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What Does the Resurrection Mean? (1 Corinthians 15:50-58)

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This week marks the sixth and final message on 1 Corinthians 15. Since Easter, I have preached 6 messages on the glories of this chapter. Whether the sermons are any good is debatable, but the chapter is indisputably glorious. So, take time to read it, and if interested you can listen to one (or a few) of the six messages below.

Discussion questions and resources for further study can also be found below.

1 Corinthians 15:50–58 

50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Discussion Questions

  1. Read and review 1 Corinthians 15. What are the main truths you have seen in this chapter? What questions remain? What is the main point of the resurrection? (Hint: Is it for doctrinal precision alone, or for practical living?)
  2. Read 1 Corinthians 15:50–58. What is the change Paul talks about (esp. vv. 50–54)? Why does it matter? How does this change differ from any and all other promises of change?
  3. What are the specifics of this change? Why is this change needful? How does it happen? Why does this give you hope? How might this truth help you minister to others?
  4. What is the ‘conquest’ mentioned in these verses? What does Christ defeat? (Hint: there are at least three things in v. 56). How does Christ defeat the law? Why is it important that Christ obeyed the law, instead of eradicating the law?
  5. Look at verses 54–55 and compare with Hosea 13. How did Paul read Hosea 13:14? How does Paul read Hosea? How does this passage teach us to read the Old Testament? (Hint: as a document incomplete without the cross and resurrection; cf. Paul’s use of Psalm 68:18 in Ephesians 4:8)
  6. How does the resurrection give us confidence in this age? In what ways might the resurrection give us false confidence—i.e., could someone draw false conclusions from the resurrection? How can we be sure our confidence is in keeping with the gospel?
  7. What are you doing because Christ is raised from the dead? Or to turn it around, what would you not being doing unless Christ was raised from the dead? In short, how has Christ’s resurrection changed your current living?

For Further Study

On the Resurrection Itself

On Eschatology More Broadly

Soli Deo Gloria, ds