1Cor. 15:35-58 Something to Hope in
Intro : Someone has written, There is a preacher of the old school but he speaks as boldly as ever. He is not popular, though the world is his parish and he travels every part of the globe and speaks in every language. He visits the poor, calls upon the rich, preaches to people of every religion and no religion, and the subject of his sermon is always the same. He is an eloquent preacher, often stirring feelings which no other preacher could, and bringing tears to eyes that never weep.
His arguments none are able to refute, nor is there any heart that has remained unmoved by the force of this appeals. He shatters life with his message. Most people hate him; everyone fears him. His name? Death. Every tombstone is his pulpit, every newspaper prints his text, and someday every one of you will be his sermon.
The hope of the Christian is expressed by the epitaph Benjamin Franklin wrote for himself, engraved on his tombstone in the cemetery of Christ’s Church in Philadelphia:
“The body of Franklin, printer, like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out and stripped of its lettering and gilding, lies here food for worms. But the work will not be lost, for it will appear once more in a new and more elegant edition, revised and corrected by the Author.”
A) There is a new edition that awaits us in glory – when this mortal will put on immortality / revised & corrected / all that is flawed – made right
B) Tonight we are picking up in v. 35 where Paul anticipates the question of the skeptic /
35 But someone will say, if what you are saying is true ( Implication here "How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?"
A) They asked Jesus a mocking and insincere question concerning a woman who was married to 7 brothers out lasted them all ( No children)
B) Their QUESTION : whose wife would SHE be in the resurrection,
C) He first told them that they understood neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.- FOOLISH –
1) They should have understood – that resurrection is real because in the very scriptures they studied – God declares I am the God of Abe …Jacob
A) Jesus said look – it says He is the God - God of the LIVING & NOT THE DEAD !!!!!
Paul responds to the skeptics QUESTION in a similar way - v. 36
Foolish one, ( Foolish = Ignorant by Choice -)
what you sow is not made alive unless it dies 37 And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain; perhaps wheat or some other grain.
38 But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.
LEARN FROM NATURE – 3 OBVIOUS LESSONS – about REZ.
1ST – DEATH IS PART OF THE PROCESS V.36 what you sow is not made alive unless it dies
A) The seed has to die before it can sprout / John 12 : 24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.
B) In order for fruit – new life to appear – death has to precede
A) V. 37 And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be,
B) Plant a seed get a flower - TULIP BULB – WHAT IS THAT? TULIP
No way! – UGLY – plant it – ground what happens ?
1) It dies / it terminates but as it does splits in two / roots go down – shoot
A) If you knew nothing about that process would you ever believe it ? Seed or BULB – becomes a BEAUTIFUL PLANT or FLOWER !!!!
1) NO But we see it regularly
A) Paul was before King Agrippa – expert on Jewish History - Why does it seem incredible to any of you that God can raise the dead?
1) You know the power of God – why think a problem ?
A) Paul is presenting a similar argument here to these skeptics – why think it incredible that there is a Resurrection. – we see Resurrection. all the time in Plant world !
3RD LESSON.. NATURE – ALTHOUGH THE FLOWER THAT EMERGES FROM THE SEED IS DIFFERENT – THERE IS A CONTIUNITY A CONNECTION BETWEEN THE TWO .
V. 38 38 But God gives it ( THE SEED ) a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.
A) God gives each seed its own body / The seed changes radically, but it continues as the same life form.
B) A wheat seed does not become barley, Peach seed – plum / etc.
C)You will be given a new body – but it is still going to be you .
A) Noting that because we can see the vast differences in God’s creation, we should not question His ability to create bodies that are different and yet continuous
39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds.
40 There are also celestial bodies HEAVENLY and terrestrial bodies; EARTHLY
B) just like the bodies of Humans differ from animals & animals from fish & fish from birds – so EARTHLY bodies differ from HEAVENLY
but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead.
C) And the Glory of one – differs from the glory of the other in the same way the glory or brightness of the sun is different from the moon.
1) Stars from stars etc. / Moon lights up the night – Sun eliminates the darkness
D)There is a glory about our earthly bodies – amazing machines / capable of doing so much – FEARFULLY & WONDERFULLY MADE
1) But the glory of our earthly bodies will not compare w/ the glory of our Heavenly bodies
In the following verses Paul explains some of the Differences
A) SOWN IN CORRUPTION = DECAY – PERISHING
B) From the moment you are born you begin to die ! Corruption
1) But we will be raised in INCORRUPTION
C) 1 Pet. 1:4 - an inheritance - incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
A) Part of that INHERITANCE is the new bodies we are going to receive from the Lord – not fade / rust / can’t be DEFILED
1) Corruption will put on Incorruption !!!!!
