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1 Corinthians 15:2-6 meaning...

The opening of this passage establishes a direct link between salvation and the unwavering commitment to the preached word:

By Which Also You Are Saved: The transformative power of the gospel is unveiled in the proclamation that through it, individuals find salvation. This sets the stage for understanding the pivotal role of the message in the believer's journey.

Hold Firmly the Word: A condition is presented—a call to hold firmly to the preached word. This underscores the idea that salvation is not a one-time event but a continual process dependent on an enduring faith in the gospel message.

Believed in Vain: The cautionary note introduces the possibility of believing in vain, emphasizing the importance of genuine, steadfast faith. It prompts believers to reflect on the authenticity and depth of their commitment to the gospel.

  • The Essence of the Gospel: Christ's Death, Burial, and Resurrection

Verses 3-4 encapsulate the essence of the Christian gospel, laying out a chronological narrative that forms the bedrock of Christian faith:

Christ Died for Our Sins According to the Scriptures: The foundational truth of Christ's sacrificial death is highlighted. It is not a random event but a fulfillment of prophetic Scriptures, underlining the divine purpose of atonement for sin.

He Was Buried: The mention of Christ's burial emphasizes the reality of His death. It provides a tangible dimension to the narrative, grounding the gospel in historical events.

He Was Raised on the Third Day According to the Scriptures: The triumphant climax of the gospel unfolds in the resurrection. This event, foretold in the Scriptures, attests to the divine power over death and validates the truth claims of Christianity.

  • Historical Witness: Appearances to Cephas and Others

Verses 5-6 provide historical evidence of the resurrected Christ through appearances to specific individuals and a large group.

Appearances to Cephas and the Twelve: The mention of appearances to Cephas (Peter) and the twelve disciples establishes a foundation of eyewitness accounts. These are not abstract claims but events witnessed by individuals who would become key figures in the early Christian community.

Over Five Hundred Brothers at Once: The reference to a group of over five hundred brothers who witnessed Jesus simultaneously strengthens the historical credibility of the resurrection. Many of these witnesses were still alive at the time of Paul's writing, inviting verification.

Significance for Today

Ongoing Nature of Salvation: The linkage between holding firmly to the word and salvation challenges believers to view their faith as a dynamic, evolving journey. It prompts us to continually anchor our lives in the transformative power of the gospel.

Historical and Scriptural Foundations: The gospel is not a concoction of human imagination but is rooted in historical events and the fulfillment of divine prophecies. This provides believers with a solid foundation for their faith.

Resurrection Hope: The resurrection, a central theme in these verses, instills in believers a profound hope. It assures us that the Christian faith is not built on empty promises but on the reality of a risen Savior.


Romans 10:9: "that if you will confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." This passage reinforces the connection between belief and salvation, echoing the sentiments of 1 Corinthians 15.

Acts 2:24: "But God raised him up, having freed him from the agony of death, because it was not possible that he should be held by it." The resurrection theme is reiterated, emphasizing the divine intervention in overcoming death.

Conclusion: In the symphony of Christian doctrine, 1 Corinthians 15:2-6 emerges as a powerful anthem, harmonizing the elements of salvation, unwavering faith, historical events, and divine fulfillment. As believers, we are beckoned to anchor our lives in the timeless truths encapsulated in these verses. The gospel narrative, echoing through the corridors of history, invites us to hold firmly to the transformative message that not only shaped the early Christian community but continues to resonate with hope and redemption for believers today.

See also: vs 14-20

1 Corinthians 15:2-6. Hold firmly the word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which 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 Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to over five hundred brothers at once, most of whom remain until now, but some have also fallen asleep.


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