1 Corinthians 15:29-58, Final Victory
Heavenly Father, thank You for the promise of resurrection on the day rapture. We acknowledge that the rapture is imminent and can happen anytime. Help us to be prayerful, vigilant, watchful, and ready for Your return, in Jesus’ name.
VV 29-34, 29 Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead? 30 And why do we stand in jeopardy every hour? 31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 32 If, in the manner of men, I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantage is it to me? If the dead do not rise, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!” 33 Do not be deceived: “Evil company corrupts good habits.” 34 Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.
Concerning the resurrection of the dead, Paul asked two rhetorical questions. If Christ had not resurrected, why would Paul and the apostles
go through persecutions, hardships, trials, and sufferings? Paul quoted Isaiah 22:13 and Ecclesiastes 8:15. Beware of bad company because bad company corrupts good character.
Isaiah 22:13, But instead, joy and gladness, Slaying oxen and killing sheep, Eating meat and drinking wine: “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die!”
Ecclesiastes 8:15, “So, I commended enjoyment, because a man has nothing better under the sun than to eat, drink, and be merry; for this will remain with him in his labor all the days of his life which God gives him under the sun.”
VV 35-39, 35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” 36 Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. 37 And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain, perhaps wheat or some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds.
Paul continued to ask two more rhetorical questions concerning resurrection of the dead. A seed is sown into the ground, but the plant that grows up will not be similar to a seed. A dead person is buried into the ground but the resurrected and glorified body will not be similar to the earthly body. Just as every plant belonged to the same seed, every resurrected and glorified body belonged to the same earthly person.
VV 40-41, 40 There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars, for one star differs from another star in glory.
Celestial bodies are heavenly objects in the sky. Terrestrial bodies are earthly objects on the earth. The glory of the resurrected bodies is different from the glory of the earthly bodies. The glory of the sun is different from that of the moon, the glory of the moon is different from that of the stars, and the glory of one star is different from that of another star.
VV 42-45, 42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
The body sown in corruption is raised incorruptible. The body sown in dishonour is raised in glory. The body sown in weakness is raised in power. The body sown as a natural body is raised into a spiritual body. Adam is a living being. Christ is a life-giving spirit.
VV 46-49, 46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust, and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.
The natural takes precedent over the spiritual. Adam was a natural man, made from dust, Christ is a spiritual man who came from heaven. Humans who possessed Adam’s image at death will put on Christ’s image when raised at the resurrection.
VV 50-54, 50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery, We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
The natural man cannot inherit the kingdom of God. The corrupted man cannot inherit incorruption. One day, at an event, called the rapture, at the last trumpet, all Christian whether dead or still living will be instantaneously raised into a glorious, incorruptible, and immortal body to meet the Lord in the air, 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. This is the final victory. After this, there will be no more death for the Christians, Rev 21:4.
Revelation 21:4, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”
VV 55-58, 55 “O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.
Paul asked two rhetorical questions quoting from Hosea 13:14. Christ gave us victory over the law of sin and death. Paul encouraged his audience to remain faithful and obedient to the Lord because their labour is not in vain.
Hosea 13:14, ESV, “shall ransom them from the power of Sheol; I shall redeem them from Death.O Death, where are your plagues?O Sheol, where is your sting? Compassion is hidden from my eyes.”
The next event on God’s prophetic calendar will be the rapture. No one knows when this will happen but this event is imminent and can happen at any time. Given this, we should be prayerful, watchful, vigilant, and prepared. You should confess your sins to Christ, believe that He died on the cross for you, and surrender Your life to Him if You have not done so. If you call on the name of Christ, confess, and believe in Him, you will be saved.
Romans 10:13, For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.”
Romans 10:9, “that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
Heavenly Father, thank You for the promise that one day we will be raised into glorious incorruptible bodies to be with You in heaven eternally. Help us to know You as our Lord and Saviour. Time is short and Your return is imminent. Help us to live our lives worthy of Your calling, in Jesus’ name, Amen.