"Don't be deceived. Unbelieving companions corrupt your faith. Awake to righteousness, and don't sin! Some don't know God..." I Cor. 15
I love the conversations my husband and I have. Tonight, I found myself laughing out loud at Paul's wit and sarcasm, when he said, in the same chapter 15 as the above verses, "If after the manner of men, I fought with beasts at Ephesus..." In other words, "I'm not talking about literal lions and tigers and bears, oh my, I am referencing certain people in Ephesus ..."
Hoo boy. Paul, Paul, Paul! I laughed loudly, thinking I was alone. Tim, who, unbeknownst to me was in the closet, came out the door, putting his pajamas on, and asked "What is so funny?"
I smiled at him over the tops of my 1.5 fashionably blue-rimmed readers, and said, "Oh, just Paul's sarcastic humor."
Tim honestly asked me, "What's he done this time?"
As though Paul were alive to us both, right now, this moment. In a way, he is. I mean, you have no idea. I Corinthians 15. Paul is alive, in heaven, this very moment. We love that Paul...so much. We can't wait to meet him in glory, someday.
I then read to him the above passage from I Corinthians. A bit further down, Paul basically declares, "Somebody, somewhere is going to ask such-and-such a stupid question about bodily resurrection." I know Paul thought the inevitable question was stupid, not because it would be an honest question, but because he knew it would be a cloak for cynical argument. I also know he thought it would be a stupid question, because he answers it by saying, "You idiot..."
Yup. Read it for yourself. Paul, Paul, Paul.
But what stood out to me was Paul's passionate and brilliant defense of the finished work of Christ. As with any humble and Godly man, Paul says some things as asides that are in reality quite huge. He tosses profound statements out there as though they were a minor detail, a mere supporting argument to the greater issue of the completeness of our salvation - all the way down to the raising of the dead.
The "aside"? Oh, just this: "Awake to righteousness, and sin not." Or, you could reason, "If you wake up to the gift of righteousness that is in Christ, if you really know God like you think you do, you won't keep sinning through your unbelief and ignorance of His grace and power."
And you certainly won't keep company with those who are merely religious, who don't actually believe God saves to the absolute uttermost. If one aspect of our salvation - including bodily resurrection - has not been fully accomplished by Jesus Christ, by himself, without us having a thing to do with it....in the words of Paul, same chapter, "Let's party, because tomorrow we die."
"Neither is there salvation in any other..."