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15
The Fact of Christ’s Resurrection
1 Now brothers and sisters, let me remind you [once again] of the good news [of salvation] which I preached to you, which you welcomed and accepted and on which you stand [by faith].2 By this faith you are saved [reborn from above--spiritually transformed, renewed, and set apart for His purpose], if you hold firmly to the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain [just superficially and without complete commitment].
3 For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to [that which] the Scriptures [foretold], 4 and that He was buried, and that He was [bodily] raised on the third day according to [that which] the Scriptures [foretold], 5 and that He appeared to Cephas (Peter), then to the #A title referring to the original disciples chosen by Jesus (including Judas). A few hours after betraying Jesus, Judas committed suicide (Matt 27:5) leaving only the eleven (Matt 28:16; Mark 16:14; Luke 24:9, 33).Twelve.6 After that He appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, the majority of whom are still alive, but some have fallen asleep [in death].7 Then He was seen by James, then by all the apostles,8 and last of all, as to one #Paul’s life-changing encounter with the resurrected Christ occurred on the road to Damascus (Acts 9).untimely (prematurely, traumatically) born, He appeared to me also. 9 For I am the least [worthy] of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I [at one time] fiercely oppressed and violently persecuted the church of God.10 But by the [remarkable] grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not without effect. In fact, I worked harder than all of the apostles, though it was not I, but the grace of God [His unmerited favor and blessing which was] with me.11 So whether it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed and trusted in and relied on with confidence.
12 Now if Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how is it that #Perhaps these were converted Sadducees, who as a sect denied the possibility of a resurrection (Acts 23:8).some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised;14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain [useless, amounting to nothing], and your faith is also vain [imaginary, unfounded, devoid of value and benefit--not based on truth].15 We are even discovered to be false witnesses [misrepresenting] God, because we testified concerning Him that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised.16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised, either;17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless and powerless [mere delusion]; you are still in your sins [and under the control and penalty of sin].18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.19 If we who are [abiding] in Christ have hoped only in this life [and this is all there is], then we are of all people most miserable and to be pitied.
The Order of Resurrection
20 But now [as things really are] Christ has in fact been raised from the dead, [and He became] the first fruits [that is, the first to be resurrected with an incorruptible, immortal body, foreshadowing the resurrection] of those who have fallen asleep [in death]. 21 For since [it was] by a man that death came [into the world], it is also by a Man that the resurrection of the dead has come.22 For just as #Because of our physical nature as descendants of Adam.in Adam all die, so also #Because of our physical nature as descendants of Adam.in Christ all will be made alive.23 But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then those who are Christ’s [own will be resurrected with incorruptible, immortal bodies] at His coming.24 After that comes the end (completion), when He hands over the kingdom to God the Father, after He has made inoperative and abolished every ruler and every authority and power.25 For Christ must reign [as King] until He has put all His enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy to be abolished and put to an end is death.27 For He (the Father) has put all things in subjection under His (Christ’s) feet. But when He says, “All things have been put in subjection [under Christ],” it is clear that He (the Father) who put all things in subjection to Him (Christ) is excepted [since the Father is not in subjection to His own Son]. 28 However, when all things are subjected to Him (Christ), then the Son Himself will also be subjected to the One (the Father) who put all things under Him, so that God may be all in all [manifesting His glory without any opposition, the supreme indwelling and controlling factor of life].
