I Corinthians 15:35-58

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

Text: I Corinthians 15:35-58

THE RESURRECTION

INTRODUCTION:

In Corinth the local church had all kinds of problems. There were contentions in the church. There was immorality in the church. There were abuses of the Lord's Supper. There were abuses of the gift of tongues. There were even questions regarding the resurrection.

We have seen the Proof of Christ's Resurrection

l. He was seen of Cephas

2. He was seen of the Twelve

3. He was seen of above 500 brethren at once

4. He was seen of James

5. He was seen of all the apostles

6. He was seen of Paul

We have also seen the Importance of Christ's Resurrection

l. Without it there is no resurrection at all

2. Without it our preaching is vain, i.e, empty of content

3. Without it your faith is vain, i.e, empty of content

4. Without it we are false witnesses, i.e. liars

5. Without it you are yet in your sins

6. Without it we are of all men most miserable

In our last message we saw the Universality of Resurrection

We also saw the Order of Resurrection

Christ

The Church Age Saints at the Rapture

The Tribulation Martyrs and Old Testament Saints at the Second Coming

The Unsaved Dead

In I Corinthians 15:35-58 some questions concerning the resurrection are raised and answered by Paul.

The first question is -

I. HOW ARE THE DEAD RAISED UP? - 15:35A, 36

In what way are the dead being raised up?

I Corinthians 15:35 a, 36 - 35a . . . But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? . . . 36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:

Thou fool is how Paul addresses the imaginary questioner. It means foolish one or ignorant one, as if this person should know better.

They must die before they can be resurrected.

Paul is about to give an analogy of planting dead seed which later comes to life. In the same manner, a dead body will be raised or resurrected to a new body.

The first question is, How are the dead raised up? - 15:35a, 36

The second question is -

II. WHAT IS THE NATURE OF THE RESURRECTION BODY? - 15:35B, 37-49

I Corinthians 15:35 b - But some man will say, . . . and with what body do they come?

I Corinthians 15:37-49 - 37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. 40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

I Corinthians 15:37 37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:

The seed looks nothing like the fully grown body will look, and it implies that the new resurrection body will look nothing like the physical body which died.

I Corinthians 15:38 38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

God determines what kind of body the seed will produce, and each kind of seed produces a unique body of God's choosing.

It implies that God will give resurrection bodies of His design to believers when He raises them from the dead just as He gives a body of His design to each kind of seed.

I Corinthians 15:39 39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another (another of the same kind) flesh of beasts, another (another of the same kind) of fishes, and another (another of the same kind) of birds.

The flesh differs from one thing to another. It is not identical. The flesh of human beings is not the same kind of flesh as the flesh of animals, or of fish, or of birds.

I Corinthians 15:40 40 There are also celestial (i.e. heavenly) bodies, and bodies terrestrial (i.e. earthly bodies): but the glory (i.e. the brightness, the splendor, or the radiance) of the celestial (i.e. heavenly) is one, and the glory of the terrestrial (i.e. earthly) is another (i.e. another of a different kind).

I Corinthians 15:41 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another (i.e. another of the same kind) glory of the moon, and another (i.e. another of the same kind) glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.

I Corinthians 15:42 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:

It is sown = suggests that the human body is planted or buried in the ground when physical death occurs.

In corruption indicates a breakdown of the organic matter comprising the physical body in the sense of in dissolution or in deterioration. It is sown in a state of being perishable. As everyone knows, the dead physical body decays over time.

Incorruption is the opposite of corruption. It speaks of incorruptibility or immortality, which means that it then (i.e. when raised from the dead) is no longer subject to death, dissolution, deterioration, corruption, or decay.

I Corinthians 15:43 43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:

In dishonour is understood in the sense of in disgrace or in shame.

In glory is in brightness, in splendor, or in radiance.

In weakness suggests that it has no strength or ability to do anything. It is a dead body.

In power is in might, in strength, or in force.

I Corinthians 15:44 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

A natural body is an unspiritual body or a physical body. A physical body is a body that is fitted for life on earth.

It is raised a spiritual body, where it refers to the dead physical body of the saved person. Is raised is is being raised.

A spiritual body suggests that it is not limited to the physical. It is a resurrection body, a body that is fitted for life in heaven.

I Corinthians 15:45 45 And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

The first man Adam refers to Adam whom God created

After God made Eve, Adam, as a living soul, was able to beget children through Eve. These children would also be living souls.

What Adam became is a living soul. He was physically alive. Previously, he was nothing but dust; but God formed him out of the dust of the ground; and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and he became a living soul.

