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1 Corinthians 15:32-33 Resurrection Implications

Posted by Matt Postiff November 21, 2009 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Bible Texts 
If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!" Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits."

Some in Corinth believed the heresy that there is absolutely no resurrection of any dead people (v. 12). As true believers, we understand that this is utter foolishness. But the "resurrection chapter" gives us a number of implications of this hypothetical doctrine. First, Christ would not be risen (v. 13, 16). Second, gospel preaching would be vain (v. 14). Third, personal faith would be useless (v. 14, 17). Fourth, gospel preachers would be liars (v. 15). Fifth, believers would remain in their sin (v. 17). Sixth, all who had died in Christ would be without hope (v. 18). Sixth, Christians would be a miserable bunch if all they had was hope in this life, and no hope after death (v. 19). Seventh, to be baptized behind those who have died to fill in the "gap" left by their passing would be silly (v. 29). Eighth, it would be a total waste to risk life and limb for the gospel (v. 30, 32a). And finally, ninth, it would be a natural conclusion that we should eat and drink to enjoy life now, for soon comes death and the unknown after it.

This latter conclusion is the philosophy called hedonism. The argument is "if no resurrection, then live for self pleasure." Wrong belief on resurrection leads to this godless philosophy of life. Be assured that if you keep company with such people, you will be negatively affected (v. 33). But as believers, we know that God has and will resurrect the dead. Thus, the implication is reversed: "If there is a resurrection (and there is!), then we cannot live for self pleasure." Formal logic would not allow for such a conclusion (maybe you can still live for self pleasure even though there is a resurrection?), but anyone who knows God will not be bothered by this, because we have been awakened to righteousness and understand that we must not sin (v. 34). See also 2 Cor. 5:14-15. MAP

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