Todays’s readings.. Leviticus 7, Psalm 106, 1 Corinthians 15

Our reading of that well known and oft quoted 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians graphically illustrates a principle that is made again and again in God’s word – that there is no ‘middle’ way: our ultimate future is black – or – white.  Paul goes to great pains to emphasize this: some in Corinth were doubting that Christ’s resurrection literally happened, this would be the continuing influence of the convictions they had had as pagans, one it was hard to put out of their minds, still having pagan friends would not help! , “How can you say there is no resurrection of the dead,” he challenges them, “if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” [v.12,14]

Paul then contrasts “the first man Adam” with “the last Adam (who) became a life-giving spirit” [v.45]  Those who do not become related to “the last Adam” – to Christ – will remain related to the first Adam.   Paul then uses the contrast between heaven and earth (i.e. dust) – we are related to one or the other.  He says, “as was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.”[v.48,49]

Do we ‘feel’ we “are of heaven”?  It is one thing or the other. Of course, it in no way means we go to heaven, verses. 35 to 45 make that very plain; the “natural body” becomes a “spiritual body” when it is raised to life again..  But, just as the world around us is showing even more plainly that it is “of the dust” – so we must respond by making it more and more evident that we are among “those who are of heaven.”

The final verse of this chapter challenges us, as it challenged them, that  we should show this in a particular attitude to life.  “Therefore”, writes Paul, “my beloved brothers, (and that includes sisters) be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain.”

* Click verse text to see cross references.
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