Physical & Spiritual Resurrection

1 Corinthians chapter 15 is a very heavy chapter. Today I found my mind blown as I read. Paul was clarifying the gospel once again by also listing all of the eyewitnesses that were still alive and could attest to the resurrection of Jesus. Paul added himself as an “abnormaly born” witness since his encounter with Jesus was a little bit different. Paul spent a lot of time establishing the importance of the resurrection since there is no salvation without resurrection. Apparently, there were some in the church at Corinth that were saying there was no resurrection of the dead because he was addressing them by asking “Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead?” He clarifies this importance of this point as the whole cornerstone of the gospel because without the resurrection of Jesus there would be no salvation. Without the resurrection we are all still stuck in sin and the gospel is for nothing, but because of the physical resurrection of Jesus we know that we will also be resurrected spiritually. Paul used several examples of physical and spiritual resurrection to prove how important this is. The first comparison was Adam, the first man made of flesh that brought sin and death to all of mankind because of his disobedience, but Jesus was the heavenly ‘Adam’ that died physically to give us that spiritual resurrection, so to deny that there is a resurrection is to deny salvation. At this point Paul tells the church at Corinth “Do not be deceived. Bad company corrupts good morals. Come to your senses and stop sinning, for some people are ignorant about God and I say this to your shame.  The second example Paul used was that seeds that are planted in the ground are dead and buried, and when they are planted in death they are changed and ‘resurrected’ into something new. They break down and die as seeds, but they come up with new and changed bodies in the form of flowers and plants. Paul has two analogy points here. One is that the seed has to die in the ground before it can resurrect, and the second point is that the seed that is planted will look much different when it comes up. The seed is not much to look at in the first place, but when planted it dies and breaks down in the ground and it is changed in body and form into something much more beautiful and much more fruitful. In verse 42 Paul said “Sown in corruption, raised in incorruption, sown in dishonor, raised in glory, sown in weakness, raised in power, sown in a natural body, raised in a spiritual body.” We are like that seed and when we say yes to Jesus, we say yes to die to our flesh just like Jesus did, so we can resurrect into something more fruitful and more beautiful. Paul told the church “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, and corruption cannot inherit incorruption.”  Unless we die to our flesh, we can’t inherit the kingdom of God. This means we can’t continue on in our sin and expect to resurrect from it. Jesus died and resurrected physically so that we could die and resurrect spiritually, but we can’t resurrect without first dying to our flesh like he did. Paul told the church “I die daily” and this is what we are to do. When we die to our flesh, and our selfishness, we are changed into something fruitful and beautiful that God can use.

Leave a Reply