June 17th, 2007 | Posted in » Christian Living, Devotions / Bible Studies
This morning’s Sunday School lesson focused on Paul’s preaching regarding the resurrection to the Corinthians. As I taught the lesson, one particular verse stood out to me. I’ll include a larger passage to provide context…
1 Corinthians 15:12-19
12But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.
Did you catch the verse that stood out to me? Yeah, I know… obvious from the post title… “If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.”
Now, it’s obvious that the context in which this verse was written to the Corinthian church is FAR different from that which struck me as important… Paul wrote this passage in an effort to bring the Corinthian church back to the fundamentals of their faith, to combat the teaching of some that the resurrection of Christ was not real. But the verse rings true far beyond that.
For me, this verse was an important reminder of a simple fact… that faith in Christ is for far more than just this life. Why is that important? Simply because it’s so easy to get caught up in the here and now. Faith so often boils down to a “Lord Jesus, please help me through this” type of prayer… a “Lord, help me with this struggle” plea… a “God, what are you doing in this situation” query… or even a “Lord, where are you?” cry. We lose focus of the purpose of the death and resurrection of Christ… to bridge the separation between us and God that our sin has created… to enable salvation and eternal life.
While the Corinthian church needed to realize that resurrection was a critically important truth of the gospel message, we often just need a reminder to focus on the entirety of God’s plan. Don’t get me wrong… our relationship with Jesus IS for the here and now as well as for eternity… but a focus on eternity can help us get through the here and now.
I know… simple concept… but it’s the obvious that often seems most profound to me.