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1 Corinthians 15:30-32

To Die Daily?

30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? 31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.


If the dead do not rise, everything that Paul and the other apostles had suffered for the gospel would have been in vain. So he asks, "And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?" Why would they have risked their lives so many times for the gospel, if there was not going to be a resurrection? They had been in such constant danger that to say they were in danger every hour did not sound like hyperbole to him. He had been beaten, stoned, left for dead and imprisoned for what he had believed. Would he or anyone else have suffered so much for a lie?

15:31 is better translated by the Holman Christian Standard Bible to say, "I affirm by the pride in you that I have in Christ Jesus our Lord: I die every day!" Paul is in effect swearing by the pride, or by the rejoicing, that he felt in them and the confidence that he had in their salvation, which he had through Jesus Christ our Lord, that he was dying daily for his faith.

"People swear or affirm by their objects of dearest affection and desire; and the meaning here is, 'So certainly as I confidently expect your salvation, and so certainly as we look to eternal life, so certain is it that I am constantly exposed to die, and suffer that which may he called a daily death.” (Albert Barnes' Notes; theWord Bible Study Software)

"If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus,.." There have been at least seven reasonable interpretations of this passage (See Barnes on this verse). For this study we will assume that Paul is referring to some incident that happened to him at Ephesus which brought him close to death. Whether he means that he is speaking "after the manner of men" or whether he fought "after the manner of men," we cannot determine. Neither do we know of a time when he fought with wild beasts or would have been put into an arena to fight with them. He may have been referring to those men who persecuted him as "beasts."

"...what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not?" The exact details and circumstances of the event about which Paul was speaking are not so important as the fact that he faced possible death during it. The point that he is making is that he would not have gone through all of that, if it were true that there was going to be no resurrection of the dead.

"if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die." If this life is all that we have, we had better enjoy it while we can. The passage is a quote from Isaiah 22:13 and represents the mindset of a people who have no God and no hope. (See my comments on Isaiah 22:13 at http://seekhimnow.com/seekers/modules/icontent/index.php?page=787)

But we do have a God, a Lord and a Savior, in whom we trust. He has promised a resurrection, He has demonstrated that God has the power to do it, and He has volunteered to be the first fruits among many. We should never have to utter those words, "let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die." We have an eternity of fruitful and joyful living for which to prepare ourselves. This is worth dying for daily.

Before The Throne:

If you have had a defeatist or hopeless outlook on life, confess it as a sin against God. Pray that He will erase all thoughts of that nature from your mind. Thank Him for the eternal life that is given to you by His mercy and grace. Thank Him for demonstrating through Christ that the dead shall rise and you will one day join Him for all of eternity.

For Further Study:

(v.30)
** 1Cor 15:31; Rom 8:36-39; 2Cor 4:7-12; 2Cor 6:9; 2Cor 11:23-27; Gal 5:11:

(v.31) ** protest. Gen 43:3; 1Sam 8:9; Jer 11:7; Zech 3:6; Phil 3:3; ** your. 2Cor 1:12; 2Cor 2:14; 1Thess 2:19; 1Thess 3:9; ** die. 1Cor 4:9-13; Acts 20:23; Rom 8:36; 2Cor 4:10-11; 2Cor 11:23;

(v.32) ** after. or, to speak after. Rom 6:19; Gal 3:15; ** beast. 2Pet 2:12; Jude 1:10; ** Ephesus. Acts 19:1, 23-41; 2Cor 1:8-10; ** what. Job 35:3; Ps 73:13; Mal 3:14-15; Luke 9:25; ** let. Eccl 2:24; Eccl 11:9; Isa 22:13; Isa 56:12; Luke 12:19;

1 Corinthians 15:28-29

Our All In All

28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. 29 Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?


These two verses have proven to be very difficult passages to understand, and many great Christian writers have written very different interpretations of them. The first is the question of whether or not Christ will actually surrender His authority over His kingdom to God.

All must agree that Christ and the Father are one. (John 10:30) And this is also supported by the prophets. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." (Isaiah 9:6) However, Christ in His humanity has always been subject to God the Father. He said, "I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me." (John 5:30) He was sent here by the Father to do the will of the Father and was not free to do anything on His own.

After Christ was crucified and resurrected, we read, "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." (Matthew 28:18) God delegated all power and authority to the man Jesus. God made all things subject to Jesus' authority. One day, Jesus will subdue all things, and all nations and powers will be ruled by Him. When that happens, there will be no more need for the mediatorial reign of Christ. All the world will be reconciled to God. Jesus will continue to sit on the throne with the Father, but the power and authority over heaven and earth will be fully returned to the Godhead of which the Son in His divinity is a part.

"...that God may be all in all." This simply means that God will then be the sovereign over all things. Instead of reigning through Christ, God will rule all things directly.

The second controversial element in our passage is Paul's question, "Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all?" This passage brings everything that has been said back together with the argument supporting the resurrection in verses 20-23. The most practical interpretation is to assume that there were some among the Christians in Corinth who believed that they could assure the resurrection of their deceased unbelieving loved ones by being baptized for them. There is no evidence, other than this verse, that this was the case, but years later it was practiced by the Cerinthians and Marcionites. Even today, it is still practiced by the Mormons.

The objections to this are mostly based on the argument that Paul would not have mentioned such a heretical practice without denouncing it. However, he did not ask, "What shall we do..?" but, "What shall they do..?" If this was commonly recognized within the church as a heresy, it would not have been necessary for him to go off point to discredit it. He was pointing to a foolish practice by a fringe group of Christians and making it sound even more foolish and vain, if there is to be no resurrection of the dead.

