Paul picks up a super-important (and timely) topic as we enter 1st Corinthians 15: resurrection! This is a long chapter, and will take us right up to Easter, so we will be well prepared by the time we gather for Resurrection Sunday.
The Corinthian issues with bodily resurrection, and the fact that Paul had to set the record straight, has given us the most comprehensive and practical chapter on resurrection in the Bible! It seems that there were some powerful persuaders in the Corinthian church. They were contrary to Paul and his teaching, and were influencing the whole church. One major place they departed was regarding resurrection: they were teaching that there was no bodily resurrection!
I find it fascinating to ask people what they think happens when they die. Have you ever asked that? People have so many different ideas on this topic, but for the Christian the clear answer is resurrection! And not just spiritual; it is physical and literal. There is no way around that! Both Jew and Greek would have struggled with this concept. The Sadducees, one branch of Jewish leadership, rejected the resurrection among other things. Paul used this topic to create a split between Sadducees and Pharisees in Acts 23. And if you take a look at Acts 17, you will see that it was the topic of resurrection that caused an abrupt ending to Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill in Athens. Those Stoic and Epicurean philosophers would have none of it!
So, what exactly is being taught in Corinth? How important, and how true, is a literal, bodily resurrection from the dead? Does it matter if it is literal or just spiritual? Can we really prove it anyway?
These questions just scratch the surface of what lies ahead in chapter 15! Listen in and come and see as we dig into this important chapter!