1 Corinthians 15
1 Corinthians 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, [Remember and continue in faithful obedience to Paul’s instructions and the doctrines (teachings) of the whole Word of God; If we do not, all of our past faithfulness will count for nothing.] unless ye have believed in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; [Christ fulfilled the law of sacrifice.] 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the [Rising at the end of the third day.] third day according to the scriptures: 15:5 And that he was seen of Cephas [Peter], then of the twelve: 15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
15:7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.
Paul declares the many witnesses to the death and the resurrection of Christ and declares that he himself had seen the resurrected Christ, and I dare say that he probably also saw the crucifixion as most Jews in Jerusalem did.
15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
Paul regrets his persecution of the Ekklesia; and fully understands how very great a mercy God has shown to him.
15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
Knowing how great God’s grace and mercy was to him Paul was one of the most humble men in spite of his great learning; and he worked day and night to please his Lord and not to please men.
15:11 Therefore whether it were I [Paul says that God’s work MUST be done, whether by Paul or by some other.] or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
Paul defends the doctrine of a resurrection
15:12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 15:13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 15:14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.
We must have faith not only in the perfect life and sacrifice but also in the resurrection of Christ, and we must also have faith that God will raise us up if Christ dwells in us through the Holy Spirit
15:15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 15:16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 15:17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 15:18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
15:19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. [having no hope] 15:20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.
The word FIRST clearly meaning that others will follow in a similar resurrection to spirit.
15:21 For since by man came death, by man [Jesus Christ was a man in the flesh; having given up his God-hood to be made flesh.] came also the resurrection of the dead. 15:22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 15:23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.
15:24 Then cometh the [final] end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even [to] the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 15:25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.
15:26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
15:27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he [God the Father] is excepted, which did put all things under him.
15:28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him [Jesus Christ will continue to be subject to God the Father forever.] that put all things under him, that God [the Father] may be all in all. 15:29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for [We are into the death and the resurrection of Christ.] the dead [If Christ be not raised from the dead what will happen to those who are baptized into the death and resurrection of Christ?], if the dead rise not at all?
If we cannot rise from the dead; why are we baptized in a symbolic death and resurrection?
Baptism is more than a commitment, it is an allegory demonstrating how we shall die physically and be raised a NEW being composed of spirit like Jesus Christ was; if we continue in Christ-like zeal to learn and to live by every Word of God!
Baptism is a symbolic death of the past sinful self; and a rising to a new life in Christ: If there is no resurrection and Christ is not risen; why do we then baptize as a demonstration of the coming resurrection? For if we will not be resurrected then we should remain under the water as being eternally dead.
No, baptism pictures the death of the old PAST wicked sinful person; AND the rising up of a new being, faithful to God the Father and Jesus Christ, in a resurrection to a life in the spirit living by every Word of God!
15:30 And why stand [Why do we place ourselves in danger and persecution, if there is no hope of a resurrection to eternal life?] we in jeopardy every hour?
15:31 I protest [against the false teaching that there is no resurrection from the dead] by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die [Paul suffers and endures for the sake of rejoicing in the resurrection of the brethren.] daily.
15:32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? [If there is no resurrection we have no hope and we are fools to endure so much for nothing.] let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.
15:33 Be not deceived: evil communications [False teachings corrupt good conduct.] corrupt good manners. 15:34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
Paul commands us to live by the Righteousness of the Word of God and not to live in sin! We are to continue in Christ; loathing sin and all compromise with God the Father’s Word, just as Jesus Christ hated and hates all sin.
There is no such thing as “once saved, always saved.” We must continue and build upon our baptismal commitment to “go and sin no more” that we have made to Jesus Christ at our initial repentance.
We must not turn back into bondage to Satan and sin, as some in ancient Israel sought to return to bondage in Egypt, and were destroyed for that wickedness.
15:35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
15:36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: 15:37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 15:38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
God decides what new body he will give each person.
15:39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 15:40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 15:41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
15:42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 15:43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 15:44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
Sown in physical death we will be reaped into a new spiritual body; even as baptism shows a person with a physical carnal nature being buried under the waters, to be raised up a new person with a new spiritual nature! We must then continue in the spiritual nature of God and not seek to turn back to the carnal physical nature that we were delivered out of.
15:45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a [Jesus Christ was changed from flesh to spirit.] quickening spirit.
15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
15:47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
15:48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 15:49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
If we sincerely repent of rebelling against God’s Word and then continue in living by every Word of God we shall be raised up to eternal life.
15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
If we remain carnal and not subject to the Word of God; we shall NOT enter the resurrection to spirit.
15:51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
15:54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, [the physical bodies of the faithful will be changed to spirit] and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.
15:55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 15:56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the [the breaking of the law for which the penalty is death.] law.
15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory [victory over breaking God’s Word, which is victory over sin and death] through our Lord Jesus Christ.
15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Take a stand to live by every Word of God without compromise; and we shall, by internalizing the very nature of God as defined by every Word of God; be changed into spirit just as God is spirit!
1 Corinthians 16
1 Corinthians 16:1 Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.
Paul instructs them to do as the Galatians are doing by gathering their gifts for the brethren in Jerusalem during the famine there before Paul arrives so that all will be in readiness when he comes.
16:2 Upon the first day of the week [Sunday, a common work day] let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
Organize and prepare things so that all may be ready when Paul arrives and there will be no delay.
16:3 And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem.
Paul will send those whom they have chosen to bring their assistance to Jerusalem. Paul says that he will also go to Jerusalem as written in the book of Acts.
16:4 And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.
16:5 Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia. 16:6 And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go. 16:7 For I will not see you now by the [Paul will delay for only a short time] way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit.
Paul would like to spend some time in Corinth instead of just passing by and therefore might or might not go to Jerusalem with the gift at that time.
16:8 But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost. 16:9 For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries. [at Ephesus]
16:10 Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do. 16:11 Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me: [send Timothy back to me in peace] for I look for him with the brethren.
16:12 As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.
16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. 16:14 Let all your things be done with charity [with Godly Love, which is obedience to every Word of God].
16:15 I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) 16:16 That ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth.
16:17 I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied. 16:18 For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.
16:19 The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. 16:20 All the brethren greet you. Greet ye one another with an holy kiss. 16:21 The salutation of me Paul with mine own hand.
16:22 If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ,
Love is demonstrated by seeking to please and desiring the good of the loved one.
We, being the espoused bride of Christ, demonstrate our love by pleasing him with our attentiveness and obedience to him and to God the Father whom he also obeys. We please our espoused Husband by esteeming him [and God his Father] above ALL others, and by keeping his teachings and doing his will!
Love is an action, based on the principles that God has revealed in his Word! Love is NOT a worked up emotion or feeling!
. . . let him be Anathema Maranatha [rejected by Christ].
16:23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. 16:24 My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.