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1 Corinthians 15:3

Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

For I delivered unto you first of all - Εν προτοις· As the chief things, or matters of the greatest importance; fundamental truths.

That which I - received - By revelations from God himself, and not from man.

That Christ died for our sins - The death of Jesus Christ, as a vicarious sacrifice for sin, is εν πρωτοις ; among the things that are of chief importance, and is essential to the Gospel scheme of salvation.

According to the Scriptures - It is not said any where in the Scriptures, in express terms, that Christ should rise on the third day; but it is fully implied in his types, as in the case of Jonah, who came out of the belly of the fish on the third day; but particularly in the case of Isaac, who was a very expressive type of Christ; for, as his being brought to the Mount Moriah, bound and laid on the wood, in order to be sacrificed, pointed out the death of Christ; so his being brought alive on the third day from the mount was a figure of Christ's resurrection. Bishop Pearce and others refer to Matthew 12:40; Matthew 16:21; and Luke 9:22; "which two Gospels, having been written at the time when Paul wrote this epistle, were properly called by the name of the Sacred Scriptures." It might be so; but I do not know of one proof in the New Testament where its writings, or any part of them, are called the Scriptures.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

For I delivered unto you - See the note at 1 Corinthians 11:23. “First of all.” Among the first doctrines which I preached. As the leading and primary doctrines of Christianity.

That which I also received - Which had been communicated to me. Not doctrines of which I was the author, or which were to be regarded as my own. Paul here refers to the fact that he had received these doctrines from the Lord Jesus by inspiration; compare the 1 Corinthians 10:23, note; Galatians 1:2, note. This is one instance in which he claims to be under the divine guidance, and to have received his doctrines from God.

How that Christ died for our sins - The Messiah, The Lord Jesus, died as an expiatory offering on account of our sins. They caused his death; for them he shed his blood; to make expiation for them, and to wipe them away, he expired on the cross. This passage is full proof that Christ did not die merely as a martyr, but that his death was to make atonement for sin. That he died as an atoning sacrifice, or as a vicarious offering, is here declared by Paul to be among the “first” things that he taught; and the grand fundamental truth on which the church at Corinth had been founded, and by which it had been established, and by which they would be saved. It follows that there can be no true church, and no wellfounded hope of salvation, where the doctrine is not held that Christ died for sin.

According to the Scriptures - The writings of the Old Testament; See the note at John 5:39. It is, of course, not certain to what parts of the Old Testament Paul here refers. He teaches simply that the doctrine is contained there that the Messiah would die for sin; and, in his preaching, he doubtless adduced and dwelt upon the particular places. Some of the places where this is taught are the following: Isaiah 53:1-12; Daniel 9:26; Zechariah 12:10; compare Luke 24:26, Luke 24:46. See also Hengstenberg‘s Christology of the Old Testament, vol. 1:pp. 187,216, translated by Keith.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
The word resurrection, usually points out our existence beyond the grave. Of the apostle's doctrine not a trace can be found in all the teaching of philosophers. The doctrine of Christ's death and resurrection, is the foundation of Christianity. Remove this, and all our hopes for eternity sink at once. And it is by holding this truth firm, that Christians stand in the day of trial, and are kept faithful to God. We believe in vain, unless we keep in the faith of the gospel. This truth is confirmed by Old Testament prophecies; and many saw Christ after he was risen. This apostle was highly favoured, but he always had a low opinion of himself, and expressed it. When sinners are, by Divine grace, turned into saints, God causes the remembrance of former sins to make them humble, diligent, and faithful. He ascribes to Divine grace all that was valuable in him. True believers, though not ignorant of what the Lord has done for, in, and by them, yet when they look at their whole conduct and their obligations, they are led to feel that none are so worthless as they are. All true Christians believe that Jesus Christ, and him crucified, and then risen from the dead, is the sun and substance of Christianity. All the apostles agreed in this testimony; by this faith they lived, and in this faith they died.
Ellen G. White
Faith and Works, 70.2

And what is it to believe? It is to fully accept that Jesus Christ died as our sacrifice; that He became the curse for us, took our sins upon Himself, and imputed unto us His own righteousness. Therefore we claim this righteousness of Christ, we believe it, and it is our righteousness. He is our Saviour. He saves us because He said He would. Are we going to go into all the explanations as to how He can save us? Do we have the goodness in ourselves that will make us better and cleanse us from the spots and stains of sin, enabling us then to come to God? We simply cannot do it. FW 70.2

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Ellen G. White
Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, 23

The cross of Christ—teach it to every student over and over again. How many believe it to be what it is? How many bring it into their studies and know its true significance? Could there be a Christian in our world without the cross of Christ? Then keep the cross upheld in your school as the foundation of true education. The cross of Christ is just as near our teachers, and should be as perfectly understood by them, as it was by Paul, who could say, “God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Galatians 6:14. CT 23.1

Let teachers, from the highest to the lowest, seek to understand what it means to glory in the cross of Christ. Then by precept and example they can teach their students the blessings it brings to those who bear it manfully and bravely. The Saviour declares, “If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.” Matthew 16:24. And to all who lift it and bear it after Christ, the cross is a pledge of the crown of immortality that they will receive. CT 23.2

Educators who will not work in this line are not worthy of the name they bear. Teachers, turn from the example of the world, cease to extol professedly great men; turn the minds of your students from the glory of everything save the cross of Christ. The crucified Messiah is the central point of all Christianity. The most essential lessons for teachers and students to learn are those which point, not to the world, but from the world to the cross of Calvary. CT 23.3

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