Hello friends! Today we conclude 1 Corinthians, yay! Great job everyone another book down. Tomorrow we continue right along with 2 Corinthians. Today is honestly the crux of the Christian faith as Paul talks about the death and resurrection of Jesus and ultimately our own deaths and eternal lives. The resurrection of Christ is something we are all asked to profess our belief in when we join a church or recite the Apostles Creed but polling shows that not everyone really believes those words. For example, consider these results from a poll done among 2000 Christians in the Church of England.
The survey suggested:
17% of all people believe the Bible version word-for-word
31% of Christians believe word-for-word the Bible version, rising to 57% among "active" Christians (those who go to a religious service at least once a month)
Exactly half of all people surveyed did not believe in the resurrection at all
46% of people say they believe in some form of life after death and 46% do not
20% of non-religious people say they believe in some form of life after death
9% of non-religious people believe in the Resurrection, 1% of whom say they believe it literally
Exactly half of all people did not believe in the resurrection at all. This in my opinion is where "too liberal" of churches can become "dangerous" and lose the whole foundation of the church. When we allow ourselves to believe that the only purpose of church is to "love" and "be good" and "be inspired" than we put God's miracles and sovereign power in the closet that no one opens because it's too confusing or doesn't make sense. It's okay for God to not make sense! IT'S GOD!
The people of Corinth also struggled with this, evidently, as you will read today. We can assume based on the topic that the people of the churches in Corinth said things such as "he didn't really raise from the dead, it's just a symbolic gesture." These are things we still hear both in churches and widely outside of churches today. Paul's words are sobering as they essentially ask us "If you don't believe in the resurrection can you really call yourself a Christian?" That's the question I invite you to meditate on today.
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
Do you believe in the resurrection of Christ? (I'm not being patronizing, I assure, many faithful struggle with this idea.)
Do you believe in heaven? If yes, do you believe you will see family again there? If not, why?
Do you believe you will recognize your family when you get there? (Paul writes that we take on different forms - how does he know this?)
- Commentary -
Instead of me trying to explain it I really, really, really encourage to watch this video from the Bible Project, especially if you consider yourself someone that struggles with the idea of a ressurection. This video talks about "The New Humanity", about our rise to be the spiritual beings that Paul writes about here chapter 15. What I think you will notice is that the very crux of our ability to even be a part of that humanity lies in Jesus resurrection and it's relationship with death, sin, and the forces of division and evil.
Praying the Hymns
Our prayer for today is inspired by hymn 308 in our hymnal - Thine Be the Glory. I invite you to pray with me this hymn however your heart leads you. :) Also, this was the worldwide church hymn for the Methodist Church this year. That's pretty cool!
1 Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son; endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won. Angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away, kept the folded grave clothes where thy body lay.
[Refrain:] Thine be the glory, risen, conquering Son; endless is the victory thou o’er death hast won.
2 Lo! Jesus meets thee, risen from the tomb; lovingly he greets thee, scatters fear and gloom. Let the church with gladness hymns of triumph sing, for our Lord now liveth; death hath lost its sting. (Refrain)
3 No more we doubt thee, glorious Prince of life! Life is naught without thee; aid us in our strife. Make us more than conquerors, through thy deathless love; bring us safe through Jordan to thy home above. (Refrain)