The Summary of the Gospel 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

One of the most important passages in the New Testament is the summary of the Gospel and Resurrection found in 1 Corinthians 15.

Here is my translation and notes on 1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Resurrection—Importance of Jesus’s Resurrection
1 Corinthians 15:
1 Moreover, brothers, I am going to make the Good News known to youp which I preached to youp, youp received, and in which youp continue.
[“I am going to make…known” is literally, “I make known,” but Paul wants to clarify what they have forgotten or did not understand completely even though he preached it already. This is the order of events: Paul preached, they heard, the Holy Spirit opened their hearts freeing their will, they welcomed and received the message, and which they continue to stand in the faith. The Gospel is offensive to the world (1 Corinthians 1:18), but we must be faithful. See Galatians 5:22-23 where faithfulness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is not something we do in and with ourselves, but God does in us. We also need the strength of fellowship and a diet of truth—reading and studying the Bible. God will strengthen us].
2 Also, through this youp are saved, if youp firmly hold on to what I preached to youp, unless youp believed in vain.
[Paul’s thought is this: he preached→you received→you continue→you are saved. There is a condition however—note the word “if” which is in the Greek. Paul assumes the Corinthians are faithful and firmly holding on to the Gospel unless you believed in vain. In vain refers to a false profession of faith. Judas Iscariot is probably the best example of believing in vain. He, along with the other disciples, believed Jesus to be Messiah. See John 6:68-71].
3 For the first thing I passed on to youp was what I also received, how that Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures,
[“First thing” refers to important, not necessarily the first words Paul preached. Paul had heard the Gospel and now tells others. The doctrine that Messiah died for our sins has been declared in Scripture by the prophets. See Isaiah 53 among other verses also Luke 9:22].
4 And that he was buried, then rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
[Jesus, the real Jesus, really died, really buried, really resurrected. His death was seen by His enemies both Jews and Romans. His burial witnessed by His disciples, yet known by His Jewish enemies and guarded by Romans. His resurrection was witnessed only by believers even over 500 at one time (verse 6). Because of the blasphemy of the Jewish leaders in Matthew 12:22-32, the only public sign of being Messiah thereafter was the resurrection sign (the sign of Jonah—Matthew 12:39). There are 3 resurrections as witness to the Jews (mainly)Lazarus (John 11:1-44), His own (Matthew 28), and the two witnesses in Revelation 11:11-12. Resurrection does not mean we receive the same body in which we lived in before we died. That body is gone. See 1 Corinthians 15:35-49 The resurrected body is like Christ’s resurrected body (1 John 3:2)].
5 And that he was seen by Cephas then the twelve.
[Cephas is Peter. The Greek word ὁράω horáō (G3708) means really seeing with the human eyes, not a vision. The twelve means the group name of Apostles as apparently only 10 were present. Judas had committed suicide and Thomas was absent (John 20:24). Thomas saw him 8 days later (John 20:26-28). See also Acts 13:30-31].
6 After that, he was seen by more than five hundred brothers at one time, of whom the greater part remains to this present hour, but some have fallen asleep,
[Fallen asleep does not mean there is no consciousness after death. It is a cultural polite expression that someone died. I use “passed away” or “departed”, etc. There is consciousness after death. See Luke 16:19-31, 2 Samuel 22:6, Isaiah 14:9-11, 1 Peter 3:19, and Revelation 6:9-11. These are true eyewitnesses, not 500 having a group delusion or hallucination. Robertson’s Word Pictures has this note: The strength of this witness lies in the fact that the majority (hoi pleious) of them were still living when Paul wrote this Epistle, say spring of A.D. 54 or 55, not over 25 years after Christ’s resurrection].
7 After that he was seen by James, then by all the Apostles.
[James is the Lord’s half-brother (See the Epistle of James and Acts 15:13].
8 Last of all, he was seen by me also, as of one born at the wrong time.
[See Acts 9:4-7 and Acts 22:6-21].
9 For I am the least of the Apostles and am not good enough to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
[See Acts 7:58, Acts 8:3, and Acts 9:1].
10 But by the grace of God, I am what I am, and his grace, which [was given] to me, was not without effect. I have labored more abundantly than all of them, yet not I but [it was] the grace of God, which was with me.
[Notice the importance of God’s grace and Paul’s thankfulness. God’s grace is the strength God gives. It is not something we deserve or earn. It is a gift given by God because of His great love resulting in this compassion and kindness we rejoice in. Without God’s grace, we are nothing. We are branches on a vine (John 15:5). We cannot live on our own (Acts 17:28). Without Him we can do nothing (John 15:5, James 4:6, and Psalm 19:13). Spiritual life is greater than physical life and enhances physical life (John 6:63 and Galatians 6:8). Physical life ends but spiritual life is eternal.
11 Therefore, whether [it was] them or me, so we preach, and so youp believed.
[All the Apostles preached. People heard the Gospel and believed. They, in turn, went out and preached to others. This is our mission today].

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.