1 Corinthians 15:20-34
20 But Christ really has been raised from the dead. He is the first of all those who will rise from the dead. 21 Death came because of what a man did. Rising from the dead also comes because of what a man did. 22 Because of Adam, all people die. So because of Christ, all will be made alive. 23 But here is the order of events. Christ is the first of those who rise from the dead. When he comes back, those who belong to him will be raised. 24 Then the end will come after Christ destroys all rule, authority and power. Then he will hand over the kingdom to God the Father. 25 Christ must rule until he has put all his enemies under his control. 26 The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27 Scripture says that God “has put everything under his control.” (Psalm 8:6) It says that “everything” has been put under him. But it is clear that this does not include God himself. That’s because God put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done that, the Son also will be under God’s rule. God put everything under the Son. In that way, God will be all in all. 29 Suppose no one rises from the dead. Then what will people do who are baptized for the dead? Suppose the dead are not raised at all. Then why are people baptized for them? 30 And why would we put ourselves in danger every hour? 31 I face death every day. That’s the truth. And here is something you can be just as sure of. I take pride in what Christ Jesus our Lord has done for you through my work. 32 Did I fight wild animals in Ephesus with nothing more than human hopes? Then what have I gotten for it? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, because tomorrow we will die.” (Isaiah 22:13) 33 Don’t let anyone fool you. “Bad companions make a good person bad.” 34 You should come back to your senses and stop sinning. Some of you don’t know anything about God. I say this to make you ashamed.
This passage is part of a larger argument the apostle Paul is making to the Corinthian church to encourage them to behave in a manner appropriate with Christian beliefs.
In verse 20 Paul reaffirms ‘Christ was indeed raised from the dead’. Then in verse 24, 25 Paul makes two astonishing statements. First, Christ now has full authority over the world and second, He is removing all the influences that oppose His authority.
When I look around me, when I watch the news on TV, when I read an online news feed or listen to the radio I am left with the question. How is this possible for Christ to be ruling in all this mess?
The answer to this question is simple; ‘this cannot be seen or understood in the mind but by faith can be discerned by the heart’. Paul’s point is, in this world people do not get resurrected from the dead but Christ was, and it’s that resurrection power that is now subduing His enemies and restoring the world back to life. It does not appear to be logical but that does not stop it from being true.
That leaves me with the question, how should I respond?
Verse 33 is the answer. ‘Bad company corrupts good character’. Paul is simply saying think about who you are hanging out with!
For me the simplest way to take up this challenge today is to be more discerning about what I watch on TV, look at on the internet or how much I allow social media to influence me.
Lord, today, give me greater discernment as to when I should switch off electronic devices and spend more time with You. Amen!
Written by David Newton