Before The Throne:

We have been promised and assured of a wonderful future when God will be our all in all. Pray that you would not lose focus on that simple point. Ask the Lord to help you live with that future constantly before you. Pray that He would help you share that knowledge with others and thereby bring glory to His name.

For Further Study:

(v.28)
** all things. Ps 2:8-9; Ps 18:39, 47; Ps 21:8-9; Dan 2:34-35, 40-45; Matt 13:41-43; Phil 3:21; Rev 19:11-21; Rev 20:2-4, 10-15; ** then. 1Cor 3:23; 1Cor 11:3; John 14:28; ** all in all. 1Cor 12:6; Eph 1:23; Col 3:11;

(v.29) ** what. 1Cor 15:16, 32; Rom 6:3-4; Matt 20:22;

1 Corinthians 15:26-27

The Death of Death

26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 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 is excepted, which did put all things under him.


If all things have been put under the feet of the Christ, death must be placed there also. Just as He will obliterate all rule, authority and power, He will also destroy the enemy called death. Death is the ultimate evil that rules over men. This is in perfect agreement with the prophets.

In Isaiah 25:8 we have, "He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.

Hosea 13:14 "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes."

Jesus also promised that those who would be counted worthy, "Neither can they die any more: for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection." (Luke 20:36)

"The 'some' (τινὲς) of 1Co 15:12 say, “There is no resurrection”; Paul replies, “There is to be no death”. The dogma of unbelief has been confuted in fact by Christ’s bodily resurrection (1Co 15:13 ff.); in experience, by the saving effect thereof in Christians (1Co 15:17); and now finally in principle, by its contrariety to the purpose and scope of redemption (1Co 15:21-26), which finds its goal in the death of Death." (William Robertson Nicoll; The Expositors Greek NT; theWord Bible Study Software)

"For he hath put all things under his feet." This is taken from Psalms 8:6 and is a general reference to the dominion that God has given to man. Christ, however, is the Son of man and, thus, Paul expands the meaning of the phrase. He explains it more fully in Ephesians 1:20-23 "Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all."

"But when he saith, all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him." This was inserted in order to clarify that God the Father was not included in the "all things" that were subdued and placed under the dominion of the Son. The giver of the power and authority did not place Himself under the one to whom it was given.

"Jupiter or Jove is the king of the gods and the god of sky and thunder in myth. Jupiter was the chief deity of Roman state religion throughout the Republican and Imperial eras, until Christianity became the dominant religion of the Empire." (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jupiter_(mythology)) Jupiter was said to have dethroned his father Saturn from the throne and expelled him from heaven. Paul did not want a similar false belief to develop from a misinterpretation of his words.

Before The Throne:

Death has been destroyed! Isn't that grounds for triumphant praise of our Lord? Take the time today to contemplate that and to celebrate it by praising Him in all that you do. Tell the whole world that it is no longer necessary to die, if they will just believe in Jesus Christ who has already died for them.

For Further Study:

(v.26)
** 1Cor 15:55; Isa 25:8; Hos 13:14; Luke 20:36; 2Tim 1:10; Heb 2:14; Rev 20:14; Rev 21:4;

(v.27) ** Ps 8:6; Matt 11:27; Matt 28:18; John 3:35; John 13:3; Eph 1:20; Phil 2:9-11; Heb 1:13; Heb 2:8; Heb 10:12; 1Pet 3:22; Rev 1:18

1 Corinthians 15:24-25

The End

24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.


"Then comes the end..." After the resurrection of the saints, after all have seen Jesus coming in the clouds., "For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works." The saints will have been taken and the end of the church age will have come suddenly and without warning.

Now there will be no more need for a mediator, because the saints will be one with Christ and one with the Father. God's people will have experienced their final sanctification. They will never experience temptation again. They will have been made perfect in Christ. His work is finished as far as the saints are concerned. It will be time for Jesus to deliver up the kingdom to its sovereign and rightful owner, God the Father.

All power in heaven and earth had been given to the Son. It is His job to obliterate all rule, authority and power of both the spiritual realm and in the earthly kingdom, which was once ruled by Satan.

"And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS." (Revelation 19:13-16)

Once this is done, The angel shall make the announcement, "And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever."

"For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet." At that time God's plan will be completed. "That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him."

Before The Throne:

Pray for those who are ignorant of these things. Ask the Lord to help you share His word with them. The time is short and we must be prepared for it ourselves. Pray that He will find you to be obediently engaged in His work when He comes. Surrender yourself as a living sacrifice to Him. That is the only reasonable and acceptable form of worship. Keep the watch.

For Further Study:

(v.24)
** cometh. Dan 12:4, 9; 13; Matt 10:22; Matt 13:39-40; Matt 24:13; 1Pet 4:7; ** the kingdom. Isa 9:7; Dan 7:14, 27; Matt 11:27; Matt 28:18; Luke 10:22; John 3:35; John 13:3; 1Ti 6:15;

(v.25) ** Ps 2:6-10; Ps 45:3-6; Ps 110:1; Matt 22:44; Mark 12:36; Luke 20:42-43; Acts 2:34; Eph 1:22; Heb 1:13; Heb 10:12-13;

1 Corinthians 15:22-23

Alive In Christ

22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming.


We are all dead and we are all dying. We are dead in our sins, because we inherited a sinful and abominable nature from our father Adam. After he had sinned, he could no longer face God. Adam ran and hid from Him immediately after he ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. "But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear." (Isaiah 59:2) We are a race of spiritually dead beings.

We are also dying physically because of Adam's sin. His sin has become our nature and therefore his punishment has become ours also. "In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return."

