1 Corinthians 15:11-20
1 Cor 15:11 (KJV)
Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

Paul states it doesn’t matter who preached the Gospel message, as long as we are preaching the truth, you have believed. It does not matter by what method you hear the true Gospel, the great thing is that you will hear the true Gospel and if God saves you, it will be through the Gospel and not the messenger who brings it. The method or the person is not the issue, it is the preaching of the true Gospel.

1 Cor 15:12 (KJV)
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?

The Corinthian Christians have already had the resurrection preached to them and they believed that Christ rose from the dead based upon the number of witnesses who saw Him plus the personal testimony of Paul seeing Him. Apparently, there was some teaching going around that even though Christ rose from the dead, there would be no resurrection of His followers. Just an interesting note on the word “resurrection.” The word comes from the Greek word “anastasis” and means “a rising from the dead.” Now, we get the word anesthesia from anastasis. When you go for an operation, the anesthetist puts you under for the duration of the operation. When the operation is over, the anesthetist brings you out of it till you are awake. Literally, you are being resurrected after the operation. Your life is in the hands of the anesthetist, more than the surgeon.

1 Cor 15:13 (KJV)
But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen:

If the reality of resurrection is not a reality, then Christ Himself is not risen and is still dead in the tomb. Then resurrection is just a contrived concept of a false religion. However, for something to be totally false, there cannot be one shred of evidence to the contrary. The empty tomb bore witness of the fact that Christ was no longer dead plus well over five hundred saw Him alive after His resurrection. If it was only the twelve who claimed that He was alive without any proof, the story could be suspect but the Lord appeared to about 500 witnesses at one time so there would be no doubt in His followers. The unbelieving world still mocks at the resurrection but as true believers, it is implanted in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

1 Cor 15:14 (KJV)
And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

If the truth of the resurrection of Christ is a false teaching, then both our preaching and your faith is in vain and would be of no value, whether to the possessor or the one proclaiming it. However, the Apostle Paul showed the Corinthian Church and the Corinthian Christians themselves showed a living faith. A living faith cannot be built upon a dead or false teaching. Christianity would be just another false religion just as the Greek gods or the Roman gods which did not exist but Christianity is a vibrant, living faith which has the assurance of God that all of His children will have eternal life.

1 Cor 15:15 (KJV)
Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not.

If Christ did not rise from the dead, then Paul, along with all the other Christians, would be nothing but liars because that is what a false testimony is, one big lie. A bigger sin would be that they would be falsely testifying about God. If God did not raise Christ from the dead, then that would be false testimony and they would using God’s name to further a false teaching. The true Christian is a testimony to the resurrection of Christ and the hope of the future resurrection of all Christians. If Christ did not rise, then they are all liars with false teachings.

1 Cor 15:16 (KJV)
For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

The conclusion is if the idea of a resurrection is just a false teaching and a hoax, then Christ is included in that hoax having never risen from the dead.

1 Cor 15:17 (KJV)
And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

Here is one major consequence if Christ did not rise from the dead. We are still in our sins.
(Rom 4:25 KJV) Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification. The raising of Jesus was for the justification of the believer. Justification means that we are declared not guilty. If Christ did not rise from the dead, then we are still guilty with all our sins intact which we will have to give an account for on Judgment Day with the rest of the world. We would then be living under a false pretense of being cleansed from sin, when in essence, we would still be heavy laden with our sins. The faith which we have would be useless in our fight against sin and its eternal consequences. This means plainly that our justification and our sanctification would both be useless because they would be non-existent.

1 Cor 15:18 (KJV)
Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

The second great consequence of no resurrection of Christ is that all those who supposedly died in Christ and are supposed to be in Glory, but are waiting to be cast into Hell for eternity since their sins were not paid for. Their body will also perish or be destroyed since there is no resurrection. They will just disintegrate into dust never to see life again. Without hope beyond the grave, Christianity would be just another pagan religion with death as the ultimate victor.

1 Cor 15:19 (KJV)
If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

As Christians, if our hope in Christ is just tied to this life, then we are miserable. Why? If there is no resurrection or accountability for sin, then we would be missing out on all the fun the world has to offer. Just think about all the parties or orgies you can attend and all without accountability. The word “miserable” carries with it the meaning of “being pitied.” The world pities us now but the hope of the resurrection is what keeps our eyes focused on the risen Lord. The life we have now is only a precursor of eternal life which awaits us. It is the unbeliever that we pity because they do not understand what awaits them.

1 Cor 15:20 (KJV)
But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

Paul now strongly affirms that Christ has risen from the dead. Here we are told that Christ is the firstfruits of all those that are asleep in Christ. Prior to His own resurrection, Christ had raised three people from the dead. There was Lazarus (John 11), Jairus’ daughter (Luke 8:41-56 & Mark 5:22-43), and the son of the widow of Nain (John 7:11-17). All three of these raised people had one thing in common, they all died again. Jesus was the first to be raised without ever tasting death again. When a believer dies and goes into the presence of the Lord, that is the only time they will ever see death. When they are raised from the dead on the last day, it will mean they will never die again. This is why Christ was the firstfruits of them who were and will be raised to eternal life.