints in his hands. He was, however, different enough that even His apostles, looking with physical eyes did not recognize Him. It was only when their spiritual understanding was opened, that they recognized Jesus as the risen Christ.
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1 Corinthians Chapter 15 Part Two
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