The Resurrection of Christ (Day 22)

Read 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
   Most churches contain people who do not yet believe. Some are moving in the direction of belief, and others are simply pretending. Imposters, however, are not to be removed (Matthew 13), for that is the Lord’s work alone. The Gospel about Jesus Christ will save us if we firmly believe it and faithfully follow it. 
   This James that Paul refers to in verse 7 is Jesus’ half-brother, who at first did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah (John 7). After seeing the resurrected Christ, he became a believer and ultimately a leader of the church in Jerusalem (Acts 15). James wrote the New Testament book of James. 
   There will always be people who say that Jesus didn’t rise from the dead. Paul assures us that many people saw Jesus after his resurrection: Peter; the disciples; more than 500 Christian believers, most of which were still alive when Paul wrote this; James, Jesus’ half-brother; all the apostles; and finally, Paul himself. The Resurrection is a historical fact. Don’t be discouraged by doubters who deny the Resurrection. Be filled with hope because of the knowledge that one day, you, and they, will see the living proof when Christ returns. 
   Paul’s most important credential of his apostleship was that he was an eyewitness of the risen Christ (Acts 9). The other apostles saw Christ in the flesh. Paul was in the next generation of believers: yet Christ appeared to him.
Paul wrote of working harder than the other apostles. This was not an arrogant boast, because he knew that his power came from God and that it really didn’t matter who worked hardest. Because of his prominent position as a Pharisee, Paul’s conversion made him the object of even greater persecution than the other apostles; thus, he had to work harder to preach the same message. 
   As a zealous Pharisee, Paul had been an enemy of the Christian church: even to the point of capturing and persecuting believers. Thus, he felt unworthy to be called an apostle of Christ. Though undoubtedly the most influential of the apostles, Paul was deeply humble. He knew that he had worked hard and accomplished much but only because God had poured kindness and grace upon him. True humility is not convincing yourself that you are worthless but recognizing God’s work in you. It is having God’s perspective on who you are and acknowledging His grace in developing your abilities.