Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. For "He has put all things under His feet. Now when all things are made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also be subject to Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father. Paul wrote of the "gathering together" of all things in Jesus, or of the "summing up" of all things in Him. Here, in 1 Corinthians, he looks forward to the time when all things are resolved in Jesus Christ and He presents it all to God the Father, giving glory to the God who authored this eternal plan of the ages.
When He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power: For now, God has granted a measure of rule and authority and power to men, to Satan, and even to death. But all that is temporary. Jesus will take His rightful place as the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords 1 Timothy 6: After the resurrection, God will finally resolve all of history according to His will. He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet: Paul here refers to the 1, year reign of Jesus described in Revelation After that time, there will be a final, Satan inspired rebellion Revelation The expression under His feet is an Old Testament "figure for total conquest.
The last enemy that will be destroyed is death: Death will be present during the millennial reign of Jesus Revelation But afterward, death will be abolished. It is truly the last enemy that will be destroyed. Paul reminds us of something important: When Jesus came upon the tomb of Lazarus, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled , and Jesus wept John Not simply because Lazarus was dead, for Jesus would raise him shortly. Instead, Jesus was troubled at death itself.
It was an enemy. Today, some are told to embrace death as a friend, but that is not Biblical thinking. Death is a defeated enemy because of the work of Jesus, an enemy that will one day be destroyed , and therefore an enemy we need not fear. But death is an enemy nonetheless. The destruction of death was shown at the resurrection of Jesus, when the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many Matthew If death is destroyed, why do Christians die?
Why die the saints then? Why, because their bodies must be changed ere they can enter heaven … Saints die not now, but they are dissolved and depart. It were better to die a thousand times than to sin. To be tried by death is nothing compared to being tempted by the devil. The mere physical pains connected with dissolution are comparative trifles compared with the hideous grief which is caused by sin and the burden which a sense of guilt causes to the soul. I have known a brother wanting to vanquish death long before he died. But, brother, you do not want dying grace till dying moments.
What would be the good of dying grace while you are yet alive? A boat will only be needful when you reach a river. Ask for living grace, and glorify Christ thereby, and then you shall have dying grace when dying time comes. But when He says "all things are put under Him," it is evident that He who put all things under Him is excepted: Paul reminds us that the Son will not someday be superior to the Father. The relationship of Father to Son will be eternal: Those who deny the deity of Jesus say this verse proves their point.
They take the submission of God the Son as "proof" that He must not be equal in deity to God the Father. But the submission of Jesus to the Father doesn't come from any inherent inferiority. Instead, it comes from the administrative order of the Godhead.
A Son is always in submission to His Father , even if both are "equal" in substance. So the eternal Son of God may be coequal with the Father, though officially subordinate. Simply put, God the Father will always be God the Father , and God the Son will always be God the Son , and for all eternity they will continue to relate to each other as Father and Son. That God may be all in all: Importantly, each person of the Trinity desires to glorify another person of the Trinity.
The Son glorifies the Father John This aspect of the nature of God is something God wants us to walk in, having a concern for the glory of others, and not our own Philippians 2: Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead? And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour? If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die! Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead to not rise at all?
What was being baptized for the dead? It is a mysterious passage, and there have been more than thirty different attempts to interpret it. The plain meaning of the original language is that some people are being baptized on behalf of those who have died. Paul's point is "If there is no resurrection, why are they doing this? What is the point if there is no life after death? Significantly, Paul does not say, "we baptize for the dead," but asks what will they do who are baptized for the dead , and Why then are they baptized for the dead?
Therefore, Paul is referring to a pagan custom of vicarious baptism for the dead. Paul certainly does not approve of the practice; he merely says that if there is no resurrection, why would the custom take place? The Mormon practice of baptism for the dead is neither Scriptural nor sensible. Paul's point is plain: The pagans have the sense to believe in resurrection, but some of you Corinthian Christians do not! Clarke said of this verse, "This is certainly the most difficult verse in the New Testament; for, notwithstanding the greatest and wisest of men have laboured to explain it, there are to this day nearly as many different interpretations of it as there are interpreters.
If there were no resurrection, why would Paul place his life in jeopardy for the gospel? The way Paul lived his life all-out for the gospel was evidence of the truth of the resurrection. Most of us are so concerned about living comfortable lives here on earth that our lives give no evidence of the resurrection. Paul lived such a committed Christian life, people could look at him and say, "There is no way he would live like that unless there was a reward waiting for him in heaven. Paul will boast a little here. His boasting is both in you that is, in the Corinthian Christians and in Christ Jesus.
