Berean Bible Study

Learning to be a Berean, Lesson 8

 

A study of the gospel in 1 Corinthians 15, Part 2

1 Corinthians 15

1Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.

Christ DIED

Between this study and the next one, we're going to cover two huge areas - that Jesus is both fully man and fully God. The next word in our gospel is died. Messiah had to be capable of dying, so He had to be a man.

Remember this verse from this same chapter?

1 Corinthians 15:21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

Death came through a man, so life has to come through a man, also. Nothing else would do. Someone had to keep God's law perfectly, and since the law was designed for men, it had to be a man that fulfilled it:

Galatians 4:4 But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, 5 to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons.

Messiah had to be able to be tempted, in every way a man can be tempted:

Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are - yet was without sin.

In order to save us, He had to be like us in every way. He made Himself our brother in order to make US children of God. And, most of all, he had to die for us - because that is what we deserve:

Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10 In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. 11 Both the one who makes men holy and those who are made holy are of the same family. So Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers. 12 He says, "I will declare your name to my brothers; in the presence of the congregation I will sing your praises." 13 And again, "I will put my trust in him." And again he says, "Here am I, and the children God has given me."

14 Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might destroy him who holds the power of death - that is, the devil- 15 and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. 16 For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham's descendants. 17 For this reason he had to be made like his brothers in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. 18 Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.

Jesus continually called Himself the "Son of man." Why? Because He really had come as a son of human kind. As we studied before, Messiah had to come from the tribe of Judah, from the line of David. He had to be the seed of the woman. He had to be born of a virgin - but the key word in this case is born. The creator of the universe, our savior, God Himself, was BORN - a tiny, red, probably squalling, hungry infant. John says:

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.

And then a little later. . .

John 1:14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.

The Word - God - took on human flesh and made his dwelling among us. Do you have a grasp of what that means? In one of his letters, John says:

1 John 4:2 This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

That word "has come" is erchomai {er'-khom-ahee}
1) to come

a) of persons

1) to come from one place to another, and used both of persons arriving and of those returning

2) to appear, make one's appearance, come before the public

a) to come into being, arise, come forth, show itself, find place or influence

The tense of that word in the Greek is Second Perfect (from the BlueLetterBible.org): 

5782 Tense - Second Perfect

The second perfect is identical in meaning to that of the normal or "first" perfect tense, and has no additional effect
on English translation. The classification merely represents a spelling variation in Greek.

5778 Tense - Perfect

The perfect tense in Greek corresponds to the perfect tense in English, and describes an action which is viewed as having been completed in the past, once and for all, not needing to be repeated.

Jesus' last cry from the cross, TETELESTAI ("It is finished!") is a good example of the perfect tense used in this sense, namely "It [the atonement] has been accomplished, completely, once and for all time."

Certain antiquated verb forms in Greek, such as those related to seeing (eidw) or knowing (oida) will use the perfect tense in a manner equivalent to the normal past tense. These few cases are exception to the normal rule and do not alter the normal connotation of the perfect tense stated above.

 

That means that Jesus - God - took on human flesh FOR ALL TIME. He loved us so much that He made Himself like us FOREVER. Jon Courson tells a story to illustrate that. This is from ministerioinfantil.com/PDF/WEEK_7.PDF, but unfortunately, that link isn't active anymore. This is transcribed from a seminar that he gave:

Jesus took on human flesh FOREVER for us. He is STILL in the form of a man:

1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

When did Paul write that? Scholars believe it was somewhere around 65 ad - well after Jesus' ascension. Remember that Jesus personally revealed Himself to Paul after He was already ascended.

You've probably noticed that if people can take something wrong, they will. Very shortly after Jesus' resurrection and ascension, some people were already denying certain things about Him. The Gnostics denied His humanity. They said that "Christ" came on Jesus at His baptism and left Him before His crucifixion.

1 John 5:6 This is the one who came by water and blood — Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.

Because they believed, like Hindus, like Christian Scientists and others, that the material world was evil and only the spiritual world is good, they said silly things like that he didn't leave footprints. Yet, to deny His humanity is to deny the gospel, because Christ - Messiah - had to die in order that we might live.

John said that to deny His coming in the flesh FOREVER (he specifically chose the Greek tense that means this) is a sign of the spirit of antichrist. The Jehovah Witnesses deny that Jesus is still in the flesh. They say that at His death, He was annihilated, and then re-created as the angel Michael at His resurrection. When He appeared in the Upper Room, He was just a spirit, taking on human form.

 

Here are just a few of the ways Jesus showed His humanity (these were from a web site at some point, but as I neglected to save the address, I have no idea where):

Here are a couple of articles on this subject:

Jesus' Two Natures

Why Did Jesus Have to Be a Man?

 

The fact that Jesus had to be fully man to be our savior is something that we could study for a long time. I know that I have much to learn about it still. (Doing these Bible studies has been very helpful to me in that I'm learning a lot, too.)

The next thing to tackle is why Jesus also had to be fully God in order to die for our sins. Just as denying Jesus' humanity is to deny the gospel, to deny that Jesus is God is also denying the gospel.

Here are a couple of other articles that explore beyond what we've covered here, touching on Gnosticism. Remember, that Gnostics believe that the material world is bad, spirit is good. There is a whole lot more to it than that, such as their belief that we need special knowledge to be saved. That's for another study. Anyway, if you're interested:

The Gnostic Jesus, a Gnostic Christianity

Flesh and Blood cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven





Learning to be Bereans Bible Study



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Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. - Acts 17:11



© 2012 This study was written by Jacqui Komschlies and last updated 1/2/2012. If you have questions, comments, corrections or concerns, please write me.

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