beast

1 Corinthians 15:31 “I die daily”

There are two ways to understand this verse. Paul is either talking about facing physical death or in a spiritual sense Paul says he daily dies to self. How should we interpret this verse? In this article, we’ll take this verse and study it in light of Scripture to find there’s only one possible way this verse could be understood…

I protest, brethren, by the boasting in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

1 Corinthians 15:31

As a Bible student, you try to have a consistent approach to Bible study. This means interpreting the text literally, historically and grammatically. God spoke to us using written communication. God wishes to be understood in America as He is understood in Africa. How is this possible if we each interpret how we feel it should say?

So to put it in three steps, we can approach it like this:

  1. Observe the Text (what does it say?)
  2. Interpret the Text (what does it mean?)
  3. Apply the Text (what does it mean to me?)

1. Observe the Text

Overall Context

1 Corinthians 15 is the famous resurrection chapter. He begins by giving the Gospel (1 Cor 15:1-4) which of course includes the resurrection. There’s undeniable evidence for Christ’s resurrection (1 Cor 15:5-8). Then the importance of the resurrection in the message preached and that if Christ was not raised, we are to be pitied because we’d still be in our sins (1 Cor 15:17).

Evidently, there were those who were saying there was no resurrection from the dead (1 Cor 15:12). Paul continues giving arguments for our future resurrection (1 Cor 15:20-23). God has placed all things (including death) in subjection to Christ (1 Cor 15:26). Paul then gives arguments out of daily life to show that these activities would hold no value and be senseless to practice. Yet, because the resurrection is real they make perfect sense!

Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them?

1 Corinthians 15:29

In other words, the practice of baptism, our identification with Christ (His death, burial, and resurrection) would be a silly thing to be doing Paul says. It would be identifying with the dead. But since our resurrection is promised by God and Christ has already risen, we identify in this publicly giving testimony by way of baptism. This not a spiritual baptism but physical identification with the resurrection.

The next verse is also talking of physical danger not spiritual….

Why are we also in danger every hour?

1 Corinthians 15:30

Paul says, “why would we place ourselves in physical danger every hour if the resurrection is not certain?”

Different translations of 1 Corinthians 15:31

New International Version
I face death every day–yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord.

New Living Translation
For I swear, dear brothers and sisters, that I face death daily. This is as certain as my pride in what Christ Jesus our Lord has done in you.

English Standard Version
I protest, brothers, by my pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die every day!

Berean Study Bible
I face death every day, brothers, as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Berean Literal Bible
I die every day, as surely as the boasting in you, brothers, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord.

New American Standard Bible
I affirm, brethren, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

New King James Version
I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

King James Bible
I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Christian Standard Bible
I face death every day, as surely as I may boast about you, brothers and sisters, in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Contemporary English Version
and face death every day? The pride that I have in you because of Christ Jesus our Lord is what makes me say this.

Good News Translation
My friends, I face death every day! The pride I have in you, in our life in union with Christ Jesus our Lord, makes me declare this.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I affirm by the pride in you that I have in Christ Jesus our Lord: I die every day!

International Standard Version
I face death every day! That is as certain, brothers, as it is that I am proud of you in the Messiah, Jesus our Lord.

NET Bible
Every day I am in danger of death! This is as sure as my boasting in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord.

New Heart English Bible
I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
I swear by your pride, my brethren, which I have in our Lord Yeshua The Messiah, that I die every day.

GOD’S WORD® Translation
Brothers and sisters, I swear to you on my pride in you which Christ Jesus our Lord has given me: I face death every day.

New American Standard 1977
I protest, brethren, by the boasting in you, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

King James 2000 Bible
I protest by your boasting which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

American King James Version
I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our LORD, I die daily.

American Standard Version
I protest by that glorifying in you, brethren, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I die daily, I protest by your glory, brethren, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Darby Bible Translation
Daily I die, by your boasting which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord.

English Revised Version
I protest by that glorying in you, brethren, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Webster’s Bible Translation
I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Weymouth New Testament
I protest, brethren, as surely as I glory over you–which I may justly do in Christ Jesus our Lord–that I die day by day.

World English Bible
I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Young’s Literal Translation
Every day do I die, by the glorying of you that I have in Christ Jesus our Lord:
*verses provided by Bible hub

2. Interpretation of the Text

By looking at the content and context of the passage, and by seeing different translations, we can conclude that Paul is speaking of facing the danger of physical death due to the work of the Gospel. The only reason facing death is a reasonable risk is because there’s resurrection from the dead! The Corinthians were carnal believers that were not living in light of the resurrection (1 Cor 15:12). They did not suffer persecutions like Paul because they were doubting the resurrection.
This passage does not teach a practice of daily dying to the flesh (or to self).

Are there any passages that teach dying to self?

No! In fact, the Bible is clear our old self was crucified when we were identified with Christ’s death. To continue trying to die to self is to deny the power of the Gospel to the believer!

Are there passages about our having died?

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered Himself up for me.

Galatians 2:20

Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Galatians 5:24

Paul did not say I am being crucified but rather I have been (finished) crucified.

who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

1 Peter 2:24 KJV

Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

2 Corinthians 5:17

May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

Romans 6:2

We see that Christ died to sin (our sin nature) once for all. He will not die again and the work He came to do is finished.

 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

Romans 6:10

Christ died to the sin nature once for all. He condemned sin in the flesh (Rom 8:3). We know from other Scriptures that whatever is true of Christ is true of us. Therefore, our ‘dying to self’ is like trying to crucify Christ again! Let me put it another way, it is trying to live the Christian life by means of the flesh. What is done in the flesh cannot please God! (Rom 8:7)

3. Application of the Text

If it was somehow possible for us (believers) to ‘take on’ the flesh or die to self, why would Christ have to die to sin? Surely He did it to enable godly living. God does not expect us to take on the flesh, He commands us to walk by faith in the Son of God who gave Himself up for us and already condemned the sin nature (Gal 2:21).

Obviously the flesh has not been eradicated. It is still there and ready to be in charge the moment we present ourselves to it (and we are by defect). Yet God has done everything necessary for us to walk in the victory over sin. This is done by counting on it by faith.

Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

Romans 6:11

This considering is not dying to self. This is counting or reckoning by faith on something that is already been done for us. ‘Self’ already died because he/it was crucified with Christ, and we are now created new (a new identity in Christ, with a new nature). The sinful nature was also condemned therefore it has no right to rule over us to lead us to sin. When the flesh is our master it leads us to sin (Gal 5:16-21).

To live trying to ‘die daily’ is to ignore what Christ already did (Rom 8:3). The whole purpose of His condemning sin in the flesh is so that we aren’t involuntary slaves to sin any longer. Your death has been accomplished by Christ and you were separated from the dictatorial relationship with the sinful nature (and the old self). You already possess the power over sin and it goes back to what occurred at the cross (Col 2:11). Jesus died to sin so by virtue of the fact that you are united to Him, you also died once for all.

The question then becomes, will you simply count on this fact by faith so it has power in your life over the sinful nature’s ability to rule over you?

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x