Volume 14, No. 3 (March 2019)
Almost all of us go through life constantly suppressing the truth from our own minds that death is coming for each of us. The mortality rate is 100%! The Bible says that something is not right with the world, in fact is terribly wrong: and that is the problem of sin, and of death that comes as a result of sin. Sin reigns, and death is our greatest enemy.
The glorious message of the Bible is that through all this darkness and despair there shines the blazing light of Jesus Christ; Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15 that His resurrection from the dead has guaranteed salvation, hope and victory for all those who give their lives to Him.
1. The resurrection of Christ guarantees our SALVATION, if we trust in Him.
Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you. (15:1-2)
The Gospel Paul preached was the good news of salvation through Jesus Christ.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. (15:3-4)
Because Christ died on the cross and paid the penalty for sin, all who trust in Him and His substitutionary death receive eternal life. Christ was raised from the dead by the Father in demonstration of His satisfaction with His Son’s payment for sin. The power of sin and death has been broken.
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. (15:18-19)
Paul makes it very clear that it is crucial for our salvation not only that Christ died but that He rose as well.
2. The resurrection of Christ guarantees our HOPE.
If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (15:19)
If Christ allowed us only to be better people here and now, to be religious, to help others, but gave us no hope and face of the relentless approach of death, what would be the use?
But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. (15:20-23)
For all who belong to Him this brief life is just the prelude to a glorious future. Because Christ is gone first, we who belong to Him will follow.