I Corinthians: The Knows vs. The Know-Nots

March 26, 2018 at 1:42 pm | Posted in I Corinthians | Leave a comment
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Bible scholars and commentators have identified many themes in the Apostle Paul’s first letter to the church at Corinth: the importance of being wise, the proper use of the spiritual gifts, the correction of improper ecclesiology, and the necessity of unity within the Church, just to name a few. As I studied through the Book of I Corinthians in preparing to teach an adult Sunday School class, though, I became convinced that one of the main keys to understanding it is to see it as a letter about the knowledge of God in Christ, and the danger of operating outside of that knowledge. I enjoyed studying, teaching, discussing, and learning about topics ranging from our “calling” as Christians, to how our conscience informs our spiritual decisions, to the true meaning of Christian love, to the roles of men and women in church, to the doctrine of bodily resurrection, to the right and wrong kinds of addiction, all the while focusing on the tension existing between those who live in the light of God’s gracious knowledge, and those who do not.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might KNOW the things that are freely given to us of God.

I Corinthians 2:2

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he KNOW them, because they are spiritually discerned.

I Corinthians 2:14

KNOW YE NOT that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?

I Corinthians 3:16

For I KNOW NOTHING by myself; yet am I not hereby justified: but he that judgeth me is the Lord.

I Corinthians 4:4

Your glorying is not good. KNOW YE NOT that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?

I Corinthians 5:6

KNOW YE NOT that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

I Corinthians 6:9

KNOW YE NOT that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid.

I Corinthians 6:15

What? KNOW YE NOT that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?

I Corinthians 6:19

Now as touching things offered unto idols, we KNOW that we all have KNOWLEDGE. KNOWLEDGE puffeth up, but charity edifieth. And if any man think that he KNOWETH any thing, he KNOWETH NOTHING yet as he ought to KNOW.

I Corinthians 8:1-2

Do ye NOT KNOW that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?

I Corinthians 9:13

KNOW YE NOT that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

I Corinthians 9:24

But I would have you KNOW, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

I Corinthians 11:3

Ye KNOW that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.

I Corinthians 12:2

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I KNOW in part; but then shall I KNOW even as also I am KNOWN.

I Corinthians 13:12

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye KNOW that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

I Corinthians 15:58

Here are the links to posts in the category, I Corinthians:

