1 Corinthians 15

Christ became alive again after he died

1 My Christian friends, I want you to remember the good news that I taught to you. You received it from me and you continue to believe it as a true message. 2 Because of the message that I spoke to you, God will save you. He will save you if you continue to trust that same good news. 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 things:

Christ died as a sacrifice for our sins. The Bible already said how that would happen. 4 People buried his dead body. On the third day after that God raised him up to live again. The Bible already spoke about that too.

5 After that, Christ appeared to Peter. Later, he appeared to his 12 disciples. 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 apostles.

8 After all these people had seen him, Christ also appeared to me. I was like someone who was born at the wrong time. 9 Among all the apostles, I am the least important. I caused so much trouble for God's church that people should not really call me an apostle. 10 But God was very kind to me. He helped me to become a different person. And because God has been so kind to me, the result has been great. I have worked more than all the other apostles. But it was not really I myself who could do that work. No, I could do it because God was so kind to me. 11 So then, all of us apostles teach the same good news about Christ. That is the message that you have believed. It does not matter which of us told it to you, whether it was me or someone else.

People do live again after death

12 We all speak this message: God raised Christ up after his death. But some of you say that dead people do not live again. 13 Anyone who says that is wrong. If dead people do not live again, then Christ did not rise up after his death. He would still be dead. 14 And if God did not raise Christ up, it does no good for us to tell God's good news to people. There would be nothing for you to believe. 15 We would have been telling lies about God, because we told you that God raised Christ up after his death. But if dead people do not live again, that would not be true.

16 So, if dead people never rise to a new life, then Christ himself did not rise after his death. 17 And if Christ did not rise, then you have believed a false message. God would still say that you are guilty, because of your sins.

18 Also, think about those people who believed in Christ but they have already died. If dead people do not rise to a new life, those people would have no life with God. 19 As believers, we trust Christ to lead us into a new life after death. But if we only trust him to help us in this life, we should be very sad. Everybody should be very sorry for us, more than for anyone else.

20 But it is really true that God raised Christ up after his death. He rose up to go to God in heaven. He was the first, so we know that believers who die will also rise up.

21 All people die because of what one man did. That was Adam. And it is because of another man that people can rise up after death to a new life. That is Christ. 22 As people, all of us belong to Adam's family. So all of us must die. But all people who belong to Christ will live again after death. 23 It is like this: First of all, Christ died and then he became alive again. Then, when Christ returns, his people will live again too. 24 After that, the end of everything will happen. Christ will win against every ruler and power and authority. He will give the kingdom to God, the Father. God will rule over everything.

15:21Adam was the first person that God made in the beginning. See Genesis 1:26-27.

25 Christ himself must rule as king until he has won against all his enemies. 26 The last enemy that he must destroy is death. 27 It says in the Bible, ‘God has put all things under his authority.’

15:27See Psalm 8:6.

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 God's Son, Jesus Christ, will put himself under his Father's authority. Then God will have complete authority over all things, everywhere.

29 Think about this. Some of you have let people baptize you on behalf of believers who have already died. But if dead people do not rise up to a new life, there is no reason to baptize anyone on their behalf.

15:29It seems that some people in the church at Corinth did this. If a believer died before anyone baptized him, they might baptize another believer on behalf of the dead person. Paul does not say that this was a good thing to do. But it shows that they expected dead believers to rise to a new life.

30 Also, think about us! All the time we are in great danger. 31 Yes, every day I come near to death! Why do I tell you this? It is because I am proud of you. I am proud because we all belong to Christ Jesus our Lord. 32 At Ephesus city, people attacked me like wild animals and I fought against them. But that would be worth nothing to me if dead people do not rise to a new life. 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 probably die.

So we should just eat and drink as much as we like.’

15:32See Isaiah 22:13; 56:12.

33 Do not let anyone deceive you. Remember this:

‘If you become a friend of bad people, you also will live in a bad way.’

34 So start thinking properly! Stop doing wrong things! Some of you do not really know God. I am saying this to make you feel ashamed.

New bodies

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 Do not think like a fool! When you plant a seed in the ground, it has to die 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. You do not put into the ground the whole plant that the seed will become. 38 But God makes that seed become a plant. Each plant has its own special body that God has chosen for it.

39 Also, things that are alive do not have the same kind of body. People have one kind of body. Animals have a different kind of body. Birds and fish also have a different kind of body. 40 Also, there are things up in the sky that are different from the things here on the earth. They have different bodies. Also, the things in the sky are beautiful in a different way from the things on the earth. 41 The sun is beautiful in a special way. The moon is also beautiful in a special way, but it is different from the sun. The stars are beautiful too, and each star is beautiful in its own special way.

42 It is like that when God raises a dead person to a new life. We bury the dead person's body in the ground and it becomes spoiled. But when God raises it up, it will live for ever. 43 When we bury the body, it is not beautiful. But when God raises it up, it is very beautiful. When we bury the body, it is weak. But when God raises it, it is strong. 44 What we bury in the ground is a human body. But the body that God raises up is a spiritual body. There is a human body that belongs to this earth. So there also has to be a spiritual body that belongs to heaven.

45 It says in the Bible, ‘The first man, Adam, became a person who received life.’ But Christ is like the last Adam. He is a spirit who gives life to people.

15:45See Genesis 2:7.

46 The spiritual body does not come first. No, what is human comes first. Then, after that, what is spiritual comes. 47 God used soil from the ground to make the first man, Adam. But the second man came from heaven. 48 People who live on the earth have bodies like the first man. That is the man that God made from the soil of the earth. People in heaven have bodies like the man who came from heaven. 49 Now God has given us bodies that look like the first man. One day we will have bodies that look like the man who belongs in heaven.

50 I tell you this, my Christian friends. Our weak human bodies cannot go to heaven, to join God in his kingdom there. Our human bodies will die. They cannot share in something that will continue for ever.

51 Listen to me. I will explain a great secret to you. Not all of us will die, but God will change all of us. 52 It will happen in a short moment, when the last trumpet makes a sound. When that trumpet makes its sound, God will raise up the believers who have died. He will give them bodies that can never die. In that way, he will change all of us.

53 That has to happen. Our bodies that are becoming spoiled must change. They must change into bodies that never become spoiled. Our bodies that are dying must change into bodies that will never die. 54 God will give us new bodies like that. When that happens, what is written in the Bible will become true. It says:

‘God has won against death. He has destroyed it completely!’

15:54See Isaiah 25:8.

55 ‘Death, you can no longer win!

Death, you no longer have any power to hurt us!’

15:55See Hosea 13:14.

56 Death only has power to hurt us because of our sins. And it is the authority of God's Law that gives power to sins. 57 But now we thank God! Because of our Lord Jesus Christ, we win against death and its power.

58 So you must continue to be strong in your spirits, my Christian friends that I love. Do not let anything move you away from your faith. Continue to work hard as you serve the Lord. You know that whatever you do for him will not be useless.