We pondered why this saying occurs rather suddenly 1 Corinthians 15. Parts of this chapter are often read at funerals; it is a powerful testimony to the certainty of resurrection and that “in Christ shall all be made alive” (verse 22) eternally “at his coming”, adding the qualification “those who belong to Christ” (verse 23).

We must not cease to “belong to Christ” but that is not the same as belonging to a group of believers. One can do that with a heart that has ceased to belong to Christ – even though baptised. Paul says that among the Corinthians, “some have no knowledge of God, I say this to your shame” (verse 34). He writes this immediately after making the point, “Do not be deceived, bad company ruins good morals”.

We are surrounded by people who do not believe in the God of the Bible, but that is not the same as having “no knowledge of God” in the sense Paul meant it. Look how the Bible uses this phrase. Read Proverbs 2:1-5 and note the “ifs” that lead to one having a “knowledge of God” and then the prayer of Jesus in John 17:3,25. In these and similar passages we see that in having a “knowledge of God” we must also have a real relationship with Him.

It is “bad company” that will undermine our “knowledge of God” and then destroy that relationship. But what is “bad company?” Today it occurs in many dangerous ways. Television provides us with company and much of it is not good! The same applies to the internet. As wickedness multiplies around us, we recognise that the internet and TV are powerful influences. As a result human behaviour is displaying more selfish self-love and animal-like instincts.

Returning to Corinthians we notice the last 2 verses, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved … be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labour is not in vain”.