1 Cor 15:29-32 (29) Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead? (30) And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?(31) I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. (32) If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die.
Paul continues his argument to prove the existence of the resurrection and the eternal afterlife..
To understand what Paul meant in these verses we must understand several points in the context of Paul’s questions:
- Remember, one aspect of baptism is that it is a public profession of Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection. Three of the main results of baptism are:
- It benefits the spiritually dead (lost mankind) by presenting a witness of the work of Christ. (vs 29)
- It reaps eternal rewards for the Christian by obeying Christ and associating themselves with Christ and His work. (verses 30-32)
- An unintended result was to bring persecution upon the Christian. In the days of Paul, when they associated themselves with Christ (by baptism) they were, literally, taking their life in their own hands. (verses 30-32).
By putting the above information together, it leads us to a proper understanding of Paul’s statements. Paul is saying this…
Verse 29 – If there is no resurrection or afterlife, why would Christians be putting their lives on the line (at their baptism) for the benefit of those who are spiritually dead? If there is no resurrection or afterlife, why be concerned about the lost’s spiritual condition? Why sacrifice the Christian’s safety to give the lost a witness of Christ’s work through baptism?
Verse 30 & 31 – If there is no resurrection or afterlife, why would Christians be willing to risk their lives (at their baptism) to obey their Lord? How can Christians rejoice in the midst of persecution if it were not for the hope of a resurrection and afterlife?
Verse 32 – If there is no resurrection, instead of willingly making sacrifices for their God and the lost around them, why doesn’t the Christian “live it up”? What advantage is there to serving God in this life, if we will not be blessed with rewards and an eternal home?
Summary of our text for today…. When A Christian is willing to suffer persecution for being a gospel witness, it proves that there will be a future resurrection of both lost and saved.
May the Lord bless each one of us as we “Think On These Things”.
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