Monday, 23 February 2015
Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 1 Corinthians 15:1
Paul now enters into a new chapter with a new direction. This chapters concerns, above all else, the doctrine of the resurrection. It is divided into six noticeable parts as follows:
- The good news of Christ which is realized in His resurrection (verses 1-11)
2. Our hope in the resurrection of Christ (verses 12-19)
3. Dead in Adam; alive in Christ (verses 20 – 28)
4. Remaining awake to righteousness (verses 29-34)
5. A contrast between our present earthly body and our coming heavenly body (verses 35-49)
6. Victory in Christ (verses 50-58)
This chapter, along with 1 Corinthians 13, stands out as one of Paul’s most notable passages. In it is the hope of the believer and the surety of our faith. It gives us hints of the coming rapture, and it shows our unique and unbreakable tie to Christ our Lord. Should we find ourselves in a mental slump, we can come to the words of Chapter 15 and renew our souls in the hope we possess.
And so he begins with “Moreover.” The Greek conjunction can mean something like, “in addition to,” or “now I am about to say,” or something similar. In this case, it is a transition away from the doctrine of tongues and prophesying, and into that of the resurrection. This is directed to the “brethren.” In other words, what he will say does not apply to all people. It only applies to those who are in Christ.
Next he notes, “I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you.” In the coming verses, he will sum up the good news of Christ; the gospel of salvation for all who believe. The word he uses is gnorizo. It means “to make known.” But Vincent’s Word Studies notes that he is stating this reproachfully; having to make known all over again this news. It is as if they had forgotten the very basic information which they had believed at the beginning.
This gospel is the good news “which also you received and in which you stand.” He is making an effort to repeat the very basics which brought them to salvation and which continues to save them. But it is right and proper that Paul needed to repeat this to them in writing, because his letter to the Corinthians contains the same words which are now included in the Bible. Their failing memories prompted Paul’s hand to write the words of Scripture which continue to instruct the faithful 2000 years later.
Life application: Let us pay heed to the words of 1 Corinthians 15 and stand fast in the good news which Paul presents to us there. Let us apply them to our minds and fix them in our hearts in order to carry us through even the darkest moments of our continued walk in Christ.
Heavenly Father, if there is one thing that I am absolutely sure about, it is that of the record of Christ’s resurrection. It is as sure as anything else in all of history. I am more certain of the truth of that wondrous moment than I am that the sun will rise again each day. Even if the heavens fail to work properly, I have a sure foundation in the testimony of Your word that Christ is risen. And because I am in Him, I too will rise to eternal life. No fear here. Amen.