Jesus' resurrection and ours
1 Corinthians 15
This morning we are going to do a quick run through of 1 Corinthians 15. This is a very important
passage of Scripture as it relates to one of the cardinal beliefs of our faith- That Jesus died and
rose again. In addition to proclaiming the resurrection of Christ, 1 Corinthians 15 also reminds us
that death is not the end for us, for at the return of Christ all who have died will be raised to life.
1 Corinthians 15 is not the only text that teaches us of the resurrection of Christ and the one
Psalm 16:11 speaks to the resurrection of Christ and of us when it says "...you will not abandon
me to the realm of the dead/grave, nor will you let your holy one see decay"
Job 19:25-27 says; "I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end he will stand upon the
earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him
with my own eyes- I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!"
Other texts include Daniel 12:2-3, Isaiah 26:19, Revelation 20:11-15, John 11, 2 Corinthians
5:1-10, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-15 plus the multiplied references to the resurrection of Christ in the
Note: In virtually every presentation of the Gospel in the New Testament the death of Christ and
his resurrection from the dead is front and center. This is instructive for us- for to talk properly of
Jesus there must be a discussion of our sinfulness, the judgment to come, Jesus dying as a
sacrifice for our sin, the resurrection of Christ, the necessity of faith in Christ for salvation, and the
resurrection to come.
Despite the clarity of the Word of God on the resurrection of Christ and of the resurrection to
come, there has always been deniers.
-The Sadducees denied the resurrection
-Many of Paul's day and ours deny the resurrection of Christ and the one to come
-Shockingly, even Christians have denied the resurrection! Paul addresses this in 1 Corinthians
15:12 wherein he writes "But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can
some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?"
A LOOK AT OUR TEXT -read
Note the flow of the text: 2 main parts 1 Corinthians 15:1-34
A. Jesus' resurrection and ours 1 Corinthians 15:1-34
B. The nature of our resurrection bodies 1 Corinthians 35-58
A. THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST and the one to come v.1-34
1. THE CHRISTIAN FAITH HANGS ON THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST FROM THE DEAD
"By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you." v.2
"For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins
according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to
the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he
appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom
are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the
apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. v.3-8
2. JESUS ROSE FROM THE DEAD! NOTE THE EVIDENCE FOR THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST
Paul leans on the Scriptures, eye witness accounts and his own personal encounter with Christ!
i. Jesus Raised on the third day according to the Scriptures (Psalm 16:10 plus Jesus' prophesy in
ii. Jesus' bodily appearance to Peter and to the rest of his inner circle
iii. Jesus' multiple appearances to large groups of people (whom Paul says you could go and talk
to if you wanted, for most were still alive). In Acts 1:3 Luke, by the Spirit of God, writes of Jesus
"After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was
alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God."
iv. Paul cites his own encounter with the resurrected Jesus on the road to Damascus (he on the
way to arrest and kill Christians, Jesus appeared to him)
Paul uses this evidence as support for the teaching that we will be raised to life at the last day
and given new bodies
3. IN V.12-32 PAUL RESPONDS TO THOSE WHO WERE DENYING THE RESURRECTION TO
COME, OUTLINING THE AWFUL CONSEQUENCES OF WHAT THEY WERE DECLARING
In verses 12-32 Paul addresses 2 major errors that were creeping into the Corinthian church
1. A denial of the resurrection to come (which Paul argues is akin to a denial of the resurrection of
2. Some Christians were being baptized for dead relatives (which the Mormons practice)
While tackling these two sins (see v.34- "stop sinning") Paul lays out the awfu implications of
what life would be like if the prophesied resurrection to come is untrue. He does this because he
wants to show his readers the terrible implications of the road they were headed down.*
Note how Paul uses a series of "If" "Then" statements…..
i. If the resurrection to come is a false idea then Jesus' resurrection is false
Herein Paul leans against the certainty of prophecy and the truthfulness of the Word of God.
ii. If Christ has not been raised, preaching about Jesus is a waste of time and our faith is
Note how all of Paul's arguments hangs on the resurrection of Christ
iii. If Christ has not been raised then we are false witnesses against God v.15
iv. If Christ has not been raised our faith is futile and we are still in our sins- and hence remain
under the judgment of God v.17
v. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied v.19
vi. If the dead are not raised, if Christ was not raised,if this is all there is to our lives and
existence, then party on v.32
This is logical. If the Bible is false. If Jesus was just a man. If God doesn't exist. If you and I are
just evolutionary accidents, then don't waste your time in church. Make your own code for living.