"...even so in Christ shall all be made alive." Whenever we see the word "all," unless it is specified, we must ask, "all of whom or all of what?" Paul did not intend to imply that there will be a universal salvation. It was not all people of whom he spoke but all who are in Christ. "For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will." (John 5:21) In the Son we become dead to our sins and our sinful natures. All things are become new and we are made spiritually alive the instant we believe in Him. At His second coming, we shall be given both spiritual and physical eternal life.

"But every man in his own order:" Paul has spoken frequently about order in God's church, in His creation, and now about the order in which He will raise the dead from their sleep. "For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words." (1 Thessalonians 4:15-18 )

This is the order: First the Lord descends from heaven; secondly those who are dead in Christ will be resurrected; and then the saints who are still alive will follow to meet our Lord in the air.

Jesus told His disciples how it would happen, "For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." (Matthew 24:27-31)

It will be a glorious day for those of us who will be there. May not one of God's elect ever forget that that day is coming. To see our Lord and to meet Him in the air on that day is our blessed hope.

Before The Throne:

Pray that you might be found worthy to be a part of the resurrection. Surrender yourself every day into the hands of Jesus Christ. Ask the Lord to keep you from temptation and from wavering from the faith. Pray that He will use you for whatever purpose would serve His pleasure.

For Further Study:

(v.22)
** in Adam. 1Cor 15:45-49; Gen 2:17; Gen 3:6, 19; John 5:21-29; Rom 5:12-21;

(v.23) ** every. 1Cor 15:20; Isa 26:19; 1Thess 4:15-17; ** they. 1Cor 3:23; 2Cor 10:7; Gal 3:29; Gal 5:24;

1 Corinthians 15:20-21

He Is Risen!

20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.


Paul says, "But, no, we are not the most miserable of all men (v.19), because Christ has been raised from among the dead." The Greek perfect passive indicative is used to highlight the fact that the act is completed but the effects of the resurrection continue, even to this day. This is the very exciting good news of the gospel as it is contrasted against the alternative that was stated in the previous verse. Had this not been the case we would certainly be the most miserable of all the creatures on earth.

"...and has become the firstfruit of them that slept." The singular "firstfruit" of the plural "them" clearly shows the effect of His resurrection. He was not the only one, but the first of many. Jesus was not the first person ever raised from the dead. Elisha raised the son of the Shunammite (2 Kings 4:18-37) and Jesus Himself raised more than one. These, however, were not resurrections to eternal life. The subjects would indeed die again. Jesus was the firstfruit of those who would be raised to eternal life.

In his notes on the Bible, Albert Barnes writes concerning the firstfruits, "The word, therefore, comes to have two:
(1) That which is “first,” the beginning, or that which has the priority of time; and,
(2) That which is apart and portion of the whole which is to follow, and which is the earnest or pledge of that; as the “first” sheaf of ripe grain was not only the first in order of time, but was the earnest or pledge of the entire harvest which was soon to succeed.
"In allusion to this, Paul uses the word here. It was not merely or mainly that Christ was the first in order of time that rose from the dead, for Lazarus and the widow’s son had been raised before him; but it was that he was chief in regard to the dignity, value, and importance of his rising; he was connected with all that should rise, as the first sheaf of the harvest was with the crop; he was a “part” of the mighty harvest of the resurrection, and his rising was a “portion” of that great rising, as the sheaf was a portion of the harvest itself; and he was so connected with them all, and their rising so depended on his, that his resurrection was a demonstration that they would rise." (Barnes' Notes; theWord Bible Study Software)

"For since by man came death," This refers to the original transgression of Adam in the Garden of Eden. "But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die." (Genesis 2:17) The only commandment that God had given to Adam to obey, in a world that was so perfect that even God said it was very good, was violated by him, bringing sin and death to all mankind.

It was only proper, therefore, that, "by man came also the resurrection of the dead." A man needed to be perfectly obedient and then to die for the sins of others. The only man qualified was God in the flesh, Jesus Christ. "And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." (Philippians 2:8)

"Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." (Romans 5:18) And so it is, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Before The Throne:

Have you called upon Him, ready to surrender your life into His hands? Do it now. It is never too late. Pray for those who need to know the truth. This is exciting news that you should be eager to share with everyone. Pray that your zeal for the gospel will continue to increase until Christ returns,

For Further Study:

(v.20)
** the first-fruits. Acts 26:23; Rom 8:11; Col 1:18; 1Pet 1:3; Rev 1:5l;

(v.21) ** by man came death. Rom 5:12-17; ** by man came also. John 11:25; Rom 6:23;

1 Corinthians 15:17-19

What if...?

17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.


Paul gives us in this passage four undesirable truths that we would have to face, if Christ had not risen from the grave. If he had not risen, we would be as hopelessly lost and facing eternal condemnation as the unbelieving world around us.

First, he says that your faith is vain. Jesus said that He would be raised up after three days (See Matthew 12:40). However, if He had failed, what good would our faith be? The Savior in whom we have placed all of our faith would be revealed as a liar, a false prophet, and a false messiah. We would have trusted our lives to Him and died for nothing; we would have suffered persecution and still have the same hopeless future as others. Neither our faith nor anything else could get us into the kingdom of God.

Secondly, Paul says, "Ye are yet in your sins." If Christ had not died and risen again, where would our justification be? The wages of sin is death, condemnation to outer darkness and the lake of fire. You would still be making animal sacrifices for a temporary remission of your sins, but there would be no permanent eternal forgiveness. Your sins would keep you separated from your God forever. The only acceptable sacrifice for the remission of all sins is the Lamb of God. If Jesus was not raised after three days, He was an impostor, and the debt for our sins has not been paid.