The last Adam refers to Christ.

Was made is became

A quickening spirit is a life-giving spirit. He gives spiritual life to all who believe the gospel. He is the source of the spiritual life which will result in a glorified, resurrection body.

I Corinthians 15:46 46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

That . . . which is spiritual is the spiritual and suggests the spiritual body, by which Paul means the resurrection body.

Was not first suggests was not (the) first (body).

But introduces a strong contrast with not first the spiritual. The physical suggests the physical body. Physical is the same term used twice in verse 44 to modify body, where both times it was translated natural.

And afterward is then or thereupon and indicates a sequence.

That which is spiritual is simply the spiritual. The spiritual body always comes after the physical body.

I Corinthians 15:47 47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.

The first man (i.e. human being) refers to Adam.

Of the earth is out of ground, which means that he was created out of the ground. As a result, Adam was earthy, which means made of earth (or made of dust).

The second man (i.e. human being) is Christ.

He is the Lord from heaven is He is the Lord out of heaven. He is God Himself, and He was in heaven before He became a human being.

I Corinthians 15:48 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.

Those physically descended from Adam are earthy, just like Adam; and those who are spiritually descended from Christ will be heavenly just like He is.

The earthy is the same word used in verse 47 and means made of earth (or made of dust). Its reference is to Adam.

They . . . that are earthy is the earthy (ones) and pertains to all humanity. It is the ones who are made of earth (or made of dust).

The heavenly is the Lord Who came from heaven

They . . . that are heavenly are those who have placed their trust in Christ as their Lord and Savior. Just as He rose from the dead never to die again, so they will likewise be raised from the dead and never die again. Just as He has a resurrection body, so believers will likewise be given resurrection bodies.

I Corinthians 15:49 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

Believers were made in the likeness of Adam and will also be in the likeness of Christ.

We have borne is we bore. It means we bore for a considerable time and is understood in the sense of we wore or we have worn.

The image of the earthy is the likeness of the one made of earth (or the likeness of the one made of dirt). It suggests that believers are human beings just as Adam was and are subject to death and decay. Their physical bodies will one day return to dust.

We shall . . . bear means that we will wear, and what believers will wear is the image (or likeness) of the heavenly, i.e. of Christ.

The first question is, How are the dead raised up? - 15:35a, 36

The second question is - What is the nature of the resurrection body? - 15:35b, 37-49

The third question is -

III. WHAT PART DO THOSE WHO DO NOT DIE HAVE IN THE RESURRECTION? - 15:50-57

In verses 50-57 Paul discusses the changes which believers' bodies will experience when Christ returns for them at the rapture. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. There has to be a change. Corruption also cannot inherit incorruption.

I Corinthians 15:50-57 - 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. 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? 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.

I Corinthians 15:50 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

Flesh and blood refers to physical humanity which is made of flesh and of blood.

Corruption was previously used in verse 42 and speaks of a breakdown of organic matter in the sense of dissolution, deterioration, or decay. A human being is mortal; and when his body dies, it deteriorates or decays.

Incorruption is the opposite of corruption. It speaks of a state which is not subject to decay or dissolution and means incorruptibility or immortality.

A body which is subject to death and decay (i.e. which is mortal) cannot become immortal without a change taking place. Therefore, a change must take place.

I Corinthians 15:51 51 Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

We shall not all sleep (or we will not all fall asleep) is used euphemistically and suggests we will not all die or we will not all pass away. Some believers will still be alive when the Lord returns at the rapture. They are the ones who will not die.

We shall all be changed means that we will all be altered.

Believers' old sin natures will be forever removed. Those who died before Christ's return will have had their old sin natures removed at the time of their deaths. Believers will also receive resurrection bodies which will no longer be subject to death, decay, or disease. They will be perfect in every way. The mystery is that all believers will not die, but all believers will be changed.

This change is further described in verses 52-54. It is also described in I Thessalonians 4:13-17,

I Thessalonians 4:13-17 - (13) But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

(14) For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

(15) For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

(16) For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

(17) Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

I Corinthians 15:52 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.

The change will take place instantly at the rapture. The dead in Christ will be raised, no longer subject to death and decay. Those who are in Christ who are still physically alive at the rapture will be changed.

Incorruptible indicates the change which is going to take place. It means that these dead bodies which are being raised shall go in an instant from being dead, decaying, and deteriorating to being imperishable, incorruptible, and immortal.

