|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:12-19 Having shown that Christ was risen, the apostle answers those who said there would be no resurrection. There had been no justification, or salvation, if Christ had not risen. And must not faith in Christ be vain, and of no use, if he is still among the dead? The proof of the resurrection of the body is the resurrection of our Lord. Even those who died in the faith, had perished in their sins, if Christ had not risen. All who believe in Christ, have hope in him, as a Redeemer; hope for redemption and salvation by him; but if there is no resurrection, or future recompence, their hope in him can only be as to this life. And they must be in a worse condition than the rest of mankind, especially at the time, and under the circumstances, in which the apostles wrote; for then Christians were hated and persecuted by all men. But it is not so; they, of all men, enjoy solid comforts amidst all their difficulties and trials, even in the times of the sharpest persecution.
Verse 17. - Vain; rather, frustrate. The word used (mataia) is different from the word used (kene) in ver 14. Ye are yet in your sins. Because a dead Redeemer could be no Redeemer. Christ's resurrection is the pledge of his Divine power. He was "raised for our justification" (Romans 4:25). It is only "as a Prince and Saviour" that "God hath exalted him to give repentance and forgiveness of sins" (Acts 5:31; Romans 5:10).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain,.... As before in 1 Corinthians 15:14 not only the doctrine of faith, but the grace of faith in Christ; even that faith, which is the faith of God's elect; the pure gift of his grace, and the operation of his power; which Christ is the object, author, and finisher of; and which he prays for, that it may not fail; and to which salvation is so often promised in the sacred Scriptures; and yet is vain, than which nothing can be more absurd: it follows,
ye are yet in your sins: in a state of nature and unregeneracy, under the power and dominion of sin, being neither regenerated nor sanctified; for regeneration is owing to the resurrection of Christ from the dead, and is a branch of the power, virtue, and efficacy of it: but if Christ is not risen, there never was, is, or will be any such thing as regeneration and sanctification; things, if ever wrought by the Spirit, are done by him in virtue, and in imitation of the resurrection, as well as the death of Christ: moreover, if Christ is not risen, his people are under the guilt of their sins; there is no expiation nor remission of them, nor justification from them; for though he was delivered as a sacrifice to atone for their offences, and his blood was shed to obtain the forgiveness of their sins, yet he must be raised again for their justification, and be exalted as a Prince and a Saviour, as to give repentance, so remission of sins, or they will never enjoy these blessings; for notwithstanding his sufferings and death, if he lies under the power of the grave, they must remain under the power and guilt of sin, and be liable to everlasting punishment for it.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
17. vain—Ye are, by the very fact (supposing the case to be as the skeptics maintained), frustrated of all which "your faith" appropriates: Ye are still under the everlasting condemnation of your sins (even in the disembodied state which is here referred to), from which Christ's resurrection is our justification (Ro 4:25): "saved by his life" (Ro 5:10).
1 Corinthians 15:17 Parallel Commentaries
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