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The Gospel


The Resurrection

as explained by the apostle Paul in the first letter to

the people of Corinth


1 Corinthians Chapter 15

The text from the KJV has been modernised for easier reading.

The headings have been added.

A Reminder

1 Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you have received, and wherein you stand; 2 by which also you are saved, if you keep in memory what I preached to you, unless you have believed in vain.

3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures. 4 And that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.

5 And that He was seen of Cephas [Simon Peter], then of the twelve [at the same time].

6 After that, He was seen of above [or more than] five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain to this present, but some are fallen asleep [in death].

7 After that, He was seen of James; then of all the apostles [again].

8 And last of all He was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

9 For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet [or fit] to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am: and His grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 11 Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so you believed.

The proof of the resurrection

12 Now if Christ be preached that He rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14 and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching [in] vain, and your faith is also vain.

15 Yes, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ: [consider also John 10:17-18 to see HOW God did this] whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16 For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17 and if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; you are yet in your sins [for you were saved by the same power]. 18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable [just look at our experiences!].

Because of sin there must be a resurrection

20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by Man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in [or because of] Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at His coming. 24 Then comes the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when [or after] He [Jesus] shall have put down all rule and all authority and power [of the rebellion].

25 For He [Christ] must reign, till He has put all enemies under His feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. [Note this last statement with care – death is no friend of ours or God’s].

Eventually all will come under the Father

27 For He [the Father] has put all things under His [or Christ’s] feet [for the moment]. But when He says all things are put under Him [i.e. Christ], it is manifest [or should be very clear] that He [the Father] is excepted, which did put all things under Him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued to Him [or, when all recognise the Father’s position], then shall the Son also Himself be subject to Him that put all things under Him, that God [the Father] may be all in all.

29 Else what shall they do which are baptised for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptised for the dead? 30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour? 31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily [or, continuously and was one of the dead].

Consider the following verses as an explanation of what you have just read:-

Romans 7:8-9

But sin, taking occasion by the [absence of the] commandment [the Ten Commandments], wrought in me all manner of concupiscence [or lusts]. For without the law [the knowledge of] sin was dead [in me]. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came [into my mind], sin revived, and I died [or, I found that I was spiritually dead].

Ephesians 2:1-6

And you has He quickened [or made alive], who were dead in trespasses and sins: wherein in time past you walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air [a fancy name for Satan], the spirit that now [or still] works in the children of disobedience. Among whom also we all had our conversation [i.e. conduct] in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as [the] others [are].

But God, who is rich in mercy, for His great love wherewith He loved us, even when we were dead in sins, has quickened us together with Christ [or changed our nature in Christ], (by grace you are saved;) and has raised us up together [with Him], and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus…[and you were baptised to show this].

Colossians 2:12-13

Buried with Him in baptism [Romans 6:3-4], wherein also you are risen with Him through the faith of the operation of God, who has raised Him from the dead. And you, being [once] dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, has He [now] quickened together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses…

Luke 9:23

And He said to them all, If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily [i.e. continuously], and follow Me.

Mark 8:34-35

And when He had called the people to Him with His disciples also, He said to them, Whoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever will save his life shall lose it; but whoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel's [by forgetting his own desires], the same shall save it.

32 If after the manner of men [or, as men say] I have fought with beasts [or wild men] at Ephesus, what advantages it me, if the dead rise not? [Rather] let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die [forever!].

33 Be not deceived: evil communications [or wrong thoughts] corrupt good manners [change our behaviour]. 34 Awake to righteousness [the correct truth of this], and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God [and/or the resurrection]: I speak this to your shame.

Nature shows how it works

35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?

36 You fool [or ignorant one], that which you sow [or plant] is not quickened [or grows into a plant], except it die [first]: 37 and that which you sow, you sow not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: 38 but God gives it a body as it has pleased Him, and to every seed his own body [or distinctive plant form].

39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds [to suit their needs and environment]. 40 There are also celestial [heavenly] bodies, and bodies terrestrial [earthly]: but the glory [or characteristic] of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differs from another star in glory [or power].

42 So also is the resurrection of the dead.

It [the body] is sown [or buried] in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 43 it is sown in dishonour; 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 was made a living soul; the last Adam [Jesus] was made a quickening Spirit.

46 However that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.

The contrast

47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy [our present physical bodies], we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

50 Now this I say, brethren, that [earthy] flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither does corruption [that which is subject to death or decay] inherit incorruption [eternal life].

Not all will die

51 Behold, I show you a mystery [a little understood or thought of, truth];

We shall not all sleep [or die], but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we [who are alive at that time] shall be changed [at the second coming, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18]. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

54 So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. [Isaiah 25:8]

55 O death, where [then] is your sting? O grave, where [then] is your victory? 56 [At the moment] the sting [or cause] of death is sin; and the strength of [or, the power behind] sin is the law [See Romans 6:23]. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory [over death] through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be you steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, for [now] you know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.



For another look at this subject, from the opposite side,

see "The Wedding".


John 10:17-18

"Therefore does My Father love Me, because I lay down My life, that I might take it again. No man takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment [or power] have I received of My Father."

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Romans 6:3-6

Know you not, that so many of us as were baptised into Jesus Christ were baptised into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

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Romans 6:23

"For the wages [or result] of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."

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1 Thessalonians 4:

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep [in the grave], that you sorrow not, even as others which have no hope [unbelievers]. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring [out of their graves] with [or by] Him.

15 For this we say to you by the word of the Lord [this is clearly explained in the Bible], that we which are alive and remain to the coming of the Lord shall not prevent [precede] them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 

18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words. 

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