'Up From the Grave He Arose'
I can clearly remember singing these words to an old Easter hymn chorus, 'Up From The Grave He Arose', as a young child in my Grandpa's 'Chapel' on a hilltop in the Appalachian Mountains of Pennsylvania, and with the believing heart of a child I could see with my minds eye the stone rolling away from the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth and Jesus walking away from the scene of His burial and returning to Heaven! However, these magnificent truths of the Gospel were simply Bible stories that I had heard repeatedly on Resurrection morning in Sunday School from a Sunday School teacher that was repeating them to her class as stories in history and not Bible doctrine that was the foundation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
But, the Resurrection truth of Jesus rising from the dead so that we might be 'justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus' did finally take it's hold on me some three decades later and I was transformed by His great grace receiving and believing the truth of the Resurrection which is one of the most significant truths of the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Paul has stated this fact clearly in I Corinthians 15, the Resurrection Chapter: 'For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures' (v.3). Here is the Gospel stated in it's simplest form, without complication. And with great clarity Paul proceeds, throughout the remainder of this great chapter, to illuminate the doctrine of the Resurrection!
He first of all states that: The Physical Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is a Vital Part of the Gospel (v.1-11) Secondly he teaches that: The Physical Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is a Vital Necessity to the Value of the Gospel (v.12-19), then in (v.20-34) he shows: The Lord Jesus Christ's Physical Resurrection is Vital to the Guarantee of Man's Resurrection. In (v.35-50) Paul provides us with a Thorough Description Physical/Spiritual Resurrection of the Body. He concludes this magnificent chapter with his unmatched expose' of The Doctrine of Resurrection and Rapture of the Saints (v.50-58).
Paul tells us that the Resurrection is a vital part of the Gospel by stating the Gospel in (v.3) as the Gospel he proclaimed to the Corinthians which they received and presently stand. He verifies this truth by giving a historical account of the number of people who saw the Lord Jesus Christ after He was crucified, died and was buried in His resurrection body: Cephas (Peter) and The Twelve (v.5), Above Five Hundred Brethren at once, James, then All of the Apostles, and last of all He was seen of me (Paul)! The Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ is one of the most verified events in the history of man!
Although some of the Corinthians were denying the Resurrection, Paul uses the method of supposing that they are right to demonstrate the absurdity of their claims throughout (v.12-19) summarizing with this statement showing their erroneous teaching to be ridiculous and totally unfounded: 'If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.'(v.19) His introductory statement to the next section affirms the positive truth of Christ's Resurrection showing that He is 'the Firstfruits of them that slept.'
Paul quickly shows that death came by man [Adam] but
through man, the God-man, the Lord Jesus Christ came the
Resurrection of the dead! 'For as in Adam all die, even so
in Christ shall all be made alive.' With this defining
statement Paul shows that there are only two kinds of
people in the world, those that are in Adam, and those
that are in Christ! Those who are still in their sins, and
those who have been saved from their sin. Those who will
spend eternity in hell, and those who will be resurrected
to spend an eternity in heaven with the Lord!
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