What will Paul boast about? That he does die daily. Vincent on I die daily: His life was always on the line; there were always people out to kill him. An example of this is in Acts With enemies like that, no wonder Paul could say, I die daily! And this is his boast! It is important to understand that when Paul says, I die daily , he is not speaking of the spiritual identification he has with the death of Jesus. He is not speaking of the spiritual putting to death of the flesh.
He is writing of the constant imminent danger to his physical life. It is important and useful for a Christian to daily reckon themselves dead to sin with Jesus Christ as in Romans 6: But to use this statement I die daily to support that truth is wrong, because in context Paul is writing about the danger to his physical life. How can we die daily?
Spurgeon says how in a sermon titled Dying Daily. First, by carefully considering every day the certainty of death. Next, to put your soul, by faith, through the whole process of death. Third, hold this world with a loose hand. Fourth, seriously test your hope and experience every day.
Next, come every day, just as you did at conversion, to the cross of Jesus, as a poor guilty sinner. Sixth, live in such a manner that you would not be ashamed to die at any moment. Finally, have all your affairs in order so that you are ready to die. I have fought with beasts at Ephesus: The book of Acts does not record an instance when Paul faced wild animals in an arena. It may simply be unrecorded, or Paul may be using the term beasts figuratively, in reference to his violent and wild human opponents as he faced at Ephesus in Acts Paul faced all of this for the sake of the resurrection of the dead, both Jesus' resurrection and the believer's.
Though at the time of his writing 1 Corinthians it was still future, Paul's whole arrest, imprisonment, and journey to Rome as done for the sake of the resurrection of the dead Acts If the dead do not rise, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. If there is no resurrection, then there is no future judgment to consider. Then life is lived only "under the sun," as is considered in Ecclesiastes.
The ancient Egyptians, at the end of a big banquet, would often escort a wooden image of a man in a coffin around the tables, telling people to have a good time now, because you'll be dead sooner than you think. If there is no resurrection, and no future judgment, then we may as well have the best time we can right now - and Paul was a fool for putting himself in such discomfort and danger for the sake of the gospel. Do not be deceived: I speak this to your shame. They got this bad thinking by associating either with Jews who did not believe in the resurrection such as the Sadducees or by associating with pagan, Greek philosophical types, who did not believe in the resurrection Acts It was bad enough that these associations had affected their thinking on an important matter like the resurrection, but this evil company could corrupt far more.
This speaks to the vital need described in Romans The Corinthians, by their keeping of evil company , were being conformed to this world , and they needed to be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Christians must let the Word of God be their guide for thinking, not the evil company of this world. Through much of this book, Paul has dealt with the moral problems of the Corinthians: How much of this has come in because of their keeping of evil company? Their problem with the resurrection was an indicator of the source of their moral problems also.
Evil company corrupts good habits: This is not a quotation from the Old Testament, or even from the words of Jesus. Paul quotes from an ancient, secular comedy play, Thais , written by Menander. Menander, though a pagan, was telling the truth and Paul more properly, the Holy Spirit! Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God: For a Christian to resist God's process of transformation by the renewing of our minds is to neglect the knowledge of God.
To remain willfully ignorant of the truth is sin. But someone will say, "How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come? Paul presents what may either be an honest question, or a foolish question, depending on how it is asked. How are the dead raised up? This is a question Paul doesn't really answer in the following verses, because the answer is obvious. God raises the dead. As Paul said to Agrippa in Acts This may be a foolish question Foolish one , 1 Corinthians Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies.
And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain; perhaps wheat or some other grain. But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body. In the literal Greek, it is even stronger: Here, Paul says our bodies are like "seeds" which "grow" into resurrection bodies. When you bury the body of a believer, you are "sowing" a "seed" which will come out of the earth as a resurrection body. Yes, but only broken that it may be re-formed. You have lost a dear friend: They are not lost; they are sown.
You do not sow that body that shall be … But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each see its own body: When you plant a wheat seed, a big wheat seed does not come up. Instead, a stalk of wheat comes up. So, even though our resurrection bodies come from our present bodies, we should not expect that they will be the same bodies or just "improved" bodies. Some mock the idea of resurrection. They say, "Here is a Christian's body, lying in a grave with no casket.
