4 Proofs

We have been poking about the edges of 1 Corinthians 15, gleaning some wonderful gospel truth.

Today I want to do a quick rescan of the passage and notice the “proof” Paul offers for the gospel, and specifically for the resurrection, since that is where he is planning on spending the rest of what we call Chapter 15.

Proof #1 ~ The transformation in the lives of the Corinthian believers:

the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, ~ 1 Corinthians 15:1-2

We have looked in-depth at these effects of the gospel already, but they also act as proof, a validation of the veracity of the Word. The gospel was received, and now the Corinthian believers stand, they are saved, and they hold fast.

They have been transformed, and this is the first proof, the power to change man’s life. I am not the man I was, and by this I know that Jesus lives.

There is a schmultzy old hymn we used to sing when I was a kid called “He Lives.” Though I never much like the music, I love the words. Here is the chorus.

He lives, He lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and He talks with me
Along life's narrow way.
He lives, He live, salvation to impart!
You ask me how I know He lives:
He lives within my heart. ~ Alfred H. Ackley

I know Christ is alive because – well – He lives!

Proof #2 ~ Hundreds of fulfilled prophecies:

...according to the Scriptures ~ 1 Corinthians 15:3 & 4

We looked at a few yesterday, but I would refer you to a couple of my Christmas posts if you want to dig a little deeper.

My post “One more Christmas Gift” list more than 25 Old Testament prophecies that are fulfilled in the Life of Jesus.

My post “GF Handel’s Messiah – Lyrics” has the entire libretto for Handel’s “Messiah”  the text of which is 100% scriptures, and I have tagged it with references for easy access.

Proof #3 ~ Eye witnesses:

and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as it were to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. ~ 1 Corinthians 15:5-8

1)    Cephas (a.k.a. Peter) ~ I love that Peter is listed first. He says, "first Peter," and clearly this is talking about after Christ met Mary in the garden and went to the Father to present His blood, but the fact that Peter is touched, since Peter was left hurting after the last week’s events.

I suppose it may be that Paul was not counting women at all, since in courts of the day, women were likely not considered. (sad)

2)    The 12 ~ Well – I would assume the name “The 12” was more of a moniker than an actual count, since Peter we already know about, and Judas was dead.

3)    Greater than 500 at one time. Hard to deny this testimony. And Paul points out that many of these are still alive at the writing of this letter.

4)    James ~ This was referring to His half-brother, not the son of Zebedee. This James always interested me. We know that Jesus’ half brothers didn't follow Him during His ministry, but now, risen from the dead, these are guys who could not be moved. James and Jude were both New Testament contributors, and we learn in the book of  Acts that James became the main leader of the early Church.

5)    Apostles ~ It interests me that Paul gives us Apostles in addition to “the 12.” Pretty clearly (to me anyway) demonstrates that Apostleship was not dependent on being a disciple.

6)    Paul ~ Finally talks about His own meeting with Jesus. The story of His meeting on the road to Damascus is told and retold (3 times total) in the book of Acts, but I believe those 1,000 days in the wilderness of Arabia, Paul was receiving from the Lord the gospel that he never did stop preaching.

Proof #4 ~ The Graces or gifts given to Paul:

For I am the least of the apostles, who am not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me. 1 Corinthians 15:9-10

In particular we see Paul’s transformation from Christian killer to in his own assessment (which was sponsored by the Holy Spirit) the hardest working apostle to walk the earth.

Pretty compelling proof! Any lawyer would love to defend a case like this.

Christians, I hope this stirs up your confidence. The gospel stands incontestable.

Do not fear

Go and preach it today.

Ben NelsonSee you again soon.

Ben

0 thoughts on “4 Proofs

  1. breadforthebride

    I suppose it may be that Paul was not counting women at all, since in courts of the day, women were likely not considered. (sad)

    You're right Ben. Under Jewish law two or three witnesses were needed in any legal matter. Women were not allowed to be called as witnesses or to testify in legal matters. Why? Well.....because they were women. Yes, sad. Thankfully Jesus demonstrated that is not His way of doing things, choosing a woman to be the first witness to His resurrection, and sending her as the first person to preach the gospel. Cool 🙂

    Reply
  2. bennetta faire

    Wow, Prof--this is chockablock full of great stuff, and I have various things I want to say--hand waving in the air--but I'm on my way to church, so I'll have to come back, 'kay? Promise. God bless you and the fam--Cj

    Reply
      1. bennetta faire

        1--Although I have a long ways to go, if I went Home today, God and a couple folks would know that I've been significantly transformed from who I was in early 2011--so this is a proof, however small (and unrecorded in the Good Book).

        3--When I read "Eye Witnesses", my 1st thought was that you could have easily said "I Witnesses"--everybody with a testimony can say "I saw a miracle (or many) in my own life".

        Folks frequently relate to Peter--almost all of us have done something stupid and painfully regrettable. Thank God that HE loves us "even though"!

        I get a kick out of "The 12"--as I suspect when no one was around, they may have bragged just a bit with one another, that they were special, the 1st Jesus called; I doubt they were any different than we are today in that regard.

        And I do wonder sometimes about Jesus' sibs--gosh, they must have felt pretty chagrined after all the BIG stuff happened. I would have. But once they "got it", they were totally on board--and that's true of many of us today.

        I am SO glad that time after time, Jesus accorded women all the respect and "equality" they deserved--I'm thinking He didn't miss the fact that they were 2nd-class citizens then, and know it was going to go on that way in most of the world, for a long long time.

        Finally--I recall in years past, before the Bible really came alive to me, wondering why we had to have all the repetitions, such as Paul's story. But I'll tell you what--I understand now; because if I didn't think it would bore my poetry fans to death, I'd tell my "revelation and deliverance" story of Mar 2011, again and again and again. Paul's conversion was so powerfully impacting that he never got over it--and that's the way I feel. I'll never get over being blind and chained in a horrendously dark Inner Prison, and having the Holy Trinity show up--my "day of visitation". As bad as I might feel on any given day--and today I feel less than 100%--no one can ever take away from me, all that I've received in the last 2+ years. I could go Home today, deliriously joyful in my heart and spirit--because I'm FREE; and even unfinished, I'm the gal God created me to be--Jesus loves me, and He's allowed me to be a rock star encourager for Him. It just don't get any better than that. Hallelujah--Praise HIS NAME forever.

        Reply
  3. cshowers

    I praise God for His proofs, but there is a scripture that sticks with me and gives me great joy. It's what Jesus told Thomas, who had proclaimed that he wouldn't believe in Christ's resurrection until he put his hands in the wound on Jesus' side and placed his fingers in the wounds on Jesus' hands... Jesus response to Thomas was a blessing to every believer who would follow, you and me and so many others, and believe without seeing Him with our physical eyes or touching Him physically. "Then Jesus told him, 'You believe because you have seen Me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing Me.'”

    Hallelujah! Doesn't that fill you with great joy? We are blessed for believing without seeing Him! Praise God for giving us the gift of faith in Him.

    Much love to you Ben, and what a gloriously joyful post!

    Cheryl

    Reply
    1. Ben Nelson

      Thank you Cheryl, and AMEN - praise Him for granting us the faith to believe, sight unseen. And yet we have seen in so many ways.
      Bless the Lord- O my soul!

      Reply

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