But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.1 Corinthians 15:20-23
For those of you who are married, do you remember your engagement period? You were fully committed to your future wife/husband, but the marriage had not been consummated so you didn’t fully participate as a married couple.
While it is not a perfect example, it does give us a rough picture of what Gordon Fee describes in Paul, the Spirit and the People of God; Fee’s view of the heart of Paul’s theology is his expectation of the “already/not yet” approach to life.
In contrast to the death associated with those who follow the first Adam, Paul believes that all who belong to Christ will live thanks to His resurrection. Paul viewed Christ’s resurrection as a “firstfruit” – the downpayment of what is to come – truly abundant life, but not yet.
“The resurrection of Christ has determined our existence for all time and eternity. We do not merely live out our length of days and then have the hope of resurrection as an addendum; rather, as Paul makes plain in this passage, Christ’s resurrection has set in motion a chain of inexorable events that absolutely determines our present and our future. Christ is the firstfruits of those who are his, who will be raised at his coming. That ought both to reform the way we currently live and to reshape our worship into seasons of unbridled rejoicing.”
Does the resurrection inform the way you live and worship?