It is too horrible to even consider the third consequence that could have resulted from His failure to be resurrected. "Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished." Those who are in Christ are all believers. They are a part of His body, the church. If Christ did not rise, then neither did His body of believers. Your family who trusted in Him and have died, your friends, your brothers and sisters in Christ, all who have died have perished, because they will not see the resurrection to a new life. Instead, they are condemned to eternal judgment.

"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." There is a cost for following Christ. Those of us here in the United States who are so blessed with every comfort tend to forget the cost of discipleship that many others have been asked to pay. As I write this, the terrorist Islamic organization called ISIS is persecuting, torturing and beheading Christians, even Christian children, because of their faith. Would they not be the most miserable of all men, if in the end they discovered that it was all for nothing... that this life on this earth is all there is and they had thrown it away?

I do not want to downplay the many sacrifices that Christians have made in the United States. Many have risked everything to go to foreign lands with the gospel. Many have also sacrificed their wealth in order to help others. There is also the loss of friends, family and relationships that many have experienced due to their faith. What would they feel, if they were to find out that Christ had not risen?

However, the facts prove that He has risen and has ascended to sit at the right hand of the Father in heaven. These are not consequences that we have to worry about. Our faith in Christ shall never be proven to be in vain. "On Christ the solid Rock I stand!"

Before The Throne:

Praise God for giving us the truth concerning the resurrection. To believe in it with all of our being is not blind faith, but truth backed up by a solid body of evidence. Ask the Lord to help you be an encourager to other Christians who might be weaker in their faith than you. Pray that you can be a source of truth and light to others and will bring the joy of the Lord to many

For Further Study:

(v.17)
** your. 1Cor 15:2, 14; Rom 4:25; ** ye are. Ezek 33:10; John 8:21-24; Acts 5:31; Acts 13:38-39; Rom 5:10; Rom 8:33-34; Heb 7:23-28; Heb 9:22-28; Heb 10:4-12; 1Pet 1:3, 21;

(v.18) ** fallen. 1Cor 15:6; 1Thess 4:13-14; Rev 14:13;

(v.19) ** this. Ps 17:14; Eccl 6:11; Eccl 9:9; Luke 8:14; Luke 21:34; 1Cor 6:3-4; 2Tim 2:4; ** hope. Eph 1:12-13; 1Thess 1:3; 2Tim 1:12; 1Pet 1:21; ** of all. 1Cor 4:9-13; Matt 10:21-25; Matt 24:9; John 16:2, 33; Acts 14:22; 2Tim 3:12; Rev 14:13;

1 Corinthians 15:15-16

Weigh the Evidence

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. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:


"Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor." To do so was a serious offense. How much more serious would it be, then, to bear false witness concerning God? Would that not be the equivalent of blasphemy, the ultimate crime? Paul was willing to put himself, the other apostles and their words on trial.

They had testified that Christ was risen, that they had seen Him, spoken to Him and even touched Him. If there is no resurrection of the dead, they had all lied. Not only was their preaching done in vain but it was all a big lie. Christ was still dead and their testimony that God had raised Him up was false.

"...if so be that the dead rise not." Charles Hodge pointed out that it was not the resurrection of Christ that was disputed, but the resurrection of the dead in general. The Sadduceean doctrine, that there is no resurrection, was directly opposed to everything that the apostles had preached. Paul was showing with reverse logic that the resurrection was a fact. It was supported by the prophets and by many eyewitnesses to the resurrected Christ. If the Sadducees were correct, all the existing evidence was somehow false.

To live in denial of the facts is the equivalent of our moderns who claim that each person has his or her own reality. What is real for you is not necessarily real for someone else. Facts do not matter. This makes it very difficult to have any kind of serious discussion with those people. However, in the Corinthian culture, Greek logic was widely practiced. They could be reasoned with, even over a matter as illogical as the resurrection. Show them the supporting evidence and they would accept what you were saying.

"For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:" If the dead do not rise. then all of the evidence that would lead one to the logical conclusion that Christ was raised from the dead must be part of some other person's reality. That would be even more illogical to the Greek mind than making a conclusion based on the facts, even though it might be a difficult one.

It cannot be said too often that the whole gospel rests on the truth that Christ has risen from the dead. Without that one fact there is no hope for mankind.

Before The Throne:

Ask the Lord to help you with your unbelief. There should be no doubt in your mind that Christ was raised and that He will come again to raise you up. Ask the Lord to show you ways to share the truth with those who claim to have their own reality, those to whom facts do not matter. Pray for our nation to return to a sincere belief and dependence on God and the gospel of His precious Son.

For Further Study:

(v.15)
** false. Exod 23:3; Job 13:7-10; Rom 3:7-8; ** we have. Acts 2:24, 32; Acts 4:10, 33; Acts 10:39-42; Acts 13:30-33; Acts 20:21; ** whom. 1Cor 15:13, 20;

1 Corinthians 15:12-14

The Dead Shall Rise

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? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.


In the previous verses, Paul proved that Christ had indeed risen from the grave by presenting the facts that first, the scriptures had predicted His resurrection and secondly, that so many had been eyewitnesses. He said, whether it was he or someone else who preached it, they had believed it. "Now," he asks, "if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?"

It had been preached with hard evidence to support the fact that Christ had risen, yet there were those among the church members who still denied that Jesus' followers would also be raised. We have no idea who those people were, but they certainly were not the majority of Corinth's church members. Perhaps they were some who still held to the teachings of the Sadducees, or they could have been Gnostics. It has also been suggested that Greek philosophies had been syncretized with the gospel. The question of who really does not mater. The resurrection of Christ proved that the resurrection of the rest of us is possible and will happen. And, if resurrection is not possible, then all of the evidence presented must be wrong and Christ really did not rise.

