(1 Corinthians 15:1-8) Now brothers, I want to clarify for you the gospel I proclaimed to you; you received it and have taken your stand on it. You are also saved by it, if you hold to the message I proclaimed to you – unless you believed to no purpose. For I passed on to you as most important what I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scripture, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the Twelve. Then He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time, most of whom remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. Then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one abnormally born, He also appeared to me.
1. Only to Christ Followers (6) He appeared to over 500 brothers at one time…
A. All 500 of them were BROTHERS. (Romans 8:16) The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs (brothers) with Christ. (Hebrews 2:11-12) He is not ashamed to call them brothers, saying: “I will proclaim Your name to My brothers.” (Matthew 12:48) “Stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, “Here are My… brothers. For who ever does the will of My Father in Heaven, That person is my brother…”
B. All 500 of them were INVITED.
2. Mostly to Regular Followers
A. Not everyone is one of the 12. (Acts 2:1-4) With a sound like that of a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. And tongues, like flames of fire that were divided, appeared to them and rested on each one of them. Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different languages, as the Spirit gave them ability for speech.
B. Not everyone is one of the 120.
C. EVERY follower is one of the 500.
D. THEY were extremely special to Jesus.
E. YOU are extremely special to Jesus.
3. Hopefully to Witnessing Followers
(15:12) Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say, “There is no resurrection of the dead”?
A. The Corinthians doubted the Lord’s resurrection. (15:14-19) If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is without foundation, and so is your faith. In addition, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified about God that He raised up Christ… And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Therefore those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. If we have placed our hope in Christ for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone. (15:20) BUT now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
B. “The 500 will tell you what they saw!”
C. We can tell others what we’ve experienced.