Original photo by Amy Halverson
Daily Reformation, 1 Corinthians 15:12-20
From the Reformer
He now begins to prove the resurrection of all of us from that of Christ. For a mutual and reciprocal inference holds good on the one side and on the other, both affirmatively and negatively—from Christ to us in this way: If Christ is risen, then we will rise—If Christ is not risen, then we will not rise—from us to Christ on the other hand: If we rise, then Christ is risen—If we do not rise, then neither is Christ risen. The ground-work of the argument to be drawn from Christ to us in the former inference is this: “Christ did not die, or rise again for himself, but for us: hence his resurrection is the foundation of ours, and what was accomplished in him, must be fulfilled in us also.” In the negative form, on the other hand, it is thus: “Otherwise he would have risen again needlessly and to no purpose, because the fruit of it is to be sought, not in his own person, but in his members.”
Observe the ground-work, on the other hand, of the former inference to be deduced from us to him; for the resurrection is not from nature, and comes from no other quarter than from Christ alone. For in Adam we die, and we recover life only in Christ; hence it follows that his resurrection is the foundation of ours, so that if that is taken away, it cannot stand. The ground-work of the negative inference has been already stated; for as he could not have risen again but on our account, his resurrection would be null and void, if it were of no advantage to us.
—John Calvin, Commentary on Corinthians
Pulling It Together
There is a reality of faith that needs to be at work in the Church. People of faith must live in the present reality of the resurrection. If Christ is still dead, then living a dead and empty faith is to be expected. But if Christ is both raised in reality and in the heart then Christians are people of the Spirit and must therefore already be alive in his Spirit. Christians are not just waiting to be raised from the grave on the last day; we are already raised from the dead. We are raised from the death of our sin nature in the waters of baptism. We should be living a life that reflects that fact.
© Mark E. Ryman, Daily Reformation: Devotions with the Reformers