Tuesday, 10 March 2015
For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. 1 Corinthians 15:16
Verse 13 and verse 16 are parallel lines of thought –
“But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen.” (verse 13)
“For if the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen.” (verse 16)
Why has Paul repeated himself after such a short time? First, the answer is that if the claim is false (verse 13), then the witness of the resurrection was also untrue (verses 14-15). Now, repeating himself, he shows that if the claim is false (verse 16), then the logical effects of the resurrection in the life of believers would also be false (verses 17-18). In turn, the consequences of such a false premise would then be realized in the lives of such hopeless creatures (verse 19). It is a second reductio absurdum used to show the utter folly of a person claiming they are a Christian while denying that the resurrection of the body is true.
Viewed from either angle, without a literal resurrection of Christ, there is only futility and folly in claiming to be a Christian. Everything about the faith either stands or falls on the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Life application: If you have a problem with one of the principle doctrines of the faith, take time to think them through to their logical conclusion. Inevitably, if you fail to accept the truth of these principle doctrines, you should probably question your faith and thus your salvation. Stand firm on the truth of Christ as presented in the Bible.
Lord, I am so glad that Christ Jesus came as a Man, died for my sins, and was resurrected in a literal body. Should any of these things not have happened, there would be no hope for the sons of Adam. But in Your great love and care for us, You stepped out of the eternal realm and did these things to restore us to You. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, and I can only stand back in awe of Your great and majestic work! Wondrous are Your ways, O God. Amen.