Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 15:20
- Life Without Hope is Worthless
- Hope must be grounded upon something, for baseless hope is the product of an irrational mind.
- It should involve not only this life, but also the life that follows death (1 Cor. 15:19).
- If we hope only for what death will eventually terminate anyway, we are more miserable than all men. This means that we as believers must have hope beyond the grave.
- Christ Is Not Only for This Life
- Certainly, Paul's concern was that Christ be magnified in his body (Phil. 1:20).
- However, to be absent from the body meant that he would be with Christ (Phil. 1:23) in an even greater state of existence.
- Christ's Resurrection Is the Foundation of Our Hope
- Paul gave historical proof of Christ's physical resurrection (1 Cor. 15:4--11).
- He also countered the possible objections to Christ's resurrection (1 Cor. 15:12--18). No such argument can stand before the historical fact of Christ's resurrection. "But now is Christ risen from the dead" (1 Cor. 15:20). The perfect middle deponent verb egeṜ́gertai means that Christ raised Himself and He is alive today. Christ is God who became man, yet never ceased to be God (Phil. 2:6--8), who died, and who rose again. Thus, He became "the firstfruits of them that slept," or who have died (1 Cor. 15:20).
- Because He Raised Himself, He Will Also Raise Us
- The word aparcheṜ́ means the firstfruit, the beginning fruit, one who starts. Because He rose, He will raise us too.
- His assertions about our resurrection are trustworthy (John 5:25; 11:25; 1 Thess. 4:13--17).