Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim. 2:15

King James AV1611


First Corinthians

First Corinthians was taught by Dr. James Modlish
Outline provided by Randy Rogers



Intro: Chapter 15, is often referred to as the “Resurrection” chapter, since it deals with the resurrection of Jesus Christ after his death on the cross of calvary. This however is only a small portion of what the chapter deals with.

This chapter explains the “Gospel,” how man through Adam died, the resurrection of Christ Jesus, and future resurrection of the believer and his glorified body.

The terms - rose, rise, raised, resurrection are mentioned at least 16 times though out this chapter. After having read that, if you still don’t believe that Jesus Christ came out of the tomb physically, you are more than brain dead, you are delusional.

15:1 Paul is speaking to saved people here.

Paul is using a southern expression “declare.” He is making a decree, or declaration about something that is more sure than the sun shining in the sky.

What Paul is declaring is the Gospel which he preached to them. He is about to explain just what that gospel is, which will forever cast it in stone. The Corinthians received this Gospel, and it is the foundation on which they stand.

The Gospel is the “Good News” that Jesus Christ has conquered death and defeated the Devil.

This gospel is not the Gospel of the Kingdom mentioned in Matthew. This gospel is the Gospel of the Grace of God (Acts 20:24)

Also called:

[1]. The gospel of God (Rom. 1:1)
[2]. The gospel of his Son (Rom. 1:9)
[3]. The gospel of your salvation (Eph. 1:13)
[4]. The gospel of our Lord Jesus (2 Thess. 1:8)
[5]. The gospel of Christ (Rom. 1:16)
[6]. The gospel of peace (Eph. 6:15)
[7]. Our gospel (2 Thess. 2:14)

Paul gives a clear cut warning to those who would preach any other gospel (Gal. 1:9).

15:2 This verse is aimed at both the saved and the lost at Corinth (Gal. 3:2, 1, 3, 4; 5:4,5).

The saved people of Corinth took it to heart.

“Believed in vain” - Simon, James

(1 Jn. 2:24-25; Rom. 10:9-10)

15:3 Now Paul moves onto what is the root or heart of the Gospel. Notice that it is all according to the scriptures, and not some pipe dream from some demon possessed man as you will find in other so called scripture. (The oracles of God were given to the Jews).

One more thing to notice, and that is, Baptism is never mentioned as part of the Gospel.

This is the Gospel, the Good News of the death, burial, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Christ’s death was recorded in scripture as far as 1000 years before his birth. All this prophecy came true 100% when he bled and died on calvary. (Isa. 53; Matt. 27; Gal. 1) Unlike religious leaders Mohammed, Joseph Smith, Charles Taze Russell, Buddha, Krishna, etc. Jesus Christ’s death was prophesied in the Holy Scriptures.

15:4 Christ’s burial and resurrection were prophesied in scripture (Matt. 12:40).

15:5 Christ meets with Cephas first because Cephas denied the Lord 3 times and lost his discipleship. (Mk. 16:7; Lk. 24:34)

Cephas is the aramaic name that Christ gave Peter (Jn. 1:42). This name means stone and not Rock, as the Catholics would have you believe.

Christ then meets with the other disciples, and shows himself alive, just as he said he would.

Paul mentions Cephas, and then the twelve, but Paul never considered himself one of the 12 Apostles. One qualification to be an Apostle, is to have seen the resurrected (Acts 1:22) Christ; Paul fits this perfectly since he saw him on the road to Damascus (Acts 9).

15:6 One of the greatest proofs that the scripture is true is the fact that there was more than one eyewitness to Christ’s resurrection.

After Christ appears to Peter and the other apostles, he appears to more than 500 people at one time in the same place. This eyewitness testimony would hold up in any honest court in the country. The courts and the judges have to be corrupt to throw out this much eyewitness proof. They are trying to do that ever day of the week in the USA.

In Muslim countries, you get your head cut off if you believe in the resurrected Christ. While the body of the founder of Islam still lies in the grave, Jesus Christ proved his Lordship over death, by coming out of the grave under HIS OWN power.

At the time Paul wrote First Corinthians, many of the eyewitnesses to Christ’s being raised from the dead, were still alive.

15:7 James is the Lords brother who got converted. None of his other brothers did. This is not James Zebedee. This is a special appearance to James. Christ meets with all of the apostles. There were apostles that were not of the inner 12, but were still apostles
(Rom. 16:7).

15:8 It looks as if Paul could have been one of the 144,000 Jewish witnesses in the Tribulation period, but was born out of due time.

