Death vs. Life

1 Corinthians 15:22 In Adam All Die In Christ All Made Alive (brown)

CONTEXT:

Yesterday in our devotional Blame Game we can trace the history of blaming others back to Adam and Eve (Gen 3:12-13). But the consequences of their actions were far greater than that, instead of peace and good health with eternal life in the Garden of Eden they brought about sin, disease, and DEATH. Genesis 3:16-19.

Here in 1st Corinthians Chapter 15 the Apostle Paul begins by laying out the facts of Christ’s resurrection: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. He then proceeds to make the argument that if Christ has resurrected so too shall there be a resurrection of the dead 1 Corinthians 15:12-34. It is in the middle of this I wish to pull our text for today and explore God’s Holy word. 


1 Corinthians 15:19-22 

If in Christ we have hope[a] in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. (ESV)

Si en esta vida solamente esperamos en Cristo, somos los más dignos de conmiseración de todos los hombres. 20 Mas ahora Cristo ha resucitado de los muertos; primicias de los que durmieron es hecho. 21 Porque por cuanto la muerte entró por un hombre, también por un hombre la resurrección de los muertos. 22 Porque así como en Adán todos mueren, también en Cristo todos serán vivificados. (RVR 1960)


v.19 If in Christ we have hope[a] in this life only, 

There was and still are cults that claim to be “christian” or claim some level of christian faith but deny the full deity and resurrection of Christ. Their desire or better put reason for being associated with Christ is worldly gain. 

The second category and the one Paul is more likely writing about is all those who claim to be Christians, suffer for being so (remember Paul’s hardships) yet have no hope of eternal life.

we are of all people most to be pitied.

If either case is true of man what is left of them but to pity them? In the first man will live out his days and gain nothing for the Kingdom Matthew 6:19–21. In Paul’s case he would have willingly suffered for no reason at all for his hope was a lie. The original Greek here, eleeinoteroi, meaning pitiful or miserable combined with The whole of every kind of man.

v.20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead,

Okay, here are the facts, Christ has risen from the dead Matthew 28:6 so our hope is not in vain not to be pitied.

the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 

Firstfruits were the first of the harvest offered to God by the Jewish people. By using this term Paul insures the reader understand that Christ is the first of many believers to follow in God’s harvest of His chosen.

v.21  For as by a man came death, 

Remember it was Adam who brought sin and death into the world for all mankind. For anyone out there who is a naysayer claiming that’s not fair, why should I pay for something or be held accountable for something some guy did 6000+ years ago? If you look deeply at your true nature (apart from Christ) you know you would have done the same thing. 

by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead

Jesus is the ONLY way, there is no other to eternal life.

v.22  For as in Adam all die,

Adam brought death, despair and helplessness into the world. A man of sorrows to be pitied

so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

Jesus brought comfort, hope and Life to all who believe upon him as Lord and Savior.

CONCLUSION:

Are you to be pitied, is your hope in this life only today? Or are you to be counted among the saints born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven(1 Peter 1:3-4 ESV). 

 

A People to be Pitied?

The Apostle Paul is concluding v.19 his discourse on the facts of Christ’s resurrection. He makes his point for those who deny the deity and resurrection of Christ are:

If in Christ…: This assumes the reader (hearer probably in ancient times) is a part of the Body of Christ

We have hope in this life only…: This is all there is once dead we are dust, food for the maggots. What have you gained by following the teachings of Jesus without the hope of resurrection in Christ? 

A people most to be pitied: What hope do we really have if it is all only for the present and not eternal? Paul answers the question of what hope is there apart form a resurrected Christ with a resounding, NOTHING.  If all our hope our FAITH is in a man who died on a cross for naught, we are truly miserable beings. We have gained nothing, no advantage (peace, comfort, hope) going through life’s trials and tribulations. 

But in fact Christ…: But the reality is Christ has risen from the dead. The hope of true believers everywhere is simple we serve a risen savior. He alone beat down deaths door, paid the penalty for my sins and won the victory (1 Corinthians 15:50-58

The firstfruits of those…: Christ resurrection was just the first to be raised in an incorruptible and immortal body. His resurrection paved the way for all members of the body of Christ to be so resurrected some day.

Pity Not Them Who Rise With Christ

APRIL 15, 2001 / Resource by John Piper / Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:12–20

This passage of Scripture describes five sad consequences if Christ is not risen from the dead and is not alive today as the only Lord of the universe with all authority in heaven and on earth. What I would like to do this morning is show you these five consequences, and then take just one of them and use it to unfold a very powerful and often-neglected incentive for us to believe in Jesus Christ as the living Lord and the greatest treasure of your life – beyond the grave and forever.

My hope and prayer is that many of you – for your everlasting good – will be won over by him this morning. Not me, but him, because he is alive and here and able to persuade you that he is true and the greatest treasure in the universe.

The text begins in verse 12 by pointing out that in the community in Corinth, some were saying, “There is no resurrection of the dead.” Period. Nobody rises from the dead. So in verse 13 Paul points out the obvious: “If there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised.” And then he begins the list of five consequences if this is true – if Christ is not raised from the dead.

