1 Corinthians Chapter 15 Second Continued
1 Corinthians 15:35 “But some [man] will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?”
In the last lessons, we were going into some believing in life after death of the body, and some who do not. Now Paul is bringing up the question of how they will be raised up. It goes without saying that he is speaking to those who are proclaiming Christianity, but still do not believe in the resurrection. The Jews were taught that man is dust, and to dust he shall return. This is true of the physical body. This is the same old misunderstanding of the difference between the flesh and the spirit. Those who look with physical eyes at the literal message in the Scriptures can never understand God who is Spirit or His Word, which is understood by the spirit.
They had the truth but shamefully did not believe and follow it. Thus, these questions did not reflect a genuine interest in the resurrection but were mocking taunts, by those who denied the resurrection, perhaps under the influence of Gnostic oriented philosophy. But supposing it was true, they queried as to how it could ever happen.
There is a body that rises, but it is not flesh and blood.
1 Corinthians 15:50 “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”
We would have gotten to this Scripture in this lesson, but it explains this very well right here.
Verses 36-38: When a seed is planted in the ground it dies; decomposing, it ceases to exist in its seed form, but life comes from inside that dead seed. Just as God gives a new body to that plant that rises from the dead seed, so He can give a resurrection body to a man who dies.
1 Corinthians 15:36 “[Thou] fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:”
It is a dangerous thing to call someone a fool, so Paul is indirectly and not directly calling them a fool. He is saying, are you so foolish to believe that the same seed that you plant grows into a seed? When you put a little seed in the ground, it dies and then a new plant springs forth from the seed.
1 Corinthians 15:37 “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]:”
It is so strange for a little acorn to be planted in the ground and then a short time later in the very spot where you planted the acorn a little tree pops out of the earth. If you plant a bean, you will not get corn. The plant that comes from the seed is very like the seed and you will be able to relate it to the seed that you planted, but it will not be identical. This is the same with our body that is planted. A new body comes forth, but you would be able to relate the new body to the old, because Jesus still had the nail prints in his hands. He was, however, different enough that even His apostles, looking with physical eyes did not recognize Him. It was only when their spiritual understanding was opened, that they recognized Jesus as the risen Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:38 “But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.”
It is not in our power to say what our body will be like. Just as the Lord created us in the first place, He will give us a new body at resurrection. When we are resurrected, He will not make a new thing, but make the old new.
2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
Notice that He did not recreate man. He took the old man and changed him. You see He started with the seed and gave it a new body.
Verses 39-42a: Focusing directly on the resurrection body, Paul gives 4 sets of contrasts to show how the new body will differ from the present ones:
(1) No more sickness and death (corruption);
(2) No more shame because of sin (dishonor);
(3) No more frailty in temptation (weakness); and
(4) No more limits to the time/space sphere (natural).
1 Corinthians 15:39 “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.”
“Flesh” means the body that is opposed to the spirit. This type of flesh is different to other life, such as in vegetation. Notice that the flesh of men is mentioned first showing men are to rule over the beasts, fishes and birds.
1 Corinthians 15:40 “[There are] also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial [is] one, and the [glory] of the terrestrial [is] another.”
The word “celestial” means above the sky. “Terrestrial” means worldly, earthy, or of the earth.
Here are some of the definitions for Terrestrial: Of or relating to the earth or its inhabitants; Having a worldly, mundane character or quality; Of, relating to, or composed of land: Biology Living or growing on land; not aquatic: a terrestrial plant or animal.
This just means that God made some things for use in the heavens and other things for the earth. They are not the same and cannot be. For us to live in heaven, we would have to be changed, so that we could function in the heavenly realm. Flesh and blood do not inherit heaven. We must be changed to a spiritual being to inherit heaven.
1 Corinthians 15:41 “[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.”
We know that there is great variety in heaven, the same as there is on the earth. No two stars are the same in heaven. None of them have the same job to do as another, either. They each have their purpose. There is order in heaven.
God did not make any two people on the earth exactly the same either. We all, one at a time, have a purpose for being. God has a plan for each of us. It is not the same plan that He has for all.
One star in heaven is not greater than another, just has a different purpose for being.
1 Corinthians 15:42 “So also [is] the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:”
“Corruption” means decay, ruin, destroy, or perish. These meanings fit this Scripture. The body decays, ruins, is destroyed, and perishes. The seed, within that body, takes on new life, perfection, restoration, and life everlasting. This new body will never die.
1 Corinthians 15:43 “It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:”
The flesh of mankind is like the dust of the earth; in that it has no honor. The weakness of the flesh is what causes death to come to the body. It is not the flesh that partakes of everlasting life, but the spirit.
The flesh has caused man many problems. All temptations and downfalls were because of lust of the flesh. That flesh must die for the spirit to live. I love the Scripture about the dead bones. Can these old bones live again? Yes, if the breath of God revives them.
Ezekiel 37:5 “Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:”
The breath is the Spirit.
1 Corinthians 15:44 “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”
The body of flesh (carnal), must die and return to the dust, that the spirit may be totally born. I have spoken to many people who have had a near-death experience. They nearly all saw themselves leave that body of flesh. They had a body, very like the body of flesh, but the spiritual body rose out of that carnal body they left behind. We will someday leave this body that has caused us so much trouble here on the earth.
Even if we are caught up into heaven when the trumpet sounds without benefit of the grave, this body will be changed in the twinkling of an eye. We will lay down this earthly body and take on a heavenly body. This heavenly body will not be controlled by the gravitational pull of the earth. This heavenly body will know no pain. It will not age.
In Verses 45-49 Paul answers the question more specifically by showing that the resurrection body of Jesus Christ is the prototype. He begins with a quotation from (Genesis 2:7), with the addition of two words, “first” and “Adam”. Adam was created with a natural body, not perfect, but good in every way (Gen 1:31).
The “last Adam” is Jesus Christ (Rom. 5:19; 21). He is saying that through the first Adam we received our natural bodies, but through the last Adam we will receive our spiritual bodies in resurrection. Adam’s body was the prototype of the natural, Christ’s body of the resurrection. We will bear the image of His body fit for heaven (Acts 1:11; Phil. 3:20-21; 1 John 3:1-3), as we have borne the image of Adam’s on earth.
1 Corinthians 15:45 “And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam [was made] a quickening spirit.”
Genesis 2:7 “And the LORD God formed man [of] the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”
Notice from this Scripture, that man was nothing but a clay doll, before God breathed the breath of life into him. This breath of life that God breathed in him is what the life of man is. The fact of becoming a living soul means, that God gave him the will to choose. We are a spirit which is housed in a body. The soul of man determines whether the spirit will rule, or the flesh of man will rule. The flesh of man is earthy and carnal.
The spirit of man desires to follow God. Adam, in the garden, was a free-will agent. The entire burden of decisions to follow God or flesh, was on his own back. When Jesus quickens our spirit to everlasting life, there will be no more problems with the flesh, because we will crucify that flesh and leave that dead body of flesh behind. The spirit man will live on.
1 Corinthians 15:46 “Howbeit that [was] not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.”
Man, born of woman, is born in the flesh. This is the natural body of man which begins to die the day it is born. The flesh of man is made from the dust of the earth and that flesh will return to dust. This natural man (woman or man) is a human. He is born in the world, and he is of this world, until he has a spiritual experience and becomes a spirit man.
John 3:6 “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”
We are all flesh, until we allow the Lord Jesus Christ to quicken us to the spirit. When we make our decision to follow Christ in baptism, we are buried in a watery grave, and the new man which comes forth out of that grave is spirit. After we have buried that man of flesh and become spirit, we are no longer of the world. We are in the world, but we are not of the world. Our spirit cries out for that home where only the spirit man can go (heaven).
1 Corinthians 15:47 “The first man [is] of the earth, earthy: the second man [is] the Lord from heaven.”
“Earthy” means he was made of the dust. Jesus was not a man when he was in heaven, He was God the Word. His manhood came when the Word of God took on the form of flesh. He took on the body of man so that He could better relate to our limitations in the flesh on the earth. Jesus did not use His Godhood to make Him any less vulnerable to the earth. He tired in His flesh, as we do. He did not even use the fact that He was God to keep from suffering on the cross. He had to defeat Satan as a man, because it was a fleshly man that had succumbed to the wiles of the devil.
1 Corinthians 15:48 ” As [is] the earthy, such [are] they also that are earthy: and as [is] the heavenly, such [are] they also that are heavenly.”
Jesus took on the flesh of man to put Himself in the position of man. He had to set the pattern in the flesh for us to follow, so that we could, also, follow Him in the Spirit. His flesh was so that He could suffer completely for us on the cross. He took the full punishment that we deserved. He became earthy, to pave the way for us to become heavenly.
1 Corinthians 15:49 “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”
Jesus Christ, and His people all bore the image of the earth in that we are in the house of flesh on this earth. We shall vacate this house of flesh and we, like Jesus, shall take on the heavenly.
If we are truly Christians, we are like Christ. He owns us. We are His property. He bought us with His precious blood. To be a Christian, means to be Christ like.
1 Corinthians 15:50 “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”
This is speaking of the house we call our body on this earth. This body must return to the dust from which it came. Saying that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, is just saying that we do not carry our shortcomings and the cause of those shortcomings with us to heaven. Or put another way, people cannot live in God’s eternal heavenly glory the way they are on earth.
The inheritance we are looking for is described in the next verse.
1 Peter 1:4 “To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,”
Look with me in the next verse how this all comes about.
1 Peter 1:23 “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.”
The “Mystery” is a term referring to the truth hidden in the past and revealed in the New Testament. The rapture of the church was never revealed in the Old Testament. It was first mentioned (in John 14:1-3), when it is specifically explained and is detailed (in 1 Thess. 4:13-18).
There is a generation of people that will be alive when the Lord comes back for His own. They will not taste of death. This is commonly spoken of as the rapture of the church. It is the catching away of the believers into the heavens to be with their Savior, Jesus Christ. The silver trumpet of redemption shall blow in the sky, and we will be redeemed from this earth, ever to be with the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:52 “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.”
To understand, read all of this account. I have chosen just two verses from the account for here.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 “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:” “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.”
This will happen so quickly that you would not even have time to blink your eye.
This was Paul’s way of showing how brief the “moment” will be. The Greek word for “twinkling” refers to any rapid movement. Since the eye can move more rapidly that any other part of our visible bodies, it seems to well illustrate the sudden transformation of raptured believers.
“Trumpet will sound”: To herald the end of the church era, when all believers will be removed from the earth at the rapture.
1 Corinthians 15:53 “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.”
This body of flesh is corruptible, and also is mortal. The spirit man will come forth from within this body of corruption, and we will shed the corruptible body like a person removes an overcoat, when they no longer need it.
Praise God! We will have a new Spiritual body which will be immortal.
In (verses 54-57), Paul enhanced his joy at the reality of resurrection by quoting from (Isaiah 25:8; Hosea 13:14). The latter quote taunts death as if it were a bee whose sting was removed. That sting was the sin that was exposed by the law of God, but conquered by Christ in His death.
1 Corinthians 15:54 “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.”
Jesus defeated death when He rose from the grave. We defeated death when we accepted life in Jesus Christ. This is just the moment of the manifestation of everlasting life within us. This is the moment we receive the reward of the victory that was won for us earlier by Jesus. There is no more death. We are eternal from this moment on.
We have been eternal from the moment we received Jesus (the Life), but this is just the manifestation of that life.
1 Corinthians 15:55 “O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory?”
Only those who receive Jesus as their Savior can ask this question. There is no sting to death of the body, when everlasting life of the spirit man within that body is being born. Jesus won the victory for us. It is our victory through Him.
1 Corinthians 15:56 “The sting of death [is] sin; and the strength of sin [is] the law.”
James 1:15 “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.”
The penalty for sin is death. If you are a Christian, the penalty was paid for you by Jesus Christ when He shed His blood on the cross to free you from sin. Without a law, you would not be able to break the law. The law was given us to show our need for a Savior.
1 Corinthians 15:57 “But thanks [be] to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
The gift of the righteousness was given to us, because we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. We did nothing to earn it. We just received salvation through the grace of God. Grace means unmerited favor. The only way to heaven is through the Lord Jesus Christ.
1 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 labor is not in vain in the Lord.”
This simply said is once you receive the salvation the Lord Jesus Christ provided for you, walk in that salvation. Stay with your salvation. Do not turn back into sin. Stand in Him. Do not be moved by wind of false doctrine. Then determine to work for the Lord every moment, until He comes.
1 Corinthians Chapter 15 Second Continued Questions
1. Who is Paul speaking to in verse 35?
2. What were most of the Jews taught about life?
3. Those who look with __________ eyes, can never understand the things of God, because God is __________.
4. What does Paul call these unbelievers in verse 36?
5. What is Paul really saying to them?
6. Does the same thing you plant come forth, explain?
7. What does the author believe to be strange about the little acorn you plant in the ground?
8. The plant that comes up is very __________ to the seed planted.
9. A new body comes forth, but it relates to what?
10. What made the body of Jesus that rose undeniably Jesus?
11. Who decides what our new body is like?
12. God does not recreate the man, He took the old man and ____________ him.
13. Name some of the different kinds of flesh.
14. What does flesh in verse 39 mean?
15. Why is the flesh of men mentioned first in the list?
16. What does “Celestial” mean?
17. What does “Terrestrial” mean?
18. ________ and _______ do not inherit heaven.
19. We must be changed into what, to inherit heaven?
20. What are some of the things in heaven that are specifically mentioned that are different?
21. Why are each of the stars different?
22. What does “corruption” in verse 42 mean?
23. The _______, within that body, takes on new life.
24. The flesh is like the dust of the earth; in that it has no ______.
25. The flesh must die, for the _________ to live.
26. How can these dead bones live again?
27. What two kinds of body do we possess?
28. What has the author been told by people who have had the near death experience?
29. Name a few wonderful things about this new spiritual body we Christians get.
30. The first Adam was made a ________ _____.
31. The last Adam (Jesus) was made a _______________ _________.
32. Describe what the author believes mankind is.
33. Howbeit that was not first which is ___________, but that which is _________.
34. Man, born of a woman, is born in the _________.
35. We are all _______, until we allow the Lord to _________ ____.
36. Tell what happens at Baptism.
37. The first man is earthy, the second man is the _____ _____ ______.
38. What does “earthy” mean?
39. Jesus defeated Satan as a ___.
40. Why was this important?
41. Jesus took on the flesh of man to put Himself in the __________ ___ _____
42. As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the ________.
43. What must we vacate to take on the heavenly?
44. To be a Christian means what?
45. What are we born by in 1 Peter chapter 1 verse 23?
46. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be ________.
47. What is verse 51 commonly spoken of?
48. The trumpet of redemption is made of what metal?
49. Verse 52 says the change is so sudden, it could be measured as how short a time?
50. Where, in Thessalonians, do we read of this?
51. This corruptible must put on ______________.
52. This mortal shall put on _______________.
53. We will shed this body like someone removes an __________.
54. Death is swallowed up in __________.
55. When did Jesus defeat death?
56. When does it become real to us?
57. Who are the only ones who can ask the questions in verse 55?
58. The sting of death is ___.
59. The strength of sin is the ____.
60. How do we receive victory?
61. What are the Christians to be in verse 58?