A Community of Grace · Clinton, SC

The Centraility of the Resurrection

1 Corinthians 15:12-20

In this passage Paul reminds us of the centrality of the resurrection by laying out for his readers seven things that would be true if there is no resurrection of the dead. The first consequence would be that Christ Has Not Been Raised. This consequence is first both in sequence and in importance, for the rest of the consequences are built off of it. If Christ has not been raised, then Preaching is Useless; Our Faith is Useless; the New Testament writers are False Witnesses; We are Still in Our Sins; Those Who Have Fallen Asleep in Christ are Lost; and We Are to Be Pitied More Than All Men. But thankfully Paul does not end with his “what’s the worst thing that can happen” reasoning – he goes on to state emphatically in verse 20 that the “what if’s” of verses 12-19 are exactly that – what if’s – for Christ has been raised from the dead! AND SINCE CHRIST HAS INDEED BEEN RAISED FROM THE DEAD – their opposites are true. Our preaching of the gospel message is not in vain – it is used by the resurrected Christ to further his kingdom. Our faith, far from being in vain, is filled with hope and usefulness. Instead of basing what we believe and how we live on the writings of liars, we know we have based it on those who have seen and been led by the risen Christ, and we can trust what they teach us in all areas of life. Instead of being left in our sins and being the objects of God’s wrath, we are a forgiven people who are the objects of his affection and who can walk in newness of life. Instead of the hopelessness of never seeing our fellow believers who have died again, we have the hope of the resurrection of the dead and of being caught up with them to heaven. And, instead of being the pitied we are filled with pity for those who do not believe in Christ. Oh, that we might rejoice in our Resurrected Savior and Lord, for “in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep”