This is one of those chapters I like to call 'funeral potatoes,' because at nearly every Christian funeral a passage from this chapter is likely to be read as a reminder of the awesome truths of the gospel.
v1-2 - The chapter begins with a simple reminder of what the gospel is
The gospel comes primarily through preaching
will save you
IF you hold firmly
to the Word you've heard preached
otherwise you're wasting your time
Notice the tension here - your salvation is dependent upon your strength to hold firmly, but yet never forget it's God who's giving you this strength, and He's developing your strength to hold on through Spiritual Disciplines like reading the Bible and hearing the gospel preached.
v3-11 - The most fundamental aspect of the Gospel is that:
Christ died for our sins
He was buried and raised three days later
His resurrected body was witnessed by hundreds of people.
v12-34 - Sadly, every generation has the 'we believe Jesus was a great guy but we don't believe in miracles like life after death' people.
If Jesus hasn't been raised, your faith is a futile waste of time
If you just want to think of Jesus as
a wise teacher we should emulate,
who helps you 'live your best life now,'
Then you are the most pitiful of people.
But Jesus has indeed been raised from the dead
He's replaced the fallen Adam as our new covenant head
And He will rule over all things
v35-57 - The resurrection is real, and it's not just spiritual - we'll be physically made new again with immortal bodies. It's sort of like farming:
which comes from a dead body, is placed in the ground
It's transformed into something totally new!
Death, therefore, is a necessary process by which
Our natural bodies are sown in the ground
and are raised into new, imperishable, spiritual bodies
We must be clothed with the immortality in this way in order to inherit the Kingdom of God
The trumpet will sound, and
instantly the dead will be raised imperishable
and death's sting will be swallowed up in victory!
v58 - Because this is true: Christ has been raised, and in Him you also will be:
Don't get kicked around by this world
Go all out in doing the work of the Lord
OLD TESTAMENT REFERENCE:
The concept of resurrection and eternal life is not just a New Testament development. In Psalm 16, notice how the hope and peace David feels in God's presence is expressed in resurrection language (v8-11).
Use the comment box below to discuss one or more of these questions:
EYE FOR DETAIL—From what you recall seeing in this chapter, try answering the following question without looking at your Bible: In the span of four verses near the beginning of this chapter, Paul mentions six separate appearances of Jesus after His resurrection. Who did Jesus appear to in each of these instances? (See verses 5–8.)
What for you is the most comforting verse in this chapter, and why?
Question 1 taken from The Complete Bible Discussion Guide: New Testament
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God the Father who raised Jesus Christ from the dead (v15)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Come back to your senses and stop sinning. Don't be ignorant of God (v34)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: