Paul Explains the Good News
1Brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the good news I preached to you. You received it and have put your faith in it. 2Because you believed the good news, you are saved. But you must hold firmly to the message I preached to you. If you don't, you have believed it for nothing.
3What I received I passed on to you. And it is the most important of all. Here is what it is. Christ died for our sins, just as Scripture said he would. 4He was buried. He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as Scripture said he would be. 5He appeared to Peter.
Then he appeared to the Twelve. 6After that, he appeared to more than 500 believers at the same time. Most of them are still living. But some have died. 7He appeared to James. Then he appeared to all the apostles. 8Last of all, he also appeared to me. I was like someone who wasn't born at the right time or in a normal way.
9I am the least important of the apostles. I'm not even fit to be called an apostle. I tried to destroy God's church. 10But because of God's grace I am what I am. And his grace was not wasted on me. No, I have worked harder than all the other apostles. But I didn't do the work. God's grace was with me.
11So whether it was I or the other apostles who preached to you, that is what we preach. And that is what you believed.
Believers Will Rise From the Dead
12We have preached that Christ has been raised from the dead. So how can some of you say that no one rises from the dead? 13If no one rises from the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14And if Christ has not been raised, what we preach doesn't mean anything. Your faith doesn't mean anything either. 15More than that, we would be lying about God. We have given witness that God raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if the dead are not raised.
16If the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17And if Christ has not been raised, your faith doesn't mean anything. Your sins have not been forgiven. 18Those who have died believing in Christ are also lost.
19Do we have hope in Christ only for this life? Then people should pity us more than anyone else.
20But Christ really has been raised from the dead. He is the first of all those who will rise.
21Death came because of what a man did. Rising from the dead also comes because of what a man did. 22Because of Adam, all people die. So because of Christ, all will be made alive.
23But here is the order of events. Christ is the first of those who rise from the dead. When he comes back, those who belong to him will be raised. 24Then the end will come. Christ will destroy all rule, authority and power. He will hand over the kingdom to God the Father.
25Christ must rule until he has put all his enemies under his control. 26The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. 27Scripture says that God "has put everything under his control." (Psalm 8:6) It says that "everything" has been put under him. But it is clear that this does not include God himself, who puts everything under Christ. 28When he has done that, the Son also will be under God's rule. God puts everything under the Son. In that way, God will be all in all.
29Suppose no one rises from the dead. Then what will people do who are baptized for the dead? Suppose the dead are not raised at all. Then why are people baptized for them? 30And why would we put ourselves in danger every hour?
31I die every day. I really mean that, brothers and sisters. Here is something you can be sure of. I take pride in what Christ Jesus our Lord has done for you through my work. 32Did I fight wild animals in Ephesus for only human reasons? Then what have I gotten for it? If the dead are not raised, "Let us eat and drink,
because tomorrow we will die." (Isaiah 22:13)
33Don't let anyone fool you. "Bad companions make a good person bad." 34You should come back to your senses and stop sinning. Some of you don't know anything about God. I say this to make you ashamed.
The Body That Rises From the Dead
35But someone might ask, "How are the dead raised? What kind of body will they have?" 36How foolish! What you plant doesn't come to life unless it dies. 37When you plant something, it isn't a completely grown plant that you put in the ground. You only plant a seed. Maybe it's wheat or something else. 38But God gives the seed a body just as he has planned. And to each kind of seed he gives its own body.
39All earthly creatures are not the same. People have one kind of body. Animals have another. Birds have another kind. Fish have still another.
40There are also heavenly bodies as well as earthly bodies. Heavenly bodies have one kind of glory. Earthly bodies have another. 41The sun has one kind of glory. The moon has another kind. The stars have still another. And one star's glory is different from that of another star.
42It will be like that with bodies that are raised from the dead. The body that is planted does not last forever. The body that is raised from the dead lasts forever. 43It is planted without honor. But it is raised in glory. It is planted in weakness. But it is raised in power. 44It is planted as an earthly body. But it is raised as a spiritual body.
Just as there is an earthly body, there is also a spiritual body. 45It is written, "The first man Adam became a living person." (Genesis 2:7) The last Adam became a spirit that gives life. 46What is spiritual did not come first. What is earthly came first. What is spiritual came after that. 47The first man came from the dust of the earth. The second man came from heaven.
48Those who belong to the earth are like the one who came from the earth. And those who are spiritual are like the one who came from heaven. 49We are like the earthly man. And we will be like the man from heaven.
50Brothers and sisters, here is what I'm telling you. Bodies made of flesh and blood can't share in the kingdom of God. And what dies can't share in what never dies.
51Listen! I am telling you a mystery. We will not all die. But we will all be changed. 52That will happen in a flash, as quickly as you can wink an eye. It will happen when the last trumpet sounds. The trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised to live forever. And we will be changed.
53Our natural bodies don't last forever. They must be dressed with what does last forever. What dies must be dressed with what does not die. 54In fact, that is going to happen. What does not last will be dressed with what lasts forever. What dies will be dressed with what does not die. Then what is written will come true. It says, "Death has been swallowed up. It has lost the battle." (Isaiah 25:8)
55"Death, where is the battle you thought you were winning?
Death, where is your sting?" (Hosea 13:14) 56The sting of death is sin. And the power of sin is the law. 57But let us give thanks to God! He wins the battle for us because of what our Lord Jesus Christ has done.
58My dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Don't let anything move you. Always give yourselves completely to the work of the Lord. Because you belong to the Lord, you know that your work is not worthless.