Summary: When it comes to understanding God, logic is important - but when we use human standards of logic we can miss God completely. Find out what illogical ideas people have about God. This study also explains ways to tell why you believe what you believe.
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Logic is a great thing. No, I’m not Vulcan, but I like to think logically when I can. In fact, God supports logic when He says: “Come now let us reason together, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.” Logic says “A + B = C” – and that’s fine, as long as you understand A & B. But logic is limited to the knowledge of the logician. That’s one problem. Logic tells you that there is a horizon that you can’t see over. But a lack of understanding of the circular nature of the earth led scientists to conclude that at some point that horizon is a cliff over which you’d fall off the edge of the earth.
The other is that sometimes we can analyze ourselves into illogical thinking.
That’s what happened to the Corinthians – and they ended up coming to the conclusion that there is no resurrection from the dead – not realizing what this conclusion really meant.
This chapter begins with a question. We really don’t know what question or issue Paul is answering. We know it had something to do with the resurrection of the dead – but we can only infer from Paul’s discussion here. Paul starts off, though, by bringing them through a series of logical arguments.
1 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
Paul says “follow me through on this – I preached the gospel of Jesus Christ to you – you received it and placed your life upon its promises – in fact this gospel saved you. If you believed anything else – it’s in vain, it has no effect – it won’t do you any good.”
3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
“What you believed,” Paul says, was the death burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our sins.” This wasn’t done in a vacuum – it was foretold by the Old Testament Scriptures. There is a huge foundation of prophecy regarding the life and death of Jesus Christ.
Check out: Psalm 16:8-10
“I have set the LORD always before me. Because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
9 Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, 10 because you will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay.”
So 1. Jesus resurrection was foretold
2. Jesus resurrection was witnessed
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.
These are eye witness accounts – you can’t just discount them. We use eye witness testimony in court all the time. I may be able to claim that the prophecies were interpreted to mean Jesus Christ – but if the man died and the death was witnessed – and the man came back to life – and that was witnessed – I have a hard time refuting it.
Paul says Jesus appeared to him as to “one abnormally born.” Paul’s route to faith in Jesus was anything but normal. Paul was out to kill the church and was an enemy of Jesus until he found out the God he thought he was serving was the very person he was persecuting.
A side note – don’t be discouraged if someone you know is fighting against Christianity tooth and nail – sometimes they are the closest one’s to faith, once the Lord reveals reality to them.
9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them-yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11 Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.