Sunday, November 10, 2019

56. What Does It Mean to Believe in Vain?

Paul wrote to the Corinthians about the gospel that he preached, and he told them that they are saved by this gospel - "if you hold fast that word which I preached to you - unless you believed in vain." (1 Cor 15:2). This is a verse that scares many people, causing them to worry about whether or not they have believed in vain.  Later in the chapter, Paul also used phrases such as "our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty" and "your faith is futile."

What did Paul mean by all of this?  Was he laying down conditions to having true faith?  Was he questioning the faith of the Corinthians?  Should people who have believed upon Jesus worry whether or not their faith is futile or in vain if perhaps they have fallen or sinned to much?

Fortunately for us, there's this thing called "context."  If we keep on reading, we can see exactly what Paul is talking about.  Good news for those who worry about this:  This has nothing to do with a person having faith and yet failing in their behavior.  Paul was not addressing sinful behavior in this passage.  Take a listen to this podcast as I show how Paul was highlighting the resurrection of Jesus.  Everything in this passage in 1 Cor 15:1-19 is centered around whether or not Jesus rose from the dead.  Everything about preaching in vain, believing in vain, holding fast to that which Paul preached, etc, has to do with whether or not Jesus really rose from the dead.


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