1. Clear Calls for Christians: Pure Upgrade (1:1-9)
2. Clear Calls for Christians: Proper Unity (1:10-23)
3. Clear Calls for Christians: Point Upward (1:26-29)
4. How We Know What We Know (1-2)
5. Pavlov’s Kids (1:20-21)
6. What Christians Want You to Know (1:23)
7. The Foolishness of God? (1:25)
8. Knowers, Growers, and Showers (3:1-13)
9. It’s Time to Grow Up (3:1-9)
10. Wise Watering (3:5-6)
11. Quarterback Commandment No. 9 (3:13-15)
12. What the Knows Have and What the Know-Nots Have Not (3:15-23)
13. Ministers Must be Managers (4:1-5)
14. Faithful to Him and to Each Other (4:2; 12:14)
15. Ministers Must be Meek (4:1-13)
16. Ministers Must be Mild (4:14-21)
17. Pride Is Everywhere (4:7; 5:6-7)
18. The Know-Bodies (5:1-5)
19. Delivery and Birth (5:1-5)
20. Beware the Fight with the Flesh (5:1-5)
21. Spiritual Body Shaming (5:6-13)
22. Leavenless Lump (5:7:11)
23. Know When to Say Know (6)
24. Mercy / Memory (6:9-11)
25. Douglas Wilson: S.W.I.M. to be Detestable (6:9-11)
26. Adiaphora and Analyzing Ambiguous Activities (6:12; 8:13; 10:23, 31, 33)
27. Fooling Around with Celibacy in Marriage (7:1-2, 7, 32-37)
28. Having a F.I.N.E. Marriage (7:1-5, 9, 32-37)
29. Getting Busy in Marriage (7:2-5)
30. A Concupiscible Marriage (7:2-5)
31. Imagination in Marriage (7:2-5)
32. Guarding the Top of the Wall in Marriage (6:15-18)
33. An Irascible Marriage (7:2-5)
34. A Knowledgeable Marriage (7:11-16)
35. Know Your Real Identity (7:17-23)
36. Having a P.C. Marriage (7:25-35)
37. What the Knows Ought to Know about Conscience (8)
38. Know Your Rights (9)
39. A Prize-Winning Run (9:24-26)
40. Know Your Limits (10:1-28)
41. Quarterback Commandment No. 4 (10:11-13)
42. The Blessings of an Unhappy Marriage Part 2 10:13)
43. Head Knowledge (11:1-15)
44. The Cause, Confusion, and Consequences: Problems with the Lord’s Supper (11:17-30)
45. Forgetting To Remember – Part 1 (11:24)
46. Forgetting To Remember – Part 2 (11:24)
47. The “Ways” to Remember (11:24, 4:17)
48. Forget-Me-Nots (11:24)
49. How the Knows are Gifted (12:1-6)
50. Discipleship Lesson 6: The Local Church (6:19; 12:14-28)
51. The Determination, Demonstration, Distribution, and Designation of the Spiritual Gifts (12:7-31)
52. Love and Order (13)
53. Suffering in Marriage
54. LONGsuffering in Marriage *
55. Be Kind to Your Spouse
56. Objections to Being Kind to Your Spouse
57. Jump-Starting Your Marriage
58. Performing a Biopsy on Your Marriage
59. Getting the Puffiness Out of Your Marriage
60. More Testing for Puffiness in Your Marriage
61. A C.A.L.M. and Courteous Marriage
62. A C.A.L.M. and Accommodating Marriage
63. A C.A.L.M. and Longsuffering Marriage
64. A C.A.L.M. and Merciful Marriage
65. The Right Kind of Rejoicing in Marriage
66. Practical Principles for Policing the Exercise of Spiritual Gifts in Church (14)
67. Order in the Church (14:23-25)
68. Up from the Grave with the Knows! (15)
69. A Major Breaking News Story (15:3-4)
70. Put It On and Pack It On (15:9-10)
71. Vanity Must be Expelled (15:53-58)
72. Immortality Must be Entered Into (15:53:58)
73. Corruption Must be Eliminated (15:53-54)
74. Thankfulness Must be Expressed (15:57)
75. Opportunity Must be Embraced (15:55-58)
76. Reality Must be Encountered (15:56)
77. Yesterday Must be Eclipsed (15:58)
78. The Needs of the Knows (16:1-14)
79. The Addict (His Characteristics) (16:15-18)
80. The Addict (Signs of Addiction) (16:15)

*most-viewed post in category

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Reality Must be Encountered

February 20, 2018 at 4:01 pm | Posted in I Corinthians, V.I.C.T.O.R.Y. | 3 Comments
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The victory that Christ has achieved for us means that, as we live for Him in this temporal world:

V.anity must be expelled;
I.mmortality must be entered into;
C.orruption must be eliminated;
T.hankfulness must be expressed;
O.pportunity must be embraced;
and
Reality must be encountered.

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

I Corinthians 15:56

Face the facts: Death is in the world. It is coming for every one of us. It is here because of sinOUR sin. And our sin is shown clearly by the Law.

That’s the strongest effect of the Law – it highlights our sin. We need to face that fact, and we need to encounter it – deal with it, talk to our friends and others about it. The opportunities that people have to trust Christ – and the opportunities we have to work for Him – are limited. The Gospel is the Good News, but the Good News isn’t good news without the bad news. You can’t get the victory over something you’re not willing to face.

Next time we will see that yesterday must be eclipsed.

Opportunity Must be Embraced

February 14, 2018 at 2:34 pm | Posted in I Corinthians, V.I.C.T.O.R.Y. | 4 Comments
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The victory that Christ has achieved for us means that, as we live for Him in this temporal world:

V.anity must be expelled;
I.mmortality must be entered into;
C.orruption must be eliminated;
T.hankfulness must be expressed;
and
Opportunity must be embraced.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

I Corinthians 15:55

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

I Corinthians 15:57-58

The fear of death, combated by thankfulness to God, gives rise to the opportunity for faithfulness and service. The “work of the Lord” is work that always needs to be done, and not grudgingly – like a kid having to clean up his room – but joyfully, like packing to go on vacation. A child might be “willing” to do his homework, but he will EMBRACE the opportunity to ride a a rollercoaster (even if it means waiting in line for an hour). Knowing that we have the opportunity to win in this life ought to make fighting in the fight joyful.

