Paul addresses the core belief of Christianity – death and resurrection. The Corinthians probably faced many of the same skeptics that exist today – alive is alive, dead is dead, those are definitions. Some may have wanted a watered down believe – I really like the teachings, but I’m not on-board with the death and resurrection part.
But Paul helps explain that this the THE pivotal point of the faith of a Christian. If Christ didn’t die, then the price of sin wasn’t paid. If Christ wasn’t resurrected, then what hope do we have? If we have no hope of eternal life, then all else is moot.
Finally, Paul closes with housekeeping for the church. Primarily that they are to stay connected to the larger church, through tithing, through receiving ministers and teachers, and through diligence, labor and listening.
12. a. (1) He appeared to Peter, (2) then to the 12, (3) then to 500 at the same time most still living, (4) then to James, (5) then to all apostles, (6) then to Paul
b. Christ died, He was buried, he was raised on the 3rd day all done in accordance with and in fulfillment of the scriptures
13. If Christ did not rise from the dead then no one else can (if God can’t…) For if Christ did not defeat death, then He did not pay the price of sin, then there is no salvation for mankind. From original sin all die, but Christ alone provides resurrection from that death. His reign is over all enemies, death is the last enemy
14. a. Christ (firstfruites), those who belong to him, then the end will come: He destroys all dominion, authority and power and hands all over to the kingdom of God the Father. Christ reigns until all enemies are defeated – the final is death.
b. there will be a physical resurrection, but as a new creation. We will not all die, but all will be transformed.
c. trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, we will be changed
15. Stand firm, let nothing move us. Prepare: give regularly (not just in response to urgency), give food and shelter to ministers, be on guard, stand firm in faith, be courageous, be strong, do everything in love, work, labor, listen to elders
We can get so caught up in the trappings of Christianity and the church that we can lose sight of the core tenents of our faith. God sent his only son, a second Adam but this one of spirit onto woman rather than from dust. That son of God, Jesus, who was fully man and fully God, sinless, died and was buried (not brought back with CPR) in the tomb for 3 days. Then, of his own accord, without any person’s assistance, came back to life from the dead.
This is the stumbling block of non-believers. They can’t believe it could or would happen. Why would an eternal God choose this path. Why would a being who is the son of God, die?
But without this core element and faith and belief it in, there is no Christianity. There is no payment of sin, there is no eternal life.
You can decide if you want to wear a hat or not to church. You can have your own opinions about speaking in tongues. But if you don’t believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus, then you are not a Christian. Period.
If you are – then, live like one. Love your brothers, help them, work, listen, pray, learn, do, serve, contribute, use your spiritual gifts.