1 Corinthians 15:1-11
As we round the final bend in the epistle, and come to the finish line, we observe that Paul turns sharply in a new theological direction. Indeed, this final theological treatise is one of the most profound and inspiring texts in all of the epistolary literature, and also in the NT, and probably even in the Bible. Paul focuses his attention upon the central doctrine of NT Christianity- the gospel. Without the gospel, Christianity ceases to exist. And one of the core truths of the gospel, without which it is no longer the gospel, is this doctrine of the supernatural, physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Thus, this chapter is appropriately one of the longest chapters in Paul’s writings; it is masterfully written, and masterfully argued. In this chapter, Paul argues from a number of points of view: from the evidentiary point of view, from the theological point of view, and from the logical point of view.
This text is connected to the preceding section (ch. 8-14, especially ch. 12-14) by the fact that Paul is correcting a number of problems in the church life at Corinth. We have looked at these previous issues in detail, and Paul waited until last to address the biggest problem of all- a denial of the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ (15:12).