The atoms in the body are taken up in grass and eaten by a steer, and the steer is slaughtered and another man eats the meat and takes the atom into his body. Where does that atom go in the resurrection? Since every cell of my body contains the DNA blueprint to make a whole new body, God can no doubt take one atom of my dead body and make a glorious resurrection body out of that old blueprint. All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory. All flesh is not the same flesh: There are all different kinds of "bodies" in God's creation. But there are also celestial bodies. Our resurrection body will be a heavenly celestial body, suited for life in heaven, not only life on this earth. All flesh is not the same flesh explains why animals do not rise in the resurrection. There are different bodies or structures in the universe sun … moon … stars , and each is created with its own glory , and is suited to its own particular environment and needs.
While our present bodies are adapted for the environment of time and earth, our resurrection bodies will be adapted for the environment of eternity and heaven. There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory: So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.
It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. Paul gives four contrasts between our present body and our future resurrection body: On all counts, the resurrection body wins!
What happens to the dead bodies of Christians before the resurrection? Hence they are said to be dead in Christ, who by rotting refineth them. Raised in incorruption … raised in glory … raised in power: Our resurrection body will be glorious! We shall rise in a full and perfect age, as is generally thought, and without those defects and deformities which may here make our bodies appear unlovely.
At Straford-le-Bow were burned in Queen Mary's days, at one stake, a lame man and a blind man. The lame man after he was chained, casting away his crutch, bade the blind man be of good comfort, for death would heal them both; and so they patiently suffered. Augustine saith, they shall move to any place they will, as soon as they will … Whether they shall have that power as to toss the greatest mountains like a ball, yea, to shake the whole earth, at their pleasure, as Anselm and Luther think, I have not to say. They go there with the furrowed brow, the hollowed cheek, the wrinkled skin; they shall wake up in beauty and glory.
And so it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man , so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.
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The first perfect man, Adam , gave us one kind of body; the second perfect man Jesus, the last Adam can give us another kind of body. He is a life-giving spirit. We have all borne the image of the first Adam , and those who put their trust in the last Adam will also bear His resurrection image. From the first Adam , we all are made of dust , but from the last Adam we can be made heavenly.
For believers, the promise is sure: Who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself. Since we will bear the image of the heavenly Man , the best example we have of what a resurrection body will be like is to see what Jesus' resurrection body was like. It was material and could eat Luke Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption.
Behold, I tell 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 trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God: Paul is not saying, "material things can not inherit the kingdom of God," because Jesus' resurrection body was a material body. Flesh and blood , in this context, means "our present bodies. This may seem like a small distinction to us, but it must be an important distinction to God.
Nor does corruption inherit incorruption: The word corruption does not mean moral or ethical corruption, but physical, material corruption. These bodies which are subject to sickness, disease, injury, and one-day decay, are unsuited to heaven. Corruption cannot inherit incorruption. I tell you a mystery: A mystery is simply a thing to be understood by spiritual, rather than by merely human perception.
Paul will tell the Corinthian Christians something they could not have known by reason or research. They could not have known this unless God revealed it to them.
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We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed: Since sleep is a softer way of describing the death of a believer, Paul is telling us that not all Christians will die, but there will be a "final generation" who will be transformed into resurrection bodies at the return of Jesus before they ever face death. Does we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed mean that Paul predicted Jesus would come in his lifetime? Barclay says yes, and simply points out that Paul was dead wrong here.
But Hodge recognizes that Paul isn't necessarily referring to only believers of his day with all ; it is a word that properly embraces all believers, over all time. Secondly, it was right and proper for Paul to live as if the coming of Jesus was imminent, though he did not in fact know when Jesus would return. When writing Scripture, Paul was infallible, but not omniscient. So when he says we he means 'we believers.
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet … the dead will be raised incorruptable, and we shall be changed: In a single moment, Jesus will gather His people both dead and on the earth to Himself, for resurrection. Paul expresses the same idea again: For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep.
For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
There will come a day, when in God's eternal plan, He gives those dead in the Lord their resurrection bodies, and then in an instant He gathers all His people to meet Jesus in the air. All the redeemed on the earth at that time will rise up to meet the Lord in the clouds, and will receive their resurrection bodies. What of the dead in Christ before that day? Are they lying in the grave, in some kind of soul sleep or suspended animation? Paul made it clear that to be absent from the body means to be present with the Lord. At the last trumpet: What is the last trumpet?
