1. We are presently studying "the resurrection chapter" (1 Corinthians 15). 2. We learn from vs.12 why it was necessary for Paul to address this subject -- there were some in the congregation in Corinth who said that there is no resurrection. 3. According to vs.13-18, those who held this view put themselves in a difficult position -- if there is no resurrection, 1) Christ is not raised, 2) our preaching is vain, 3) our faith is vain, and 4) we have no hope concerning those who have died in the Lord. 4. In this lesson we are studying the good news given in vs.20-28. 5. The first point we need to make is that . . .
I. (vs.20) CHRIST WAS RAISED AND BECAME "THE FIRSTFRUITS OF THEM THAT SLEPT"
A. Similar statements are found in other passages: 1. (Colossians 1:18) Jesus is "the firstborn from the dead." 2. (Revelation 1:5) Jesus is "the first begotten of the dead." B. In the Bible we read about a number of people who died and were miraculously brought back to life (1 Kings 17; 2 Kings 4; Mark 5; Luke 7; John 11; Acts 9, 20). C. However, Christ was the first to be raised never to face death again. D. To fully appreciate the fact that Jesus is "the firstfruits of them that slept," we need to examine some instructions given to the Israelites in Leviticus 23. 1. Instructions were given for observing various feasts and holy days. 2. (vs.4-8) Instructions were given for Passover. 3. (vs.9-11) Instructions were given for waving a sheaf of the firstfruits of harvest. a. Time: on the day after the sabbath that occurred during Passover. b. Significance: this sheaf served as proof of a harvest. E. How does this apply to the Lord? 1. When was Jesus resurrected? [the first day of the week during the Passover feast] 2. What does His resurrection signify? [it serves as proof that we will be raised] F. This leads to our next point -- by becoming the firstfruits of them that slept, . . .
II. (vs.21-23) CHRIST HAS MADE IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO OVERCOME WHAT WE LOST THROUGH ADAM
A. We learn from Romans 5:12 that we face death today because of Adam's sin. B. While our physical lives must end, Christ has made it possible for us to be made alive so we can live forever in heaven. C. Notice the order given in vs.23 (see 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17). D. In order for us to overcome what we lost through Adam, . . .
III. (vs.24-28) CHRIST WILL DESTROY THE LAST ENEMY AT THE END
A. Jesus reigns now at the right hand of God in heaven. 1. (vs.27) All things have been put under the Lord's feet (Matthew 28:18). 2. (vs.25) He must reign until He has put all enemies under His feet. B. (vs.26) The last enemy that He will destroy is "death." 1. (Revelation 20:14) "Death" will be cast into the lake of fire at the judgment. 2. (Revelation 21:4) There will be no death in heaven because it will have passed away. C. When the Lord has destroyed the final enemy,: 1. He will deliver the kingdom to the Father (vs.24) 2. He will be subject to the Father so God may be all in all (vs.28).
1. We have to face death today because of what we lost through Adam. 2. However, because Jesus was raised from the dead, we have the hope of being raised. 3. When Jesus returns, death will no longer exist (John 11:25-26).