October 14, 2016
Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-11.
What are other words we can use to describe the gospel?
Why did Paul write this to the Corinthians? See also the reason Peter wrote in 2 Peter 1:12-15.
Do you think this is important? Why or why not?
Write down the essence/central theme of the Gospel, the three points Paul expresses about Christ.
Paul mentions in 1 Corinthians 15:3, ‘I passed on to you …..what was passed on to me….’ What or where was the source he referred to as to where he received the gospel message? Find passages in the Bible that show us. Eg: Galatians 1:11-2:3.
Paul mentions twice the phrase, “just as the scriptures said” NLT, “according to the scriptures” NIV. Why do you think he makes a point to mention this? What is the significance of this? What were the scriptures he was referring to? ( Remember, the New Testament was only just in the process of being written and in fact most of it hadn’t been yet.)
Where did the Gospel, God’s plan of salvation have its origin? 1 Peter 1:20, Revelations 13;8, Matthew 25:34, Ephesians 1:4.
Read what Jesus said after His resurrection when He appeared to the two believers on the road to Emmaus. Luke 24:25-27.
Look up and write down the following Old Testament prophecies regarding the coming Messiah.
Read 1 Corinthians 15:5-8.
What is the significance of all these eye witnesses? Consider and discuss in your group the following.
In 1 Corinthians 15:6-8, Paul moves from the message of the gospel to a strong argument for the resurrection of Christ—historically verifiable witnesses. Paul’s main argument is that there were still eyewitnesses to the resurrection living at the time he was writing this first letter to the Corinthians. Paul is inviting people to check out the reality of the resurrection for themselves. He is saying, “There are nearly five hundred people who, some twenty years ago, saw Jesus after His resurrection. Ask one of them.” This is very convincing proof of the resurrection, because Paul would never have challenged people like this in a public letter that was going to be circulated if these eyewitnesses had not in reality seen the resurrected Christ. Paul was convinced that his witnesses would confirm the facts. While it might not be impossible for a small group of twelve to have a vision or even an optical illusion of a risen Jesus, this would be impossible with as large a group as five hundred.
Paul gives another convincing proof: Jesus also appeared to James. James is Jesus’ half-brother, who did not believe in Him until after the resurrection. He grew up in the same home with Jesus, but he rejected Him until after Jesus rose from the dead. After his encounter with the resurrected Christ, James became the leader of the Jerusalem church. What another great reminder that God is a God of grace.
Now that we have looked at the facts of the Gospel, can I ask you a question? Do you know the Gospel better than you know sports statistics, movie lines, and song lyrics? Could you share the gospel message in your sleep? There is no more important message in this world.