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“The Promise of the Resurrection” – 1 Corinthians 15:35-58

Jul 19, 2020

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In this third part of Paul's dissertation on the resurrection, we have the best part - the promise.

Previously, we've looked into the proof of the resurrection and the priority of the resurrection.

Now the Apostle will answer every believers question:

 "How are the dead raised up?  And, with what body do they come?

(1 Cor. 15:35)

His answer gives us our "blessed hope," reunion with the Lord in heaven and an eternal, perfect body.


The Promise of the Resurrection

 Verses 35-36

Vs. 35

          "But someone will say, "How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?"

                 * Skeptics often ask how can a body cremated or lost at sea be resurrected? Paul speaks to much more.

Vs. 36

          "...unless it dies."

               * Jesus spoke this same truth of Himself, His death and resurrection, leading to many followers.

John 12:24-25

 Verses 37-38

                   "And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain—perhaps wheat or some other                            grain. But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed  its own body."

                          *  Is an apple seed the same thing as an apple tree? The seed must first be planted ("sown"), or                                          buried (dies), then it can grow into the tree it was designed by God to be.

Verse 39-41

Vs. 39

           "All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and                another of birds."

                * Simply stated, all animal life is not made up the same genetically.

Vs. 40

            "...celestial bodies...terrestrial bodies..."

                 * "Celestial" - Heavenly - Stars

                 * "Terrestrial" - Earthly - Planets

Vs. 41

           "...one star differs from another star in glory."

                 * If you look closely, you will see the stars are different colors ("glory") depending on the amount of heat                        they radiate.

In this section (Vs. 39-41), the Apostle Paul is using examples from creation as the foundation for resurrection.

The raised body will remain a body, but of a different make up than the present body.

Verses 42-44

Vs. 42

           "...the resurrection of the dead..."

                   * There will be two resurrections:

                      1. The first on the last day of this age, at "the last trumpet" (Vs. 52) when Christ returns for His Church                               (1 Thess. 4:16).

                      2. The second, after the millennium at the "Great White Throne" judgment (Rev. 20:1-5, 11-15).

And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, Some to everlasting life, Some to shame and everlasting contempt.

(Dan. 12:2)

 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth--those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.

(Jn. 5:28-29)

             "...the body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption."

                  * "Corruption" - Sin, transgression, inequity, destruction.

                  * "Incorruption" - Sinless, righteous, indestructible.

Vs. 43

            "It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power."

                  * Just as Christ was:

                                     He was buried in dishonor; He was raised in glory.

                                     He was buried in weakness; He was raised in power.

          As believers, we will be also!

Philippians 3:20-21

Vs. 44

           "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body..."

               * "Spiritual body" - Not an ethereal spirit, but a supernatural body, as Christ's was (Lk. 24:31, 36, Jn. 20:19),                       and still able to enjoy food! (Lk. 24:41)

              *  Same for us! (Matt. 26:29, Rev. 19:6-9)

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

(Rms. 8:11)

Paul is contrasting bodies designed for the present life with future bodies transformed by the Spirit, made for eternal life.

Verses 45-46

                  "...the first man Adam became a living being..."

                        * Created in God's image, but made from the "dust of the earth" (Gen. 1:26, 2:7).

          Adam was in the past, but resurrection and spirit were promised for the future.

                  "...the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit."

                        * "The last Adam" - The Lord Jesus.

                        * "Life-giving Spirit" - The Lord Jesus

 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.

(Jn. 5:21)

 "Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."

(Jn. 6:27)

Christ is our "eternal life" giving Spirit. 

John 3:16-17

Vs. 46

            "However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual."

                    * We are first born in a physical body that must die ("be sown"), then we receive the spiritual body                                    ("supernatural") at the resurrection of life.

Verses 47-50

Vs. 47

           "The first man was of the earth, made of dust..."

                  * As are we (Gen. 2:7):

"Ashes to ashes, dust to dust."

          "The second man is the Lord from heaven." 

He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. (Jn. 3:31)

Vs. 48

             "As the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust;..."

                   * Paul is saying we are all of the same type, "according to its kind" (Gen. 1:11), living things can only                                  reproduce their kind.

                   * "Dust" – Earthly


"For the life of this world men are made like the material man ("earthly"); but for the life that is to come, they are made like the one from heaven (Christ)." (1 Cor. 15:48)

J. B. Phillips           N.T.M.E.

 For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself.

(Phil. 3:20-21)

Vs. 49

            "And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man." 

                     * Even though we have been made like Adam, the first man, we will be remade at the resurrection to                              be like Christ after His resurrection (supernatural). 

Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

(1 Jn. 3:2)

Vs. 50

            "...flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God..."

                  * We must be born again of the Spirit (Jn. 3:3, 5) to live in the kingdom.

            "...nor does corruption inherit incorruption..."

                  * The temporary can never possess the permanent.

Verses 51-52

Vs. 51

           "Behold, I tell you a mystery..."

                  * "Mystery" - A hidden truth.

            "We shall not all sleep..."

                  * Die: For a Christian, death is temporary like "sleep."

             "...but we shall be changed..."

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Vs. 52

           "...in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be                      raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."

                 * Last is last.  The last trumpet is at "the end of the age" and the return of Christ.

                  * There are seven trumpets during the tribulation period described in Revelation 8-11.

             "For the trumpet will sound..."

                   * Matthew 24:29-31

             "...then the dead will be raised to life incorruptible..."

                    * Unto everlasting life.

              "...we shall be changed..."

                     * Given that "new" resurrection body, our "blessed hope" fulfilled.

 Vs. 53

            "For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."

"For this perishable nature of ours must be wrapped in imperishability, these bodies that are mortal must be wrapped in immortality."

N.T.M.E.         J.B. Phillips

               "...must put on..."

                    * Because we will see Christ, and no one can see God in our sinful state and live (1 Jn. 3:2, Ex. 33:18-20).

                    * And He will remake us to live forever as He lives!

Vs. 54

           "...death is swallowed up in victory."

                * Christ's victory paid for on the cross. Guaranteed by His resurrection.

                *"The last enemy that will be destroyed is death." (1 Cor. 15:26)

Isaiah 25:8

Vs. 55

            "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?"

                   * Hosea 13:14

Revelation 21:1-5

Verses 56-57

Vs. 56

            "The sting of death is sin..."

                    * "The wages of sin is death..." (Rms. 6:23a)

              "...the strength of sin is the law."

                    * Without the law, we wouldn't know that sin is sin, and that as sinners we must have a Savior (Rms.                               3:20, 4:15, 7:8).

Vs. 57

          "But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."

I thank God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

(Rms. 7:25) 

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

(Rms. 8:29)

 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.

(1 Jn. 5:4)


 "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."

(1 Cor. 15:58)

"Therefore”: The Apostle Paul has written the conclusion and application of the resurrection for us in this verse.

"Your labor is not in vain": The Lord Jesus told us to build our treasure in heaven, where it cannot be destroyed, for where our treasure is our hearts will be also (Matt. 6:19-21).

And Paul told us:

 "...each one will receive his own reward according to his own labor."

(1 Cor. 3:8)

So, in light of the resurrection, where is your heart and treasure?


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