The Risen Christ, Faith’s Reality

Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time.

9 For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore, whether it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. — 1 Corinthians 15:1-11.

A belief ‘in vain’ comes from mere mental assent. Real faith causes adherence to God’s word and this demonstrates salvation.

The death of Christ on the cross for our sins, His burial, and His resurrection are foretold in the Scriptures. Paul insists on the priority of preaching the cross and the resurrection. There is no gospel without that twin emphasis.

Christian confidence in the resurrection of Christ is based on ample, reliable, first-hand, corroborated evidence from credible witnesses of good character. Paul himself became such a witness, fulfilling one of the main qualifications to be an apostle. Although an apostle, he sees his own insignificance and sinfulness, but rejoices in God’s grace working in him and through him.

The Corinthians came to trust in God through the preaching of Christ crucified and risen again. [The Bible Panorama.]

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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