Sunday, April 24, 2011

Paul Did Not Use Google

Paul and his cohorts had no recourse to Google (nor Wikipedia for that matter). If he wanted to prove a point he had to produce eye-witnesses. Couldn't just look it up on the net. And so, when he wants to prove a point about the risen Christ, he reminds his readers that he is backed by well over 500 eye-witnesses.

Here's a short version of what he wrote to believers residing at Corinth.

He states that the risen Christ appeared (walked with, talked with) to:
  • Peter
  • the twelve disciples
  • more than 500 brethren at one time (some who were still alive when Paul wrote this chapter and quite able and willing to testify of the same)
  • James
  • all the apostles
  • to Paul himself
Paul is concerned that some of the believers do not believe in a bodily resurrection from the dead (for themselves, that is). Paul points out that if Christ has not risen from the dead then the following points are valid:
  • there is no resurrection from the dead for us...when we die, we die. The End.
  • it is pointless to preach Christ
  • our faith in Christ is pointless
  • what we proclaim as "truth" is mere "lie"
  • those who have died have perished...there is no heaven
But Paul is saying that Christ Is Risen. And he has 500+ witnesses to that event. Then he points out the order and meaning of the fact of the risen Christ:
  • Christ...the first to rise from the dead.
  • In Adam (as descendants of Adam) we all die. None of us gets out of here alive.
  • In Christ (joined to him by faith) we will be made alive.
  • We get our resurrected bodies at his second advent (his second coming)
But we are not yet there. Death still takes each one of us. But the emphasis here is that Death itself will someday be done away with. There will come a time when there will be no more death! Verse 26 says it like this..."The last enemy that will be abolished is death."

You can read Paul's more plainly here. I Corinthians 15:3-28

And Paul's concluding thoughts here. I Cor. 15:54-55

Jesus came to undo the work of the devil. He came to undo the death that Adam's sin brought to all of us. He came to put an end to death. An end to death? How can there be better news than that? And, hey! That thing about Jesus undoing the work of the devil? You can hover your cursor over the following verses to read about that.
Hebrews 2:14
1 John 3:8

On Easter we celebrate Christ's victory over death on our behalf. In Adam we die. In Christ we live. The latter only because Christ Himself lives and has conquered death.

J.C. Ryle (a much better writer than I) put it this way....We need not wonder that so much importance is attached to our Lord’s resurrection. It is the seal and memorial stone of the great work of redemption, which He came to do. It is the crowning proof that He has paid the debt He undertook to pay on our behalf, won the battle He fought to deliver us from hell, and is accepted as our guarantee and our substitute by our Father in heaven. Had He never come forth from the prison of the grave, how could we ever have been sure that our ransom had been fully paid (1 Corinthians 15:17)? Had He never risen from His conflict with the last enemy, how could we have felt confident that He has overcome death – and him that had the power of death, that is the devil (Hebrews 2:14)? But thanks be unto God, we are not left in doubt. The Lord Jesus really rose again for our justification.

And so we live by faith.


Scott said...

Excellent - Glory to God - He is risen -- oh yes He is risen indeed. What wonderful grace and Capital G, Capital N, Good News this Easter Morning preparing my heart for worship. In fact Capital G-O-O-D N-E-W-S or in Greek EUANGELLION ie GOSPEL. I believe this morning we will be hearing from this very passage of Scripture as part of our heaven-directed God exalting Worship.

Love you guys.


Paula said...

He is risen!!!! Happy Easter to you and your hubby.

Persis said...

Hallelujah! He is risen!

Have a blessed Resurrection day!

Kelly said...

Very good!

Yes, we walk by faith.

Happy Easter to you. He is risen, indeed!

Gregg said...

Excellent post! Thank God He is indeed risen!

Gregg Metcalf
Colossians 1:28-29

Gospel-driven Disciples

Nancy said...

Happy Easter! Thanks for the lesson.

Glenda said...

I'm a "heart witness" to the Risen Saviour! The old hymn "He Lives" says: "You ask me how I know He lives; He lives within my heart."

Karen said...

Beautiful post! Hope you had a blessed Easter! Thanks for your message.

Denise said...

What a relief it is for He has risen. Love this post.

Debra said...

Loved this post. He has the keys of hell and of death. Praise God!