Consequences of Denying the Resurrection

D. L. Moody, the great evangelist of the nineteenth century, assigned some ministerial students to conduct evangelistic tent meetings throughout the city of Chicago. The students were to preach nightly sermons as a means of winning souls for Christ and to practice their preac … More

Resurrection

This verse stands as a focal point around which the first nineteen verses revolve (v. 12). “Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead” directs our attention to the first eleven verses. “How say some among you that there is no resurrection?” This question looks ahead to verses thirteen through nineteen. Paul has established first of all that resurrection is an essential fact of the gospel. He now tabulates the logical consequences of denying the resurrection. Most Greeks did not believe that a person’s body would be resurrected after death. They thought the soul would enter some eternal state but not the body. Christianity, by contrast, affirms that the body and soul will be reunited after the resurrection. There were people in Corinth who were saying there was no resurrection. Paul presents logical consequences of denying the resurrection:

  1. If there is no resurrection, then Jesus Christ is still in the grave (v. 16).
  2. If He is not raised, there is no gospel to preach (v. 17).
  3. If there is no gospel, then you have believed in vain and you are still in your sins (v. 17).
  4. If there is no resurrection, then believers who have died have no hope (v. 18).

Faith in a dead Savior means that our religious beliefs are of no value. If our hope in Christ does not take us beyond this life, then “we are of all men most miserable” (v. 19).

Application

If I do not believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the Bible teaches, my belief about everything else is meaningless. I serve a living and not a dead Christ.

I Corinthians 15:12-19 (English Standard Version)

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.

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