15:9 Paul was an apostle, but not one of the original 12. He confesses that he persecuted the church of God.

Three classes of people in the Word of God:

[1]. Jew
[2]. Gentile
[3]. Church of God

15:10 Paul called him self the chief among sinners (I Tim. 1:15).

God’s grace is what labours in each believer to do His work. Paul gave himself over to God’s grace, so that it might labour in him for the benefit of the church that he persecuted.

15:11 Paul is speaking of other christians by whom the Corinthians came to know Christ; not just himself.

15:12 Some of the Corinthians were telling others that there was no resurrection, which caused those to be weak in faith.

15:13 If Christ does not come out of the tomb then nobody does. There is no resurrection if Christ does not rise form the dead.

15:14 This is what separates Christianity from all of the religions of the world. If Jesus Christ did not rise from the dead, then there is no hope for anyone. The resurrection is the corner stone of Christianity. Not just that Jesus died for our sins, but that he also conquered death, hell and the grave when he rose from the dead.

Our preaching and faith would all be in vain if Christ did not rise from the dead.

15:15 Christians would be false witnesses, and liars if there is no resurrection, and Christ did not come out of the tomb.

15:16 Once again… if Christ does not rise from the dead, then nobody does!!!

15:17 Believing in Christ would be a waste of time and we would be putting our hopes and faith in a pipe dream, just as billions of people do who think that there is some other way to get to heaven than through Christ.

They are still in their sins, and so would we who believe if Christ did not rise from the dead.

15:18 Those who have already died believing in Christ, would be in hell, and there would be no hope. God sent His only begotten son to redeem mankind, and if he failed, by not rising from the dead, then those who have gone on before are already in hell.
(Jn. 12:44-50)

15:19 This verse has to be one of the greatest and most reassuring verses in the whole Bible. In this verse we get great comfort knowing that our hopes for eternal life are not dependent on our works, but on Christ himself.

This hope has to be rooted in fact, not some pipe dream! Jesus Christ rose form the dead and did so after it having been prophesied in the scriptures. Our hope of a resurrection are based on this truth. If our hope is only in this life and Christ can’t deliver as he promised, then “we are, of all men most miserable.”

The Buddhist, only has hope in Buddha in this life - he did not rise from the dead!
The Muslim, only has hope in Mohammed in this life - he did not rise from the dead!
The Confucianist, only has hope in Confucius in this life - he did not rise from the dead!
The Communist, only has hope in Lenin in this life - he did not rise from the dead!

All religious leaders throughout history have all died, and none has risen from the dead. This puts them apart from Jesus Christ.

First, Jesus Christ is not a religious leader, he is eternal life... he is the resurrection & the life!
Second, Jesus Christ rose under his own power, the rest are still in the grave.
Third, all who trust him for salvation will receive this “blessed hope” called the resurrection.

The scripture says, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

15:20 Here is the reason for the “hope” we have in Christ, not just in this life, but in the next. He rose from the dead!

“Firstfruits” - He is the first to rise “from” the dead. He permanently defeated death. He never dies again like Lazarus, and the others that he raised up from the dead.

15:21 The first Adam, a man, is responsible for death coming upon all men. The second Adam, a God man, responsible for the resurrection from death, to all who believe and trust him.

15:22 Check out Genesis chapter 5 and see the list of people that have died. The term there is “he died.” Now check out the line in Matthew chapter 1 and even though we know those people died, Matthew is the book of the generation of Jesus Christ; and death is not listed in Jesus Christ’s generation.

You are born in Adam, and death passes to you because you are in Adam, which means you have no choice but to die.

You have eternal life when you trust Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit puts you into the body of Christ (1 Cor. 12:13), and because of that you get eternal life passed on to you.

15:23 There is an order to the resurrection -

The first resurrection has 3 parts to it:

[1]. Christ first - “the firstfruits,” he is the firstfruits! Rapture of Old Testaments saints.
[2]. Next the main harvest - (1 Thess. 4:14-18) Rapture of New testament saints.
[3]. Next the gleanings - Rapture of Tribulation saints.

15:24 This appears to be a reference to the Great White Throne, when mankind will be judged by Jesus Christ (Rom. 2:16; Acts 17:31), and he is the standard by which they will be judged. After the judgment, all things will be put under Him.

It is important to notice that the name of Jesus is exalted above every name (God the Father’s included) (Phil. 2:5-11), but Jesus Christ himself is never exalted above the Father.

