1 Corinthians 15
Christ certainly did become alive again after he died
1 Now, my friends, I want you to remember the good news that I taught you. You were happy to believe that message. And you still believe strongly that it is true. 2 You must continue to believe strongly that same good news. If you do, then it has saved you. If you do not, you have believed it for nothing.
3 I received the good news from Christ, and I told that message to you. I told you the most important thing, that Christ died to save us. As a result, God forgives us for the wrong things that we have done. The Bible already told us that Christ would do this. 4 I told you that people buried his body, but on the third day after that God raised him to live again. The Bible already told us about that too. 5 After that, Christ appeared to Peter. Then later he appeared to his 12 special workers that he sent to tell the good news. 6 And after that, he appeared to more than 500 believers at the same time. Most of those 500 people are still alive, but some of them have died. 7 Then Christ appeared to James. Later he appeared to all the special workers that he had sent to tell the good news.
8 After all these people had seen him, Christ appeared to me also. I was like someone who was born at the wrong time. 9 Christ sent other people to tell his message. And all of those other people are greater than I am. People should not really call me one of them, because I caused so much trouble for God's church. I hurt Christians and I killed them. 10 But God was very kind to me. He changed me. He has made me what I am today. And I have not wasted what he has done in me. No, because I have worked more than all the other people that Christ sent to tell his message. But it was not really I myself who did that work. No, it was God himself who made me able to do the work. 11 So then, all of us teach this same good news about Christ. I teach it. And all the other special workers that Christ sent teach it too. And this is the message that you have believed.
Dead people can live again in Christ
12 Our message is this: Christ died, but God raised him. God raised him, to make him alive again. So, some of you are wrong. You say that dead people do not live again. 13 But what you say cannot be true. It cannot be true, because then Christ would still be dead. You are saying, ‘God did not raise him, to make him alive again.’ 14 But if Christ is still dead, then our message to you is not true. There would be nothing for you to believe. 15 And even more important, we would have told you something false about God. We told you that God caused Christ to live again. But if dead people cannot live again, then that cannot be true. But it is true! 16 If God does not make dead people alive again, then Christ cannot be alive. But he is! 17 And if God did not make Christ alive again, then you have believed something false. There would be no reason for you to believe about Christ. God could not choose to forget all the wrong things that you have done. But he can! 18 Also, if God does not cause dead people to live again, then dead Christians would continue to be dead. They could not be alive with God. 19 And if Christ gives us a reason to hope during this life only, then we are the saddest people in the world! Then everybody should be more sorry for us than for any other people.
20 But it is true that God raised Christ. And he did make him alive again. Yes, Christ died. But he has become the first of all dead people to live again. 21 It was because of one man, Adam, that people died. And it is because of another man, Christ, that people can rise. And people can live again. 22 All of us are in Adam's family, so all of us must die. But all people who are in Christ will live again. 23 It is like this: Christ died and then he became alive again. So, he shows us the way. When he returns, his people will live again too. 24 Then the end will come and Christ will destroy every other ruler and power and authority. Then he will give everything to God, the Father, and God will rule. 25 Christ must rule as king until God has put all enemies under Christ's authority. 26 God will destroy the last enemy. And that enemy is death. 27 It says in the Bible:
‘God has put all things under his authority.’
But it is clear that the words ‘all things’ do not include God himself. No, because it is God who put all things under Christ's authority. 28 When God has put all things under Christ's authority, then Christ, the Son, will put himself under God's authority. So then God will have all authority over all things, everywhere.
29 Some Christians have died before anyone could baptise them. Some of you have let people baptise you on their behalf. But if dead people do not live again, there is no reason to baptise anyone on their behalf.
30 Also, think about us! All the time we are in danger. 31 Christian friends, I say strongly to you that I die every day! That is as true as the fact that I am very happy because of you. It is a great thing that all of us are united with Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 At Ephesus city, I fought as a man fights wild animals. But that would be worth nothing if dead people do not live again. If dead people do not live again, then we could say:
15:32Ephesus was a city in the country that we call Turkey now.
‘Tomorrow we will die.
So we should just eat and drink as much as we like.’
33 Do not believe false words. But these words are true:
‘Do not have friends who are bad. They will make you do the bad things that they do.’
34 Start thinking properly! Do what is right! Stop doing wrong things! Some of you do not really know God. So, I am saying all this to make you feel ashamed about that.
35 One of you may ask: ‘How does God raise dead people, to make them alive again? What kind of body will they have?’ 36 You are a fool to ask those questions! When you plant a seed in the ground, it has to die first. It does not become alive again, unless it dies first. Then it can become alive again and grow into a new plant. 37 You put just a seed into the ground. It might be wheat or it might be another kind of seed. But you do not put into the ground the body of the plant that the seed will become. 38 But God makes that seed become a plant. He gives to it the special body that he has chosen for it. To each kind of seed, God gives its own body.
39 All things that are alive are not the same. They have different kinds of bodies. People have one kind of body. Animals have another, different kind of body. Birds have another kind of body and fish have another kind. 40 Also, there are bodies in the sky and there are bodies here on the earth. The bodies in the sky are beautiful. But they are beautiful in a different way from the bodies on the earth. 41 The sun is beautiful. The moon is beautiful also, but it is different from the sun. The stars are beautiful too, but again they are different from the sun and the moon. Also, among the stars, one star is brighter than another star.
42 So, when God makes a dead person alive again, it will be like this. The dead person's human body, which we bury in the ground, had to die. But when God makes it alive again, it will never die. 43 At the time that we bury a body, it is not beautiful any longer. It is weak. When God makes it alive again, that body will be beautiful and strong. 44 What we bury in the ground is only a human body. What God makes alive again is a spiritual body. There is a human body, so there has to be a spiritual body also.
45 It says in the Bible:
‘The first man, Adam, became a human person who was alive.’
But the last Adam (Christ) is the spirit who gives people true life.
46 The spiritual body does not come first. No, what is human comes first. Then, after that, what is spiritual comes. 47 God made the first man, Adam, out of the ground. But the second Adam came from heaven. 48 People who belong to the earth are like the first man. They are like the man who came from the ground. But people who belong to heaven are different. They are like the man who came from heaven. 49 Our human bodies are like the first man, that God made out of the ground. But our spiritual bodies will be like the man who came from heaven. 50 I tell you this, Christian friends: Our human bodies cannot live always with God, in the place where he rules. The human body has to die. It cannot receive something that will continue always.
51 Listen to me while I tell you a secret. Not all of us will die, but God will change all of us. 52 It will happen when the last trumpet makes a sound. He will change us in a moment of time. There will not even be enough time to close our eyes, while he is changing us. When that trumpet makes its sound, God will make the dead people alive again. He will give them bodies that will never die. And he will change all of us.
53 All things that become old and weak must change. They must change into things that cannot become old and weak. Our bodies, that have to die, must change. They must become bodies that cannot die. 54 Our human bodies have to die. But they will become bodies that cannot die. And before this happens, God has told us about it in the Bible. It says:
‘I have destroyed death. I have won completely!’
When he changes us, we will know this. We will know that it is true.
55 God says to believers:
‘When you believers die, that is not the end.
There is nothing to hurt you at that time.’
56 All of us have been wrong because we have not obeyed God's rules. So, without Jesus, we would be afraid to die, because then God would have to punish us. 57 But God causes us to win by our Lord Jesus Christ. So, we thank God! And we are not afraid to die.
58 So, my friends, that I love, continue to be strong. Continue holding on to God. Do not let anything move you from your place. Continue always to work on the Lord's behalf. Work very much for him. Everything that you do for him will have good results. It will not be a waste of time. You know that this is true.