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“…you are still in your sins”

16-07-2014 - Posted by Andre Piet

images20 QUESTION: What does Paul mean in 1Corinthians 15:17 with “then you are still in your sins”? ANSWER: Paul writes in 1Cor.15: 17 (literally translated):

Now, if Christ has not been roused, vain is your faith — you are still in your sins!

The explanation of this verse is often dogmatically colored. That is why the comments of the Dutch Bible (“Statenvertaling” – 17th century), concerning “ye are yet in your sins”, read:

“Then ye are yet in your sins”, that is, because your sins are still subject to damnation, a proof that through Christ, no satisfaction was delivered, if He would have remained in death.

And the StudyBible annotates:

… If Christ has not been raised, there is no justification of believers. The resurrection of the Lord Jesus is, in fact, proof that God has accepted the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ and has justified Him.

The orthodox clarification is: Christ died to pay the penalty for sin, and as proof that God has received satisfaction, He did raise Christ. However, the point is that Scripture teaches that “Christ died for our sins” (1Cor.15:3), but NOT ANYWHERE does it say that He died to bear God’s PUNISHMENT for our sins. Those are two completely different concepts. On the cross, Christ did not bear God’s punishment, but the death penalty to which people had condemned Him. That was no satisfaction to God, but on the contrary, it was the greatest injustice they could do to Him. Christ died for our sins, that is, to free us from our sins and to give us Life. He died to be able to rise from among the dead and, in this way, bring to light imperishable life (2Tim.1:10) for all mankind (1Cor.15:22). If Christ had not been raised, then, to have faith would be senseless. Just as meaningless, as is our existence, according to the prevailing philosophies of this world. For if there is no God, then death is the “end of the story” and is our existence senseless. And that is precisely the basic meaning of ‘sin’: missing the target. If Christ has not been raised, faith is pointless and everything we do adds up to missing the target (=the purpose of life). Sin(s), consequently.