Saturday, October 19, 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….
Verses 12, 14, and 17 explain that to “believe in vain” (today’s Scripture) is to believe to no purpose, to believe a gospel that is not true. It has nothing to do with not having “enough faith,” not having the “right kind of faith,” et cetera. These are theological gimmicks invented because people do not understand how to handle the passage. All the nonsense aside, Paul is saying in today’s Scripture that if Jesus Christ never resurrected, then it is pointless to believe that Gospel of the Grace of God that teaches that He did resurrect bodily.
Now, notice the “by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you” portion of today’s Scripture. The word “saved” is to be defined according to the context. Verse 19 is very clear: “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” The salvation of today’s Scripture is salvation from misery and hopelessness! Today’s Scripture has nothing to do with salvation from sin, hell, et cetera.
Some of the Corinthians failed to remember what the Apostle Paul had preached to them regarding Jesus Christ’s bodily resurrection (verse 12). They erred in this regard, probably influenced by the pagan mythology (the culture of Corinth) that denied bodily resurrection. These Corinthians had not “kept in memory what [Paul] preached unto [them],” so they “believed in vain.” By abandoning the doctrine of bodily resurrection, the Corinthians were setting themselves up for disappointment. As we will see, if we fail to keep foremost in our minds Jesus Christ’s literal, physical, visible resurrection, then we will not be saved from despair and misery on a daily basis.
Let us now summarize and conclude this devotionals arc….