But the question must be asked, "Why did Christ have to die, be buried and rise again?" Was it not for our sakes? He died as the propitiation for our sins and He arose so that we too might have hope in the same resurrection. His resurrection proves that He can raise us up at the last day. His willingness to suffer and die and be raised again proves that this is what He intends for His people.

"If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain." There could be no gospel without the resurrection. Everything that the apostles taught us would be based on lies. The resurrection is the foundation of our faith. A house built without a foundation is one that is built in vain. It can be made to fall with the slightest force. What value would the gospel have to us, if it were preached without the hope of the resurrection.

"...and your faith is also vain." Our faith is built on the promises that were made to us by Jesus Christ. Consider what He said. "And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again." (Mark 8:31) And, "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." (John 5:28-29)

The resurrection of the saints is still the most difficult part of the gospel for people to believe. Many unbelievers have realized that, without the resurrection of Christ, the entire Bible would have been written in vain and Christianity would crumble. However, many of them became converted while trying to find any evidence to disprove it. The facts speak for themselves, and only a fool could continue to deny the truth when those facts are presented to him.

Before The Throne:

Have you struggled with the belief that you will be raised up from the dead when Christ returns. Pray that God would give you clarity in your understanding of this gospel truth. Pray for others who do not understand or believe in the resurrection. Praise the Lord for suffering in your stead and for giving you the promise that you will be raised again unto eternal life.

For Further Study:

(v.12)
** how. Acts 26:8; 2Thess 2:17;

(v.13) ** John 11:25-26; Acts 23:8; Rom 4:24-25; Rom 8:11, 23; 2Cor 4:10-14; Col 3:1-4; 1Thess 4:14; 2Tim 4:8; Heb 2:14; Heb 13:20; 1Pet 1:3; Rev 1:18;

(v.14) ** Ps 73:13; Isa 49:4; Gen 8:8; Matt 15:9; Acts 17:31; Gal 2:2; Jas 1:26; Jas 2:20;

1 Corinthians 15:10-11

Renewed by Grace

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. 11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.


Paul considered himself to be the least of the apostles, an abortive, not worthy of his calling (15:8-9). However, there was no denying that he had changed and that he had accomplished some great things for the Lord. His answer to that is, "But by the grace of God I am what I am." He had not become this great evangelist due to any qualities that could be found within himself. He was changed undeservedly by the power of God working within him.

"...and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain;" Has God ever done anything that was in vain? He is not capable of failing. Nevertheless, there are those who hold that we have the free will to oppose God's grace and that Paul could have rejected his calling. The credit then would go to Paul for responding to the grace which was bestowed upon him. That, however, is completely contrary to what Paul was saying, as that which follows will prove.

"...but I labored more abundantly than them all:" The Greek word for "labored" literally means, "to feel fatigue," and then by implication, "to work hard and to the point of exhaustion." There could be no doubt that Paul had done more than almost any other apostle or follower of Christ. He had suffered hunger, stoning, arrest, imprisonment, beatings etc. all for the single purpose of spreading the gospel.

"...yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." He took no credit for any of it. It was the grace of God that spurred him on. It was the grace of God that gave him the ability to preach and to suffer whatever was necessary to accomplish the will of God. Too often we forget where our faith, our strength, our works and our accomplishments come from. Pride wants to make us claim them all for ourselves. But, without the grace of God, none of those things would be even remotely possible. Man is but a worm and will accomplish nothing with eternal value more than a worm could, except for the grace of God.

"Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach,.." It did not matter who preached the gospel. Whether it was preached by Paul or by the other apostles, it was preached by the grace of God. None of them could boast, no one could claim credit. They all preached the word of God under the same divine influence. It is the gospel message, given by the grace of God, that is the power of God unto salvation.

"...and so ye believed." Some Christians actually think that they are better than unbelievers because they had the sense to trust their lives to Jesus Christ. What nonsense! We have nothing to do with our own salvation. Paul has clearly said, "and so (i.e. by the grace of God) ye believed."

"As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one; There is none that understandeth, There is none that seeketh after God; They have all turned aside, they are together become unprofitable; There is none that doeth good, no, not so much as one:" (Romans 3:10-12) Who, then, can claim the credit for their own salvation, for the change that God has wrought in their heart, for their labor in the ministry or for the fruit of their labor. It is all by the grace of God.

Before The Throne:

Cast your pride at the feet of Jesus. Confess those feelings and humble yourself in His presence. You are what you are by His grace, Thank Him for that. Your ministry is by Him, of Him and for Him. Praise Him for that. He is working in you every moment and will complete the work that He has begun. Fall down before Him today and worship Him in spirit and in truth.

For Further Study:

(v.10)
** by. 1Cor 4:7; Rom 11:1, 5-6; Eph 2:7-8; Eph 3:7- 8; 1Tim 1:15-16; ** his grace. 1Cor 15:2; 2Cor 6:1; ** but I. Rom 15:17-20; 2Cor 10:12-16; 2Cor 11:23-30; 2Cor 12:11; ** yet. Matt 10:20; 2Cor 3:5; Gal 2:8; Eph 3:7; Phil 2:13; Phil 4:13; Col 1:28-29;

(v.11) ** 1Cor 2:2;

1 Corinthians 15:8-9

Humbled by Grace

8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. 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.


As we saw yesterday, Paul was the last of the apostles to see Jesus after His resurrection, but I said that today we would focus on the last part of the 8th in which he said that he was "...as of one born out of due time".

