1 Corinthians 15:12-19
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?…
at gospel facts: — Conclusions resulting from the denial of —
I. THE GENERAL RESURRECTION.
1. The non-resurrection of Christ. What is true of the whole is true of all the parts. If no man can rise from the dead, then Christ is still numbered amongst the dead.
2. That departed Christians are no more. Those thousands who accepted Christ, lived according to His teaching, and who quitted this world have perished — can you believe it? Are they quenched in eternal midnight?
3. That there is no mere pitiable condition in this life than that of Christians. It is implied —
(1) That there are men in a pitiable condition on this earth.
(2) That the pitiable condition exists in different degrees.
(3) That the degree of pitiableness is regulated by hope. Man is always hoping, and therefore enduring one of the greatest elements of suffering, viz., disappointment.
(4) That the hope of a Christian if false will make him, of all men, the most to be pitied. The higher the object of our hope, and the more of the soul that goes into it, the more overwhelmingly crushing will be the disappointment. The man who has thrown his whole soul into Christianity, and who reaches a point when he is convinced of its imposture, is at that moment of all "men the most miserable."
II. CHRIST'S RESURRECTION.
1. That apostolic Christianity is vain.
(1) It is an empty phantom, a worthless fiction. The resurrection of Christ was the foundation stone m the temple of Paul's teaching. Take that stone away, it falls and becomes worthless rubbish.
(2) We are impostors; can you believe this? What motives have we to impose? Either supposition is eternally inadmissible.
2. That the faith of the disciples was vain. What a wreck of faith is involved in the denial of Christ's resurrection! Vain is —
(1) Faith in the credibility of historic testimony. On what stronger historical testimony can any fact rest than that of the resurrection of Christ?
(2) Faith in the accuracy of philosophic deduction. The rapid progress of Christianity in the Roman Empire in its first stages, and its subsequent influence throughout, the world, reveal a mass of phenomena which you cannot account for if you deny the resurrection of Christ.
(3) Faith in the moral value of character. Did a nobler character than Christ's ever exist? And yet if He rose not then is He an impostor.
(4) Faith in the righteous government of God. If a Being so transcendently excellent as Christ is to be crushed for ever in the grave, then where is the justice of Heaven?
3. That the followers of Christ are still in their sins. But the Christians at Corinth were conscious that they had got out of their sins. "Such were some of you, but ye are washed," etc. Consciousness, the highest ultimate argument, protested against Paul's statement that they were still in their sins, hence it goes to verify the fact of the resurrection of Christ.
(D Thomas, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?