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31 My brothers and sisters, I continually face death.[a] This is as sure as my boasting of you[b] and our co-union together in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ, who gives me confidence to share my experiences with you. 32 Tell me, why did I fight “wild beasts”[c] in Ephesus if my hope is in this life only? What was the point of that? If the dead do not rise, then

Let’s party all night, for tomorrow we die![d]

33 So stop fooling yourselves! Evil companions will corrupt good morals and character.[e]

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  1. 1 Corinthians 15:31 Some translations render this “I die daily,” implying a dying to sin. Yet this is not in the context at all. Paul faces death day by day because of the danger of preaching the gospel in a hostile culture. He is not referring to dying to sin daily, for our death to sin took place on the cross. We died once and for all to sin. See Rom. 6:6-11; Gal. 2:20.
  2. 1 Corinthians 15:31 Or “I affirm [swear] by the act of boasting in you.” Paul uses a Greek particle that is reserved for taking an oath or swearing to the truth of a statement. This statement by Paul may contain an ellipsis that could be supplied by saying, “I swear by the confidence I have of your salvation that I am confident also of a coming resurrection.”
  3. 1 Corinthians 15:32 It does not appear that these wild beasts were animals. Rather, Paul is referring figuratively to beastly men and their savage opposition that Paul had to endure in Ephesus (Acts 19:28-31). Elsewhere in the Bible wicked men are called beasts (Titus 1:12; 2 Peter 2:12; Jude 10). The author of Ps. 73 described himself as a “brute beast” when he wandered away from God (Ps. 73:22). When naming all of the hardships that he endured, Paul did not mention fighting wild beasts (2 Cor. 11:23-28).
  4. 1 Corinthians 15:32 See Isa. 22:13; Luke 12:19.
  5. 1 Corinthians 15:33 This is likely a quotation from the Athenian poet Menander (Thras. 218). Paul is using this quote to encourage the believers to stay away from those who deny the resurrection.

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