God Will Be Utterly Supreme Over Everything, Everywhere
Passage: 1 Corinthians 15:20–34
Big Picture: The concern of this passage is ultimately directed to toward the person of God the Father. It’s not just the death of individuals that concerns Paul in this text, but death itself as the final enemy of God, and the fulfillment of God’s sovereign purposes in the universe. The work of Christ is the key to accomplishing all of this. Jesus (the Federal Head for all who are “in him”) reverses the corruption introduced by Adam in Genesis 3. Christ’s resurrection demands our resurrection - otherwise, death is never defeated, and God cannot be utterly supreme over everything, everywhere.
Point 1: An explanation of the meaning and significance of Christ’s resurrection from the dead (20-28)
- Three truths are assumed by Paul that are utterly crucial to his argument.
- Paul views the coming, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ in thoroughly redemptive-historical and eschatological categories.
- Paul assumes an indissoluble union between the resurrection of Christ and the bodily resurrection of believers.
- Paul views the resurrection of Christ in light of God’s sovereign purposes.
Point 2: “If Christ is not raised” . . . further implications (29-34)
- If God does not raise the dead, then it is absurd for people to be baptized on behalf of the dead (29).
- If God does not raise the dead, then it is absurd for Paul to be constantly in danger (30–32).
- But, since God does raise the dead, it is absurd for the Corinthians to say otherwise (33–34).
So, Paul exhorts them with three commands:
- Do not let resurrection-deniers fool you.
- Sober up and come back to your senses regarding the resurrection.
- Stop sinning by denying that God will resurrect the corpses of believers. You should be ashamed of yourselves!