Summary: In our lesson today we learn about the Christian's resurrection body.
We continue our study in The First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians in a series I am calling Challenges Christians Face.
There is a lot of confusion in our culture about what happens to us after we die. Some believe in reincarnation, and so they think that we will come back to earth as a different person or being. Others believe that we simply cease to exist. And yet others believe that we become angels. The apostle Paul, however, clearly teaches what happens to Christians after we die. Let’s learn about this in a message I am calling, “The Resurrection Body.”
Let’s read 1 Corinthians 15:35-49:
35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36 You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39 For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41 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.
42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 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. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:35-49)
The First Letter of Paul to the Corinthians was written to correct many errors that the Corinthian believers had embraced.
One of the errors that some of the Corinthian believers had embraced is that there is no bodily resurrection for Christians. Chapter 15 is Paul’s teaching regarding our bodily resurrection.
In verses 1-11 Paul set down the evidence for Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead.
In verses 12-19 Paul showed that because of Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead, there can be a bodily resurrection for Christians.
In verses 20-28 Paul showed that because of Christ’s bodily resurrection from the dead, there must be a bodily resurrection for Christians.
In verses 29-34 Paul pointed out that it would be meaningless to live as a Christian if there was no bodily resurrection for Christians.
In verses 35-49, which is our text for today, Paul discussed how our bodies are raised and what our resurrection bodies will be like.
So, in our lesson today we learn about the Christian’s resurrection body.
Let’s learn about this as follows:
1. The Manner of the Resurrection Body (15:35a; 36)
2. The Nature of the Resurrection Body (15:35b; 37-49)
I. The Manner of the Resurrection Body (15:35a; 36)
First, let’s examine the manner of the resurrection body.
Paul asked and answered a question regarding the manner of the resurrection body.
A. The Question (15:35a)
The question Paul asked regarding the manner of the resurrection body is in verse 35a: “But someone will ask, ‘How are the dead raised?’” That is, how can a dead, disorganized, disintegrated body live again?
B. The Answer (15:36)
Paul’s answer is in verse 36.
Paul began by rebuking those who questioned a bodily resurrection for Christians. He said, “You foolish person!” (15:36a). Only a foolish person questions the power of a sovereign, almighty God.
Then Paul explained that death is not an obstacle to, but rather a means to, a resurrection body. He said in verse 36b: “What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.” Just as a seed must die to produce a plant, even so our present body must die to produce our resurrected body. In both cases, death is the means to a new body. Disorganization and disintegration must take place before there can be reorganization and reintegration.