Next time we will see that reality must be encountered.

Thankfulness Must be Expressed

February 6, 2018 at 4:33 pm | Posted in I Corinthians, V.I.C.T.O.R.Y. | 5 Comments
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The victory achieved by Christ for His people is sure, but its ultimate fulfillment is yet to be experienced. For that to happen, these things must occur:

V.anity must be expelled.
I.mmortality must be entered into.
C.orruption must be eliminated.
and
Thankfulness must be expressed.

But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I Corinthians 15:57

The quickest way to lose our thankfulness, and to be discontented and dissatisfied, is to stop giving thanks. God does not owe us the victory. It is a gift of His grace, and He is perfectly entitled to our gratitude.

It has become very fashionable recently for famous athletes to thank God after winning a game.

athlete giving thanks to God.png

I won’t pretend to know how sincere they are when doing this, nor what their particular ideas of “God” may be in each case, but I can’t fault them for the idea. It certainly makes sense to give thanks to Him, but, if you are thankful to God (and should we ever be!), then don’t dilute it by saying, “Thank God!” flippantly, or by saying, “Thank God it’s Friday,” when God is the last thing on your mind as you enter the weekend, or by saying, “Thank You, Jesus, I thought that fool would never shut up!” when you are exasperated. Make sure you are sincere, but, being sincere, DO be expressive. Thankfulness reminds us that our victory is not really ours, but His.

Next time we will see that opportunity must be embraced.

Corruption Must be Eliminated

January 31, 2018 at 3:51 pm | Posted in I Corinthians, V.I.C.T.O.R.Y. | 6 Comments
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The victory achieved by Christ for His people is sure, but its ultimate fulfillment is yet to be experienced. For that to happen, these things must occur:

V.anity must be expelled.
I.mmortality must be entered into.
and
C.orruption must be eliminated.

Everything physical in this world is corrupt. Because it is subject to the effects of sin, it is decaying. Our bodies are decaying. However, our bodies are important to Christ, so we need to care of them.

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

I Corinthians 15:53-54

If you are a Christian, sin does not terminate your relationship with God. But there is a sense in which it affects your fellowship with Him. It also affects your mental abilities, and it can (and often does) affect your physical health. One day our bodies won’t be subject to sickness, pain, disease, and death, but, in this world, we need to avoid things that lead to corruption and make it so that we can’t serve Christ with energy. Sin is the main thing that does this.

Next time we will see that thankfulness must be expressed.

The Foolishness of God?

January 29, 2018 at 10:41 am | Posted in I Corinthians, Q&A | 1 Comment
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Question: If the Bible is true, how can it mention the terms “foolishness of God” and “weakness of God” in I Corinthians 1:25? God is not foolish or weak.

Answer: I Corinthians 1:25 is part of a type of argument called a rhetorical argument. The Holy Spirit was using the Apostle Paul to point out, from the point of view of the worldly philosophy used by the Greeks of that day, that to preach that Jesus died on the Cross for our salvation would seem “foolish.” The Greeks and the Jews both thought the Christians were “foolish,” and they that they themselves were “wise.” But, if you follow the argument on through Verse 29, you can see that God specifically chose things that seem foolish to people who are proud in their “wisdom” to demonstrate His greatness. Preaching the crucified and resurrected Lord seems silly to people who are proud of their own “wisdom” and works, so God uses this to humble them, so that they will bow down and worship Him alone, admitting that He is wiser than them. That’s one of the failings of the false “works-based” religions, such as Islam, Mormonism, and Roman Catholicism. They do exactly what verse 29 says we must never do: try to “glory” or show off our goodness or our good deeds before God. Any “god” who would accept daily prayers and pilgrimages and fasting and dietary restrictions and so forth as bribes or payments to be placed on the cosmic scales of justice is a false god. Men have invented these false deities, claiming that their gods would accept the “glorying of the flesh (human beings)” in their presence. The real God will not.

