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1 Corinthians 15





 

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As we near the end of Paul's first letter to the Church at Corinth let’s take a moment to recap all he has written so far. To help organize all of the information it is easiest to split 1 Corinthians into 4 parts. In part one, Paul opens this letter with a greeting and word of encouragement. IN part 2 he shifts his focus to and tone to one of correction, addressing areas of immaturity that included quarrels over leadership and dealing with the churches lack of judgment on sex and legal disputes. In the 3 part Paul continues to address issues within the church, including marriage, divorce, and the eating of the meat used for idol worship. And he wraps up this letter by calling the church back to a place of order in chapters 11 - 16.


In these 6 chapters Paul addresses several topics such as head coverings and authority, The Lord’s Supper, Using Spiritual gifts, and, here in chapter 15, understanding the resurrection.


One of the things I have loved about diving into Paul’s writings is the showing of his consistency in sharing the gospel in its truest, most pure form. We see that once again displayed cleary right here in verses 1 and 2 of chapter 15 when he writes “Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you - unless you believed in vain.”


Though we can find Paul reminding people often “of the gospel [he] preached”, I can’t help but notice the timeliness of this specific reminder. You see, in chapter 14 Paul had just addressed some what we could call “logistical matters” such as the way to love and the importance of orderly worship and right on the heals of all of that instruction comes this reminder of the real and raw message of the gospel. What a wonderful reminder from Paul that yes all of these other things are important! They have a place. They play a role. BUT DON’T FORGET THAT THE GOSPEL MESSAGE MUST REMAIN AT THE FOREFRONT OF EVERYTHING. JESUS MUST REMAIN AT THE CENTER OF IT ALL!


Had Paul lived in these modern times I have a feeling his anthem would be the song “Jesus at the Center” by Israel Houghton. If you’re not familiar with that song, it goes like this:


Jesus at the center of it all

Jesus at the center of it all

From beginning to the end

It will always be it’s always been

You Jesus


Verses 2 and 3 go on to declare “Jesus at the center of my life” and “Jesus at the center of Your church”.


And the chorus brings it all together with:


Nothing else matters

Nothing in this world will do

Jesus You’re the center

Everything revolves around you.

Jesus You.


After such a strong opening and powerful reminder to keep the main thing - Christ - the main thing in every area of our lives in verses 1 & 2 of 1 Corinthians 15, Paul continues on to teach on the resurrection - bringing understanding to both the resurrection of Christ and the resurrection of the church - bringing back to our attention the Hope of Heaven that we have when we live in relationship with Christ. And what a Hope that is!


I absolutely love how beautifully Paul pens this heavenly reward in verses 56 - 58:


“The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”


Friends, we are going to deal with a lot of issues in our lives. We will come up against opposition and persecution. We will wrestle with the questions and doubts of others and the questions and doubts in ourselves. But, as Galatians 6:9 declares, let us not grow weary in doing good for at just the right time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up! A truth that Paul echos here in verse 58 “in the Lord your labor is not in vain!” How do I know? For “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law, BUT THANKS BE TO GOD, who gives us the victory!!” (verse 56&57)


Today, I challenge you to take a moment to disconnect from the “things” of the day and focus in on the One who gave you this day and ask Him to give you the wisdom, grace, and strength to take in on while keeping Him at the center - “remaining steadfast, immovable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord.” (verse 58)


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dellapietro
dellapietro
Jul 26, 2023

I love how you are able to split 1 Corinthians into 4 parts. This is a tremendous help for me. And also to present a challenge that helps us focus on what is truly the most important part of this whole book, to keep Christ at the center of all we do & say. To remain steadfast in the work of the Lord. Thank you for your insight & enthusiasm.

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