So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
(1 Corinthians 15:42-44) Comparison of the two kinds of bodies.
So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
a. So also is the resurrection of the dead: It’s hard to understand what our resurrection bodies will be like, so Paul will use contrast to help us, giving four contrasts between our present body and our future resurrection body. On all counts, the resurrection body wins!
Incorruption triumphs over corruption.
Glory triumphs over dishonor.
Power triumphs over weakness.
Spiritual triumphs over natural.
b. Raised in incorruption… raised in glory… raised in power: Our resurrection body will be glorious!
1 Corinthians 15:45
So also it is written, “The first MAN, Adam, BECAME A LIVING SOUL.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
God took man from the dust and breathed life into Him making him a living soul. Gen 2:7 חַי נֶפֶשׁ Chai Nephesh
(a) The first man. Adam gave birth to a race of enslaved people, captive to sin and death.
(b) The last Adam. Jesus is contrasted with the first man, Adam. Adam was “a type of him who was to come” (Rom. 5:14). Just as first Adam’s offense had consequences that affected us all, last Adam’s obedience affects us all.
The first perfect man, Adam, gave us one kind of body. The second perfect man, Jesus the last Adam, can give us another kind of body. He is a life-giving spirit.
This is why we must be born of both water and the spirit (John 3:5). You have to be born before you can be born again. “The flesh profits nothing; the Spirit who gives life” (John 6:63). Only the sons and daughters of Adam can become sons and daughters of God.
We have all borne the image of the first Adam, and those who put their trust in the last Adam will also bear His resurrection image. From the first Adam, we all are made of dust, but from the last Adam we can be made heavenly. For believers, the promise is sure: we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.
Philippians 3:21 repeats Paul’s theme: 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.
1 Corinthians 15:47
The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.
From heaven. On numerous occasions, Jesus told his disciples that he was not from earth but had come or been sent from heaven (see entry for John 6:38). Because of Adam, humanity was on death row. (Romans 6 calls it living under the condemnation of sin and death.) But Jesus was not from Adam’s fallen line. Jesus was born outside the prison. Only a free man can ransom a slave.
1 Corinthians 15:50
Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. In other words, you must be born again (John 3:6–7).
Someone once said, “You can be a good sinner or a bad sinner, but you still need to get saved.” That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (John 3:6). We all need to be born of the Spirit. We all need to be born again (John 3:7).
“Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God: Paul is not saying, “material things cannot inherit the kingdom of God,” because Jesus’ resurrection body was a material body. Flesh and blood, in this context, means “our present bodies.” Jesus’ resurrection body was not a “pure spirit” body, but a material body described as flesh and bones (Luke 24:39) instead of flesh and blood. This may seem like a small distinction to us, but it must be an important distinction to God.” David Guzak
Nor does corruption inherit incorruption: The word corruption does not mean moral or ethical corruption, but physical, material corruption. These bodies which are subject to disease, injury, and one day decay, are unsuited for heaven. Corruption can’t inherit incorruption.
When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory
Death is swallowed up in victory: A resurrected body is not a resuscitated corpse. It is a new order of life that will never die again. Death is defeated by resurrection.
Freud was wrong when he said: “And finally there is the painful riddle of death, for which no remedy at all has yet been found, nor probably ever will be.” Compare that with Paul’s triumphant declaration, “Death is swallowed up in victory”! Glad I don’t believe in Freudian Psychologists!
O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? Paul, knowing death is a defeated enemy because of Jesus’ work, can almost taunt death, and mock it. Death has no power over the person found in Jesus Christ.
So we who really believe the hope of the resurrection and stare death in the face and say bring it on, do your worst, I am not afraid of you!
Expiring saints have often said that their last beds have been the best they have ever slept upon.” (Spurgeon)
For those who are not in Jesus Christ, death still has its sting. “The sting of death lay in this, that we had sinned and were summoned to appear before the God whom we had offended. This is the sting of death to you, unconverted ones, not that you are dying, but that after death is the judgment, and that you must stand before the Judge of the quick and dead to receive a sentence for the sins which you have committed in your body against him.” (Spurgeon)
1 Corinthians 15:57
but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Gives us the victory. Victory is a gift to receive rather than something to strive for. Paul is encouraging us to go for it because we can’t lose. Because Christ has overcome the world, you are an overcomer (1 John 5:4). Indeed, we are more than conquerors through him who loved us (Rom. 8:37).
Spiritual warfare for the Christian is less about shouting at the devil and more about believing that Jesus is Lord over whatever situation we face. Unbelief says we must engage the enemy and fight for the victory, but faith declares that Jesus has already won. Unbelief cowers before the name of the adversary, whether it’s disease, debt, or depression. But faith exalts the Name that is above every name.
1 Corinthians 15:58
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.
(a) My beloved brethren. See entry for Rom. 1:7.
(b) Be steadfast, immovable. Standing firm is not something we do to get the victory; it is something we can do because in Christ we have the victory (see previous verse). Hope is the anchor of our souls!
(c) Your toil is not in vain. Your labor will receive an eternal reward. See entry for 1 Cor. 3:14. We want to bring in the sheave and have many people to bring with us to the Kingdom.
This is Paul’s version of the don’t-store-up-treasure-where-moth-and-rust-corrupt speech. Every day we build. We either spend our lives in fleshly pursuits that bring no lasting pleasure, or we invest in people and reap eternal rewards. “Each one must be careful how he builds,” said Paul (1 Cor. 3:10). Life is a precious gift to be spent wisely.
And it is short.