(1 Corinthians 15:29-38) – What does the resurrection do TO me?
Paul does a great job pointing out inconsistencies in people’s theology. He saw certain individuals had proclaimed a belief that wasn’t affecting their daily practice in life.
In this case, it was baptizing living people on behalf of dead people (29)
This practice seems to have possibly been an attempt by the living to change the fate of those already gone, to impute some righteous deed to that person’s account so that their suffering in the afterlife would decrease and pleasure would increase.
Many scholars debate the true meaning of this custom. But that isn’t Paul’s point…
Paul says, “what’s the point of it at all??” If there is no resurrection, then this practice is useless. So why do something that’s contradictory to your theological standpoint?
Paul transfers that same argument to himself. If there is no resurrection, his sacrifice, daily “death,” and constant turmoil is absolutely useless, for there is no eternal reward to look forward to (30-32)
It would be better, in that case, to do what feels right because this life is as good as it could get (32)
But the resurrection is real, and it has profound impacts on my life now and in the life to come.
It awakens me to new life. I live with the power of Christ’s Spirit, able to deny the fleeting pleasures of sin, and revel in the eternal pleasures of God in obedience.
It changes my loves in life so that who and what I surround myself with drastically changes (33-34)
It causes me to see my life with new mission, considering those who don’t know God in all my deeds (34)
It offers me a new body in the life to come, one not affected by the fall of man, perfect just like the resurrected body of Jesus (35-38)
We will one day receive a forever-physical-body, but today can be the day that we start making the most of our forever-spiritual-life!