Day Two – Read 1 Corinthians 15:35-49 (The Bodily Character of the Resurrection)
Paul now corrects those who deny the possibility of the resurrection because they assume that earthly life is completely incompatible with the heavenly spiritual existence. He grants that the principle of polarity between heaven and earth is valid, but the student (the Corinthians and many of us) fails to understand that transformation can occur. As our bodies die physically there is that spiritual life that springs forth just as a seed does when it grows and produces a new plant. Paul is teaching resurrection, which is far different from the resuscitation of the corpse. What is mortal will be changed by the power of God through Jesus Christ so that those who are raised will be given a body that is consistent with its new celestial habitat. The resurrection of Christ Jesus has revealed the foundation for a new reality: He “will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him (Rom. 6:9).”
Questions to ponder and meditate on:
-How does Paul relate the physiological principle of a seed to the spiritual principle of the resurrection in this passage?
· Cross reference- Matt. 13:3-43, John 12:23-26, 1 Cor. 3:6-7; 9:11, 1 Peter 1:23, 1 John 3:9
-Explain in your own words the difference between the first man, Adam, and the life giving man, Jesus Christ:
-Why can Paul state in verse 49 that we shall “bear the likeness of the man from heaven?”
-What do words such as you’ve just read do to give you hope in this world?
Application: The Christian life is one of hope and growth. While our physical bodies get older and are definitely in the process of decay because of the natural order caused by sin, the spiritual person within is being renewed day-by-day and learning to conform with the image of Christ (Col. 3:10, 2 Cor. 4:16). This is called sanctification in the Bible and it is a process that we undertake as believers. One day it will result in our glorification, which is when our complete redemption will be realized and the curse of this earth will have no further power or dominion over us because we are, in Christ Jesus, given an imperishable body. Give God glory and praise for this amazing fact! We have a lot to look forward to!
Day Three – Read 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 (All Will Be Changed!)
Our victory is assured through our faith in Jesus Christ to complete this transformation into a new body, which is compatible with its new environment in eternity. God, by His awesome power, proclaims final victory over death on our behalf out of His love and compassion for us. Our work is not in vain in Jesus Christ!
Questions to ponder and meditate on:
-Paul’s assertion in verse 50 that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” reiterates that a change must take place from our natural-sinful state of present being. What does it take for us to become imperishable in the sight of God?
-Is the passage from verses 51-53 clear indication to you that there will be some sort of rapture for the church? Explain your thoughts on this subject:
* Cross References: 1 Thess. 4:16-17, Matt. 24:31
-How can verses 54-57 help us in our times of grief and sadness over loss?
-What are Paul’s final two exhortations to the Corinthians, and us, in verse 58? Comment on these two exhortations:
Application: We are to always stand firm letting nothing move us from our faith and always giving ourselves fully to the work of Christ since we know that eternal victory over the sting of death is ours because we belong to Christ and He will save us. What a joy and a hope this should give to us! This is certainly something worth communicating to others, in our family and our friends and even those we don’t quite know yet. Share the gospel of Christ! It truly is the Good News that overcomes the world and all its problems! Our work is not in vain!