Death Defeated
STEVE McKENZIE   -  

The Resurrection of Christ

15 Now I would remind you, brothers,1 of the gospel gI preached to you, which youreceived, hin which you stand, and by which iyou are being saved, if you jholdfast to the word I preached to you—kunless you believed in vain.

For lI delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ diedmfor our sins nin accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raisedoon the third day pin accordance with the Scriptures, and that qhe appeared to Cephas,then rto the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time,most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared tosJames, then tto all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, uhe appeared alsoto me. For vI am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because wIpersecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his gracetoward me was not in vain. On the contrary, xI worked harder than any of them, ythoughit was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so wepreach and so you believed.

The Resurrection of the Dead

12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, zhow can some of you say thatthere is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, athennot even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching isin vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, becausewe testified about God that bhe raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that thedead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 Andif Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and cyou are still in your sins. 18 Thenthose also who dhave fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope2 inthis life only, ewe are of all people most to be pitied.

20 But in fact fChrist has been raised from the dead, gthe firstfruits of those who havefallen asleep. 21 For as hby a man came death, iby a man has come also the resurrection ofthe dead. 22 For jas in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each inhis own order: Christ the firstfruits, then kat his coming lthose who belong to Christ.24 Then comes the end, when he delivers mthe kingdom to God the Father after destroyingnevery rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign ountil he has put all hisenemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be pdestroyed is death. 27 For q“God3 has putall things in subjection under his feet.” But when it says, “all things are put in subjection,”it is plain that he is excepted who put all things in subjection under him. 28 When rallthings are subjected to him, then the Son himself will also be subjected to him who put allthings in subjection under him, that sGod may be all in all.

29 Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the deadare not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf? 30 Why are we tin dangerevery hour? 31 I protest, brothers, by umy pride in you, which I have in Christ Jesus ourLord, vI die every day! 32 What do I gain if, humanly speaking, wI fought with beasts atEphesus? If the dead are not raised, x“Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” 33 yDonot be deceived: z“Bad company ruins good morals.”4 34 aWake up from your drunkenstupor, as is right, and do not go on sinning. For bsome have no knowledge of God. cI saythis to your shame.

The Resurrection Body

35 But someone will ask, d“How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do theycome?” 36 You foolish person! eWhat you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 Andwhat you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of someother grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its ownbody. 39 For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another foranimals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthlybodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is ofanother. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another gloryof the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

42 fSo is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raisedis imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; git is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it israised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is anatural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, h“The first man Adambecame a living being”;5 ithe last Adam became a jlife-giving spirit. 46 But it is not thespiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 kThe first man was from theearth, la man of dust; mthe second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so alsoare those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, nso also are those who are ofheaven. 49 Just oas we have borne the image of the man of dust, pwe shall6 also bear theimage of the man of heaven.

Mystery and Victory

50 I tell you this, brothers: qflesh and blood rcannot inherit the kingdom of God, nordoes the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. sWe shall notall sleep, tbut we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the lasttrumpet. For uthe trumpet will sound, and vthe dead will be raised imperishable, and weshall be changed. 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and wthismortal body must put on immortality. 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable,and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

x“Death is swallowed up in victory.”

55  y“O death, where is your victory?

O death, where is your sting?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and zthe power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, awhogives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 bTherefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in cthework of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord dyour labor is not in vain.