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Accountability and 1 Corinthians 15:32-34

Is the any accountability for our actions? Too many live their life as if there is no accountability. William Barclay gives a little information concerning this from his notes on 1 Corinthians 15: 

Thucydides (2: 53) tells how, when the mortal plague came to Athens, people committed every shameful crime and eagerly snatched at every lustful pleasure because they believed that life was short and they would never have to pay the penalty. Horace (Odes 2: 13; 13) gives as his philosophy, “Tell them to bring wines and perfumes and the too-short-lived blossoms of the lovely rose while circumstances and age and the black threads of the three sisters (the Fates) still allow us to do so.” In one of the most famous poems in the world the Latin poet Catullus wrote, “Let us live, my Lesbia, and let us love, and let us value the tales of austere old men at a single halfpenny. Suns can set and then return again, but for us, when once our brief light sets, there is but one perpetual night through which we must sleep.”  

     Take away the thought of a life to come and this life loses its values. Take away the idea that this life is a preparation for a greater life to follow and the bonds of honour and morality are loosened. It is useless to argue that this should not be so and that men should not be good and honourable simply for the sake of some reward. The fact remains that the man who believes that this is the only world tends to live as if the things of this world are all that matter. 

My translations and notes on 1 Corinthians 15:32-34. 

32 If, after human manner, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is for me if the dead do not rise? Let’s just eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. [Isaiah 22:13] 

33 Do not be deceived, evil companionships corrupt good morals. 

[“Deceived” is an imperative verb; Paul is giving a command. Compare Ephesians 5:6 and 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3. It’s possible to deceive ourselves (Galatians 6:3-4, James 1:22-26, and 1 John 1:8). The core problem is the heart, the inner person/self (Jeremiah 17:9-10). We need to have our hearts and minds open to truth (reality). Who we associate with does have an effect for we are social people. Ray Stedman writes on this verse: So, he says, “Come to your right mind; begin to face life realistically; stop kidding yourselves. This is a battle, and we have the privilege of living in this time of history and affecting the world of our day. The time is rapidly passing. Make the proper use of it,” he says, “for some are even professing to be Christians and have no real knowledge of God at all because they are living just like everyone around them. The Greek word for ‘morals’ is ἦθος ēthos (G2239) (the related word is ἔθος éthos (G1485)). Our Greek word, ἦθος ēthos, means in the plural morals and character (traits). Those who believe there is no accountability to anyone will suffer the consequences of their selfish pursuit of sinful pleasures and finally face the wrath of God who rewards all]. 

34 Awake to righteousness and don’t sin. Some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to yourp shame. 

[This is an important fact to all. Death does not end it all. Humans, in their non-material part, live forever. There is a judgment. Life is short (James 4:14). No one knows the day of their death. There is an accountability for our actions]. 


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