1 Corinthians 15:1-34 The resurrection of the dead
The resurrection of the dead
1 Corinthians 15:1-34
Secondary Scripture reading: John 11
This morning I want to talk to you about the resurrection to come- being called "The
resurrection of the dead"
The Bible declares that death is not the end of a person. Rather, one day every person who
has ever lived will be resurrected back to life and that all will appear before the judgment
seat of Christ to give an account of their lives.
Some Bible verses on the resurrection to come
In Daniel 12:2-3 it says; "Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake: some to
everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.Those who are wise will shine like
the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars for
ever and ever
Isaiah 26:19 says; "But your dead will live; their bodies will rise. You who dwell in the dust,
wake up and shout for joy. Your dew is like the dew of the morning; the earth will give birth
to her dead."
Revelation 20:13 says; "The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave
up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done."
Job 19:25-27 says; "I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon
the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will
see him with my own eyes-I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
WHY THIS TALK ON THE RESURRECTION TO COME???
The answer is because some in the Corinthian church were denying the
resurrection of the dead. READ v.12
Strangely enough, while denying the resurrection of the dead, all the while affirming Jesus'
resurrection from the dead.
As reading note: A FURTHER SHOCKING PRACTICE OF SOME IN THE CORINTHIAN
CHURCH- baptism for the dead v.29
It seems that some of the Corinthians we also being baptized on behalf of dead relatives v.29
In a tactical move (from an argumentation standpoint), Paul, without endorsing this practice
in the slightest, used their practice to show the logical inconsistency between denying the
resurrection of the dead and there being baptized on behalf of the dead.
-Baptism for the dead was part of a certain pagan religion in a city named Eleusis just north
-Interpretations of v.29 are multiple. The two dominant views are : a. Paul is referring to a
group of people whom the Corinthians were familiar with-- using them as an example b. Paul
is actually addressing Corinthian Christians who were following the practice the local pagan
practice of being baptized for the dead.
-The Mormon's- who are not Christians (for their doctrines contradict the Scriptures core
teachings on the person of Christ and the way of salvation)- claim and teach that v.29 teaches
that one should be baptized for their dead relatives. This is a key practice of Mormonism. The
Bible does not teach that one should do this.
In response to the Corinthian church's faulty position on the resurrection of the
dead that is to come, Paul...
1. REMINDS THEM OF THE GOSPEL MESSAGE V.1-4
We must never forgot how we came to be saved-- by the shed blood of Christ
We need constant reminders of what Jesus did for and of what we are to tell others about
Note: "in accordance with the Scriptures"-- Jesus coming, death, work, resurrection, all in
accord with the Scriptures
Tell me the story of Jesus is to be our constant refrain
2. REVIEWS FOR THEM WHY THEY SHOULD BELIEVE THAT JESUS ROSE FROM THE
a. His empty tomb (never denied by the authorities)
b. In accordance with the Scriptures
c. Jesus' multiple appearances after his resurrection (most of the witnesses still being alive at
the time-- this is a big deal since people could go and question them)
Paul's point: Since Jesus rose from the dead: You should believe the Scriptures when they
say that there will be a resurrection of the dead.
3. SHOWS THEM HOW INCONSISTENT AND ILLOGICAL THEIR DENIAL OF THE
RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD WAS v.12-34
Obviously the Corinthians had not thought deeply enough about the theological implications
of denying the resurrection of the dead--- and so Paul walks them through the consequences
of their erroneous belief.
This is why Paul writes as he does
a. If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised v.13
b. If Christ has not been raised that our preaching is useless and so is your faith v.14
c. If Christ has not been raised then we have been false witnesses about God v.15
d. If Christ has not been raised, you are still in your sins v.17
e. If Christ has not been raised, the dead in Christ are lost v.18
f. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all people v.19
Further: As already mentioned, Paul in v.29 highlights the logical inconsistency of being
baptized for the dead and then denying the resurrection of the dead.
To deny the resurrection of the Dead is to deny the resurrection of Jesus-for which there is
4. INSTRUCTS THEM FURTHER AS IT REGARDS THE PERSON, WORK, AND
RESURRECTION OF JESUS v.20-26
Given their ignorance and susceptibility to false teaching, Paul takes time to further instruct
them in the ways of Christ. He does so gently with a genuine concern for their growth in the
Topics covered: Jesus as the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep, the coming reign of
Christ, the relationship of Jesus and the Father, the last enemy to be destroyed is death
5. WARNS THEM TO BE CAREFUL OF THE COMPANY THEY KEEP v.33-34
Obviously some false teachers and "wolves" had crept into the church. Thus Paul warns them
to be careful of the company they keep and to whom they listen to. Further, Paul calls them to
repent over their waywardness and lending there ears to those who taught falsely.
Application: Paul's words about the company we keep also applies to people in general.
Further, we must always be vigilant regarding who we listen to as it regards the Word of God
and how to live before God. We must exercise great discernment.
6. CONCLUDES THAT SINCE JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD, SO WILL WE!
Are you prepared for the day when you will be resurrected from the dead-- for on this day
you will appear before the Great White throne of God to give an account
If you are in Christ, you are prepared
If you are not in Christ by your faith in Jesus as Savior and Lord you are not prepared for the
resurrection to come
As Daniel prophesied long ago..... "Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake:
some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt.Those who are wise will
shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to righteousness, like the
stars for ever and ever" Daniel 12:1-3
Next week: What will our resurrection bodies be like
Benediction: I leave you with these words of Jesus from John 11:25 "I am the resurrection
and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and
believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?"