Truly Knowing God
Category : General
1 Corinthians 15: 34 (KJV)
34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
As have been observed, this chapter generally deals with the resurrection of the body; but the text refers to the resurrection of the soul, and this is a greater and more glorious work than the others, for a few reasons but I will emphasize one and that is because the soul is greater than the body. As is noted, “What is the casket to the jewel, the house to the tenant, the barque to the crew? “Heap worlds on worlds; one soul outweighs them all.”
The apostle represents the Corinthians as inebriated with bad principles and notions, and as fallen asleep, and as greatly remiss, and declined in the exercise of grace and discharge of duty; and therefore calls upon them to awake out of sleep, to watch and be sober, and attend to “righteousness”; to the justice of God, which requires the resurrection of the dead, and makes it necessary that men may receive the things done in the body, whether good or evil; for as it is a righteous thing with God to render tribulation to them that sin against Him, and trouble His people; so it is but just, that those bodies which Christ has purchased with his blood, who have served him, and suffered for his sake, should be raised again, that, together with their souls, they may enjoy the happiness provided for them; and to the righteousness of Christ, to look unto it, lay hold on it, exercise faith upon it, desiring to be found in it living and dying; and to works of righteousness, to a holy life and conversation, a living soberly, righteously and godly; and not spend their time, and give up themselves to vain speculations and notions; which were so far from being edifying, that they were very detrimental to themselves and others.
The word here translated “awake” denotes, properly, to awake up from a deep sleep or torpor; and is usually applied to those who awake, or become sober after drunkenness. The phrase “to righteousness” may mean either “rouse to the ways of righteousness; to a holy life; to sound doctrine,” etc.; or it may mean “as it is right and just that you should do.” Probably the latter is the correct idea, and then the sense will be, “Arouse from stupidity on this subject; awake from your conscious security; be alarmed, as it is right and proper that you should do, for you are surrounded by dangers, and by those who would lead you into error and vice; rouse from such wild and delusive opinions as these persons have, and exercise a constant vigilance as becomes those who are the friends of God and the expectants of a blessed resurrection.
This warning, in the midst of an elaborate argument about the resurrection, reminds us that Christianity is intended to be a regulative rather than a speculative system, that it is a law for our life, not merely a theme for our thought. Paul brings to bear the resurrection as an argument against sinning.
Let us carefully observe the charge alleged against some of the Corinthians. “Some have not the knowledge of God.” Also I pray that the same thing may be charged upon some of us? Do we know God, so as to fear Him, so as to be reconciled unto Him by Christ, so as to love Him, so as to serve Him with a perfect heart and willing mind? If not, then in the apostle’s sense we do not know Him. “I speak this to your shame.” It is our shame. Because we have so many means of knowing Him, so many reasons to know Him but we are drawn from Him and given into our wants of material and physical things. Let us draw nigh unto God with a clear conscience.
Have a great and God filled day!