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The Resurrection of the Dead

12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; 14and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain.

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12. But of Christ. 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 risenIf 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. 3232    La substance et le fondement de la nostre;” — “The substance and foundation of ours.” 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 3333     “Si ce fondement est oste, nostre resurrection ne pourra consister;” — “If this foundation is taken away, our resurrection cannot possibly 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, 3434     Billroth, when quoting the above statement of Calvin, remarks, that “Calvin seems to have deceived himself with the double meaning of the words which he uses — ’nulla ejus resurrectio foret;’ — these may mean either ‘ejus resurrectio non est,’ or ‘ejus resurrectio non est vera resurrectio,’ his resurrection is no real ressurection, and indeed only the latter suits his view of Paul’s argument.” It is justly observed, however, by Dr. Alexander, in his translation of Billroth, that Calvin may be considered to have “used the word nulla here in the sense of our null, void, useless,” his assertion being to this effect — that “if we rise not, then Christ’s resurrection becomes null.” See Biblical Cabinet, volume 23 — Ed. if it were of no advantage to us.

14. Then is our preaching vain — not simply as having some mixture of falsehood, but as being altogether an empty fallacy. For what remains if Christ has been swallowed up by death — if he has become extinct — if he has been overwhelmed by the curse of sin — if, in fine, he has been overcome by Satan? In short, if that fundamental article is subverted, all that remains will be of no moment. For the same reason he adds, that their faith will be vain, for what solidity of faith will there be, where no hope of life is to be seen? But in the death of Christ, considered in itself, 3535     “C’est a dire, sans la resurrection;” — “That is to say, apart from his resurrection.” there is seen nothing but ground of despair, for he cannot be the author of salvation to others, who has been altogether vanquished by death. Let us therefore bear in mind, that the entire gospel consists mainly in the death and resurrection of Christ, so that we must direct our chief attention to this, if we would desire, in a right and orderly manner, to make progress in the gospel — nay more, if we would not remain barren and unfruitful. (2 Peter 1:8.)