Immortality Must be Entered Into

January 22, 2018 at 4:23 pm | Posted in I Corinthians, V.I.C.T.O.R.Y. | 8 Comments
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The victory that Christ has achieved for us means that, as we live for Him in this temporal world:

V.anity must be expelled.
and
I.mmortality must be entered into.

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

I Corinthians 15:53-58

Christ died to redeem the souls of His people. However, our bodies are important to Him also, so we need to take care of them – while remembering that something supernatural will have to happen to them if they are to be changed from mortal to immortal. Just as our souls have received eternal life, so will our bodies be given an immortal state when they are glorified at the return of Christ. Things that are spiritually empty – lacking true value – not impacting eternity – not advancing the Kingdom of Christ – need to be exchanged. This is one reason why physical exercise (which keeps our bodies healthy and in better condition to serve our Lord) is better than playing video games. It is why reading a book (which strengthens our mortal mind) is better than four hours of snapchatting cat videos.

Next time we will see that corruption must be eliminated.

Vanity Must be Expelled

January 12, 2018 at 3:28 pm | Posted in I Corinthians, V.I.C.T.O.R.Y. | 7 Comments
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For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

I Corinthians 15:53-58

Victory in this life is never “final.” The winner of the national championship this year will have to start from scratch next year. “All-time world records” eventually get broken. Nations rise, and nations fall. Even in our personal lives, the joy of overcoming problems is a temporary joy, replaced in time by the onset of some new problem. However, as Christians, we are called to live “victorious” Christian lives, winning the battle against our three main enemies: the devil, the world, and our as-yet-unredeemed flesh. One day, Jesus, Who won the victory over these on the Cross and in His Resurrection, will manifest this victory so that we who are in Him will experience that victory fully, and now, in this life, although we can’t achieve a “final” victory, we can live more and more victoriousLY each day.

Recently I studied and taught through the book of I Corinthians, and one thing that surprised me was how much of it is devoted to dealing with our physical bodies. One reason for this is that an early attempt at corrupting Christianity, known as Gnosticism, was prevalent on the scene during the Apostle Paul’s ministry. Gnostics were attracted to Christianity because Christianity does in fact emphasize the spiritual. Gnostics had the idea that spiritual things were good and material things were bad, but they failed (or refused) to see that true Christianity stresses the importance of the physical as well as the spiritual.

A superficial and vain view of the importance of our physical bodies must be expelled in favor of a balanced realization that our physical, material bodies are important to God in this life, and that He has plans for them in the life to come, if we are to truly live victoriously on our way to the ultimate victory which is yet to come.

Next time we will see that the second step to victory is entering into immortality.

The Needs of the Knows

December 29, 2017 at 5:48 pm | Posted in I Corinthians | 1 Comment
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I. The Knows need accountability.

The Christians in Jerusalem were in poverty. Paul had instructed the churches in Galatia (primarily made up of Gentiles) to take special offerings that could be sent.

Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye.

I Corinthians 16:1

As Christians we are accountable to our brothers and sisters in Christ who have financial needs.

Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.

I Corinthians 16:2

As Christians we are also accountable to God.

And when I come, whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send to bring your liberality unto Jerusalem. And if it be meet that I go also, they shall go with me.

I Corinthians 16:3-4

The Knows need the incentive of knowing that they are accountable concerning dealing with money honestly and responsibly.

II. The Knows need activity.

Now I will come unto you, when I shall pass through Macedonia: for I do pass through Macedonia.

I Corinthians 16:5

The Apostle Paul was always on the move – spreading the Good News, building up the family of God, and trying to meet needs wherever God called or allowed him to go.

And it may be that I will abide, yea, and winter with you, that ye may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go.

I Corinthians 16:6

Paul used the fellowship of his brothers and sisters in Christ as fuel to keep him going.

For I will not see you now by the way; but I trust to tarry a while with you, if the Lord permit. But I will tarry at Ephesus until Pentecost. For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.

