Friday, 6 March 2015
Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 1 Corinthians 15:12
Paul has clearly presented the gospel message concerning Christ. It is this same message which was “believed” by those in Corinth. The purpose and effect of this preaching takes us right back to his earlier words that it is the gospel “by which also you are saved.” A moment later he said, “unless you believed in vain.” Salvation implies more than just this life. It implies something which transcends this life. If it doesn’t, then his coming words in verse 19 are all the more poignant – “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.”
In this gospel message which they believed, and which he reiterated to them, is the fact “that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” His words here repeat this thought by saying, “Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?”
What he is surely referring to here is that some in the church denied that there would be a resurrection of the dead. These were probably either Epicureans, who denied any sort of future life, or another group known as the Stoics who denied a physical, bodily resurrection. Instead they taught that a future life was spiritual in nature. Paul’s words now, and in the verses to come, will logically dispel such nonsense. They will also to show the consequences of such a notion.
In order to show them the utter folly of this, he tells them that the message that was preached, and which they believed, already demonstrated that there had been one example of a literal, bodily resurrection; that of Jesus. He went to great lengths to show that not only did it occur, but that it was witnessed by a large list of people, thus confirming the surety of the matter. If there was one such resurrection, then it naturally followed that there would be more.
The premise of calling on Christ is that the individual moves from fallen Adam to the risen Christ. If we are in Christ, then we will follow him from death to life. It is the logical and natural outcropping of the matter. This will continue to be explained in detail throughout the chapter.
Life application: What God does is logical and reasonable. If “the wages of sin is death,” and if Christ had no sin, then death could not hold Him. If we are “in Christ” and our sins are no longer counted against us, then we too must rise to eternal life as well. It is impossible to be any other way. Don’t have doubts, but have full confidence in the surety of eternal life – all granted because of the work of God in Christ!
O God – I come before You in full confidence. I will rise again to eternal life. There is no “maybe” and there is no “what if.” Man dies because of sin, but my sin is nailed to the cross, never to be reckoned against me. All of Your wrath has been poured out on Another. And yet, because He was without sin, He rose. As I am in Him now, I too shall rise. No fear here. I come before You in full confidence, O God. Hallelujah and Amen.