29 Otherwise, what will those do who are being #This has nothing to do with Christian baptism or salvation. Paul may be referring to the practices of a pagan religion that required a ritual washing to enter an afterlife.baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people even baptized for them?30 [For that matter] why are we [running such risks and putting ourselves] #Paul’s life was continuously threatened because of his public commitment to Christ.in danger [nearly] every hour [if there is no resurrection]?31 I assure you, believers, by the pride which I have in you in [your union with] Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily [I face death and die to self].32 What good has it done me if, [merely] from a human point of view, I #This may refer figuratively to the furious crowd that rose up against Paul in Ephesus, rather than to literal animals (Acts 19:23-41).fought with wild animals at Ephesus? If the dead are not raised [at all], let us eat and drink [enjoying ourselves now], for tomorrow we die. 33 Do not be deceived: #Paul quotes this one verse maxim from the writings of the Greek dramatist Menander (342-291 b.c.). “Bad company” in this case undoubtedly refers to the teachers who were denying the truth of the resurrection.“Bad company corrupts good morals.”34 Be sober-minded [be sensible, wake up from your spiritual stupor] as you ought, and stop sinning; for some [of you] have no knowledge of God [you are disgracefully ignorant of Him, and ignore His truths]. 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 You fool! Every time you plant seed you sow something that does not come to life [germinating, springing up and growing] unless it first dies.37 The seed you sow is not the body (the plant) which it is going to become, but it is a bare seed, perhaps of wheat or some other grain.38 But God gives it a body just as He planned, and to each kind of seed a body of its own [is given]. 39 All flesh is not the same. There is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.40 There are also heavenly bodies [sun, moon and stars] and earthly bodies [humans, animals, and plants], but the glory and beauty of the heavenly is one kind, and the glory of the earthly is another.41 There is a glory and beauty of the sun, another glory of the moon, and yet another [distinctive] glory of the stars; and one star differs from another in glory and brilliance.
42 So it is with the resurrection of the dead. The [human] body that is sown is perishable and mortal, it is raised imperishable and immortal. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in strength;44 it is sown a natural body [mortal, suited to earth], it is raised a spiritual body [immortal, suited to heaven]. As surely as there is a physical body, there is also a spiritual body.45 So it is written [in Scripture], “The first man, Adam, became a living soul (an individual);” the last Adam (Christ) became a life-giving spirit [restoring the dead to life]. 46 However, the spiritual [the immortal life] is not first, but the physical [the mortal life]; then the spiritual.47 The first man [Adam] is from the earth, earthy [made of dust]; the second Man [Christ, the Lord] is from heaven. 48 As is the earthly man [the man of dust], so are those who are of earth; and as is the heavenly [Man], so are those who are of heaven.49 Just as we have borne the image of the earthly [the man of dust], #Two early mss read “let us also.”we will also bear the image of the heavenly [the Man of heaven].
The Mystery of Resurrection
50 Now I say this, believers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit nor be part of the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable (mortal) inherit the imperishable (immortal).51 Listen very carefully, I tell you a mystery [a secret truth decreed by God and previously hidden, but now revealed]; we will not all sleep [in death], but we will all be [completely] changed [wondrously transformed],52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at [the sound of] the last trumpet call. For a trumpet will sound, and the dead [who believed in Christ] will be raised imperishable, and we will be [completely] changed [wondrously transformed].53 For this perishable [part of us] must put on the imperishable [nature], and this mortal [part of us that is capable of dying] must put on immortality [which is freedom from death].54 And when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then the Scripture will be fulfilled that says, “Death is swallowed up in victory (vanquished forever). 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin [by which it brings death] is the law;57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory [as conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord [always doing your best and doing more than is needed], being continually aware that your labor [even to the point of exhaustion] in the Lord is not futile nor wasted [it is never without purpose].
15
The resurrection of Christ
1Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance#15:3 Or you at the first: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas,#15:5 That is, Peter and then to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
9For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me. 11Whether, then, it is I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.
The resurrection of the dead
12But 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? 13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 15More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. 16For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27For he ‘has put everything under his feet’.#15:27 Psalm 8:6 Now when it says that ‘everything’ has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
29Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptised for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptised for them? 30And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour? 31I face death every day – yes, just as surely as I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus with no more than human hopes, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised,
‘Let us eat and drink,
for tomorrow we die.’#15:32 Isaiah 22:13
33Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’#15:33 From the Greek poet Menander 34Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God – I say this to your shame.
The resurrection body
35But someone will ask, ‘How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?’ 36How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else. 38But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body. 39Not all flesh is the same: people have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another. 40There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendour of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendour of the earthly bodies is another. 41The sun has one kind of splendour, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendour.
42So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45So it is written: ‘The first man Adam became a living being’#15:45 Gen. 2:7; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we#15:49 Some early manuscripts so let us bear the image of the heavenly man.
50I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51Listen, I tell you a mystery: we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed – 52in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. 53For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. 54When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’#15:54 Isaiah 25:8
55‘Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?’#15:55 Hosea 13:14
56The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.