Thursday, September 7, 2017

47. Have You Believed in Vain? (No, You Haven't!)

A certain verse that often scares people, or at the very least makes them wonder about the condition of their own faith, happens to be a verse that should actually be a source of great hope.

1 Cor 15:1-2
Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, 2 by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you — unless you believed in vain.

At first glance, the words "if" and "unless" may make it seem as if there's a condition by which one's faith is actually genuine. But really, the condition isn't about the person's faith being genuine. It's really about the genuineness of the thing that the person has faith in. The people that Paul is writing to do have faith in Christ. So why would he suggest that perhaps their faith would be in vain? Some teach that if they've believed in Christ, but have gone back to a sinful lifestyle, then their faith has been in vain. But that's not at all what Paul is talking about here.

The real point is about whether Christ was raised from the dead or not. Some were saying that there is no such thing as the resurrection of the dead. If that's the case, then Christ was not raised from the dead. And if Christ was not raised from the dead, then they are believing in a man who died, and that's the end of the story! If Christ was not raised, then their faith is in vain. It's empty. It's futile. There's only hope for them in this life, but there's no hope beyond that.

That's really the whole point here. This is about whether people believe in a man who lived and died, or whether they believe in a man who lived and died and then rose again! You can rest assured that your faith is in a resurrected Christ, and you yourself also rose together with Him.


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