1 Corinthians 15
15 Now let me remind you, brothers, of what the Gospel really is, for it has not changed—it is the same Good News I preached to you before. You welcomed it then and still do now, for your faith is squarely built upon this wonderful message; 2 and it is this Good News that saves you if you still firmly believe it, unless of course you never really believed it in the first place.
3 I passed on to you right from the first what had been told to me, that Christ died for our sins just as the Scriptures said he would, 4 and that he was buried, and that three days afterwards he arose from the grave just as the prophets foretold. 5 He was seen by Peter and later by the rest of “the Twelve.”[a] 6 After that he was seen by more than five hundred Christian brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died by now. 7 Then James saw him, and later all the apostles. 8 Last of all I saw him too, long after the others, as though I had been born almost too late for this. 9 For I am the least worthy of all the apostles, and I shouldn’t even be called an apostle at all after the way I treated the church of God.
10 But whatever I am now it is all because God poured out such kindness and grace upon me—and not without results: for I have worked harder than all the other apostles, yet actually I wasn’t doing it, but God working in me, to bless me. 11 It makes no difference who worked the hardest, I or they; the important thing is that we preached the Gospel to you and you believed it.
12 But tell me this! Since you believe what we preach, that Christ rose from the dead, why are some of you saying that dead people will never come back to life again? 13 For if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ must still be dead. 14 And if he is still dead, then all our preaching is useless and your trust in God is empty, worthless, hopeless; 15 and we apostles are all liars because we have said that God raised Christ from the grave, and of course that isn’t true if the dead do not come back to life again. 16 If they don’t, then Christ is still dead, 17 and you are very foolish to keep on trusting God to save you, and you are still under condemnation for your sins; 18 in that case, all Christians who have died are lost! 19 And if being a Christian is of value to us only now in this life, we are the most miserable of creatures.
20 But the fact is that Christ did actually rise from the dead and has become the first of millions[b] who will come back to life again someday.
21 Death came into the world because of what one man (Adam) did, and it is because of what this other man (Christ) has done that now there is the resurrection from the dead. 22 Everyone dies because all of us are related to Adam, being members of his sinful race, and wherever there is sin, death results. But all who are related to Christ will rise again. 23 Each, however, in his own turn: Christ rose first; then when Christ comes back, all his people will become alive again.
24 After that the end will come when he will turn the Kingdom over to God the Father, having put down all enemies of every kind. 25 For Christ will be King until he has defeated all his enemies, 26 including the last enemy—death. This too must be defeated and ended. 27 For the rule and authority over all things has been given to Christ by his Father; except, of course, Christ does not rule over the Father himself, who gave him this power to rule. 28 When Christ has finally won the battle against all his enemies, then he, the Son of God, will put himself also under his Father’s orders, so that God who has given him the victory over everything else will be utterly supreme.
29 If the dead will not come back to life again, then what point is there in people being baptized for those who are gone? Why do it unless you believe that the dead will someday rise again?
30 And why should we ourselves be continually risking our lives, facing death hour by hour? 31 For it is a fact that I face death daily; that is as true as my pride in your growth in the Lord. 32 And what value was there in fighting wild beasts—those men of Ephesus—if it was only for what I gain in this life down here? If we will never live again after we die, then we might as well go and have ourselves a good time: let us eat, drink, and be merry. What’s the difference? For tomorrow we die, and that ends everything!
33 Don’t be fooled by those who say such things. If you listen to them you will start acting like them. 34 Get some sense and quit your sinning. For to your shame I say it; some of you are not even Christians at all and have never really known God.[c]
35 But someone may ask, “How will the dead be brought back to life again? What kind of bodies will they have?” 36 What a foolish question! You will find the answer in your own garden! When you put a seed into the ground it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it “dies” first. 37 And when the green shoot comes up out of the seed, it is very different from the seed you first planted. For all you put into the ground is a dry little seed of wheat or whatever it is you are planting, 38 then God gives it a beautiful new body—just the kind he wants it to have; a different kind of plant grows from each kind of seed. 39 And just as there are different kinds of seeds and plants, so also there are different kinds of flesh. Humans, animals, fish, and birds are all different.
40 The angels[d] in heaven have bodies far different from ours, and the beauty and the glory of their bodies is different from the beauty and the glory of ours. 41 The sun has one kind of glory while the moon and stars have another kind. And the stars differ from each other in their beauty and brightness.
42 In the same way, our earthly bodies which die and decay are different from the bodies we shall have when we come back to life again, for they will never die. 43 The bodies we have now embarrass us, for they become sick and die; but they will be full of glory when we come back to life again. Yes, they are weak, dying bodies now, but when we live again they will be full of strength. 44 They are just human bodies at death, but when they come back to life they will be superhuman bodies. For just as there are natural, human bodies, there are also supernatural, spiritual bodies.
45 The Scriptures tell us that the first man, Adam, was given a natural, human body[e] but Christ is more than that, for he was life-giving Spirit.
46 First, then, we have these human bodies, and later on God gives us spiritual, heavenly bodies. 47 Adam was made from the dust of the earth, but Christ came from heaven above. 48 Every human being has a body just like Adam’s, made of dust, but all who become Christ’s will have the same kind of body as his—a body from heaven. 49 Just as each of us now has a body like Adam’s, so we shall some day have a body like Christ’s.
50 I tell you this, my brothers: an earthly body made of flesh and blood cannot get into God’s Kingdom. These perishable bodies of ours are not the right kind to live forever.
51 But I am telling you this strange and wonderful secret: we shall not all die, but we shall all be given new bodies! 52 It will all happen in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For there will be a trumpet blast from the sky,[f] and all the Christians who have died will suddenly become alive, with new bodies that will never, never die; and then we who are still alive shall suddenly have new bodies too. 53 For our earthly bodies, the ones we have now that can die, must be transformed into heavenly bodies that cannot perish but will live forever.
54 When this happens, then at last this Scripture will come true—“Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55-56 O death, where then your victory? Where then your sting? For sin—the sting that causes death—will all be gone; and the law, which reveals our sins, will no longer be our judge. 57 How we thank God for all of this! It is he who makes us victorious through Jesus Christ our Lord!
58 So, my dear brothers, since future victory is sure, be strong and steady, always abounding in the Lord’s work, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever wasted as it would be if there were no resurrection.
- 1 Corinthians 15:5 the Twelve, the name given to Jesus’ twelve disciples and still used after Judas was gone from among them.
- 1 Corinthians 15:20 the first of millions, literally, “the firstfruits of them that are asleep.”
- 1 Corinthians 15:34 some . . . have never really known God, or “there are some who know nothing of God.”
- 1 Corinthians 15:40 The angels, literally, “There are celestial bodies.” But perhaps this may refer to the sun, moon, planets, and stars.
- 1 Corinthians 15:45 was given a natural, human body, literally, “was made a living soul.” but Christ, literally, “the last Adam.” is more, implied.
- 1 Corinthians 15:52 from the sky, implied.