1 Corinthians 15:1-35 What will our resurrection body be like???
What will our resurrection body be like???
1 Corinthians 15:35-58
Scripture reading: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
Last week we began a 2 part series on 1 Corinthians 15.
1 Corinthians 15 is all about an event that is to come in the future: The resurrection of the
dead; which, barring Christ's return in our lifetime, will include us.
The reason we have this long chapter on the resurrection of the dead is because some of the
Corinthian Christians were denying that there would be a resurrection from the dead. (v.12).
On the resurrection to come, Daniel 12:2-3 says "Multitudes who sleep in the dust of the
earth will awake: some to everlasting life, others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those
who are wise will shine like the brightness of the heavens, and those who lead many to
righteousness, like the stars for ever and ever.
In response to the Corinthian ERROR, Paul's central argument is this: Jesus rose from the
dead. Since Jesus rose from the dead, there will be a resurrection of the dead-- by the
command of the LORD we will rise from the dead (Revelation 20:11-15).
This morning, as we venture into the second half of 1 Corinthians 15, Paul
responds to one of the reasons some of the Corinthians rejected the Bible's
teaching of the resurrection from the dead. THEIR INABILITY TO CONCEIVE HOW a
rotted, incinerated, age and disease ravaged, or otherwise destroyed body could
come back to life.
Note what Paul says in v.35 "But someone may ask (and it seems that theres was more of an
objection than a question) "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?"
In the time that remains we are going to examine for ourselves Paul's answer as to what our
resurrection body will be like.
Before reading address this question: What happens to a person when they die?
This question is not addressed in 1 Corinthians 15--- but our examination of this passage,
makes us ask the question.
a. When a follower of Jesus dies, their spirit immediately goes to be with Christ in Heaven
While in Heaven we wait for the fulfillment of all the Bible's prophecies and the return of
Christ to Earth.
To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord-- 2 Corinthians 5:8
b. When a person dies who is not a follower of Jesus, their spirit immediately goes to Hell--
and there they wait for the final judgment 2 Peter 2:4-9
In view of this terrible, but just end- we are to urge people to be reconciled to God-- who in
His grace and love has provided a way to be forgiven of ones sins- and to flee the coming
wrath (God's wrath poured out on sinners for their wicked ways and refusal to repent)
WHAT OUR RESURRECTION BODY WILL BE LIKE
An important caveat: The text speaks from the perspective of one who is a follower of Jesus
Christ, anticipating the joys of the New Heaven and New Earth
1. Our resurrection body will be different from the one we have now v.35-41
In v.37-40 Paul uses three illustrations to drive home the point that our resurrection bodies
will be different than the ones we have now
a. A seed planted in the ground-- you plant a seed, not the body that will be
b. Men, animals, birds, fish-- different kinds of flesh
c. The sun, the moon, and the stars, they all differ in their splendour
Point: God's created order, teaches us about God and illustrates many teachings of the Bible--
such as the resurrection
As for nature revealing the glory and wisdom of God, Psalm 19:1-4 says; "The heavens
declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour
forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where
their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the
2. Our resurrection bodies will be: imperishable, glorious, powerful, spiritual
To further illustrate how different our resurrection bodies will be from our current one, Paul,
building on the illustration of the sown seed, draws a contrast between how we have been
sown and then of how will be raised
Our present body -The body to come
Sown Perishable- Raised imperishable
Sown in dishonor- Raised in glory
Sown in weakness- Raised in power
Sown a natural body- Raised a spiritual body
Perishable: Like a piece of fruit that goes bad, having an expiry date, mortal
Dishonor: Being stained by sin and its consequences, the unseemliness of dead body
Weakness: Our frailty, feebleness, lack of strength and capacity
Natural: having a sensuous nature with its appetites and passions, being of the dust of the
Imperishable: Never dying, not subject to decay -- immortal v.53-54
Glory: Bearing the likeness and holiness of Christ, being free of sin and all of its effects
Powerful: Fit, Vital, vigor, impervious to sickness, disease, or any other harm
Spiritual: Being filled with and governed by the Spirit of God
3. Our resurrection bodies will be like Christ's v.45-49
Paul, building on the contrast we just considered, contrasts the body we have by our relation
to Adam versus the body we will have by our relation to Jesus.
Became a living being ---A life giving spirit (He being the author of life)
Natural (given to sin)--- Spiritual (holy and perfect)
Of the dust of the earth--- From Heaven (divine conception)
We bear his likeness ---Those in Christ will bear his likeness
Because we in Adam we die--- In Christ there is life
Paul's point: Our resurrection bodies will be like Christ's (recognizable- for his disciples knew
him, filled with divine life, spiritual, heavenly, holy, immortal).
Adam is our present pattern. Jesus in his resurrection is the pattern for our
4. Not everyone will have to die to receive their resurrection body v.51-52
In v.51 Paul says; "Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be
This point is further addressed in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, wherein it says; "According to the
Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the
Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come
down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the
trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and
are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so
we will be with the Lord forever.
The transformation from our present body to the resurrected and glorified one will be
In creating us, God spoke us into existence by the power of his word. Our creation happened
in a moment by the power of His word. At the resurrection, we, by the power of God, will
receive our new bodies in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye
"At the trumpet sound"
-does not appear to be the trumpet of Rev. 11:15-19
-seems to be a relate to the return of Christ as spoken of in Matthew 24:30-31 and 1
6. When the day of resurrection comes, DEATH will be no more! v.54-57
Presently death is an enemy
Presently, death hounds and harasses us, hanging over us, growing ever nearer, terrifying
some, deceiving others into thinking it is a pleasant release from the burdens of this life.
Yet, as the Scriptures teach; death is a defeated foe. Death, brought about by Satan's
temptation and Adam's sin, is a neutered enemy-- for in Christ, the ultimate consequence of
sin and death--- being an eternity in Hell-- has been removed.
Because of Christ's resurrection from the dead, the victory that Satan thought he had, is not.
Satan is a defeated foe. Death will be swallowed up in victory. Death will be no more. Such is
the victory that we have in Jesus.
The neat thing about death being swallowed up is that on the New Earth there will be no
traces and reminders of sin or death. Presently, everywhere we look we graves, bones, dead
things, and all manner of wickedness. No such thing will exist in the world and Kingdom to
In view of Jesus' victory over the grave and the coming resurrection of the dead, how should
we live? v.58
We are not to fear death!
We are to call people to repentance and faith in Christ
We are to stand firm. Letting nothing move us. Always giving ourselves fully to the work of
hte Lord, knowing that our labor in and for the Lord is not in vain.