Eat drink and be merry, for when your heart stops ticking, that's it.
And yet: The Bible is true. The prophesies of the Scripture have a 100% track record. Jesus was
more than just a man; He was God in the flesh. The existence of God is declared everywhere and
in everything. We are not evolutionary accidents. Death is not the end (not how this relates to the
saying "He has set eternity in our hearts"-- Ecclesiastes 3:11 We have an innate understanding
that death is not the end) Life is worth living. We are the beautiful results of an all powerful God
who over the span of 6 literal days spoke the world into existence and then-on that 6th day, by his
Divine power made us in His image
4. CHRIST AROSE! HOLD ON TO THIS TRUTH. DO NOT BE MISLED. HE IS RISEN. V.33-34
This is a very important point! We must cling to the truths of God's Word and not be swayed by
the culture or even by other Christians who do not have as high a regard for the Word of God as
B. THE NATURE OF OUR RESURRECTION BODIES v. 35-58
A very natural question to ask, particularly after reading of the certainty of the resurrection of
Christ and of the certainty of the resurrection to come- our resurrection, is this "What will my
resurrected body be like?"
In his answer, Paul sticks to a discussion that concerns the resurrected bodies that we will have as
the followers of Christ. Paul does not discuss the nature of the resurrected bodies that unbelievers
will have (which the Scriptures declare they will have- See Daniel 12:2-3, Revelation 20:11-15)
Note also that in Paul's answer, while he talks in specifics, there is a mystery to what he says
1. Our resurrection body will be different from the one we have now v.35-41
In v.35-41 Paul uses three illustrations from nature to make this point.
i.e A seed planted in the ground doesn't come out of the ground as a bigger seed. It comes out as
wheat (if it was a wheat seed) etc
i.e Just as there are differences between people, animals, birds, and fish, so the resurrection body
will be different
i.e Just as the sun, moon, and stars differ from each other in splendor, so will the resurrection
body be different
In expanding on this Paul contrasts our present body with the one to come
Our present body: Perishable (because of sin), sown in dishonor (because of sin), sown in
weakness (because of sin), natural,
Our future body: Imperishable (not subject to decay or death), glorious (bearing the likeness of
Christ), powerful, spiritual (holy and perfect)
2. Our resurrection bodies will be like Christ's v.45-49
Note what Paul says in v.49 "And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we
bear the image of the heavenly man"
This connects back to the points made in v.35-41. Our resurrection body will be imperishable,
glorious, powerful, spiritual- just like Christ's.
We will be what God made us to be in the first place and more. We will be as Paul describes in
Ephesians 5:27 "a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and
3. Not every believer is going to die, but all followers of Christ will receive a new body that is
like His v.50ff
For our benefit and to answer the question "What about the followers of Christ who are alive at
the return of Christ?" Paul takes time to answer this query in v.50ff - making the point again that
every believer will have a body that is like Christ's- whether it be by the resurrection or by a
For more info check out 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 which says; "Brothers and sisters, we do not
want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest
of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we
believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the
Lord's word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will
certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 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. 17 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. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words."
Alongside of the Deity of Christ, the Resurrection of Christ from the dead is a core teaching of the
Christian faith. One cannot be a Christian and deny the Deity of Christ or His resurrection and the
life to come.
While much more can be said from 1 Corinthians 15 I hope this chapter of God's Word has inspired
you in regards to your devotion and worship of Christ who came down from Heaven on a rescue
mission to save us from our sins and the judgement to come. Jesus came, he died, he rose to life,
he is at the right hand of God the Father, he intercedes for us, he is the guarantor of our
resurrection from the dead. In Christ alone is eternal life and the forgiveness of sins.
Death is a defeated foe. Because of Christ's triumph over the grave, death ought to hold no fear
for us for us who are the followers of Christ- for to be absent from the body is to be present with
"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give
yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in