Friday, October 18, 2013
“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:1,2 KJV).
Although a stumbling block to many, today’s Scripture is not difficult to understand when we consider the context….
One of Christendom’s costliest mistakes is its assumption that there is only one type of salvation taught in the Scriptures. Whenever the Bible uses the terms “saved” or “salvation,” it is imperative to read the context to see what type of salvation it is. The Bible does not only speak of salvation from hell and sins, unto eternal life. This false assumption of only one type of salvation in Scripture, coupled with the conditional statement in today’s Scripture (“ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you”), only confuses the average Bible reader… and translator!
Forget idle speculation—the context of today’s Scripture interprets today’s Scripture for us! Consider verses 12,14,17: “Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.” One of the 10 major problems in Corinth was a denial of Jesus Christ’s bodily resurrection (hence, Paul devoted all of 1 Corinthians chapter 15 to the doctrine of physical resurrection).
According to the above verses, to “believe in vain” (today’s Scripture) is to believe to no purpose. Stated another way, it is to believe a gospel that is not true. Paul is saying that if Jesus Christ did not resurrect, then it is pointless to believe the Gospel of the Grace of God that teaches that He was in fact raised again the third day (verse 4). By clarifying the matter of “believing in vain” of today’s Scripture, the issue of “saved, if ye keep in memory” becomes astoundingly clearer, too….