S (Scripture): 1 Corinthians 15:20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 15:21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also came through a man. 15:22 For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
O (Observation): Christ’s humanity will NOT be denied by Paul. Paul is very clear here that Christ was human. Not just a spirit. A human (Adam) brought all to sin and death, and (absolutely) a human (Christ Jesus) brought about the resurrection of the dead and life everlasting, to the glory of God the Father.
In this text, Paul also points out that we all fall short of the glory of God, and owe everything to Christ for the redemption of our body, mind, and soul. This reminder keeps us humble, knowing that our salvation comes through Christ alone.
The resurrection of the FLESH was a controversial topic of the time, especially because the Greek culture cared more about getting rid of the flesh, not redeeming it. Spirit was better, flesh was weakness.
The resurrection of the flesh also ties into the inherent goodness with which God created – God created us in the flesh we embody, and indeed, it was good. God is redeeming what we tainted…even though we don’t deserve it.
A (Application): The resurrection of the dead is a strange thing indeed. And yet, this clarity that Paul brings is crucial for our salvation. We have done nothing to redeem ourselves. Redemption rests in Christ alone. Of that, I have no doubt.
With this in mind, I turn to two issues:
- Other faiths
- Good works
1. Other faiths: I believe in the Triune God (the Father of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob), Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. I also respect the wish of others to worship in their own way. I don’t think they’re right, but I also approach my stance with humility. I don’t presume to “lord it over others.” If that is viewed as weakness, oh well. That’s not my concern.
2. Good Works: our passage today reminds me that good works do not cause our salvation, but rather, are an overflow of grace through our salvation. I think God loves our efforts in this world. I believe Dallas Willard is credited with saying: “God is not opposed to effort, just earning.” I 100% agree. Our efforts in this world can be focused on God making us holy in our individual and communal journeys.
Knowing your salvation is secure, what does that free you to pursue?
P (Prayer): Lord, you are my saving grace. Guide me. Remind me that I am redeemed. Remind me that I’m to love God and love neighbor. Amen.