Those who believe Jesus gathers His people after He has poured out His wrath on a Jesus-rejecting world sometimes argue that it is the last trumpet of judgment, cited in Revelation But this is not necessarily the case at all. The last trumpet may not refer to the last trumpet of the seven trumpets of Revelation at all, but simply refer to the last trumpet believers hear on this earth.
This last trumpet may be connected with the trumpet of God in 1 Thessalonians 4: A distinction may be made between the trumpet of an angel and the trump of God. Ironside says that the last trumpet was a figure of speech that came from the Roman military, when they would break camp. The first trumpet meant, "strike the tents and prepare to leave.
Chuck Smith points to a grammatical construction that would be different if this trumpet were the trumpet of Revelation On this subject, the rabbins use the very same expression. We are taught that God has a trumpet a thousand ells long, according to the ell of God: At the first blast the earth shall be shaken; at the second , the dust shall be separated; at the third , the bones shall be gathered together; at the fourth , the members shall wax warm ; at the fifth , the heads shall be covered with skin ; at the sixth , the souls shall be rejoined to their bodies ; at the seventh , all shall revive and stand clothed.
So this corruptible must put on incorruption: Resurrection is a must for the Christian's destiny.
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In light of all this, how could the Corinthian Christians let go of such an important truth? So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: O Hades, where is your victory? But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Death is swallowed up in victory: A resurrected body is not a resuscitated corpse.
It is a new order of life that will never die again. Death is defeated by resurrection. Freud was wrong when he said: O Death, where is your sting? Paul, knowing death is a defeated enemy because of Jesus' work, can almost taunt death, and mock it. Death has no power over the person in Jesus Christ! Death is here out-braved, called craven to his face, and bidden to do his worst.
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Thou lookest like a dragon, but thy sting is gone. Thy teeth are broken, oh old lion, wherefore should I fear thee? I know thou art no more able to destroy me, but thou art sent as a messenger to conduct me to the golden gate wherein I shall enter and see my Saviour's unveiled face for ever.
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Expiring saints have often said that their last beds have been the best they have ever slept upon. For those who are not in Jesus Christ, death still has its sting. This is the sting of death to you, unconverted ones, not that you are dying, but that after death is the judgment, and that you must stand before the Judge of the quick and dead to receive a sentence for the sins which you have committed in your body against him.
The lip with which you have drunk the intoxicating drink till you have reeled again, that lip shall be used in drinking down the fiery wrath of God. Remember, too, ungodly woman, the eyes that are full of lust will one day be full of horror; the ear with which you listen to lascivious conversation must listen to the sullen moans, the hollow groans, and shrieks of tortured ghosts.
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Be not deceived; you sinned in your body, you will be damned in your body … It must lie in the fire and burn, and crack, and writhe throughout eternity. The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law: The principle of resurrection also proves that we are not under the law any longer. We are no longer subject to the penalty of the law death , and we are set free from sin. Sin is the ultimate cause of death Romans 6: Paul brilliantly links together the ideas of sin, death, and our identification with Jesus' death and resurrection in Romans 6: Through our Lord Jesus Christ: This defeat of death is only possible for those who live through our Lord Jesus Christ.
For others, there is resurrection and eternal life, but unto damnation. If you are an unbeliever, death is not a friend, it is an enemy. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. Therefore … be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord: Because we know death is defeated and we have an eternal, resurrected destiny with Jesus Christ, we should stand firm and unshakable all the more for Him right now.
We should work hard in everything now, working for the Lord, because right now counts forever! Knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord: Even if your labor is vain to everyone else, and everyone else discounts or doesn't appreciate what you do for the Lord, your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
It doesn't matter if you get the praise or the encouragement. Sometimes you will and sometimes you won't. But resurrection means that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. This should make us steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord! We don't need to waver, we don't need to change direction, we don't need to fall, and we don't need to quit.
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Password Must be at least 6 characters. Thank you for registering. Paul, you will remember, has been defending his ministry. He would not take a salary from the Corinthians. Some of them felt that was grounds to begin undermining his ministry. And so they began to insinuate that perhaps Paul ought not to be trusted. Paul, you will remember, has been defending himself against those who have been criticizing his ministry. As he does so, in the second half of the chapter, we've seen him give us something of an extended discussion of his own approach to Gospel ministry.
