The Resurrection
1 Corinthians 15:12-58
The Central Hope and Outflow of Our Hope In the Resurrection
Published May 13th, 2017; Updated May 15th, 2017
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Main point summary
Personal Reflection
Reflection Questions
Main point summary
The resurrection of Christ is central to our faith so much so that if there is no resurrection from the dead, then the preaching of the gospel and our very faith are all in vain.
1 Corinthians 15:12-19
Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead,
It is Christ raised from the dead that we proclaim,
Εἰ δὲ Χριστὸς κηρύσσεται ὅτι ἐκ νεκρῶν ἐγήγερται,
z how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
SO how can some of you say there isn't a resurrection from the dead?
πῶς λέγουσιν ἐν ὑμῖν τινες ὅτι ἀνάστασις νεκρῶν οὐκ ἔστιν;
But if there is no resurrection of the dead,
FOR if there isn't a resurrection from the dead,
εἰ δὲ ἀνάστασις νεκρῶν οὐκ ἔστιν, οὐδὲ Χριστὸς ἐγήγερται•
a then not even Christ has been raised.
THEN Christ hasn't even been raised from the dead.
And if Christ has not been raised,
FURTHERMORE if Christ hasn't been rasied,
εἰ δὲ Χριστὸς οὐκ ἐγήγερται, κενὸν ἄρα [καὶ] τὸ κήρυγμα ἡμῶν, κενὴ καὶ ἡ πίστις ὑμῶν•
then our preaching is in vain
THEN two things are in vain: our preaching the gospel,
and your faith is in vain.
and also your very faith is in vain without the resurrection!
We are even found to be misrepresenting God,
FURTHERMORE, if this is true, then we are misrepresenting God,
εὑρισκόμεθα δὲ καὶ ψευδομάρτυρες τοῦ θεοῦ, ὅτι ἐμαρτυρήσαμεν κατὰ τοῦ θεοῦ ὅτι ἤγειρεν τὸν Χριστόν, ὃν οὐκ ἤγειρεν εἴπερ ἄρα νεκροὶ οὐκ ἐγείρονται.
because we testified about God that b he raised Christ,
BECAUSE we are preaching that God raised Christ from the dead,
whom he did not raise
whom THEN, according to some of you and your logic, He did not raise from the dead
if it is true that the dead are not raised.
if it is true that the dead are not raised!
For if the dead are not raised,
Because if the dead are not raised,
εἰ γὰρ νεκροὶ οὐκ ἐγείρονται, οὐδὲ Χριστὸς ἐγήγερται•
not even Christ has been raised.
THEN even Christ hasn't been raised from the dead!
And if Christ has not been raised,
So IF Christ hasn't been raised,
εἰ δὲ Χριστὸς οὐκ ἐγήγερται, ματαία ἡ πίστις ὑμῶν, ἔτι ἐστὲ ἐν ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις ὑμῶν,
your faith is futile
THEN three things: your faith is useless
and c you are still in your sins.
AND you are still in your sins,
Then those also who d have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
FURTHERMORE, those who have died with their faith in Christ have perished.
ἄρα καὶ οἱ κοιμηθέντες ἐν Χριστῷ ἀπώλοντο.
If in Christ we have hope 1 in this life only,
THEREFORE, If our hope in Christ dies when we die,
εἰ ἐν τῇ ζωῇ ταύτῃ ἐν Χριστῷ ἠλπικότες ἐσμὲν μόνον, ἐλεεινότεροι πάντων ἀνθρώπων ἐσμέν.
e we are of all people most to be pitied.
THEN we are the most to be pitied here on this earth.
How critical is the role of the resurrection in my day-to-day faith and life?
Here and in v. 12b he is trying to get across his main point. If Christ hasn't risen then it is all a waste and useless. We are to be the most pitied and this hope we proclaim is a hope that dies with us.
This is a further playing out of the idea that Christ was the First Fruit of us all. That all our hope and future is in Him. If Christ has risen so will we be, if Christ is seated on a throne so will we be, and if Christ is a judge so will we be. This logic doesn't go to all extremes but to only what is different via the incarnation and resurrection of Christ, and does not apply to the glory He had before and the worship that is due to His name.
Personal Reflection
The Resurrection Living in a broken world leads to an incongruence in one's worldview, and the worldview of a Christian isn't exempt from this. The Western Culture declares that there isn't any supernatural, yet they are fascinated by myths, the "spiritual", and the like. The Western Culture tells us not to judge but judges others when it goes against their ambiguous and fluid sense of right and wrong. This is why one has to constantly come in prayer and humility to the word, because I must allow the word of God to speak to my fallen worldview and mend all the "holes." A Gaping Hole - 1 Cor. 15:12-19 My gaping hole in my worldview is the question of the resurrection. In regards to worldview conflicts that is a pretty important issue to address. Our entire faith and hope rest upon this very foundation! It is an incongruence in my personal worldview, because I would never deny that Christ is raised from the dead or that we are to be raised from the dead. However, the incongruence comes in a more subtle fashion. This subtle fashion was that I lived as more of a practical deist than as a Christian. I struggle with constant fear and anxiety. These can emerge in areas revolving around death. Such as, anxieties of burglars or murderers breaking in, being in a car of a plane crash, or even simply illness. All of which point to a lack of faith and trust in the omnipotence, omniscience, and love of our God. So where does the resurrection play in my anxiety? You end up feeling like a fraud when you proclaim the gospel but feel as if you are only halfway standing on the promise of the resurrection and halfway standing on the promises of the world. So this creates an uneasiness and a hindrance to my faithfully proclaiming the truth to all I know. Also, you end up fearing death, when as a Christian you should embrace it as gain and not a loss. However, as a true "millennial" I fear that I am going to miss out on something great or that I should experience [i.e. marriage, kids, ministry, adventures]. However, the incongruence is that I should know that the greatest gain and experience I could have would be to stand before the almighty God and be welcomed as His good and faithful child/servant. However, in reflecting upon 1 Cor. 15:12-19 I see the great danger in even allowing these doubts to simmer in my heart. The logic of this thought leads to our faith, hope, and love being pointless. Faith meaning in Christ's resurrection, because if there is no resurrection for us then He didn't rise from the dead either as the first fruits! Hope meaning in there being life after death, so if this is the case when we die our hope dies with us. And in regards to love, I mean that there is no point to share the gospel. Therefore, Paul makes the concluding remark to this logic that if this is so "we are of all people most to be pitied" [1 Cor. 15:19b].
Reflection Questions
Are there ways in which I live that practically deny the resurrection from the dead? How do I practically seek to combat the world and sin in order to cling to our hope in the resurrection? What are my next steps?
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.