Paul and the Resurrection: 1 Corinthians 15


Paul and the Resurrection

Believing in the resurrection is the hope of our future salvation. To deny this future resurrection, as some in Corinth were doing, is to live instead for this world and to perish with the world. 

The resurrection is proven in that Christ rose from the dead. If Christ didn’t rise, then we have no hope, no future life. Resurrection here is defined as physical bodily resurrection. There is no sense in which Paul means a mere spiritual salvation in heaven without the body after death. Paul is speaking about a renewed creation, including a renewed body. This is the only final resurrection Paul speaks of. 

The present reign of Christ is in force now as a gospel mission, which concludes in the coming resurrection at the end of this age. “For he must reign until he has put all enemies under his feet.” (1 Cor 15:25) 

Paul is here referring to Israel's past Old Testament return from captivity, return from exile in Babylon, as a type and shadow of Christ.

Isaiah 52:7, “How beautiful on the mountains is the voice of the good news, proclaiming ‘Your God reigns.’” In the Old Testament, God reigned over Babylon and other pagan nations, to accomplish Israel's return to their land. 

Today, God reigns through the gospel until his enemies are subdued and all his people are gathered.

Isaiah was proclaiming the past Old Testament fall of Babylon, the release of Israel to return to God’s favour, presence, and land. This is resurrection in Old Testament type, in a shadow. God’s people were raised from the dead, so to speak, in their captivity in Babylon, and returned to favour in their land. 

This is fulfilled in the resurrection of Christ, birthing new life for the world, gathering all God’s people through the gospel (believing Jews and believing gentiles) to his presence and favour and to renewed creation. At the end of this “return from exile” period through the gospel, we are all raised bodily from the dead. That is the end, the return from exile complete, the purpose for which Christ now reigns over his enemies in the world.

So, what kind of body do we have in the resurrection? It is the same body as we have now, but imperishable, incorruptible. Instead of being energised by decaying life, it is energised by spiritual, eternal life. Thus, the grave loses its power over us in Christ. The grave is emptied, the same physical body is raised in glory. 

Here is an example, some Old Testament believers raised with Christ as a first fruits: "The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people." (Matthew 27:51b-53)

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  1. Nah. The ressurection is Israel this body of death is raised to body of life.