The Resurrection of Christ
15:1Now I make known unto you brethren, the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye received, wherein also ye stand, 15:2by which also ye are saved, if ye hold fast the word which I preached unto you, except ye believed in vain.
15:3For I delivered unto you first of all that which also I received:1 that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 15:4and that he was buried; and that he hath been raised on the third day2 according to the scriptures; 15:5and that he appeared to Cephas; then to the twelve;3 15:6then he appeared to above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain until now, but some are fallen asleep; 15:7then he appeared to James; then to all the apostles; 15:8and last of all, as to the child untimely born, he appeared to me also. 15:9For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 15:10But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not found vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.4 15:11Whether then it be I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.
- that which also I received. Jesus Christ overcame all the sins of the flesh, saved His body from the tomb, and raised it to eternal life.
- raised on the third day. Christian metaphysicians see that His overcoming, the Resurrection, was not a miracle, but rather the outworking and fulfillment of divine law. Through faith and understanding they are overcoming many of the ills of mind and body, and they know by analogy that the final demonstration of the law will be perfect health, that is, continuous life in the body, spiritualized.
- He appeared to Cephas; then to the twelve. Jesus did not leave the earth, but He did leave the consciousness of material conditions, which men call the earth. He is still in our midst in His eternal body, dwelling in another form.
- the grace of God which was with me. Paul was not given grace because he worked more abundantly than others, but because he was ignorant of the law.
The Resurrection of the Dead
15:12Now if Christ is preached that he hath been raised from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?1 15:13But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither hath Christ been raised:2 15:14and if Christ hath not been raised, then is our preaching vain, your faith also is vain. 15:15Yea, we are found false witnesses of God; because we witnessed of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead are not raised. 15:16For if the dead are not raised, neither hath Christ been raised: 15:17and if Christ hath not been raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.15:18Then they also that are fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 15:19If we have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all men most pitiable.
15:20But now hath Christ been raised from the dead, the first fruits of them that are asleep.3 15:21For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 15:22For as in Adam all die,4 so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 15:23But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits; then they that are Christ's, at his coming. 15:24Then cometh the end, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have abolished all rule and all authority and power.5 15:25For he must reign, till he hath put all his enemies under his feet. 15:26The last enemy that shall be abolished is death. 15:27For, He put all things in subjection under his feet. But when he saith, All things are put in subjection, it is evident that he is excepted who did subject all things unto him. 15:28And when all things have been subjected unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subjected to him that did subject all things unto him, that God may be all in all.
15:30Why do we also stand in jeopardy every hour? 15:31I protest by that glorifying in you, brethren, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 15:32If after the manner of men I fought with beasts at Ephesus, what doth it profit me? If the dead are not raised,
let us eat and drink,
for to-morrow we die.
15:33Be not deceived:
- resurrection of the dead? If preachers say Jesus was resurrected from the dead then it must follow that all those who apply Jesus’ teachings will be resurrected also.
- neither hath Christ been raised. If the law of resurrection were not universal, it would not have been possible for Jesus Christ to resurrect his body.
- the first fruits of them that are asleep. Paul affirms that Jesus Christ was the first fruits of them that had fallen asleep for lack of the constant inflow of new life from the fountainhead. Christ is the principle that quickens the life of Spirit in man. The sense mind is dead to spiritual values, but the Christ awakens it to them.
- For in Adam all die. When one's thoughts are out of harmony with divine law, cross currents are set up. In the Scriptures this condition is called sin. Sin results in death. The Adamic man, the natural man, broke the consciousness that the life current connected him with the parent life; Jesus Christ restored that union.
- abolished all rule and all authority and power. By establishing the Spirit of truth as the sole guide to conduct in human relations, the authority and dominion of earthly rulers will give place to the authority and dominion of God in Christ.
The Resurrection Body
15:35But some one will say, How are the dead raised? and with what manner of body do they come? 15:36Thou foolish one, that which thou thyself sowest is not quickened except it die: 15:37and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not the body that shall be, but a bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other kind; 15:38but God giveth it a body even as it pleased him, and to each seed a body of its own. 15:39All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fishes. 15:40There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 15:41There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory.1
15:42So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 15:43it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 15:44it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 15:45So also it is written, The first man Adam became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.2 15:46Howbeit that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; then that which is spiritual. 15:47The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is of heaven. 15:48As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 15:49And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.
15:50Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;3 neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 15:51Behold, I tell you a mystery:4 We all shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed, 15:52in a moment,5 in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 15:53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.6 15:54But when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written,
Death is swallowed up in victory.7
15:55O death, where is thy victory?
O death, where is thy sting?8
- glories of the sun, moon, and stars. Spiritual life is greater than the material. Whereas the soul clings to material existence and fears the unconsciousness of the material that death brings, consciousness of spiritual life overcomes all such fear.
- life-giving spirit. A living soul is the individual consciousness of the self as one of the race in thought, feeling, and expression. The life-giving spirit is the expression of the Christ consciousness or idea of God.
- Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. We are to develop consciousness of more than flesh and blood and thus put ourselves in contact with eternal life here and now.
- I tell you a mystery. The mystery of immortality, that eternal life subsists here and now as well as on the other side of death.
- we shall all be changed, in a moment. The change is one of consciousness.
- mortal ... put on immortality. By entering into and expressing the Spirit of the Christ we develop a consciousness of eternal life in the mind and heart.
- death swallowed up in victory. When the victory of the resurrection life is grasped and firmly held in faith, death is forgotten (swallowed up).
- where is thy sting? resurrection has removed the fear of death as the inevitable end of life.
Fillmore Study Bible annotations compiled by Mark Hicks
Following Entry: I Corinthians 16