15:25 This verse shows that the above exaltation does not take place till after the Millennial Reign of Christ on the earth.

15:26 The last enemy is death. Satan is the death angel and has the power of death (Heb. 2:14). This takes place at the Great White Throne judgment, where Satan is cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:10).

15:27 The “He” in the first part of the verse is the Father, and he is the one that has put all things under Christ’s feet. This train of thought continues in (vs. 28). Here the one that is being excepted is the Father.

15:28 “Subdued unto him” - The Father

This is a hard verse since there are at least 2 ways that it could be explained -

First - After all things are put under the Son, the Son becomes subject to the father. This implies that the triune Godhead goes back to being the way it was before Jesus came to earth. Jesus goes back to being the “Word” and not the Son.

Secondly - The other way to interpret this part of the verse is as Clarence Larkin does, and he states that Jesus never loses his humanity after all is said and done.

15:29 Now here we comes to verse that the Mormons like to use to prove baptism for someone that has just died.

This shows the inconsistency of those that reject the resurrection, and yet are performing baptisms for the dead.

The term “for the dead” does not mean someone that has just died, but those that are already dead. It’s kinda like what the Catholics do to get someone out of purgatory.

15:30 If there is no resurrection, why do anything for Christ? It would be a waste of time.

15:31 Two forms of death are involved here:

[1]. Doctrinal death (Rom. 6:1-6) where you are “baptized” into Christ’s death and resurrection. This is your standing in Christ... Dead, buried, resurrected!
[2]. Practical death - This is where you die daily, and reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin (Rom. 6:11). You are also to mortify your members on the earth (Col. 3:5).

15:32 What good is it to do all the things that I did at Ephesus, if there is no resurrection... I’ll just get drunk and die! This seems to be the mentality of many people today.

15:33 The term communications - can mean not only verbal, but actions performed by the individual.

Hanging around the wrong crowd will stifle you ability to witness for the Lord, and in some cases keep you from being clean.

15:34 This does not mean that they were not saved, but meant that some were corrupted by reason of the people they were hanging around. They had lost their witness. Paul says this is a shame.

15:35 This is a question from the nay sayers that more than likely rejected the truth of the resurrection.

15:36 Paul is not worried about name calling here, nor is he worried about the warning in (Matt. 5:22).

“quickened” - made alive.

15:37 What you put in the ground as seed does not look like what comes up after the crop is ready for harvest. You can’t always tell by the seed what the end plant will be.

15:38 God is the designer and he gives it what he wants it to have.

15:39 This is pretty self explanatory, or makes perfect sense when you think about it. If we all came from apes, then why don’t we have the same flesh?

Paul lists the 4 types of flesh, and they are not the same:

[1]. Man
[2]. Beasts
[3]. Fishes
[4]. Birds

Now lets see the evolutionist get around that one. They don’t have a leg to stand on.

15:40 Celestial - Heavenly
Terrestrial - Earthly

15:41 Astronomy and the study of the planets, stars, nebula, etc. is a fascinating study. Each star has its own quality and and differs in brightness from another. Some are small, some are huge. Some give off more heat than other due to their compact size, etc.

15:42 Here Paul switches to talking about the human body and how it is raised after death. Paul is not talking about the lost man, but rather those that have put their trust in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation.

15:44 The spiritual body Paul is speaking about is like the body of our Saviour after his resurrection.

15:45 This verse is often used by the Jehovah Witnesses to teach that Jesus Christ did not come out of the tomb physically, but that his body vaporized and only the spirit resurrected. Don’t forget the warning (2 Jn. 7-11). Christ also said that he was not a spirit in (Lk. 24:39) after the resurrection. This should put to rest any questions as to whether or not he rose from the dead physically or not.

Adam was the natural man, and Christ (the last Adam) was the spiritual man.

15:46 The order is, physical first... then spiritual.

15:47 Christ descended from Heaven above to die for our sins. He is the Lord!

15:48 Adam was created in the image of God, but all men after him had his image, and not God’s. The only way to get back the image of God, is to be born again.

15:49 In order to bear the image of the heavenly... yes must be born again.
Romans 8:29 says that we are predestinated to be conformed to his image after the new birth, and not before.

15:50 Notice that the verse says “flesh and blood.” In (Lk. 24:39) Christ had “flesh and bone,” the blood was shed at Calvary, and then applied to the mercy seat in heaven.