As in the previous verse, we shall . . . be changed means that we will be altered. Believers' old sin natures will be forever removed. Those who died before Christ's return will have had their sin natures removed at the time of their deaths. Believers will also receive resurrection bodies which will never be subject to death, decay, or disease. They will be perfect in every way.

I Corinthians 15:53 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

This corruptible means this perishable, this subject to decay, or this subject to destruction.

Corruptible is neuter; so, it cannot be this corruptible (man) or this corruptible (person). It means this corruptible (body).

Must put on is must clothe itself in (or must wear).

Incorruption has been used in verse 50. It means incorruptibility or immortality. This body is no longer going to be subject to corruption, decay, deterioration, or decomposition.

This mortal is likewise neuter gender and means this mortal (body) and indicates that it is subject to death, decay, deterioration, or decomposition.

Must put on means (must) clothe itself in or (must) wear.

Immortality means that believers' bodies will no longer be subject to physical death and all that follows.

I Corinthians 15:54 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.

Then is at that time.

Shall be brought to pass is will happen or will take place, and what will take place is the saying that is written. i.e. the word (or the message), the one which has been written.

The saying that is written is, Death is swallowed up in victory. The words are taken from Hosea 13:14 ,

Hosea 13:14 - (14) I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes.

Death refers to physical death.

Is swallowed up is is swallowed and is understood in the sense that death has been brought to an end.

In victory means that Christ has given believers victory over death.

I Corinthians 15:55 55 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

Death is asked, Where is thy sting? Where? suggests in what place?

Sting suggests the sting of an animal. In this context, death is pictured as stinging people with deadly wounds. The implication of where is thy sting? is that death no longer exists for the believer when the rapture occurs.

The grave is addressed by O grave. The term for grave is Hades; and it is used here of the nether world, the place of the departed dead.

It is not speaking here of the place of punishment where the unsaved dead are tormented day and night while they await their resurrection at the great white throne judgment after which they will be cast into the lake of fire. It is speaking here of the grave.

The implication is that the grave has lost and has no victory over the bodies of believers. The grave is not able to hold or keep them once the rapture occurs.

I Corinthians 15:56 56 The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

Sin produces death, and the law incites the old sin nature to commit sin. The problem, however, is not with the law; it is with the old sin nature.

The sting is that with which an animal kills someone.

Of death indicates that the sting which belongs to death is sin.

Sin - Death would have no power to injure us if it were not for sin.

The strength is the power, the might, or the force.

Of sin suggests that it means sin's strength, sin's power, sin's might, or sin's force.

The law refers to the Mosaic law, which really does not produce sin but incites the old sin nature to strive to commit sin. The law said not to do certain things. All of a sudden, the old sin nature said to go ahead and do them. The law said that certain other things had to be done, but the old sin nature refused to do them.

It is illustrated by drawing a line and telling people, Don't you dare to cross this line. As soon as I would say something like this, what do you immediately want to do? Yes, cross that line! This is the effect the law has on the old sin nature.

I Corinthians 15:57 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Thanks is an appropriate response to what someone else has done for believers and is understood in the sense of gratitude.

God is God the Father.

Which giveth us the victory is the One Who gives us the victory.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ indicates the means by which God the Father gives believers the victory. Christ died on the cross to pay for the sins of all humanity. He then was raised again from the dead in order to demonstrate God's approval of His sacrifice. It is through His person and His work on the cross that victory over sin and death has been given to believers.

The first question is, How are the dead raised up? - 15:35a, 36

The second question is, What is the nature of the resurrection body? - 15:35b, 37-49

The third question is, What part do those who do not die have in the resurrection? - 15:50-57

The fourth question is,

IV. WHAT EFFECT SHOULD THE RESURRECTION HAVE ON THE WAY WE LIVE OUR LIVES? - 15:58

I Corinthians 15:58 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.

As a result of their belief in the resurrection, believers should remain steadfast and be unmoveable while they abound in the work of the Lord. They know that their labor will never be without result in the Lord.

In view of the certainty of the resurrection and the eternal changes it will bring for believers, Paul challenges the believers to live completely for the Lord, serving Him with all their hearts. They realize that their service will not prove to be worthless.

Whatever they would undertake to do for the Lord, i.e. for the Lord Jesus Christ, was to be done in an outstanding manner. They were to do it to the best of their ability.

In vain is without result, without purpose, without effect, or without reaching its goal. When negated, it means that their labor has results, profit, effect, and reaches its goal.

CONCLUSION:

Resurrection is a fact of life.

We should, therefore, be living our lives with eternity and its values in view.

Life does not end with the grave.