Kittredge Community Bible Church
Easter Sunday
  • Alleluia, Alleluia!
  • He Lives
  • Doxology
  • 1 Cor 15:35-49
    1 Corinthians Chapter 15 gives us the most thorough description of the resurrection in the whole Bible and we’ve been learning a lot. So far, we’ve learned about
    The Resurrection Evidence from the Church, the Scriptures, and from all the personal eyewitnesses.
    The Order of the Resurrection: Christ the firstfruits and then the rest of the harvest.
    The Consequences of Denying a Bodily Resurrection
    Resurrection Motivation for Salvation, Sacrificial Service, and living righteous lives.
    Now as we come to this next section, it’s important to note that throughout the whole chapter Paul has been emphasizing the truth about a bodily resurrection. That is, when Christ was resurrected his actual body was raised.
    Christ’s physical body didn’t stay in the tomb. He didn’t transcend his body into a purely spiritual state. His body was resurrected and glorified and he still has a body even to this day. In Acts 1:10-11 we are told that when he returns he’s coming in the same way he left, in bodily form.
    So just reviewing a little bit. The goal of redemption isn’t for our eternal spirits to live eternally outside of our bodies, but for our bodies, our physical bodies, that will die, to be raised up at the last day (John 6:44).
    God is going to redeem every bit of us, body and spirit. Our bodies won’t be discarded. At the last trumpet we will be completely redeemed, raised in glory and given immortality (See 2 Cor 5:2-4; Romans 8:23).
    Now, Paul is writing because the idea of a bodily resurrection is difficult for some to grasp...
    1 Corinthians 15:35 NASB95
    But someone will say, “How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?”
    Now, it’s pretty obvious that these aren’t just honest people asking honest questions because Paul answers harshly with “you fool!”
    See, despite all that Paul had said previously, some people were refusing to believe in a bodily resurrection.
    They wanted to keep believing as the Greeks did, in the immortality of the soul while denying the immortality of the body (John 5:28-29).
    The immortality of the body isn’t a phrase you hear very often but it’s a biblical one. The Bible teaches everyone’s body will be resurrected, not just believers but all people.
    John 5:28–29 NASB95
    “Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.
    Everyone is going to experience a bodily resurrection some to experience everlasting joy and others to experience everlasting punishment.
    Now, of course, Paul is emphasizing the resurrection of the believer's body in this section but it’s good to remember what the Bible teaches about those who don’t believe.
    So, the Greeks didn’t believe in the resurrection of the body and many of these Greeks who became Christians had difficulty leaving their false beliefs behind.
    But many of the converted Jews also had problems understanding because although most Jews believed in the resurrection of the body, they thought their resurrected body would be exactly the same body that had died.
    For example, a rabbi in the early 2nd century said this: “The earth shall then assuredly restore the dead. It shall make no change in form, but as it has received, so shall it restore.”
    But that’s not exactly right because the Bible teaches that our bodies will be resurrected but their is going to be a change in form.
    So Paul rebukes them. He calls them fools because they aren’t being sincere with their questions and they don’t really want to learn anything.
    So, this is for the rest of us who do want to learn.
    First of all he makes the point that our resurrected bodies are going to be...

    Different from our Present Bodies

    He gives an illustration from the world of plants.
    1 Corinthians 15:36 NASB95
    You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies;
    When a seed is planted in the ground if it gets enough moisture and warmth it germinates which is just another way of saying the seed disintegrates, it dies.
    And as it dies it produces new life. The seed already has life but when it dies it produces a different kind of life.
    This is pretty easy to understand. Resurrection life occurs after we die in a similar way to what happens when a plant dies.
    Paul continues with the illustration...
    1 Corinthians 15:37 NASB95
    and that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else.
    The plant that comes to life after the seed dies is from the same material as the seed but is obviously very different.
    When we plant a seed we don’t expect to get a seed in return, we expect something different. A plant may have come from the stuff in the seed but it looks a lot different because it is.
    On the third day when Jesus’ physical body came out of the tomb it was his same body, but it was also very different because now it was no longer able to die for one thing.
    How does this happen? Well, go back to the analogy with a plant...
    1 Corinthians 15:38 NASB95
    But God gives it a body just as He wished, and to each of the seeds a body of its own.
    God does it. Humanly, of course, it’s all impossible. But since God is the one who gives us the body we have presently He is also able to give us the body he wishes us to have in the future.
    Just as he’s able to make a tiny little mustard seed turn into a giant tree, so he is also able to turn our bodies into glorified bodies.
    So our bodies will be different, but they will not be completely different. Like Christ, we too will have bodies that are recognizable (see John 12:24).
    Will the elderly person be raised as a youth in their prime? Will an infant be raised as an adult? I don’t know because the Bible doesn’t say. But God will do what is best and I’m sure none of us will be disappointed.
    So, like with the relationship between a seed and a plant, the plant looks a lot different from the seed but they are still similar because one comes from the other. That’s the point of this first illustration.
    The second point is that our glorified bodies are different from our present bodies but they will also be....