Since man’s blood is corrupt, at the rapture the blood goes out and we go up as “flesh and bone.” (Eph. 5:29-30; Lk. 24:39; Gen. 2:23)

The term “inherit” is a reference to an earned reward. This has to do with service to Christ, “after salvation.” Salvation is a “free gift,’ and cannot be earned in this age. The millennium (Kingdom of Heaven) is a physical kingdom on the earth. The Kingdom of God is a Spiritual kingdom (Rom. 14:17), hence you cannot take flesh and blood into this Spiritual kingdom.

Paul is talking about the physical body at the time of the resurrection, when he is speaking about corruption inheriting corruption. The body has to be changed otherwise it cannot get into this kingdom. Paul explains this in the next few verses.

15:51 This is one of the seven mysteries that are mentioned in the word of God -

[1]. Mystery of Godliness - (1 Tim. 3:16)
[2]. Mystery of Christ in you - (Col. 1:27
[3]. Mystery of Israel’s blindness - (Rom. 11:25)
[4]. Mystery of the body of Christ - (Eph. 5:32)
[5]. Mystery of Iniquity - (2 Thess. 2:7)
[6]. Mystery of Babylon - (Rev. 17:4-5)
[7]. Mystery of the Rapture - (1 Cor. 15:51)

This mystery has to do with the Rapture and the believers going up when the trumpet sounds.

“We shall not all sleep” - The word “sleep” is how the Bible describes death.
(Jn. 11:11-13)

Some believers won’t die before the Rapture takes place and they go up and get a new body on the way up. This is typified by Enoch when he went up... The Lord took him!

“We shall all be changed” - not just the believers alive at the Rapture, but the ones that are in the graves as well.

15:52 In a “moment”. this is the greek word - atomov atomos, and means a space of time that cannot be split in two.

“twinkling of an eye” - this is about the size of an atom, and is faster than you can see. Faster than the snap of a finger, the blinking of the eye, perhaps as fast as light travels. At any rate, it will be so fast that it will make your head spin.

“Last trump” - There are 7 trumpets in Revelation, and they are all in the Tribulation. This “trump” is the sound that a “Trumpet” makes, and is not what is going on in Revelation. Turn to (1 Thess. 4:16 and see that this Trump of God” is not being blown by an angel as the trumpets in the tribulation. There is no mention of an angel in this verse, but the Archangel Michael.

When the Lord returns he will give a shout that to the believer will sound like a trumpet (Rev. 4:1), but to the lost it will sound like thunder (Job 37:2-5).

Four trumpets are mentioned in (Num. 10:1-10) and have to do with calling the congregation together and also for alarms and battle.

“The dead shall be raised” - these are those that have died after having trusted Jesus Christ for their eternal salvation. Their bodies are changed in a moment, and they are given a glorified body just like Christ’s after his resurrection, minus the nail prints and the wound in his side.

“we shall be changed” - these are the believers that are alive when the trumpet sounds, they do not have to go through deaths door. Their body is changed and the blood goes out as mentioned in (vs. 50). All this takes place so fast that to the lost they won’t know what has taken place till it is too late.

One thing that you might note, is that the lost are not given a resurrection body, since they go to hell, and at the White Throne judgment, after the universe blows up they are just standing there at the White Throne of judgment. Looks like that some time in eternity they lost assume the shape of their father the devil (Mk. 9:42-48 “their” worm dieth not).

15:53 This is the old corrupt body being changed into a glorious body that is fit for the journey to Heaven, and a life there for all eternity.

15:54 This swallowing up of death is a quote from (Isa. 25:6-8).
“O grave...” - (Hosea 13:14)

15:55 Once the final resurrection is over and Death is swallowed up, then there will be no more sting of death; and they grave will have no more victory. Christ has won over all!

15:56 Sin hurts, that’s why there is a sting associated with it. Check out what the "sin of drunkenness" will do for you (Prov. 23:32).
(Rom. 7) shows use that we had not known sin but by the Law. That is what makes it clear, that sin is sin. It is reveal through the law.

15:57 There is only one way of salvation, and victory over sin, death, and hell; and that is Jesus Christ. (Acts 4:12)

15:58 Paul admonishes the Corinthians that after all that Christ has done for them, they should be stedfast in their faith. Stedfast in their belief that Christ died, and rose from the dead so that they too can come out of the grave.

“Unmovable” - like Mt. Everest... it ain’t going no where.

“always abounding…” - day and night

“Labour not in vain” - “Only one life twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.”

“So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” (Isa 55:11)

“Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.” (Josh. 1:9)

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