This verse is used by some who say that we need to do works to be saved:
1 Corinthians 15 “34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.”
But let us read the context to find the truth:
Paul dealt with a false teaching that claimed there was NO RESURRECTION of the dead !!
1 Corinthians 15 “12 Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15 Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.”
Paul says that if there is no resurrection of the dead, then even Jesus has not risen.
And if Jesus did not rise from the dead, then your faith is useless and you are in your sins!
Some of the people in Corinth were abandoning the faith due to this false teaching. Paul told them to “AWAKE to Righteousness and not sin”.
How do you “awake to righteousness” ? It is by BELIEVING the Gospel that Paul reminded them to not abandon by their false ideas.
1 Corinthians 15 “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; 2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. 3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”
When we believe in Jesus Christ’s death and resurrection then we are no longer in sin, but we are made Righteous by Faith. We have received the Righteousness of God by faith.
But if a person does not believe, then they are “in sin” and need awakening to righteousness by faith in Jesus.
Paul told them that if the dead are not raised, then go and eat and drink for this life is the only thing we have! He told them to AWAKE to the Righteousness of FAITH and do not sin by UNBELIEF.
1 Corinthians 15 ” if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die. 33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. 34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame. 35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?….. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.”
Therefore he tells them to stand fast in the faith that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead. He will come again. So let us keep believing. This is how we are “awake to Righteousness and do not sin – by simply believing in Jesus”
1 Corinthians 15 “56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.””