Section 7, Chapter 16
Christ's resurrection and ours. The manner of our resurrection.
15:1. Now I make known unto you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received and wherein you stand.
15:2. By which also you are saved, if you hold fast after what manner I preached unto you, unless you have believed in vain.
15:3. For I delivered unto you first of all, which I also received: how that Christ died for our sins, according to the scriptures:
15:4. And that he was buried: and that he rose again according to the scriptures:
15:5. And that he was seen by Cephas, and after that by the eleven.
15:6. Then was he seen by more than five hundred brethren at once: of whom many remain until this present, and some are fallen asleep.
15:7. After that, he was seen by James: then by all the apostles.
15:8. And last of all, he was seen also by me, as by one born out of due tine.
15:9. For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
15:10. But by the grace of God, I am what I am. And his grace in me hath not been void: but I have laboured more abundantly than all they. Yet not I, but the grace of God with me:
15:11. For whether I or they, so we preach: and so you have believed.
15:12. Now if Christ be preached, that he arose again from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
15:13. But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen again.
15:14. And if Christ be not risen again, then is our preaching vain: and your faith is also vain.
15:15. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God: because we have given testimony against God, that he hath raised up Christ, whom he hath not raised up, if the dead rise not again.
15:16. For if the dead rise not again, neither is Christ risen again.
15:17. And if Christ be not risen again, your faith is vain: for you are yet in your sins.
15:18. Then they also that are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.
15:19. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
15:20. But now Christ is risen from the dead, the firstfruits of them that sleep:
15:21. For by a man came death: and by a man the resurrection of the dead.
15:22. And as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.
15:23. But every one in his own order: the firstfruits, Christ: then they that are of Christ, who have believed in his coming.
15:24. Afterwards the end: when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God and the Father: when he shall have brought to nought all principality and power and virtue.
15:25. For he must reign, until he hath put all his enemies under his feet.
15:26. And the enemy, death, shall be destroyed last: For he hath put all things under his feet. And whereas he saith:
15:27. All things are put under him; undoubtedly, he is excepted, who put all things under him.
15:28. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then the Son also himself shall be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.
The Son also himself shall be subject unto him. . .That is, the Son will be subject to the Father, according to his human nature, even after the general resurrection; and also the whole mystical body of Christ will be entirely subject to God, obeying him in every thing.
15:29. Otherwise, what shall they do that are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not again at all? Why are they then baptized for them?
That are baptized for the dead. . .Some think the apostle here alludes to a ceremony then in use; but others, more probably, to the prayers and penitential labours, performed by the primitive Christians for the souls of the faithful departed; or to the baptism of afflictions and sufferings undergone for sinners spiritually dead.
15:30. Why also are we in danger every hour?
15:31. I die daily, I protest by your glory, brethren, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord.
15:32. If (according to man) I fought with beasts at Ephesus, what doth it profit me, if the dead rise not again? Let us eat and drink, for to morrow we shall die.
Let us eat and drink, etc. . .That is, if we did not believe that we were to rise again from the dead, we might live like the impious and wicked, who have no belief in the resurrection.
15:33. Be not seduced: Evil communications corrupt good manners.
15:34. Awake, ye just, and sin not. For some have not the knowledge of God. I speak it to your shame.
15:35. But some man will say: How do the dead rise again? Or with what manner of body shall they come?
15:36. Senseless man, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die first.
15:37. And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not the body that shall be: but bare grain, as of wheat, or of some of the rest.
15:38. But God giveth it a body as he will: and to every seed its proper body.
15:39. All flesh is not the same flesh: but one is the flesh of men, another of beasts, other of birds, another of fishes.
15:40. And there are bodies celestial and bodies terrestrial: but, one is the glory of the celestial, and another of the terrestrial.
15:41. One is the glory of the sun, another the glory of the moon, and another the glory of the stars. For star differeth from star in glory.
15:42. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption: it shall rise in incorruption.
15:43. It is sown in dishonour: it shall rise in glory. It is sown in weakness: it shall rise in power.
15:44. It is sown a natural body: it shall rise a spiritual body. If there be a natural body, there is also a spiritual body, as it is written:
15:45. The first man Adam was made into a living soul; the last Adam into a quickening spirit.
15:46. Yet that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural: afterwards that which is spiritual.
15:47. The first man was of the earth, earthly: the second man, from heaven, heavenly.
15:48. Such as is the earthly, such also are the earthly: and such as is the heavenly, such also are they that are heavenly.
15:49. Therefore, as we have borne the image of the earthly, let us bear also the image of the heavenly.
15:50. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot possess the kingdom of God: neither shall corruption possess incorruption.
15:51. Behold, I tell you a mystery. We shall all indeed rise again: but we shall not all be changed.
15:52. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall rise again incorruptible. And we shall be changed.
15:53. For this corruptible must put on incorruption: and this mortal must put on immortality.
15:54. And when this mortal hath put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory.
15:55. O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?
15:56. Now the sting of death is sin: and the power of sin is the law.
15:57. But thanks be to God, who hath given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
15:58. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast and unmoveable: always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.