He used an unusual expression, which the KJV and most of our other versions do not adequately translate. The Greek word ἔκτρωμα, ektroma (ek'-tro-mah), normally means a miscarriage or an abortion. This is the only place in the New Testament where ektroma is used. "The expression seems to be proverbial, and to denote anything that is vile, offensive, loathsome, unworthy;.. it means that he felt himself “vile,” guilty, unworthy, abominable as a persecutor, and as unworthy to be an apostle." (Barnes) Paul literally saw himself "...as of one born to an abortion."

As Jesus said, "So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen," (Matthew 20:16) Paul became the most influential of all the apostles.

"For I am the least of the apostles and am not sufficient to be called an apostle,.." This feeling of unworthiness was not questioning the validity of his calling or even that fact that he was chosen to be an apostle, but was due to the sinful nature of his previous life.

Paul knew how God worked in the lives of those who were His elect. He had written earlier in this epistle, "But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence." (1 Corinthians 1:27-29) He probably had himself in mind when he wrote those words.

"...because I persecuted the church of God." The vile nature of Paul's previous life could never be forgotten by him. He arrested many people for the simple crime of being Christians. Undoubtedly, some of those Christians suffered terribly and some were probably killed for their faith. These acts of persecution would be remembered by Paul for the rest of his life. He was not afraid to confess them openly and he knew tht he could never boast of anything in God's presence.

"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;" (Romans 3:23-25) We are all like Paul. We are all sinners and have all been born as abortives, vile, unworthy, and guilty of many offenses, none of which are worse than any other. The penalty for all is death. But we have been justified freely by the grace of God, and He has a very special purpose for each of us whom He has saved.

Before The Throne:

Humble yourself before the throne today. Confess your sins and give thanks for your redemption that is in Christ Jesus. If you have not discovered the purpose that God has for you, pray about it. You have been created unto good works, which He has already prepared for you. Ask Him what they are. Ask Him to help you get started, because the time is short.

For Further Study:

(v.8 )
** he was. 1Cor 9:1; Acts 9:3-5, 17; Acts 18:9; Acts 22:14, :18; Acts 26:16; 2Cor 12:1-6;

(v.9) ** the least. 2Cor 11:5; 2Cor 12:11; Eph 3:7-8; * because. Acts 8:3; Acts 9:1-19; Acts 22:4-5; Acts 26:9-11; Gal 1:13, 23; Phil 3:6; 1Tim 1:13-14;

1 Corinthians 15:5-8

The Eyewitnesses

5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: 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. 7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. 8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.


This passage continues what Paul has been saying since 15:3, "For I delivered unto you (the important truths of the gospel about Christ and how those facts were supported by scripture),... 5 And that He was seen of Cephas..." Paul used the Aramaic form of Peter's name. The point was to add additional proof that Jesus had risen from the grave.

Peter was a credible witness. Not only had he known and followed Jesus for three and a half years but he also saw and spoke to Him after the resurrection. He and the other disciples, who also saw Jesus after His resurrection, were still alive, but with the exception of Judas. However, Paul still referred to them as "the twelve." If under the law a matter could be settled by the testimony of two witnesses, the testimony of those eleven disciples should certainly have been enough to establish the truth.

"After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once." While five hundred more credible witnesses to the resurrected Lord would surely be all the proof necessary, there is no biblical record of this appearance. Most scholars, however, believe that it most likely occurred in Galilee where Jesus had done most of His ministry and had many followers.

Jesus had told His disciples, "But after I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee." (Matthew 26:32) And, at the empty tomb, the angel told Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to "...go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you." (Matthew 28:7) The disciples went (Matthew 28:16) and it would be reasonable to believe that they had spread the word that Jesus would appear to them among all of His followers in Galilee. Who would have missed such an occasion?

Paul noted, concerning the five hundred, "of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep." It had been around twenty five or six years since the resurrection when he wrote this, so it was understandable that some of the five hundred had died.

"After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles." The meeting with James is also not mentioned in the gospels, but Albert Barnes wrote, "This James, the fathers say, was James the Less, the brother or cousin-german of the Lord Jesus. The other James was dead (see Act 12:1) when this Epistle was written. This James, the author of the Epistle that bears his name, was stationed in Jerusalem. When Paul went there, after his return from Arabia, he had an interview with James (see Gal 1:19, “But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother”), and it is highly probable that Paul would state to him the vision which he had of the Lord Jesus on his way to Damascus, and that James also would state to Paul the fact that he had seen him after he rose." Of course, Jesus met with the other apostles several times during His forty remaining days on earth.

"And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time." Finally, Paul presents His own eyewitness testimony. When He was converted on the Damascus Road Jesus spoke and appeared to him. "But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;" (Acts 26:16) We will discuss Paul's description of himself, "as of one born out of due time." in tomorrow's study.

The evidence for the resurrection of our Lord is so strong that only a fool could deny that it happened, yet many do. Those who deny it live without hope and are doomed unless we, as co-laborers with Christ, can convince them.

Before The Throne:

Ask God to help you keep these facts fresh in your mind so that you will always have an answer for anyone who asks. Pray for those who need to hear the gospel and to be convinced of its veracity. Thank the Lord for taking you into His family, a child of God.

For Further Study:

(v.5)
** that. Luke 24:34-35; * Cephas. 1Cor 1:12; 1Cor 3:22; 1Cor 9:5; John 1:42; ** then. Mark 16:14; Luke 24:36-49; John 20:19-26; Acts 1:2-14; Acts 10:41;

(v.6) ** he was. Matt 28:10, 16-17; Mark 16:7; ** are. 1Cor 15:18; Acts 7:60; Acts 13:36; 1Thess 4:13, 15; 2Pet 3:4;

(v.7) ** then. Luke 24:50; Acts 1:2-12;

(v.8 ) ** he was. 1Cor 9:1; Acts 9:3-5; Acts 9:17; Acts 18:9; Acts 22:14, 18; Acts 26:16; 2Cor 12:1-6;

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

The Gospel Affirmed

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; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:


The gospel that Paul had preached to the Corinthians, as mentioned in the first two verses, is now reintroduced by him in these next two verses. He had delivered to them the message that he had also received by direct revelation from Christ. "For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you,.." (11:23) "For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." (Galatians 1:12) This was Paul's authority and the reason that he could be confident in writing these infallible words.