I Corinthians 16:7-9

He was not naïve. Wherever the Lord opened a door, he knew Satan would try to slam it in his face. He battled the Jewish authorities, criminals who preyed on travelers, sometimes the local government authorities, and false teachers. We need to stay active in our service for the Lord.

III. The Knows need advocacy.

Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do. Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the brethren.

I Corinthians 16:10-11

Paul wanted the Corinthian Christians to receive Timothy the way they would Paul himself, despite Timothy’s relatively young age.

As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to come at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time.

I Corinthians 16:12

Remember, some were contentiously claiming to be followers of Apollos, but Paul did not hold this against him.

Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity.

I Corinthians 16:13-14

Strong, irresistible faith, and Christian love were the linchpins that would resolve most of the problems they were having in Corinth. Paul wanted them to stand fast, be strong, and do everything in the spirit of love, not only because it was best for them, but because their “missionaries” and ministers depended upon it. This may not be the “best” reason for us to behave maturely in church ministry, but it is certainly a good reason: to help our church leaders. No pastor wants to take a time-out from trying to advance the Kingdom so he can settle a childish squabble between church members, or so he can tell somebody who has been saved too-long-to-still-be-this-sensitive to “man up.”

The Knows need accountability, activity, advocacy, and, as shown in Paul’s commendation of Stephanas, they also need addiction.

Up from the Grave with the Knows!

November 20, 2017 at 4:41 pm | Posted in I Corinthians | 8 Comments
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Some of the church members in Corinth were denying the bodily resurrection of believers. This was the last major problem that Paul addressed in his letter to them, which we know as I Corinthians.

Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?

I Corinthians 15:12

How had this error infiltrated the church? The Greeks did not believe in resurrection, as shown in the teachings of Gnosticism. Other notable groups which rejected the idea of bodily resurrection included pagan religions, the Jewish sect known as the Sadducees, and the followers of the heretic, Marcion. The reason that the Holy Spirit had Paul begin his discussion with Jesus’s Resurrection is that the Corinthian Christians couldn’t have really become Christians without believing that Jesus Himself had risen from the grave. They would still be “Know-Nots” if they did not know this basic tenet of the Gospel message.

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 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:

I Corinthians 15:1-4

After addressing their denial of resurrection, Paul went on to give a demonstration of the evidence for resurrection. Jesus had appeared after His death in His own body to Peter and the 12 Apostles (v. 5), and had even appeared to over 500 brethren at one time, most of whom were still alive when Paul wrote this (v. 6). Jesus had appeared to James (v. 7) and even to Paul himself, and nobody had been more changed by Christ’s Resurrection than Paul.

But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:

I Corinthians 15:13

For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

I Corinthians 15:16

After dealing with the denial and the demonstration of resurrection, Paul addressed the drama of resurrection.

But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

I Corinthians 15:20

“Firstfruits” is both an agricultural reference, and a reference to the Old Testament practice of giving to God the first part of a crop as a dedicatory sacrifice. Christ came from the grave (the ground) first, and we who are in Him shall be the “crop” which God has promised to bless with growth and harvest afterwards.

For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

I Corinthians 15:21-22

Here we see the principle of “federal headship.” Just as Adam was our accurate representative as a disobedient sinner, so shall Christ be the accurate representative of obedience and righteousness for all who are in Him.

But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

I Corinthians 15:23

Christ’s Resurrection was a dramatic victory over sin, death, and the grave, and it has eschatological consequences, too.

The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

I Corinthians 15:26-28

This is our victory over death in Christ. Nothing shall be lost for the victorious God – even our decayed and sin-sick and death-sleeping bodies – shall be redeemed and regenerated.

In addition to the denial, demonstration, and drama of resurrection, Paul had to make sure and emphasize the demands of resurrection. First of all, the knowledge of our future resurrection should motivate us to be baptized.

Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?

I Corinthians 15:29

Second, the knowledge of our future resurrection should motivate us to endure persecution.

And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.

I Corinthians 15:30-32

Third, future bodily resurrection demands that we live a holy life and avoid sin.

Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

I Corinthians 15:34

Fourth, it demands that we be prepared for Christ to come back.

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

I Corinthians 15:51-52

Fifth, it forces us to remember that a life spent serving Christ is not in vain.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

I Corinthians 15:58

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