Highlights In Today's Reading:
Spiritual gifts (14:22-40). Believe: (1) Jesus resurrected (15:1-12); (2) First of many raised to life again (15:20); (3) When He returns, the end (15:24); (4) Our resurrected bodies (15:38); (5) Total victory (15:54-58). Offerings for others on every Lord's Day (16:1-3).
Paul concluded this letter to the church at Corinth by assuring them that death is not the end but only the beginning of a glorious, eternal future with our wonderful Lord. The trumpet shall sound, and the dead (in Christ) shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed (transformed). For this corruptible (perishable human body) must put on incorruption (freedom from death). . . . Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory (over death) through our Lord Jesus Christ (15:52-53,57). This victory over eternal death is only for those who have personally received Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. For all who reject Christ, much is said about everlasting contempt (Dan. 12:2) and an eternity of torment, where there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth (Matt. 8:12; 22:13; 24:51; 25:30; Luke 13:28; Rev. 18:15,19).
The triumphant fact that Christ physically rose from the dead and was seen by many (I Cor. 15:3-8) is essential to our Christian faith (15:12-19). He has assured us: The hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation (John 5:28-29).
Paul writes: The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout . . . and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first (I Thess. 4:16). Until that time, our twofold purpose for living is to become what God planned for us to be so that we may accomplish the purpose for which He created and called us.
All earthly achievements are wasted unless they serve the eternal purposes of God. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not . . . to live after the flesh (a life ruled by self). For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body, ye shall live (Rom. 8:12-13).
We have the precious privilege of presenting the words of eternal life to hungry hearts. Like Paul, let us also be stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain (it is never wasted) in the Lord (I Cor. 15:58).
Thought for Today:
Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life (Jude 1:21).
14:10 signification =meaning; 14:11 barbarian =foreigner; 14:20 in malice be ye children =in doing evil, be as harmless as a baby; 14:27 by course =in turn; 15:9 meet =worthy, fit; 15:20 slept =have died; 15:33 evil communications corrupt good manners =evil companions or associations ruin or defile good character; 15:40 celestial =heavenly; terrestrial =earthly; 16:2 gatherings =collections; 16:13 stand fast in the faith =remain true to the Lord; quit you =act, be courageous; 16:15 addicted =devoted; 16:22 Anathema =accursed; Maranatha =our Lord is coming!
For I Cor. 14:21: See Is. 28:11-12. I Cor. 15:3-4: See Hos. 6:2. I Cor. 15:25: See Ps. 110:1. I Cor. 15:27: See Ps. 8:6. I Cor. 15:32: See Is. 22:13. I Cor. 15:45: See Gen. 2:7. I Cor. 15:54: See Is. 25:8. I Cor. 15:55: See Hos. 13:14.
Pray for Executive Director of the IBRA in our Washington DC Branch: Reverend Michael Hall • Government Officials: Gov. Benigno Fitial (Northern Mariana Islands) and Gov. Tim Pawlenty (MN) • Country: Mauritius (1 million) 500 miles east of Madagascar • Major languages: English and Creole • Limited religious freedom • 50% Hindu; 27% Roman Catholic; 17% Muslim; 5% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Praise God for His mercy (Ps. 136:2).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 16:27