A) EXAMPLE during our lifetime the average brain takes in 10 times the information found in the U.S. Library of congress
B) There are 17 million volumes in the U.S. Library of Congress & our brains take in 10 times that ! / That’s a lot of info / but we forget 92%
C) DISHONOR – WE HAVE BEEN FLAWED BY SIN
D) RAISED IN GLORY - Right now Bible says we Know in Part / see through a fogged glass / then see clearly – Know all things
v. 43 Sown in WEAKNESS - Randy – Hey not as strong as you used to be
A) Also reference to weakness in dealing w/ temptation & sin – SPIRIT IS WILLING BUT THE FLESH IS WEAK !!!!!
v. 44 Sown a Natural Body – EARTHLY / Body designed for this earth & no where else - Space - Space Suit
A) Body that is limited by space & time / atmosphere
B) Raised in a spiritual Body – Heavenly / a body that will not have any of those LIMITATIONS
C) Jesus in His Resurrected Body – Looked Same – see His wounds / Rev. 5 who is worthy- Lion / Lamb
D) Jesus after the Resurrection. wasn’t bound by time & space or natural limitations / WALK THRU WALLS
1) Be one place – appear – be gone – some place else
A) So too w/ our new bodies !!!!
So they asked "How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?"
A) Paul responds – by not really giving them an answer but more of an explanation of the process using nature to illustrate
B) that what goes into the ground is radically differ from what comes up although there is a connection between the two
1) They are related .
Paul continues in v. 45 And so it is written, "The first man Adam became a living being." The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.
46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.
47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven.
48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly.
49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.
Paul says there are really only two men who have ever lived in all of history, and both of them he calls "Adam."
A) There is the first Adam and the last Adam. Do not call him "the second Adam" because that would allow for a third and a fourth and a fifth.
B) There are only two -- the first Adam, and the last Adam, Jesus
C) The first Adam, Paul says, was made a living soul. He had a body made from the dust,
1) and into that body of dust God himself, a Spirit, breathed a breath, and the joining together of spirit and body produced another phenomenon called the "soul," the personality.
A) It is the presence of a spirit in a body that creates the soul and allows a person to function as a human being with mind, emotion, and will.
1) That is what the first Adam was.
A) Because of sin – Adam became spiritually DEAD – separated from God
A) But then came a last Adam. Jesus,
B) When we are saved He regenerates our human spirit,
1) So we begin to experience in our life, right now, the joy of being once again in right relationship with the God who made us.
“He is a life-giving Spirit, and he is waiting to impart life to the "earth suit" as well and to make it into a "heaven suit," designed for the heavens.”
A) Right now we are in the image of the earthly Adam / but then we will bear the image of Christ !!!!
1Jn. 3 2 Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
Paul concludes this section in v. 50 saying Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Need a new Body
52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
A) Paul says I just told you that DEATH WAS PART OF THE PROCESS
But now I’m telling you a mystery – we won’t all die /
B) There are some that are going to MISS DEATH –
C) Mystery = musterion in Greek – something that was once hidden that has now been REVEALED
1) Some are not going to die !!!! RAPTURE / Caught up
16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.
17 Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.
D) Some will experience this Change another way – TRANSFORMED IN A MOMENT – Can’t wait !!!!!
v.53 –57 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." 55 "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
A) But We are still affected by death – grieve the loss of those dear to us
B) Even though death invades our lives the believer doesn’t need to fear death /
C) see that death is only that which interrupts this earthly life & ushers in the heavenly life ! All it is / is an interruption
A) Paul gives an idea here that DEATH left its STING in Christ like a Bumble Bee leaves it’s stinger in its victim
B) "Death is swallowed up in victory."
C) The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.
Law brings about the Knowledge of Sin / wages of sin is death – Like being diagnosed w/ cancer - Going to die !! Hopeless – need a miracle
A) But where there is no sin – NO WORRY – Christ paid the price for our sins / He conquered sin & DEATH –
B) Gave His victory to Us 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
C) He did all the work & we reap the Benefits !!!!!
(steadfast) literally refers to being seated, and therefore to being settled and firmly situated.
(immovable) carries the same basic idea but with more intensity. It denotes being totally immobile and motionless.
(abounding) carries the idea of exceeding the requirements, of overflowing or overdoing.