He delivered them "first of all." This should not be understood to mean that they were delivered first in time nor that he had delivered them to the Corinthians before any of the other churches. That would not be true. Paul was referring to these gospel facts as first in importance, as "a truth of the first magnitude."

"How that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures." It could not be denied that the Old Testament prophets had spoken on the subject. "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:5) He was the propitiation for our sins but He was also frustrated that the religious leaders of His day did not understand that. "Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?" (Luke 24:25-26) Paul pointed out that, not only did he receive the gospel as a direct revelation from the Lord, but that it was consistent with the Old Testament prophets.

"And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day..." The Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges says, "Literally, was buried and hath risen again, the aorist referring to the single act, the perfect to Christ’s continued life after His Resurrection."

His burial was prophesied in scripture, "And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth." (Isaiah 53:9) And His resurrection was also prophesied in Psalms 16:10, "For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption." However, there is no specific reference in the O.T. to the fact that Christ would rise on the third day. Some have referred to Hosea 6:2 as being the prophecy that declared Christ would rise on the third day, but that seems to be stretching the meaning of the passage and taking it out of context.

These were the principle parts of the gospel that Paul held to be of the most important. They were the foundation upon which he based all his teaching. It is easy to be distracted by other biblical doctrines, especially those that seem to promise worldly blessings, and to forget about the basic truths of the gospel. Paul had written about strife in the church, about the carnal attitudes of some Corinthians, about divisions over leadership, about the misuse of spiritual gifts, etc., but now he wanted to get them back to the most important doctrine... that of the resurrection, which he will now prove occurred.

Before The Throne:

Pray for the continued emphasis in your church to be on this most important doctrine of our faith. Ask God to help you share it with others. It is not a difficult doctrine to master. Think about it and praise God for what it has meant in your life.

For Further Study:

(v.3)
** I delivered. 1Cor 4:1-2; 1Cor 11:2, 23; Ezek 3:17; Matt 20:18-19; Mark 16:15-16; Luke 24:46-47; Ga 1:12; ** Christ. Matt 26:28; Rom 3:25; Rom 4:25; 2Cor 5:21; Gal 1:4; Gal 3:13; Eph 1:7; Eph 5:2; Heb 10:11-12; 1Pet 2:24; 1Pet 3:18; 1John 2:2; Rev 1:5; ** according. Gen 3:15; Ps 22:1-31; Ps 69:1-36; Isa 53:1-12; Dan 9:24-26; Zech 13:7; Luke 24:26-27, 46; Acts 3:18; Acts 26:22-23; 1Pet 1:11; 1Pet 2:24;

(v.4) ** that. Isa 53:9; Matt 27:57-60; Mark 15:43-46; Luke 23:50-53; John 19:38-42; Acts 13:29; Rom 6:4; Col 2:12; ** he rose. 1Cor 15:16-21; Matt 20:19; Matt 27:63-64; Matt 28:1-6; Mark 9:31; Mark 10:33-34; Mark 16:2-7; Luke 9:22; Luke 18:32-33; Luke 24:5-7; John 2:19-21; John 20:1-9; Acts 1:3; Acts 2:23-24, 32; Acts 13:30; Acts 17:31; Heb 13:20; ** according. Ps 2:7; Ps 16:10-11; Isa 53:10-12; Hos 6:2; Jonah 1:17; Matt 12:40; Luke 24:26; Luke 24:46; Acts 2:25-33; Acts 13:30-37; Acts 26:22-23; 1Pet 1:11;

1 Corinthians 15:1-2

Remember the Gospel

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.


From here through 15:11 Paul states the facts of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some translations make it seem like this is somehow connected to what has been said in the previous chapter. However, the Greek word δὲ means, "but, moreover etc." Paul intends to say, "But setting all that aside, I declare that which is more important for you to remember." W.R. Nicoll wrote in the Expositor's Greek N. T., saying that, "Paul writes, with a touch of blame, as though informing the Corinthians of what the staple of his message had been, that on which their whole Christianity is built..." i.e. the resurrection of Christ.

The Greek word that is rendered as, "I declare," is γνωρίζω, gnorizo (gno-rid'-zo), which means, "to make known." H Meyer wrote, "It is, no doubt, in substance a reminding them of something already known, but the expression is more emphatic, more arousing, putting to shame a part of the readers, and accordant with the fundamental importance of what is now to be discussed."

Then, what Paul was about to discuss is something very important for the Corinthians and, therefore, we also should certainly pay attention to it. It is the heart of the gospel, the good news, that he had preached to them and they had received. It was the exciting news about the life, ministry, death and resurrection of the Lord. However, without the resurrection there is no hope for the Christian, and that will be what Paul emphasizes in this chapter of the epistle.

"...and wherein ye stand." It is on this gospel that your faith is built (2Corinthians 1:24). It is the gospel of God's grace (Romans 5:2) that provides the foundation for our faith. Their church was established by the preaching of the gospel.

"By which also ye are saved," This is the Greek present tense, "by which also ye are being saved." The preaching of the gospel combined with the reception of it as the truth was the means by which they were being saved from the condemnation for their sins. "For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God."

"...if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you,.." A better understanding of this is, "...if ye hold fast (by faith) what I preached..."

