Our passage from the Bible today is 1 Corinthians Chapter 15 verse 29-34, as the apostle Paul continues to defend the reality of the resurrection, and to outline the implications if there is no resurrection of the dead. And he mentions at least 3 here.
1) If there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptised for the dead? (v.29) This probably seems to us a strange reference, and Bible scholars are not absolutely sure what it means; but the plain meaning seems to be that living believers were being baptised for believers who died before they had a chance to be baptised, what one writer calls “vicarious baptism”. Note that Paul doesn’t approve of such a practice, he just notes that it was happening in Corinth, and would be pointless if there was no resurrection.
2) If there is no resurrection, why would he and others endanger themselves for the sake of the gospel? (vs.30-31). ‘I die every day’, he writes, and you can read in the Book of Acts how often Paul and his companions were in great danger, or a list like 2 Corinthians Ch.11 vs.23-29 spells it out.
3) Linked to this, if there is no resurrection, you might as well have the philosophy of ‘Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die’ (v.32), a very worldly way of thinking still very clearly practised today, which says that it doesn’t matter what you do now, there are no consequences. Actually Paul is quoting Isaiah Chapter 22 verse 13, where the prophet is describing in a disapproving way the practice in Jerusalem at the time, but the Lord sees and knows, and will judge.
So Paul’s application for his first readers and us, ‘Do not be misled … come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning’ (v.34); believe the resurrection, and make sure it makes a difference in your life now, because it will affect you eternally.
In our extended church address list, please remember in your prayers today,- Pat & Catherine- Jotham and Jethro