The importance of the resurrection of Christ
I Corinthians 15:12-22, 25-26
Paul had heard that some people in the Corinthian church believed there was no resurrection from the dead. Perhaps they had been influenced by the skepticism of Athenians, or by the teaching of Jewish Sadducees, or perhaps they were focused on the things of this world. But if Christ has not been raised, said Paul, our faith is a waste of time, and if our hope is in this life only, then we will be most miserable. Paul then proclaims in a stirring statement, “But now is Christ risen from the dead.”
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. . . .
For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.