|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:1-11 The word resurrection, usually points out our existence beyond the grave. Of the apostle's doctrine not a trace can be found in all the teaching of philosophers. The doctrine of Christ's death and resurrection, is the foundation of Christianity. Remove this, and all our hopes for eternity sink at once. And it is by holding this truth firm, that Christians stand in the day of trial, and are kept faithful to God. We believe in vain, unless we keep in the faith of the gospel. This truth is confirmed by Old Testament prophecies; and many saw Christ after he was risen. This apostle was highly favoured, but he always had a low opinion of himself, and expressed it. When sinners are, by Divine grace, turned into saints, God causes the remembrance of former sins to make them humble, diligent, and faithful. He ascribes to Divine grace all that was valuable in him. True believers, though not ignorant of what the Lord has done for, in, and by them, yet when they look at their whole conduct and their obligations, they are led to feel that none are so worthless as they are. All true Christians believe that Jesus Christ, and him crucified, and then risen from the dead, is the sun and substance of Christianity. All the apostles agreed in this testimony; by this faith they lived, and in this faith they died.
Verses 1-58. - The doctrine of the resurrection. This chapter, and the thirteenth, on Christian love, stand out, even among the writings of St. Paul, as pre-eminently beautiful and important. No human words ever written have brought such comfort to millions of mourners as the words of this chapter, which form a part of the Burial Service of almost every Christian community. It is the more deeply imprinted on the memory of men because it comes to us in the most solemn hours of bereavement, when we have most need of a living faith. The chapter falls into six sections.
1. The evidence of Christ's resurrection (vers. 1-11).
2. The resurrection of Christ is the foundation of our faith in the general resurrection (vers. 12-19).
3. Results to be deduced from Christ's resurrection (vers. 20 - 28).
4. The life of believers an argument for the resurrection (vers. 29-34).
5. Analogies helpful for understanding the subject (vers. 35-49).
6. Conclusion and exhortation (vers. 50-58). Verses 1-11. - The evidence of the resurrection of Christ. Verse 1. - Moreover. The δὲ of the original merely marks the transition to a new topic. The gospel. He here uses the word with special reference to the Resurrection, which is one of the most central and necessary doctrines of the "good tidings," and which always occupied a prominent place in St. Paul's preaching (Acts 17:18; Acts 23:6), as well as in that of all the apostles (Acts 1:22; Acts 4:2; 1 Peter 3:21). Ye have received; rather, ye received. The "also" is emphatic. The Corinthians had not been like Christ's "own," who "received him not" (John 1:11).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Moreover brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel,.... The apostle here passes on, and proceeds to a new subject, the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, which some in this church denied; and which he undertakes to prove, establish, and defend; and in order to lead on to it, observes, that what he was about to declare, make known, or put them in mind of, was no other than the Gospel he had formerly preached to them, they had received, professed to stand in, and were saved by, unless their faith was in vain. The doctrine of the resurrection of the dead he calls "the Gospel", that being a most important doctrine, and a fundamental article of it. The resurrection of Christ from the dead made a considerable part in the ministry of the apostles, to the grief of the Sadducees among the Jews, to the scorn of the Gentile philosophers, and to the faith, hope, and comfort of Christians: this is the sum and substance of the word of faith, or doctrine of the Gospel, upon which the whole depends; see Romans 10:8 and the resurrection of the saints is connected with it, and assured by it. This indeed is the Gospel, good news, glad tidings that the bodies of the saints shall be raised again, and made like to the glorious body of Christ; and being reunited to their souls, shall live with him to all eternity; and were this out of the Gospel, it would not be Gospel, or good news; it would be an idle story, faith would be a vain thing, and hoping and believing Christians of all the most miserable. Moreover, says the apostle, the Gospel I declare, is
which I preached unto you; meaning, when he first came among them, and which had been so very useful to them for conversion and consolation; and therefore if he himself, or an angel from heaven, was to preach any other doctrine, it was to be rejected; and hence, much less should the false teachers be regarded: yea, adds he, it is the doctrine
which also you have received; when first enlightened and converted, with all gladness and joyfulness, with all readiness and cheerfulness, in the love of it, and by a full assent to it; and therefore having had such an experience of it, should not now depart from it: nay, he further says,
and wherein ye stand; as he hoped they did, at least it was what they ought to have done, and doubtless was the case of the majority of them, and whose example it became the rest to follow.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
1Co 15:1-58. The Resurrection Proved against the Deniers of It at Corinth.
Christ's resurrection rests on the evidence of many eye-witnesses, including Paul himself, and is the great fact preached as the groundwork of the Gospel: they who deny the resurrection in general, must deny that of Christ, and the consequence of the latter will be, that Christian preaching and faith are vain.
1. Moreover—"Now" [Alford and Ellicott].
I declare—literally, "I make known": it implies some degree of reproach that it should be now necessary to make it known to them afresh, owing to some of them "not having the knowledge of God" (1Co 15:34). Compare Ga 1:11.
wherein ye stand—wherein ye now take your stand. This is your present actual privilege, if ye suffer not yourselves to fall from your high standing.
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