Now let’s be sure before we see these, that we know what Paul really believes. Verse 20: “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep.” In other words, this apostle of Jesus is persuaded that Jesus did rise from the dead, and that his resurrection is the guarantee of our resurrection – that’s what “first fruits from the dead” means. The first fruits were the first pickings of the harvest which showed that there is a harvest – this resurrection signifies the certainty of our resurrection. The way Paul put it in Romans 8:11 is: “If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” If Christ is raised, then those who belong to Christ will be raised with him in everlasting life and ever-increasing joy… (Continued at source link above)

Honor the Lord

Image result for PROVERBS. 3:9

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To call oneself a “Christian” and not desire to freely give generously to God the first-fruits¹ of our labors is for me at least just playing at being a Christian. – Mike

Verse 9

POSB² – It has long been said that worship involves three books: God’s book (the Bible), the hymn book, and the pocketbook. Trusting the Lord with all your heart includes trusting Him with your substance or wealth-your possessions. Fearing the Lord-submissively obeying Him-extends to His commands about finances and material things.

The experience of God’s people through the years is distilled into a pithy proverb by the inspired writer. It shows that God’s people can count on His blessings when we honor Him with our offerings. As with all proverbial wisdom, this is not an ironclad rule without exceptions. It is a principle proved through experience and inspired by God. Stewardship is not an attempt to bribe God and ensure our own wealth. It is a committed response to the God who never forgets the needs of His people. See Lk 6:38.

– God is honored when people give Him their first and their best, what the Bible calls the firstfruits. To give Him what is left over and less than the best does not glorify Him and is not worthy of His great name. The principle of the firstfruits is one of God’s greatest laws. Early in Israel’s history, God commanded them to bring Him the first of all their crops and their livestock and all else with which He had blessed them. They were instructed to dedicate their firstborn children to the Lord as well (Ex.13:11-1622:29-3023:19Le.23:9-11Nu.18:12-13De.26:1-10). Notice carefully the significance of the firstfruits: (1)  It was a token of their gratitude to the Lord for His blessings. (2) It proclaimed their acknowledgement of God as the source of all good things. (3) It represented the rest of the harvest, the fact that all belonged to God. He was the owner of it all. (4) It acknowledged one of the greatest spiritual truths of all: that God had redeemed them from Egypt. All that they had was because of His gracious deliverance from the bondage of Egypt. Even in the New Testament, Paul reminded the church that this is the ultimate reason for giving to God today. We give to Him because He gave His Son for us. We give our best because He gave His best. He has redeemed and delivered us from the bondage of sin. (2 Co.8:9, 2 Co.9:15).

Verse 10

POSB – when we honor God by giving Him the first and best, He will do for us what only He can do. The farmer can plow, sow, water, and weed, but he cannot make the seed grow-only God can produce the harvest (1 Co.3:7). The gardener can dress and prune the vines, but he cannot put grapes on them. He cannot make those grapes juicy-only God can. The order of this process is clear in this passage and throughout Scripture: give to God first, and He will give back to you. Give the first-fruits to God, not what is left after all the bills are paid. “Such giving is the supreme act of faith.” So many, many believers fail to honor God in this way-and thereby miss His abundant blessings-because they do not trust Him to do what He promises to do.

¹ – First-Fruits = Here are two articles about these subjects. While many argue that tithing is mandatory, I tend to disagree and believe that for a true Christian 10% of the income before deductions is just the starting point and we should liberally and cheerfully give beyond that.

What are Firstfruit offerings and do they differ from Tithes

² – POSB= Preacher’s Outline and Sermon Bible: Commentary and Outlines as found Percept Austin

 

 

A Prayer in Praise of the Holy Spirit

everyday-prayersFor those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (Rom. 8: 5– 9)

Heavenly Father, I’m particularly grateful today for the person and work of the Holy Spirit. Though I don’t understand everything he’s up to, these things I gladly affirm today . . .

Just as assuredly as Jesus stood outside of Lazarus’s tomb and said, “Come forth,” you sent the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel to my heart, and I came out of the tomb of my sin and death. How I praise you for your sovereign goodness and power. Unless you had breathed new life into my spirit, I would have never, could have never believed the gospel.

When you raised me up in Jesus, you baptized me with the Holy Spirit, making me a member of your family and Christ’s bride. You sealed me for eternity by the Spirit, marking me as your very own possession. You sent the Spirit to live as a permanent resident in my heart— to constantly preach the gospel to my heart, convict me of sin, make me like Jesus, and tell me that I am your beloved child.

According to the truth of the gospel in your Word, I’m already controlled by the Holy Spirit. I am no longer controlled by my sinful nature. You’ve given me all the gifts of the Spirit I need to live as a functioning part of the church and a caring servant in your kingdom. You gave the Spirit to me as the firstfruits and guarantee of the full inheritance of the salvation that Jesus completely earned for me. What a generous and loving God you are!

Therefore, I acknowledge my desire to be more fully and consistently filled with the Holy Spirit, to walk according to the Spirit, to keep in step with the Spirit, to set my mind on what the Spirit desires. All to which I say, “Hallelujah, what a Savior! Hallelujah, what a salvation!” I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Smith, Scotty. Everyday Prayers: 365 Days to a Gospel-Centered Faith (p. 40). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.