1 Corinthians 15:14-20
Have you ever stopped to ponder the critics questioning of Christianity: “What if Christianity is not true?” That’s the topic Paul takes up in 1 Corinthians 15:12-20! The “what if’s” of Christianity are recorded as 7 times in 8 verses the word “if” pops up. In verses 14-19 Paul lists six suppositions of what life would be like without the resurrection. The first three are practical consequences of what “life would be like apart from the resurrection”; and the last three are “personal consequences” of life with out the resurrection:
- 14a “Our preaching is empty” Preaching is purposeless: There would be no “good news” for man apart from the resurrection of Jesus. There is nothing to say to people who are looking for hope to their dilemmas. If what Jesus said about Himself and the resurrection is not true, then nothing He has to say about anything can be believed or followed!
- 14b “and your faith is also empty” Faith is fruitless: God can’t help us if there is no resurrection. A dead teacher no matter how wise and worthy his earthly existence has no power to change one hair upon our head. Every believer’s grave would be a marker that says, “Believed for nothing, lived for nothing and died for nothing!” All our spiritual life would amount to a religious workout that ended in a fanciful illusion!
- 15 “And we are found false witnesses of God” Leaders are liars: Paul and the rest of those disciples must have conspired together to deliberately deceive innocent people if the resurrection is not true. They would be placed in the same historical category as Hitler and Stalin as the greatest deceivers the world has ever seen. And since Jesus Himself proclaimed the resurrection prior to His own death that makes Him a part of this hoax as well!
- 16-17 If Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!” Saints are still sinners: Christians would be no better off spiritually then unbelievers. Apart from the resurrection it means that sin won at the cross, not Jesus. Apart from the resurrection Jesus death meant nothing and accomplished nothing!
- 18 “Those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished” Loved ones remain lost: Friends, parents, loved ones all remain in a cold silent grave as death remains a great gulf that can never be bridged. If the resurrection is not true, then death is final and absolute.
- 19 “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable” Life is listless: Gone is peace and joy as life would be nothing more then a joke and we are the brunt of it. We all would cry out “Is this all there is?” as we await non-existence.
And now read back into the equation verse 20a “But now Christ is risen from the dead”. All of those horrible suppositions fall to the ground in defeat because the simple truth is Jesus has risen from the dead and we are living proof of this truth.
This has been Pastor Dale, Blessings!