God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December 3 - 1 Corinthians 15-16: Resurrection is the Only Thing Worth Dying For

Today’s Reading: 1 Corinthians 15-16

The Message

English Standard Version

Thought to Guide Your Reading

Paul is determined not to let God's Grace go to waste on him.

Summary in 100 Words or Less

The Message is that Jesus died and was raised from the dead. All my accomplishments are God working through me.
Why do you deny resurrection, negating everything we have taught? Jesus completed the circle—everyone dies because of Adam and lives because of Christ. This is why we continue working. Get this right!
The "blueprint" of resurrection is like seeds vs. plants. We'll be changed when Christ comes again. Sin, guilt, and death will be gone forever!
Have the contribution for Jerusalem ready when I arrive.
Let's have a long visit.
Take care of Timothy.
Apollos will come.
Keep strong!

How Today’s Reading Contributes to the Gospel: God is Setting All Things Right

The Resurrection is the only doctrine worth defending to the death.

Paul unwaveringly pushes this thought over and over. The reason is simple—the Resurrection is the only idea where its negation makes everything we do useless. If we die and never return then setting things right is pointless. There is no need to sacrifice. There is no need to love your neighbor as yourself. Unless we are brought back to life, Christianity means nothing.

Paul is determined to make the most of his second chance.

Passages like these exemplify why I love the Apostle Paul so much. He realized that he made horrible, terrible decisions but God called him anyway. Paul is determined not to let God's choice go to waste! Don't let God's Grace go to waste! Set things right!

There is no blueprint to what our bodies will look like when we are raised from the dead.

Just like a plant looks completely different than the seed our resurrected bodies will look completely different than our current ones. If you want to know what it will look like, tough. We'll never know until it happens.

Jesus breaks the life-death cycle.

Jesus lived and died. Then He lived again to never die. Everyone on earth will one day die, too. But we will all live again to never die. Adam caused everyone to die because of his sin; Jesus set things right by sacrificing Himself to take away the power of death. How awesome is our god!

These are letters, not doctrinal statements.

This is the first letter with a long section dealing with Paul and the church's individuals. The items included are interesting but not necessarily exciting for us (I like how he takes a swipe at Apollos by saying he's waiting for the "right time" and Paul is about to give him that right time—at least he is in my head) but they show how these are personal letters from one man to a group of people he loved dearly. God didn't use dry legal documents to help us understand His Message. He gave us letters from one person to another he loved dearly.
I remember going to Paul's Prison Epistles class (Ephesians, Philippians, and Colossians) taught by Terry Edwards at Freed-Hardeman University. Growing up in Greece and Turkey as the child of a missionary family, he could lead tours through the Bible lands without help from guides. I remember him coming to class and stating, "(name of the city we were studying). Love to take you there, but we don't have the time." He would then expound on how each of the phrases Paul uses corresponded to something they either saw, experienced, or understood. He helped me see that these are not statements that we need to piece together to create one, whole systematic theology. These were letters from a man who started or grew these churches trying to help them continue growing in God's Truth. It is because of Dr. Edwards' teaching style that I am where I am today.

He is risen!

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