When darkness falls upon the day of life, when death has come, and when people gather around a grave, then it is that they turn to this immortal chapter, where are recorded the title deeds of man’s highest hope, the Christian gospel’s promise of eternal life.
Apostolic power and inspiration charge every word of this chapter with everlasting significance, which has been neither dimmed nor eroded by the passing of nineteen centuries.
Even the mysteries of it, which people may not fully understand, have power to quicken the human spirit and rekindle the fires of faith.
The dimensions of this heavenly message are so vast that finite man may neither completely comprehend nor intelligently deny it; thus leaving every man the moral option of trusting the Father’s promise or turning to the blackness of total despair.
It is the voice of God the Father of mankind that speaks to people here; and, for all who listen, it promises that nothing can harm the Father’s child, that there is no need to fear, and that even life’s sorrows, infirmities and sufferings are not without purpose, and that none of life’s labors are in vain “in the Lord.”
I. The dead will be raised (1 Corinthians 15:1-34).
A. The resurrection of Christ proves it (1 Corinthians 15:1-11).
B. To deny the resurrection is absurd (1 Corinthians 15:12-34).
C. An illustration of the reasonableness of the doctrine of the resurrection (introduced parenthetically, as often in Paul’s writings) (1 Corinthians 15:20-28).
II. Regarding the nature of the bodies that shall be raised up (1 Corinthians 15:35-41).
A. It is like grain that is planted (1 Corinthians 15:36-38).
B. It is like different kinds of flesh (1 Corinthians 15:39).
C. It is like different kinds of celestial bodies (1 Corinthians 15:40-31).
D. It is described as:
III. What shall become of those who remain alive at the Second Advent? (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).
A. The answer is that they shall be changed in an instant, and thus participate in the resurrection just like others.
IV. The practical application of the doctrine of the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:55-58).
A. It places the Christian in a position of strength, the great victory already having been won (1 Corinthians 15:55-57).
B. All of the Christian’s energies should be devoted fully to the service of God, being assured that his labor is not in vain “in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
It is rather tragic that the Corinthians required that someone remind them of the fundamental facts of the Christian gospel, at a time so soon after they had heard it, obeyed it, and were enjoying the blessings of salvation derived from it.
There is no profit in trying to identify these false teachers.
Satan always has an advocate in every community; and those of Jewish background could have been contaminated by the Sadducees, while those of Greek origin could have cited a hundred of their philosophers who despised any such doctrine as the resurrection of the dead (Acts 17:32).