    Different from One Another

    My body isn’t going to be exactly like your body. Again, Paul looks to nature for an illustration.
    1 Corinthians 15:39 NASB95
    All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish.
    See, there’s similarity between the flesh of men and the flesh of animals but it’s not exactly the same. Just like God is able to give us bodies that are different from animal bodies, so God is able to give us new transformed bodies that are similar yet different from one another.
    Making the point clearer...
    1 Corinthians 15:40–41 NASB95
    There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.
    No two stars are alike. Each one is unique. You’re going to be given a new, one of a kind body and it’s going to be glorious.
    Earthly bodies, like mountains, rivers, and oceans, are tiny in comparison with the heavenly bodies in space but each has it’s own glory.
    When we look out on a body of water, or a mountain there is an amazing glory that we see. But there is also a glory that we see looking up into the heavens. The heavenly bodies and the earthly bodies both have their own glory, but it’s a different glory.
    So, we’re going to be different from each other but we’re also going to be like Christ’s but not exactly like Christ’s.
    1 John 3:2 NASB95
    Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.
    We going to like Christ but not exactly like him. Will we all be 33 years old with male bodies? I don’t think so. Will we have the same scars he has? I doubt it. We will be similar to Jesus but not exactly like him.
    All of us are going to retain many of the features that make us, us. All of us will radiate glory but in a special unique way.
    Now, one final point about this section before we move on.
    [don’t read verse]
    1 Corinthians 15:40–41 NASB95
    There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.
    If God can give indescribable glory to an inanimate object like the sun or the moon, he can surely give indescribable glory to us.
    Isn’t it pretty cool to think about, right? We’re going to have new glorified bodies! They’re going to be very different from our present bodies while still retaining our individuality.
    All believers are going to have glorified bodies, like Christ’s, and we can be confident it will happen because if God can give glory to things in the natural world in which we live, he can give glory to us, too.
    Next in verses 42-44 comes...

    Several Contrasts

    In school I used to dread the essay question that started with compare and contrast… Well, that’s what Paul does here but he makes it pretty easy for us to follow.
    1 Corinthians 15:42 NASB95
    So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body;
    What Paul is saying is that from the very moment we are born our bodies start decaying. Every day we are alive is one day closer to death. That’s ‘kinda depressing but it’s the truth, and the older we get the more we realize it’s true.
    When we die, our perishable bodies will be put in the ground like a seed. But when they come out again they will be imperishable, unable to die. Our new bodies will never get old. They will never decay again.
    Now, some people teach that we already have an imperishable, incorruptible body. And if we just have enough faith we’ll never get sick or experience disease. And I suppose, some even believe that if our faith is strong enough, we’ll never die.
    Well, that’s just wrong and it’s essentially a denial of what Paul is teaching here in chapter 15. We don’t already have imperishable bodies, that’s coming in the future with the resurrection.
    Here’s another contrast. Our resurrected body is...
    1 Corinthians 15:43 NASB95
    it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;
    When Adam fell mankind was sown in dishonor. And from that point all of us have continued to dishonor God in what we think, in how we live, and in what we do with our bodies.
    And each day we are alive we continue to come face to face with our limitations. And when we die these weak bodies will finish decaying and start to stink.
    Now, originally, man was made very good, in the image of God. That image, or glory, became tainted when Adam sinned but it will be fully restored, and then some, when we are resurrected.
    So, our bodies are sown in weakness but raised in power which means our resurrected bodies will no longer have any limitations.
    Martin Luther said of our bodies, “As weak as it is now, without all power and ability when it lies in the grave, just so strong will it eventually become, when the time arrives, so that not a thing will be impossible for it, if it has a mind for it, and it will be so light and agile that in an instant it can float here below on earth or above in heaven.”
    Wow, that will be really cool.
    Another contrast:
    1 Corinthians 15:44 NASB95
    it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
    What Paul means by “a natural body” is a body that is suited to this life. And when our bodies are resurrected they will be “spiritual” or suited for the next life.
    Both physical bodies and spiritual bodies are bodies. We won’t be disembodied ghostly spirits. When Paul uses the word “spiritual” he doesn’t mean immaterial, he’s referring to the transforming power of the Holy Spirit upon the physical body.
    In Christ, our bodies have already become the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 15:6-19) but when we are resurrected we will be completely transformed by the Holy Spirit and fully prepared for a new kind of existence.
    OK, we’ve covered a lot of ground. Our resurrected bodies will be vastly different from what they are now. They will be unable to die. The will be powerful and spiritual in the sense of being completely transformed by the Holy Spirit.
    Now, if we still don’t get it, Paul is going to make one last attempt to help us understand what our resurrected bodies will be like. Simply put, they will be...

