1 Corinthians Lesson 31

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Changed Body

1 Corinthians 15:35–53

Paul is confirming that there was a resurrection of Jesus Christ and that all believers from all ages will also be resurrected. Jesus Christ is our firstfruits which is proof that there will be more who follow Him in like manner. If there were no resurrection, there would be no hope and our faith would be completely worthless. Now that Paul has confirmed there will be a resurrection, he now gives us important details about what it means to be resurrected.

Septics (verses 35–38)
Paul uses 58 verses to defend the resurrection because there were people within the congregation who were teaching that there was no life after death. Paul calls these septics fools. It sounds like those who question the possibility of a resurrection were mocking those who do believe by raising the question about how it could even be possible for the dead to be raised up, and of what kind of body will could have. Probably every believer has had the same type of question, but the way Paul condemns those who are asking shows they are deriding those who do think they will be raised from the dead.

Paul uses the Greek word aphron which is translated as fool. A fool is a senseless person who acts rashly without reason. Those who were ridiculing people for believing in a resurrection were acting without thinking and saying stupid things. Paul shoots them down with many proofs and ironclad logic. They were foolish for saying such things, but Paul was hoping to show them how silly their ideas were.

New body (verses 37–41)
Paul compares our old and new bodies with a planted seed and the resultant plant. A seed that is planted looks very different from the plant that it produces. After the seed is put into the ground, it changes and a new life and new plant springs up (John 12:24). The seed has all the components in it to produce the final product. Although our earthly bodies will die and return to dust, our new bodies will come out of that old body and we will be raised with a new, eternal body.

Paul then compares earthly and heavenly bodies. Verse 40 is speaking of human and angelic bodies. The bodies we now have are much different than the bodies of the angelic host. We are quite limited in what we can do and where we can go. The angels and other spirit beings are able to easily come and go (with God’s direction). They are also very strong (2 Peter 2:11) and normally invisible to humans (2 Kings 6:13–17). They are not as limited as we are. However, one day we will be given bodies that are not constrained to this earth, nor restricted by our many frailties.

Sin has not only corrupted mankind, it has also corrupted creation. Following Adam’s sin, the earth no longer effortlessly produced food (Genesis 3:17–19). All of creation was affected by his one sin (Romans 8:19–22). These things will begin to be reset with the establishment of the Millennial Kingdom, and then following that, all of creation will be reformed and made perfect (Matthew 19:28; Acts 3:19). The new heaven and earth will eradicate the effects of sin once and for all at the end of the Millennial Kingdom.

Effects of the resurrection (verses 42–53)
After explaining how our bodies will be changed into something much different from what we have now, Paul gets into some specifics about what things will change when we get our new bodies.

Change 1 (verse 42):
We will go from corruption to incorruption. As mentioned above, all of creation was corrupted after Adam sinned. Our bodies will no longer be under the curse of sin. We will be made anew in a new incorruptible body, one that is suitable for eternity.

Change 2 (verse 43):
We will be changed from dishonor to honor. We were born into sin but will finally be free from the effects of sin when we are Raptured.

Change 3 (verse 43):
We will go from weakens to power. Even the most health body is very frail. The smallest virus can attack and sicken a perfectly healthy person in a very short time. We are all moments from death. Our new bodies will be immune from all of these harmful elements.

Change 4 (verse 44)
We will be changed from a natural, physical body to a spiritual body. Our first body is patterned after Adam, a man who died and led all those born after him to their death. One phrase that stands out in Genesis is, “…and he died.” Our new body will be pattered after Jesus Christ. Our spiritual body is one that will never tire out nor die. Anyone in the line of the second Adam (Jesus Christ) will never die.

Change 5 (verse 49)
When our bodies change we will also change our address. We will move from the earth into the heavenly realm. This change is necessary in order for us to be able to live and function in the heavenly realm. Our earthly bodies are incapable of surviving outside of the earth’s atmosphere.

Change 6 (verse 50–51)
We will be changed from flesh and blood to a changed body. The body we currently have needs to be changed so that we can inherit the kingdom of God. This kingdom includes all that is in God’s control. If we are to be a part of this kingdom, then we will need to have a body that can function outside the constraints of this world. This change from flesh and blood to our heavenly body will take place in an instant (1 Corinthians 15:52).

Change 7 (verse 53)
We will be changed from a mortal body to one that is immortal. Bodies that get sick, die, and rot will be made to last for all eternity, never to die. They will never begin to fail. It will always be able to walk up and downs stairs (Those who are older will understand). We will no longer lose loved ones to death.
We will be given a body similar to what Jesus Christ was given at His resurrection because believers are now in Christ (Philippians 3:21; Luke 24–36). Since we are baptized into Christ, we are identified with Him in His death, burial, and resurrection (Romans 6:4–5).