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  • Writer's pictureAllison Crampton

This Grace Given to Us

This morning I read 1 Corinthians 15 in accordance with my church’s reading plan. It’s amazing to me how the Holy Spirit works and lines up each day’s reading for a purpose. There’s no magic formula, yet God in His sovereignty, through the Holy Spirit, aligned today’s reading to coincide with Holy Week–the week in which we take time to slow down and meditate on Jesus’s life, leading up to His death and resurrection.


1 Corinthians 15 is all about resurrection. Paul confronts the Corinthians, for they were falling in line with Greco-Roman beliefs in that there is no resurrection. Whether willfully or by mere passivity, the Corinthians were allowing the beliefs of the world around them to corrupt the gospel that had been so graciously given to them.


(Sidebar: Do we not do the same?)


And yet, Paul standing firm in the truth, lovingly calls them out.


From the start of the chapter, Paul reminds them of the gospel. He proclaims that Christ died for our sins (v. 3), was buried and raised (v. 4), and appeared to a multitude of witnesses (v. 5), all in accordance with the Scriptures.


Upon this testimony of truth, our faith is founded. For without Christ’s death and resurrection, what is our hope? If Christ died and remained dead, we too would still be dead in our sins (v. 12-19).


Paul goes on to affirm that Christ has been raised from the dead, and because of this, we are now made alive.


“For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (v. 21-22).


From this statement, we see that by Adam’s action, sin entered the world, and death followed suit. Adam was not born into sin, but by his willful disobedience, we now are all born into sin. We bear Adam’s image in that we have a physical body that is marred by sin (v. 47-49).


Yet, by Christ’s sacrifice, we are made new. We are given a new identity and bear His heavenly image (v. 47-49).


It is not that we all of a sudden stop sinning; rather, there is a duality to our existence. We bear both the image of Adam and the image of Christ. Our bodies are both physical and spiritual. We reflect Adam in our flesh, but we also show Christ through our spiritual state.


Our earthly bodies will perish, but because of Christ, our resurrected bodies will be imperishable (v. 42). Our earthly bodies exist in dishonor, but because of Christ, our resurrected bodies will be raised in glory (v. 43a). Our earthly bodies exist in weakness, but because of Christ, our resurrected bodies will be raised in power (v. 43b). Our earthly bodies resemble the natural world (v. 44) and are from the first Adam, a living being from the earth (v. 45, 47). However, because of Christ, our resurrected bodies will be spiritual (v. 44) and like the last Adam (Christ), a life-giving spirit from heaven (v. 45, 47). And while our earthly bodies are mortal, because of Christ, our resurrected bodies will be immortal (v. 53-54).


In light of all this, the apostle Paul’s taunting proclamation in verse 55 springs forth:


“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”


Through sin, death entered the world, and by the law, the power of sin was put on full display (v. 56).


But God.


Thanks be to Him for all eternity that He has given us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ (v. 57).


And how sweet it is that we may call Him our Lord!


Therefore, let us not squander this glorious grace bestowed upon us. Let us echo Paul in saying, “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain” (v. 10).


Each day that we wake up with breath in our lungs is another day to tell of this grace and bear testimony to Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection.


Who will you share this grace with today?


 

I used the ESV Study Bible to aid in the writing of this article.

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