If Christ is Not Risen 4

images72nd, if Christ is not risen, then your faith is futile. “If Christ has not been raised, then . . . your faith also is in vain” (1 Cor. 15:14, WEB). “Faith” here is from the Greek, pistis, “the content of what Christians believe – ‘the faith, beliefs, doctrine’” (Greek-English Lexicon, s. v. πιστις).

In the Greek, there is the article, he, for pistis, or he pistis, “the faith.” When you see the article, it identifies what kind of faith it is. Paul is not talking about faith in Christ, but the faith about Christ. He’s talking about the body of doctrine which the apostles taught. This faith is now written in the Bible. According to the sectional context in 1 Cor. 15, that includes the doctrine found in vv. 3-4, that Christ died to pay the penalty of our sins; that He was buried; and that He rose again according to the Scriptures. It also includes “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” (Jude 3, NKJV).

Paul is saying that if Christ is not risen, then the faith that you believe is futile. The body of Christian teaching is empty and pointless. The content of Christian beliefs that you trust today is empty, without purpose, and senseless.

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