Dead or alive?

Readings I Corinthians 15 

 1 Corinthians 15:1-2 (NASB95)
1 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand,
2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.


Dead or alive, what do you think?

Alive, just playing dead.   This opossum knew what to do.

We need to learn to die to self and let Christ live in us.

Dear living ones,

I talked with a man recently who in the past had never wanted to talk about God.  He had a lot of exposure to religion when he was a child, but turned away when he was young.  Even as an adult, he has been exposed to people that have turned him off to the faith.  Yet it was interesting and hopeful, that after thanking me for talking with him, he said, “you know, lately I have been thinking about talking to my wife about going back to church.”  You never know when someone’s heart will be open to hearing from God.  Be ready to share the reason for the hope in you.  Be ready to share the Gospel.  

There were several things that stood out to me in this I Corinthians 15.

First of all.  Paul reminds us of the importance of the gospel.  There is a constant need to not only receive the good news of Christ and His resurrection, but we must continue to stand in it.  There may have been some then as there is today, that say they believe, yet have not entrusted themselves to Jesus.  A head knowledge with no heart!  A good reminder to continue to review the Gospel personally as well as share with others.

Secondly, I was reminded by someone recently about the statement that Paul made that he was unnaturally born, or as the KJV says, “born out of due time”, or the NASB, “one untimely born”.  What does that mean?  It seems to speak of the fact that unlike the other Apostles, Paul had not been with Jesus before He died and rose again.  In fact Paul had his encounter with Jesus after Jesus had ascended to heaven.  So, in fact, Paul did not follow the same pattern as the other Apostles in being called to that position.

We see in Acts 1:21-26 , the requirements for an Apostle.  Judas had to be replaced to make up 12. 
21 “Therefore it is necessary that of the men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us—
22 beginning with the baptism of John until the day that He was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.”
23 So they put forward two men, Joseph called Barsabbas (who was also called Justus), and Matthias.
24 And they prayed and said, “You, Lord, who know the hearts of all men, show which one of these two You have chosen
25 to occupy this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.”
26 And they drew lots for them, and the lot fell to Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.

Paul said that not only was he “born” differently, he was also more undeserving.

1 Corinthians 15:9 (NASB95)
9 For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.

Yet, Paul did not let that bother him.  He was thankful for God’s grace and “labored even more than all of them.”

I am thankful that even though I did not deserve God’s love, I am now born again, and out of gratitude want to serve Him with all my being! 

Finally, in this chapter we are so reminded of the importance of the resurrection as part of the Gospel.  When talking with most people that speak of the Gospel, you will often times hear about the cross.  But it is also the resurrection that needs to be proclaimed.  It is the resurrection that shows that the death of Jesus was accepted by God, and it is the resurrection that is what is able to give us life as well.  If Jesus had not been raised from the dead we would have no hope.  We desperately needed the cross and the resurrection if we were ever to be restored back to normal.  That is if we were ever to be indwelt by God Himself, Who always had created us to be lived in by Him, directed by Him, empowered by Him.  It is unnatural for us to be apart from the Spirit of God within.  In Ephesians 2:1  we are reminded that those without Christ are living dead men.

1 Corinthians 15:13-19 (NASB95)
13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised;
14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.
15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised.
16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised;
17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.
18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

So maybe along with those crosses people wear, they should have the empty tomb!

In Christ,

Steve

Any comments, go ahead and log on.   Signs of life in humans includes response to stimuli. 

In fact here are other signs of life.   Movement;  Breathing;  Sensitivity to stimulus; Growth;  Excretion;  Nutrition; Reproduction. 

Are these evident in your spiritual life?

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