1 Corinthians 15:1-11 - The Resurrection of Christ

1. Paul reminds the Corinthians again that “you are saved if you hold firmly to the word I preached.” What else might people do after hearing the word?

A: For some people, it is just a seed. Others may be moving toward believing, but do not yet believe. Some pretend to believe to go along with their friends. And still others may be antagonistic after hearing the word.

2. Should unbelievers be removed from a Christian church or youth group or Bible study group? (Matthew 13:28-29)

A: Matthew 13:28-29 - ‘Should we pull out the weeds?’ they asked. “‘No,’ he replied, ‘you’ll uproot the wheat if you do.’”

Only the Lord is to remove unbelievers.

3. What about Christ is “of first importance?” (Verses 3-8)

A: The entire message about Jesus is incredibly important, but “of first importance” is the fact that Jesus was raised from the dead—the resurrection.

4. Why does Paul stress Christ’s appearances? (Verses 5-8) Does this prove the resurrection? Why or why not? (Acts 3:15)

A: When Jesus appeared after his death, the disciples went through a did-we-see-a-ghost phase complete with terror, disbelief, and wild rumors. But it didn’t last long. In 40 days, Jesus made enough undeniable appearances to convince each of his disciples—even skeptical Thomas—that he had indeed overthrown death.

As Acts shows, the disciples began acting the opposite of people who think they’ve seen a ghost. Rather, they acted like people who had just witnessed the most astounding event in all history. They couldn’t wait to tell the world about it. Acts 3:15 - You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. And we are witnesses of this fact!

5. How would you counter someone who explains away the resurrection in some naturalistic way (e.g., his body was removed from the tomb) or just plain thinks these Bible verses are fiction?

A: Paul saw this matter of life and death and the resurrection as the most explosive in the Corinthian church. The Sadducees did not believe in life after death, just as Buddhists, Marxists, Black Muslims, and atheists do not believe in it today. So Paul reiterated scripture, incidents about which he had personal knowledge, and Jesus’ appearance to him as evidence. That’s about all you can do too. Maybe you can’t change someone’s mind, but you can present the best objective evidence available.

The resurrection is an historical fact. We Christians must not get discouraged by doubters or begin to doubt our own belief in it, even when you find yourself in the minority.

6. Why the stress on God’s grace in Verses 9-11? (Acts 9:1-3)

A: As a zealous Pharisee, Paul had become an enemy of the Christian church—to the point of capturing and persecuting believers. Thus he felt unworthy to be called an apostle of Christ. He worked hard and accomplished much, but he was deeply humble because God had poured kindness and grace on him.

7. In Verse 10, Paul said he worked harder than the other apostles partly because he had to continually “prove himself” after persecuting Christians for so long. Have you ever had to prove yourself to show others that you’ve changed? What helps you with this?

A: Anyone who has overcome an addiction, or turned a new leaf after being convicted of a crime or bragged about completing a shady business deal or boasted of using a tax loophole must go out of his way to continually prove himself. It takes many years to overcome the taint of addiction or conviction or cheating or a damaged reputation.

The only thing that will help you is the grace of God. You know for certain the God loves you, that Christ died for your sins, and that he was resurrected so that you too, if you believe, will be resurrected too and have eternal life. The knowledge of this will help you overcome people’s memory of your addiction or reputation, and give you the strength to prove it to others who are skeptical, and also to develop your own personal abilities and spiritual gifts.

8. Where would you be now except for God’s grace?

9. How does belief in Jesus’ resurrection and your own afterlife affect you personally?

Bible study courtesy of www.SwapMeetDave.com

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