1st Corinthians – Paul Begins His Final Arguments
January 10, 2009
Out study continues with the great Resurrection chapter, 1 Corinthians 15, verse 23. Christ is the Messiah whose reign must continue until he has triumphed, when eternity begins (cf. v. 23-27). The Father is the font of divinity without having any chronological or hierarchical priority over Jesus Christ. A close reading of this chapter will reveal that there was no "generic God-substance" that created Christ, but rather the one God, a personal moral being who is all-powerful and who eternally begets the Son.
Note that verse 29 does not speak to the common Mormon practice of Baptizing the Dead, and is the only reference of any such a baptismal practice in the Bible.
Paul knows that one is ruined by the bad company he keeps (v. 33), and he mentions it within this chapter for the good of the Church. He chastises them by saying "Come to your right mind and sin no more" (v. 34).
He answers a number of the Corinthians’ questions on the resurrection of the dead in verses 35-44. He writes, "Just as we have born the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. I tell you this, brethren: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable" (v. 49-50). In this, he states that all who are raised to heaven will be changed, a change that occurs in the blink of an eye. He concludes the chapter by stating "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain" (v. 58).
One must never forget that the goal of the Christian life is to remain with the Lord in heaven. With this perspective, one has a life-changing motivation.
Music: Sergei Rachmaninoff’s 6 Moments Musicaux Op. 16 – Andante cantabile, from the album Moments Musicaux, performed by Elizabeth Wolff. www.magnatune.com