And last time, you will recall, we were in verses 19 to 23 and we noticed the direction in which Paul is turned and Back at the end of chapter 9, in the very last verse, Paul has been talking at the end of chapter 9 about his self-discipline as he lives the Christian life and as he fulfills the ministry Christ has given to him. And in the very last verse of the chapter, he explains one of the concerns that has animated and driven that commitment to self-discipline.
Paul has been dealing with the problems that a misunderstanding of Christian freedom can bring in the life of a church. In verses 1 to 13, as we looked at last time, Paul focused on the problem of presumption. The Corinthians were in danger of being presumptuous, thinking themselves free to live however they pleased. Then this week, 14 to 22, the problem of compromise — seeking to The Corinthians had written to him asking for advice about a particular problem that was especially pressing in the culture in which they lived.
Food, meat was often sold in the market as surplus to requirements after having first been used in the sacrifices of the pagan temples in the city of Corinth. If you have your Bibles, I'd invite you to open them to I Corinthians I'd invite you to turn with me to 1 Corinthians, chapter That is, that God has created men and women equal in their Paul is beginning a new section of his letter that will take us all the way through chapter 14 concerned primarily with an entire array of issues connected with public worship in the Corinthian churches.
He will talk about Christian unity in the public assemblies. He will talk about the And in the section we are in now in It has really been troubling the Corinthian congregations, so back in chapter 1 and again in chapter 3, you will remember the Corinthians were dividing over their favorite preachers. There were different groups claiming their different favorite. Turn with me in your Bibles to 1 Corinthians A beautiful passage and a passage that our team, myself personally and others, depended on, as with other passages - not the passage itself but the promise that went behind it.
Some were boasting in their favorite preacher and others in a different preacher. There were divisions over economics and lawsuits among believers. There was even division over which foods You will remember that Paul has been dealing with the problem of divisions at Corinth and in the second half of chapter 12 he is particularly concerned about the kind of divisions that have developed over spiritual gifts. Paul, you may recall, has been writing to combat a prideful, divisive spirit at Corinth, especially when it came to the way that spiritual gifts were functioning in the life of the church.
And in chapters 12 and 13, he has tackled that problem at the level of general principles. You will remember in chapter 12 he spoke about celebrating our unity and cherishing our diversity. Paul is wrapping up his engagement with a series of problems, divisions, that were erupting in the Corinthian congregations, primarily in the context of public worship. You will remember in chapter 11 that he dealt with the breakdown of Biblical role relationships between men and women.
If you have your Bibles, I'd invite you to turn with me to I Corinthians Well let me congratulate you, those who have resisted the evils of Downton Abbey , and have come to evening worship which is far, far better than a terrible British export. You are a warm congregation and it has been It is a real joy and a privilege to be with you this morning.
I bring the greetings of the church I serve in west London, IPC Ealing, and we are very grateful to this congregation. And I want to If you have your Bibles, I'd invite you to turn with me to I Corinthians 15, as we consider the exaltation of Christ in His resurrection.
We come this morning to that statement of the Creed in the belief in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. On the third day He rose again from the dead according to the Scriptures. I wanted to start this morning by saying that I I'd invite you to turn with me to 1 Corinthians Actually, not with hilarious consequences but with disastrous consequences.
And as we read verses 12 through 34 together, I want you to be on the lookout for three themes. Three themes to see here. First, in verses 12 through 19, the pitiable consequences of a dead Christ. What difference does it If you have your Bibles, I'd invite you to turn with me to 1 Corinthians Let us continue our worship as we take the word of the living God. It is itself alive and powerful. Turn to the book of 1 Corinthians chapter This is a great resurrection chapter. If you will, let me suggest that you would be the jury—you would be the jury in this case and, if you will, think with me.
Now these are the facts of the case. There was a man, Jesus of Nazareth, who claimed to be God and the Messiah. Second fact, He died on a cross. These first two facts are basically uncontested. He claimed to be God There were those, you may remember, at Corinth who had begun to teach that actually there is no such thing as a resurrection. For them, the very idea of resurrection was, we might say, one giant April Fools.
Paul quotes them in verse You can see it if you look in verse