1 Corinthians 15-16
A Devotional Journey
led by Dr. Gene Pearson
Thru the Bible in a Year
1 Corinthians ends with a discussion of Christ’s resurrection and an appeal for the assistance of other Christians.
It appears that the Corinthians had encountered arguments against the possibility of Christ’s resurrection from the dead. Paul supplies ample support for this belief both from Scripture and the eyewitness testimony of those who saw Jesus afterwards – including Paul himself in a vision.
In addition, there was some concern about the resurrection of believers.
Paul makes clear that this will happen and that those who have already died will be raised on the last day and that, in fact, if this were not so, then Christ’s resurrection would not really make sense. Knowing we will one day stand before the Lord is a good encouragement to us to life in the right way up to that point.
The resurrection will bring us a new life with God and a new body,
one that is spiritual and allows us to be with God forever. This fact means that we have nothing to fear in death, indeed, it will be the occasion of our greatest victory as Christ’s triumph over life and death becomes part of our eternal experience!
Having dealt with the Corinthians’ concerns, Paul now invites them to help deal with the concerns of other, less fortunate, Christians.
The subject is a collection for the saints in Jerusalem who have suffered the devastating effects of a famine. This collection is one Paul talks about throughout his letters, and one which he did, in fact, take to Jerusalem near the end of his ministry (according to the book of Acts).
Paul’s closing comments include personal information, several instructions and an expression of his love to them all.
The tone is interesting. It is as though he does not want to forget anything (a similar thought to many of our own letters), and so he quickly jots down some final thoughts: “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love,”
(16:13) is a good benediction for any Christian group!
Paul also implies that he has a scribe to whom he is dictating this letter
as he says that he is writing the concluding paragraph “in my own hand.”
Having read this letter, what do you think? What does God want you to do?
Is there a problem you need to resolve? Is there a talent you need to use? Is there someone you need to help? Prayerfully consider these possibilities and then act as God leads. Is it not great to know God does lead our lives!
© A. Eugene Pearson