My Thoughts On 1 Corinthians 15:19

Posted: April 16, 2009 in Devotional, General Discussion, Mentors, Scripture
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I know most of you are like me. You will hear a sermon and the preacher will use a text of scripture that you have either read or heard a thousand times before and didn’t think much of them. But this time, by God’s grace, your eyes are opened to what that text means, and the implications of it. So it was for me a little while ago when I heard a John Piper sermon from a missions conference. In that sermon he expounded on 1 Cor. 15:19. “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we of all people are most to be pitied”(ESV). This one piece of scripture has caused me more grief than most. If this text is true,where are we? Are we living a life so sold out for the Glory of God, that if the resurrection of Christ didn’t happened, we would be miserable,(as the KJV puts it). What does this mean exactly? I think it means, and please correct me if I’m wrong, that every aspect of our lives should be dedicated to bringing glory to God , so much so, that it will bring us ridicule and persecution from the world. We should be inviting that, instead of running from it. But as I look around, (and in the mirror), I see “Christians” so scared of being made fun or of being ostracized, that it’s a pity God chose to save us.

Why is this? I would love to blame it on our culture. The fact that we live in a country were we face very little or no persecution. We can go to church 7 days a week and no-one would make much of it. But that would be a cop-out.  I often wonder how much different it would be if  we lived in a place where worshipping Jesus was illegal, so much so, that you could be killed for it.  Me and some friends have often considered our brothers and sisters that face those ordeals on a daily basis more blessed than us. Is that whats going to have to happen, for us to live a life like Paul? A life full of constant trails and pain. One to were we would be able to rejoice in chains because we know Jesus was resurrected and that we don’t live for this world, but for the one set before us. I have been told, that we are blessed to live in a country were we have religious freedom. If this is so why is the American church slowly dying?  Why are the christian churches in third world countries exploding? Is it a trend or is God showing us something. I guess the question is , Am I living a life that would be considered miserable if Christ was not resurrected? If I’m honest with myself, I would say have to say no. What about you? What do we do from here?

*Side note* Matthew Henry said this about 1Cor.15:19

It were a gross absurdity in a Christian to admit the supposition of no resurrection or future state. It would leave no hope beyond this world, and would frequently make his condition the worst in the world. Indeed, the Christian is by his religion crucified to this world, and taught to live upon the hope of another. Carnal pleasures are insipid to him in a great degree; and spiritual and heavenly pleasures are those which he affects and pants after. How sad is his case indeed, if he must be dead to worldly pleasures and yet never hope for any better!



  1. Phil says:

    Is the apostle Paul saying that a heavenly hope in Christ is better than an earthly hope? What I mean is a heart (faith) knowledge of Christ is better than head (intellectual assent) knowledge of Christ. I have not studied the verse in depth so it’s just off the top of my head, I yield to instruction.

  2. Bill says:

    I think he’s stressing the importance of the resurrection of Christ, and our hope in that. Our hope is not in this life, but the life promised to us after this life. Our lifestyle should reflect that.

    To answer your question more specifically faith trumps intellect every time.

    On being pitied……….

    John Macarthur says “This is because of the sacrifices made in this life in light of the hope to come. If there is no life to come, we would be better to “eat,drink, and be merry””

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