1 Corinthians 15:34
Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
a. [NLT] Think carefully about what is right, and stop sinning. For to your shame I say that some of you don’t know God at all
b. [NIV] Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God—I say this to your shame.
c. [ESV] Wake up from your drunken stupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For some have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.
d. [Amplified] Awake [from your drunken stupor and return] to sober sense and your right minds, and sin no more. For some of you have not the knowledge of God [you are utterly and willfully and disgracefully ignorant, and continue to be so, lacking the sense of God’s presence and all true knowledge of Him]. I say this to your shame.
1. “Awake to righteousness…”
a. awake [1594 * eknepho;ek-out; nepho-to be sober][Thayer: to return to one's self from drunkenness, become sober, metaph. to return to soberness of mind][Strong: (figuratively) to rouse (oneself) out of stupor:--awake.][Zodhiates: It means to sober up or become sober from a drunken spell, used metaphorically meaning to rouse up, awake from a state of stupor, ignorance, dilusion][D.C. Notes: Although this is the only time this word is used in the N.T., Zodhiates cites instances in the Septuagint where it is used.]
1). Genesis 9:24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.
2). 1 Samuel 25:37 But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.
3). Joel 1:5 Awake, ye drunkards, and weep; and howl, all ye drinkers of wine, because of the new wine, for it is cut off from your mouth.
4) Psalm 78:65 Then the LORD awaked as one out of sleep, like a mighty man that shouteth by reason of wine.
b. righteousness [1346 * dikaios][Strong: equitably:--justly, (to) righteously(-ness).][Thayer: just, agreeably to right, properly, as is right, uprightly, agreeable to the law of rectitude.]
1). This Greek word for righteousness is a derivative of another Greek word translated “righteousness” and used 92 times in the New Testament. We will look at this root word further down this page.
c. In the new birth, when we get born again we become a new creature and are given the righteousness of God.
1). 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
a). In 2 Corinthians 5:17 the Amplified Bible says, “…he is a new creation a new creature altogether…”
b). We have been made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
d. God’s righteousness, the very attribute of God is given to us through faith in Jesus Christ.
1). Romans 3:21, 22 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
a). righteousness [1343 * dikaiosune][Strong: equity (of character or act); specially (Christian) justification:--righteousness.][Thayer: in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God, the doctrine concerning the way in which man may attain a state approved of God, integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking feeling, and acting, in a narrower sense, justice or the virtue which gives each his due.]
e. Righteousness is an attribute of God. He is the epitome of the state of being righteous, of integrity, virtue, justice, of being good, upright, right-minded. It is only one attribute of the nature of God and as the above verses declare, it is given to us when we put our faith in Christ Jesus. Many believers seem to forget God’s righteousness is part of our armor, folks, it’s our breastplate.
1). Ephesians 6:10-17 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.
Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
f. Righteousness is a Covenant positional state we were placed in or given when we were born again. It is who we are and we as believers need to awaken to it. Too many Christians are in, as the Scripture says a drunken stupor that they are just sinners saved by grace, sin is a part of their lives, you might as well get used to it, besides the grace of God is always there to bring you back to forgiveness. Such thinking is so contrary to what the Bible says.
1). Romans 6:11-14 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
a). The language is clear! When we accept Christ and what He did for us on Calvary, we are born again. Because of the grace of God given within the New Covenant, we are not to allow sin to reign in our body, we are not to yield our bodily members to sin. Sin shall not have dominion over us BECAUSE WE ARE UNDER GRACE!
2). We need to awaken to righteousness, who we are in Christ, we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. It will empower us to quit sinning against God.
2. “…and sin not…”
a. Romans 6:14 says it all, “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.” Sin shall not have dominion over us because we “under grace”. The New Covenant provides the grace of God that when we sin we can ask God to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. But it also empowers us to quit sinning. Notice the following verses.
1). Titus 2:11, 12 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
a). The grace of God brings salvation, notice the notes in the Scofield Reference Bible: “The Hebrew and Greek words for salvation imply the ideas of deliverance, safety, preservation, healing and soundness. Salvation is the great inclusive word of the Gospel, gathering into itself all the redemptive acts and processes…”
b). The grace of God teaches us we are to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts. We can do that in Christ because in the salvation that the grace of God brings, we have been delivered from them.
2). 1 Peter 1:13-16 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
a). The grace of God enables us, empowers us to be obedient, not fashioning ourselves in lust, but empowers us to be holy.
3). Romans 6:16-18 Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
a). In order to get born again we have to believe the teaching or the doctrine concerning what Christ Jesus did on Calvary, he bore my sins on the cross, he died and was raised from the dead. When we believe that and repent of our sins and we declare Jesus is Lord, we get born again. The above passage says plainly that when we believe and obey from the heart that doctrine/teaching, we are made free from sin.
b. Christ Jesus had the mindset that he was not going to sin against his Father and of course he never did (Hebrews 4:15). We are to arm ourselves with that same mind. This is not only part of our inheritance in Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16), it is our responsibility.
1). 1 Peter 4:1-5 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
2). 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
2. “…for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.”
a. knowledge [a-without; gnosis-knowledge][Zodhiates: Ignorance. In the N.T., it is not merely an intellectual ignorance but a moral defect or fault, a willful ignorance or blindness.]
1). This word is only used two times in the New Testament, in 1 Corinthians 15:34 and in 1 Peter to describe “foolish” men.
2). 1 Peter 2:15 For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
b. shame [1791 * entrope][Strong: confusion:--shame.]
1). This Greek word is used only twice in the N.T., in 1 Corinthians 15:34 and another instance in 1 Corinthians.
2). 1 Corinthians 6:5 I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren?
c. Not having the knowledge of God is a handicap for believers, it can cause captivity or even destruction.
1). Hosea 4:6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.
2). Isaiah 5:13 Therefore my people are gone into captivity, because they have no knowledge: and their honourable men are famished, and their multitude dried up with thirst.
d. The ignorance our text speaks about is a willful ignorance, a choice to remain ignorant, and as the definition goes on, it is a moral defect. As the passages in Hosea and Isaiah make clear, this willful ignorance will only lead to captivity and destruction. Flip back to the verse in 1 Corinthians 15:34, it is a captivity and destruction from sin, all because the believer willfully failed to know who they really were. Square up your shoulders and hold your head high, you are not, “just a sinner saved by grace”, you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. We need to begin thinking it and living like it. The final words in this study should be spoken by the apostle Paul, these words were preached during the first recorded message during the first missionary tour to the Jews and Gentiles at Pisidian Antioch.
1). Acts 13:38, 39 Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins:
And by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses.
2). The wonderful part of this is the definition of the Greek word translated “justified”. The Greek word is a derivative of dikaios from the root dike-right, just. Zodhiates says it best: “In Acts 13:39, it is used with the preposition apo-from (#575) referring to all those things from which the Mosaic law could not liberate us…Thus dikaioo does not mean mere declaration of innocence, but the liberation from sin which holds a man prisoner.”
3). Another eye opening verse that uses the same Greek word is found in Romans, but it is translated “freed”.