THE DEAD ARE RAISED
To you Lord Jesus, the One whose name is above every name, I offer my praise and thanksgiving today.
Read 1 CORINTHIANS 15:12-19
The Resurrection of the Dead
12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat does ‘hope’ mean to you? How does the hope that God offers impact how you view your circumstances?
Which comes first – the chicken or the egg? Paul’s argument is like that. If there is no resurrection, Christ has not risen from the dead, the dead have no hope of resurrection and the Christian faith is futile (v 14). Some of the Corinthians did not believe in bodily resurrection (v 12). They continued to believe that humans consisted of a separate body and soul. The body ceased to exist after death and only the ‘good’ soul soared to heaven to be with the gods.
In verses 14-19 Paul writes of four consequences of not believing in the resurrection: preaching the gospel and faith in Christ are useless (v 14); anyone who argues in favor of the resurrection makes God out to be a liar (v 15); if Christ has not been raised, his death is meaningless, and there is no forgiveness for sins (v 17); there is, then, no hope for Christians who die (v 18). If there is no resurrection, there is no waking from death for those who ‘have fallen asleep in Christ’ – and if this is true, then ‘we are of all people most to be pitied’ (v 19). Paul’s argument brings a bleak result, but hope is coming…
Jesus died and was raised from the dead; share with someone what truth brings for you – and for them.
Father God, I thank you for the living hope I have through the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. I’m grateful I can live fully now and one day I will live forever.
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