1 Corinthians 15:1-58 Reading the Passage

The Certainty of the Resurrection – 1 Corinthians 15:1-58

15 Now, brothers, I remind you of the gospel which I preached to you, which you also received, on which also you stand, (2) and by which you are saved—if you hold firm to the word which we preached to you, otherwise you have believed in vain. (3) I delivered to you as of first importance that which I also received, namely, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; (4) and that he was buried; and that he has been raised on the third day according to the Scriptures; (5) and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. (6) After that he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at the same time, most of whom are still alive, although some of them have fallen asleep in death. (7) Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. (8) Last of all, as to a child born pre-maturely, he appeared to me also. (9) I am the least of the apostles, someone who is not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. (10) But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace bestowed upon me was not in vain; on the contrary, I worked harder than all of them—not I myself, but the grace of God that was with me. (11) So then, whether it was I or they, this is what we preach and this is what you believed.

(12) Now if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? (13) But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised. (14) But if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless, and your faith is useless. (15) And we are even found to be bearing false testimony about God; because we testified concerning God that he raised Christ from the dead, whom he did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. (16) If the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. (17) If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless, you are still in your sins. (18) Furthermore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. (19) If we have only hoped in Christ for this present life, then of all men we are the most to be pitied.

(20) But now the fact is Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep in death. (21) Since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also comes through a man. (22) Just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. (23) But each in his own turn: the first fruits, which is Christ; then those who belong to Christ when he appears in glory. (24) Then comes the end, when he shall deliver the kingdom to God the Father, after he has abolished all dominion and all authority and power—(25) for he must reign until God the Father has put all his enemies under his feet, (26) (the last enemy to be abolished is death;) (27) for it is written, “he has put everything in subjection under his feet.” But when it says that everything has been put in subjection, it is evident that this does not include the one who subjected all things to him. (28) When all things have been subjected to him, then the Son himself will be in subjection to the one who subjected all things to him, so that God may be all in all.

(29) If there is no resurrection, what will those men do who are baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not actually raised, why then are men baptized on their behalf? (30) And why do we subject ourselves to danger every hour? (31) I die every day—I swear by my pride in you, brothers, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord. (32) If for only a human purpose I fought wild beasts in Ephesus, what benefit is it to me? If the dead are not raised, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we will die.” (33) Do not be misled, “Bad companions corrupt good morals.” (34) Come to your right senses and do not sin, for there are some who have no comprehension of God—I say this to your shame.

(35) But someone will say, How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body will they come? (36) O foolish one, that which you yourself plant does not come to life unless it first dies. (37) And when you plant, you are not planting the body which shall appear; but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or some other grain. (38) But God gives it a body just as he pleases, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.

(39) All flesh is not the same. Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another kind, birds have another kind, and fish have still another kind. (40) There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another kind. (41) The sun has one kind of splendor, and the moon has another kind, and the stars have still another kind of splendor—even star differs from star in splendor. (42) And so it is with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is planted decays, what is raised is imperishable. (43) It is planted in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is planted in weakness, it is raised with power.

(44) What is planted is a physical body, what is raised is a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body. (45) Just as it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living being.” The last Adam is one who is a life-giving spirit. (46) However, it is not the spiritual body, but the physical, that comes first, then comes the spiritual. (47) The first man was formed out of the dust, the second man is from heaven. (48) Those who are made of dust are just like the man formed out of the dust; those who are heavenly are just like the heavenly man. (49) Just as we have borne the image of the man formed out of the dust, we will also bear the image of the heavenly man.

(50) Now I tell you this, brothers, flesh and blood are not able to inherit the kingdom of God; neither can that which decays inherit what is imperishable. (51) Listen, I will tell you a mystery. Not all of us will fall asleep in death, but all of us will be transformed—(52) in a moment of time, in the blinking of an eye, at the sounding of the last trumpet. The trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised to an imperishable existence, and we will be transformed. (53) This body that decays must clothe itself with what is imperishable; indeed, this mortal body must clothe itself with what is immortal. (54) When this which decays has clothed itself with what is imperishable and this which is mortal has clothed itself with what is immortal, then the word that has been written will be fulfilled, “Death has been devoured by victory.” (55) “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (56) The sting of death is sin; and the power of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

(58) Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord; knowing that your labor for the Lord is not in vain.

Now proceed to the next section of this study, entitled, Exploring the Passage.