A Very Special Bible Chapter!

Posted on July 21, 2022


By David Ettinger

A Troubled Church
The Book of 1 Corinthians is quite the adventurous read! This is because the church at Corinth was spiritually weak and filled with sin and bad teaching.

The apostle Paul had a lot of correcting to do, and because he did, he composed an epistle filled with soaring truth and thrilling promise. This is particularly the case in a very special Bible chapter – 1 Corinthians 15.

The Fallacy
True to form, some Corinthians were entertaining a particularly heinous teaching, that Christ never rose from the dead. Paul writes: “But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?”  

If you are familiar with Paul’s personality as exhibited through his writings, you know he was miffed that some Corinthians would even entertain such theological fallacy. By way of chastisement and enlightenment, Paul points out the absurdity of their thinking. He writes:

  • “And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith” (v. 14). Spot on!
  • “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins” (v. 17). Bingo!
  • “Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied” (vv. 18-19). You preach it, Paul!

Moving On
Paul then switches gears, as if to say, “I’ve had enough of this nonsense, let’s just cut to the chase.” The “chase” is verse 20: “But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.”

From this point on, Paul explains what kind of bodies we will have, the time when the resurrection occurs, and the benefits of resurrection. This last part – the benefits of resurrection – is the very special part of this very special chapter.

After telling us in verse 53 that all believers will be given immortal – “imperishable” – bodies (v. 53), our greatest foe will have been defeated: “‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ ‘Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?’”

In other words, once we receive our new immortal, imperishable, resurrected bodies, death will no longer have any hold over us. It will be rendered powerless, and believers in the Lord Jesus Christ will live for eternity in a perfect state – physically, emotionally, spiritually, and any other way you can think of.

Mortal Blessing
And though the resurrection is a promise which will be fulfilled when we reach our immortal states, Paul tells us that it should motivate us today in our mortal states. He closes Chapter 15 with these words: “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain” (v. 58).

Though the chapter begins with annoyance on Paul’s part over the Corinthians’ willingness to accept erroneous teaching, it ends on a magnificent high note as it leads him to teach on the resurrection. And what a teaching it is!

I love reading 1 Corinthians Chapter 15 and never get tired of it because it is filled with towering promise, glory, and hope. It is indeed a special Bible chapter, and one which never fails to lift my spirits.

Oh what joy it holds!

David Ettinger is a writer/editor at Zion’s Hope, Inc., and has written for Zion’s Fire magazine since its inception in 1990.