    Like Christ

    And Paul makes his final point in this section by appealing to scripture. If we won’t believe Scripture then we won’t believe anything...
    1 Corinthians 15:45 NASB95
    So also it is written, “The first man, Adam, became a living soul.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
    Adam was the first person God created with a living soul. God gave him perfect physical life but in order to live eternally he had to pass a test. And if he had passed the test he would receive eternal life.
    But Adam failed the test, sin and death entered the world, and Adam and Eve were driven from the Garden of Eden in order to prevent them from eating of the tree of life and living forever in a sinful state (Gen. 3:22-24).
    Now the contrast with the this first Adam is “The last Adam [who] became a life-giving Spirit.” Christ is the last Adam who became an eternal life-giving Spirit when he conquered death through the resurrection.
    When Christ arose from the grave he earned became a life-giving spirit, or in other words, he was authorized to make those who believed in him immortal.
    So where Adam failed, Christ succeeded. Christ, the second Adam succeeded because he lived a perfect life without sin and then conquered death achieving immortality for himself and for his people.
    Paul continues...
    1 Corinthians 15:46 NASB95
    However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.
    Remember the order of resurrection. First we receive a natural body suitable for this life, but in the next life we receive a supernatural body suitable for life in the next.
    Paul continues the contrast between the two Adam’s in verse 47...
    1 Corinthians 15:47 NASB95
    The first man is from the earth, earthy; the second man is from heaven.
    Adam came from below, literally from the dust of the earth. But Jesus, even though he is fully man, has existed eternally and literally came to earth from heaven.
    The KJV adds the words “and the second man is the Lord from heaven” which is true but probably not in the original manuscripts so we won’t emphasize his Lordship here.
    Anyway, so the point is that although Jesus and Adam both lived on earth, they came from different places. So Adam is the earthly mortal representative but Christ is the heavenly, immortal representative of the redeemed.
    Paul sums it up in verse 48...
    1 Corinthians 15:48 NASB95
    As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly.
    That’s pretty easy to understand. We don’t need to over complicate this. The redeemed have more in common with heaven than they do with the earth. Now notice what Paul says in verse 49. Here’s the point:
    1 Corinthians 15:49 NASB95
    Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.
    Presently, we bear the earthly image of Adam and to a growing degree we bear the image of Christ. But in the future we will fully bear the image of Christ.
    Then, our bodies will be like his body, physically and spiritually.
    Physically, after the resurrection Christ appeared and disappeared at will to the disciples. But he could also sit down and eat a meal. He still had his scars. He still spoke in Aramaic and could be understood, but he was also completely glorified in a way that we can’t fully understand.
    But we will also be like him in spiritual holiness, too. We will still be ourselves but minus all the sin. Imagine it, we’re going to be sinless like Christ!
    Everything that gets in the way of fully glorifying God is going to be gone. We will so perfectly reflect his image we will radiate God’s glory!
    OK, now one last verse to make this point.
    Matthew 13:43 NASB95
    “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. He who has ears, let him hear.
    Wow! Imagine that. That’s our future!
    So here’s a final thought to leave with. This Easter Sunday, we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. I’ve talked a lot about our resurrection but none of this is possible if Jesus isn’t alive.
    But Jesus isn’t in the grave. He is risen. He’s alive. And because of this he is the guarantee that all believers will have a new existence with a new bodies that will never sin or die.
    By the grace of God may we live eternally for the praise of his glory.
      • 1 Corinthians 15:35NASB95

      • John 5:28–29NASB95

      • 1 Corinthians 15:36NASB95

      • 1 Corinthians 15:37NASB95

      • 1 Corinthians 15:38NASB95

      • 1 Corinthians 15:39NASB95

      • 1 Corinthians 15:40–41NASB95

      • 1 John 3:2NASB95

      • 1 Corinthians 15:40–41NASB95

      • 1 Corinthians 15:42NASB95

      • 1 Corinthians 15:43NASB95

      • 1 Corinthians 15:44NASB95

      • 1 Corinthians 15:45NASB95

      • 1 Corinthians 15:46NASB95

      • 1 Corinthians 15:47NASB95

      • 1 Corinthians 15:48NASB95

      • 1 Corinthians 15:49NASB95

      • Matthew 13:43NASB95

  • Christ The Lord Is Risen Today

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