Over the years, I have learned several methods of sharing the gospel. From the Romans Road to the Four Spiritual Laws to the outline used in the Evangelism Explosion presentation, these tools were intended to help me clearly articulate the gospel message’s facts.
In today’s reading, Paul reviews the basic elements of the gospel message. The apostle’s summary makes three main assertions. First, Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. Second, Christ was buried and arose on the third day, also according to the Scriptures. Third, after His resurrection, the living Christ appeared to many credible witnesses, one of whom was the apostle Paul himself! Jesus’ resurrection is the pattern for all believers. It is the antidote to the death that has passed onto mankind through Adam: “For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive” (v. 22).
Some in the Corinthian church, influenced by Greek philosophical ideas, had trouble accepting the idea of a bodily resurrection (v. 12). Paul responded by pointing out that without the resurrection, the gospel is emptied of hope (vv. 16–19). In verses 35–54, the apostle goes on to describe some of the features of the believer’s resurrected body. He notes that there is continuity with the bodies that we now have but with a reconstitution of our nature. The resurrection body is a real body like the one we now possess, but it is also “changed” (v. 51). This change will take place at the last trumpet (v. 52) and will transform our earthly perishable body into a “spiritual” one (v. 45). All who are in Christ will exchange a mortal body for an immortal one.
>> The gospel doctrine of the resurrection offers hope both in the present and in the life to come. This hope motivates us to stand firm in our faith and give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord, “because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (v. 58).
Some of us are weary, laboring in an unfruitful ministry, or aching over children who have left the church. Give us strength of conviction to push on, rejoicing in our certain hope of the coming resurrection.