"That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;" (Ephesians 4:14) Not everyone at Corinth had trouble holding fast to the gospel that had been preached to them, but some did (See verse 12).

"...unless ye have believed in vain." True faith is never in vain, but it is possible to believe in vain. "The devils also believe and tremble." (James 2:19) A mere belief in the historical facts of who Christ is and what He did will not save anyone. The belief must be accompanied by a complete submission to and trust in Christ for all things. A weak faith that does not endure, like the seed that fell on shallow ground and had no root or that which was choked out by the weeds and thistles, will not save anyone. Those people have believed in vain.

Before The Throne:

Is your faith built on the full power of the gospel unto salvation? Pray about it. It is good to question our own commitment to Jesus Christ from time to time. Pray for those around you who have no faith or who seem to have believed in vain. Pray that your faith will be contagious and that you will have both the opportunity and the courage to share it with others.

For Further Study:

(v.1)
** I declare. 1Cor 1:23-24; 1Cor 2:2-7; Acts 18:4- 5; Gal 1:6-12; ** which also. 1Cor 1:4-8; Mark 4:16-20; John 12:48; Acts 2:41; Acts 11:1; 1Thess 1:6; 1Thess 2:13; 1Thess 4:1; 2Th 3:6; ** ye stand. Rom 5:2; 2Cor 1:24; 1Pet 5:12;

(v.2)
** ye are. 1Cor 1:18, 21; Acts 2:47; Rom 1:16; 2Cor 2:15; Eph 2:8; 2Tim 1:9; ** keep in memory. Prov 3:1; Prov 4:13; Prov 6:20-23; Prov 23:23; Col 1:23; 2Thess 2:15; Heb 2:1; Heb 3:6, 14; Heb 4:14; Heb 10:23; ** unless. Ps 106:12-13; Luke 8:13; John 8:31-32; Acts 8:13; 2Cor 6:1; Gal 3:4; Jas 2:14, 17, 26;

1 Corinthians 14:36-40

The Word of Authority

36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only? 37 If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord. 38 But if any man be ignorant, let him be ignorant. 39 Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues. 40 Let all things be done decently and in order.


Those who may have objected to the things that Paul had been saying were now rebuked for their superciliousness. He had written these things to them under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. They were not merely his opinion, but were the natural, God ordained standards for orderly worship.

"Or did the word of God come out of you?" They did not have the authority to overturn God's word nor to set the example for all of the other churches to follow. They had broken many of the customs by misusing their spiritual gifts and allowing women to speak and to interrupt other speakers with their questions. Now, when Paul had rebuked them they had the audacity to object to his instructions. It is difficult for some people to admit they are wrong; it is even more difficult for them to change their ways.

"Or came it unto you only?" Were they the only church that received the word of God? Should Paul have been writing to the other churches and saying, "Look at how the church at Corinth worships and imitate them?" Corinth was the newest of his churches. They were certainly not the first or the only church to be guided by the Spirit of God.

So many of our churches today have completely ignored the message of this chapter. They have twisted its meaning; they have disobeyed its instructions; their worship is an abomination; and they preach that they are the only ones to whom the word of God was given.

Paul sets them straight. "If any man think himself to be a prophet, or spiritual, let him acknowledge that the things that I write unto you are the commandments of the Lord." The point is the same. Paul was not writing under his own authority but as an apostle under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He says, "If any of you call yourself a prophet or you think that you are under the special influence of the Holy Spirit, you will recognize that what I have just written to you is a commandment from the Lord." The Spirit never contradicts Himself and never allows confusion to exist over the clear intentions of the Lord.

Those who would continue to object to what Paul had said and who were ignorant of or in denial of his apostolic authority should do so at their own risk. There comes a point in any debate when it is no longer practical to continue to argue with those who have closed their minds to the truth. If they want to be ignorant, let them be ignorant and they will answer to God for their haughtiness.

To sum it up, Paul says that each should desire the gift of prophecy and not forbid anyone to speak in other languages as long as everything is done in an orderly fashion. All worship should be conducted in a civilized and dignified manner. God deserves our worship of Him to be respectful and orderly. Worship should be a unified and heavenly time of thanksgiving and praise in which we al come together with one accord. Worship should be done God's way. It is all about Him.

Before The Throne:

Be thankful that God has given us some guidelines for worship but has also allowed us enough flexibility so that we can express our love and gratitude to Him in a personal manner. Pray for the word of God to continue to be the authority in your church. Pray for your leaders to be under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in all things. Be thankful for the godly men who lead your congregation.

For Further Study:

(v.36)
** came. Isa 2:3; Mic 4:1-2; Zech 14:8; Acts 13:1-3; Acts 15:35-36; Acts 16:9-10; Acts 17:1, 10- 11, 15; Acts 18:1-17; 2Cor 10:13-16; 1Thess 1:8; ** or. 4:7;

(v.37) ** any. 1Cor 8:2; 1Cor 13:1-3; Num 24:3-4, 16; Rom 12:3; 2Cor 10:7, 12; 2Cor 11:4, 12-15; Gal 6:8; ** let. 1Cor 7:25,40; Luke 10:16; 1Thess 4:1-8; 2Pet 3:2; 1John 4:6; Jude 1:17;

(v.38) ** Hos 4:17; Matt 7:6; Matt 15:14; 1Tim 6:3-5; 2Tim 4:3-4; Rev 22:11-12;

(v.39) ** covet. 1Cor 14:1, 3, 5, 24-25; 1Cor 12:31; 1Thess 5:20;

(v.40)
** 1Cor 14:26-33; 1Cor 11:34; Rom 13:13; Col 2:5; Titus 1:5;