English blog

1 Corinthians 15:19 – More pitiful than all people

16-01-2020 - Posted by Andre Piet

If we are having an expectation in Christ in this life only, more forlorn than all men are we.

If Christ were not resurrected, “our heralding” and “your faith” is meaningless (: 15) and “we are false witnesses” (: 17). The distinction that Paul makes here between “we” and “you” should not escape us. “You” are the readers and “we” are the apostles.

If there were no resurrection from the dead, as some claimed in Corinth, our hope is based on Christ only for this life. After all, there is no more than this life. Well, Paul says, then we apostles are “more forlorn than all men.” For what did the hope of Christ in this life bring them? Yes, the Corinthians had settled in the world. They liked the sight, wealth and power. Paul had rubbed this into them earlier in this letter (4: 8).

But what was the part of Paul and the other apostles in this life? In 4:11 he describes it: being hungry, thirsty, without clothing or housing, being called names and being tortured. Nobody chooses such an existence. Unless … one is absolutely certain that what one witnesses is true. Then there is no other way. That attitude proves that the testimony is real.