1 Corinthians  15: 29-34   Eternal Perspective


Unlike most of 1 Corinthians, chapter 15 is devoted entirely to doctrine Doctrine of the Resurrection.

A)    In these 58 verses Paul gives the most extensive treatment of the resurrection in all of Scripture.


B)    Important thing that we need to understand is The doctrinal problem on which this chapter focuses was not the Corinthians’ disbelief in Christ’s REZ

1)                 but confusion about their own.


A)    Basic thought of much ancient Greek philosophy was Dualism/ which considered everything spiritual to be basically good and everything physical to be basically evil.


B)    Now To anyone holding that view, the idea of a resurrected body was not something they looked favorably upon –


So Paul was not trying to convince them at Corinth that Christ rose from the dead but that one day they, too, would be raised with Him to eternal life.

A)    In the first 19 verses where Paul establishes that the Resurrection. is the cornerstone of the GOODNEWS / foundation of our faith


B)    He supported this w/ the testimony of eyewitnesses, giving a list of those who saw Jesus alive after his death

  1) Then Paul described what life would be like if the Resurrection. didn’t take place


C)    Then in v. 20-28 Paul explains how our Resurrection is tied into Christ who is the FIRST FRUITS OF THE REZ. HARVEST

1)                 And the order of that harvest as ordained in scripture (Last wk.)


Tonight we pick up in v. 29 where Paul describes the motivating affects that believing in the Resurrection can have on your life.

A)   And then he proceeds to answering the question – what Kind of bodies

    will we have - & How will they be RAISED!!!!!  Read v. 29-34

Now v. 29 is a rather puzzling verse –only place in scripture where BAPTISM FOR THE DEAD IS MENTIONED in SCRIPTURE

A)      To be honest we are not sure what it means – many different ideas – not dogmatic /sadly been used to support many strange & heretical ideas.


B) Now even though we cannot be dogmatic on the interpretation of what

     this means or exactly what they were doing

1)                           We can be dogmatic, from the clear teaching of other parts of Scripture, about some of the things it does not mean.


C) For example, it does not teach proxy- baptism for the dead, as claimed by ancient Gnostic heretics such as Marcion & by the Mormon Church today. 

1)             Paul was not teaching that a person who has died can be saved, or helped in any way, by another person’s being baptized in his behalf.


A)   Plus Baptismal regeneration, or the idea that a person is saved by being baptized, / or that baptism is necessary for salvation, is unscriptural.



In the laws that have been set up for scriptural interpretation, called theologically "the Laws of Hermeneutics," = what do we accept for common church practice today?


A)    The Law of Hermeneutics declares that if it was taught by Jesus Christ, if it was practiced in the book of Acts and taught in the epistles,

1)                 Then we accept it for general church practice today.


A)     For instance, the Lord's supper was taught by Jesus Christ.

1)                 The Lord's supper was practiced in the book of Acts, as they would gather together breaking bread from house to house.


A)    And there is teaching on the Lord's supper here in the 11th chapter, 1 Corinthians.

1) Thus, taught by Christ, practiced in the early church in the book of Acts, taught in the epistles -- we accept it for general church

Water baptism: taught by Jesus Christ, practiced in the book of Acts, and taught in Romans, chapter 6.

A) Thus we accept water baptism as a legitimate ritual within the church today. Accompaniment to Salvation


A)      So, following the same criteria, here is a mention of Baptism for the dead. It isn't taught as a doctrine. It isn't commended.

1)                    It isn't taught as something that should be done/


A)      Paul is merely making a ref. To something that was being practiced in that society & we are not sure what it was.

1)                    Jesus never mentioned it / Wasn’t practiced in Acts/ so throw it



A)       Yet, the Mormons have made a very big thing over baptizing for the dead, & that is why they have the archives of the genealogies

1), that you can go and find out all of your relatives that have died,

    and you can go in and be baptized for them.


B)      Idea being  if you're baptized for your dead relatives, then you can save them out of hell & they can be saved, ( Not at all scriptural)



So Getting back to out text / why did Paul even mention this.

Apparently those who believed in the Resurrection of the dead were involved in some sort of baptism for the dead's salvation.


I believe the answer to why is to illustrate a Pt. that those who believe in Resurrection. will do Radical things to make sure those they love will be raised

1)                 That is the kind of affect the Resurrection. has on people –


Do Radical things on behalf of the unsaved.

1) One reason the early church was so effective!!!!


Paul proceeds to explain that this is one of the motivating factors of his life for ministry v. 30 –32

30  And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour? 31  I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

32  If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!"


A)   Paul is saying why do I put my life on the line everyday – if there is no Resurrection. what is the point

1)                 Beast at Ephesus – Literal or – just Demetruis & blacksmiths that came against him -  ( My opinion)


A)   Paul’s point is the REALITY OF THE REZ. -  Keeps me going – motivates me to share w/ others about Christ.

1)                 Everyone spend eternity in one of two places heaven or Hell


A)    That motivates me to preach / endure suffering & difficulty 2Cor.1:8

I have worked harder, been put in jail more often, been whipped times without number, and faced death again and again. 24 Five different times the Jews gave me thirty-nine lashes.  25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. 26 I have traveled many weary miles. I have faced danger from flooded rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the stormy seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be Christians but are not. 27  I have lived with weariness and pain & sleepless nights. Often I have been hungry and thirsty and have gone without food. Often I have shivered with cold, without enough clothing to keep me warm. Then, besides all this, I have the daily burden of how the churches are getting along.


That is merely a small description of what Paul went through for the sake of Christ -  because he believed in an after life

1)                 Then Paul says hey if there is no Resurrection. "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!"

A)   That was the philosophy of Epicureanism in that day, and it is widespread today. "Live it up. Get it all now. Don’t worry about tomorrow


D) Don't bother with giving yourself and wasting your time on doing things for God. Enjoy yourself. Spend all your free time having fun and pleasure."


B)   Paul says the person who believes in the Resurrection knows that there is more than just this life -  TREASURES IN HEAVEN .

1)                 MOTIVATION FOR SERVICE




33  Do not be deceived: "Evil company corrupts good habits."

34     Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.


A)     who you hang around -   will have an affect on You. Watch out –

1)                 Don’t be DECEIVED !!!! –


b) Real deception / it won’t affect me !!!   Play in a pig – look & smell like the pigs



B) I work in it everyday – corruption immorality – how do I not let it affect me/    Battle -       Salt & Light /      ( Come out & be ye separate )

1)                           – but watch what you are doing -  time spending -


THE next thing Paul says TIME TO WAKE UP / NOT SLEEP

A)    Belief in the reality of the Resurrection should encourage you to wake up & live for Jesus .

1)                 Many die – not right w/ God ( Jim & Kim’s daughter – Pray)




A)    Time to wake up & get our hearts right w/ God .  Romans 13:11turn

11  And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.

12  The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

13  Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.

14     But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.


1Thes. 5: 6  Therefore let us not sleep, as others do, but let us watch and be sober.

7  For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk are drunk at night.

8       But let us who are of the day be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love, and as a helmet the hope of salvation.


D) Often say – This life compared to eternity -  BLINK – 70 YRS

1)                           Compared to 80 billion or whatever


E) See People all bent on this life – ( not fair – I want my way – why am I going through so much -    no concept of eternity .


A)   Paul says we have so much more to live for – so lets wake up & walk right & serve the Lord !!!!!