Corinth was a very cosmopolitan city. In Paul’s day it was an important intellectual city, prosperous, yet morally corrupt. In 1st Corinthians Paul writes to a newly mixed congregation of Christian Jews and formerly pagan Greeks. To the Corinthians, tired of their past, the gospel was attractive especially the stress on the forgiveness of sins and the use of ecstatic spiritual gifts. Unfortunately, their gospel minus the resurrection was only partially correct. In addition, their moral laxity further softened their faith to the core. The young church was rife with very spiritual people who did not believe in the physical resurrection of Jesus or on behaving. Paul corrects their heresy by arguing that the resurrection of Jesus was real and physical not just spiritual. The church was in danger of losing the power of the full gospel by rejecting the resurrection (anastasis nekron: literally, “a corpse standing up”). Paul thought this error would be spiritual suicide for the Corinthians. Yes, Jesus forgave us at the cross but by His physical resurrection He justified us! Thus, faith without the physical resurrection is “useless” and “futile” (1 Cor. 15:14,17) because Jesus would still be dead. To believe his body was not raised was actually not to believe in Christ at all. Therefore, just as Paul urged the Corinthians to protect their faith from error, we too must hold fast to sound doctrine, preaching Christ buried and resurrected with grace and power! Amen!
He is Alive,