and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.1 Corinthians 15:17(NASB)
Despite the Corinthian Christians being saved by grace through faith in Christ, Paul had some serious concerns about their ungodly conduct, their spiritual immaturity, their argumentative behaviour, and their abuse of spiritual gifts.
When a church fellowship allows carnality to enter its gates and permits the philosophy of the world to infiltrate its ranks, it is not surprising that false doctrines begin to proliferate and false teachers enter the flock of God - muddying the crystal-clear message from on high.
Sadly, this is what happened at Corinth to such a great extent... that the foundational facts of their faith in Christ's death, burial, and Resurrection became so distorted that the saints had started to deny the likelihood of their own resurrection from the dead. What a travesty!
Although they did acknowledge that there was some form of life after death... they had started to suggest that there would be no bodily resurrection from the grave. They did not believe in the physical resurrection of the body - as is falsely taught in certain cults today.
These misguided Christians bought into the satanic lie that there is no physical resurrection from the dead, and though some may have believed in some type of spiritual afterlife - Paul found it necessary to cover this unbiblical error in great detail in 1st Corinthians 15 - which is often called the Resurrection Chapter.
Step by step, Paul guided these confused Christians through the gospel message of grace - that Christ died for our sins according to the Scripture, and that he was buried, and was raised from the dead, according to the Scripture. He reminded them that Jesus appeared to James and the other apostles and that He ate and drank with them. Many witnesses saw Him with their own eyes and touched Him with their very own hands.
These confused believers in Corinth needed to understand that Christ was their very pattern - and that all who believe on His name must follow in His footsteps... for He is the firstborn from the dead - the first of many who will be raised into life immortal. Our old sin nature was put to death with Christ on the Cross, and we received a new nature... the life of Christ. And just as we are identified with Christ's death, so we are identified with His bodily Resurrection.
Scripture teaches that we will one day receive a body like unto His glorious body... uncorrupted by sin - an immortal body of flesh and bone that will never die - for His life-blood was shed at Calvary so that we might receive His resurrected life in an incorruptible body, through the power of the Spirit.
Paul pointed out that believing on Christ's Resurrection is foundational to their faith - and because He lives, we too will live, in newness of life. Like Jesus, we are to be raised spirit, soul, and BODY. If Christ had not been raised from the dead, then everything about the glorious gospel of grace, and our faith in the Lord Jesus would be false and worthless!! "If Christ has not been raised, then your faith is worthless," Paul wrote, "and you are still in your sins!"
Praise God that Christ's Resurrection is not a fairy story but an historical fact that was witnessed by many hundreds of people. Praise God that Christ has indeed been raised from the dead and will never die again. Let us give thanks that He is the first-fruits of those who are asleep in Christ - for since by a man (the first Adam) came death, by a Man (Christ Jesus our Lord - the last Adam) came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.
Let us study the truth of God's Word and read this amazing fifteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians, and let us discover the wonders of the bodily resurrection that is ours in Christ. All who have been saved by grace through faith in Him, have been promised that their earthly, perishable body will be raised a heavenly, imperishable body.. and our mortal flesh will be changed into immortality in the twinkling of an eye. How wonderful to know that we can sing with all the saints: "Where O death is your victory? Where O grave is your sting?"
Heavenly Father, thank You for the amazing 15th chapter of Corinthians which goes into such specific detail about Christ's victory over sin and death - on our account. I praise and thank You that because of His great sacrifice on the Cross and glorious, bodily Resurrection, we too are raised into newness of life in Christ - not only in this world but also into the eternal ages to come, where we will be clothed in our eternal, resurrected bodies - for when we see Him as He is we shall be like Him, for which I praise Your holy name. Thank You, in Jesus' name, AMEN.