But someone will say, "How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?"1 Corinthians 15:35(NASB)
For a whole chapter, Paul has been deconstructing the false teaching of classical philosophers and certain religious groups, who declared that there was no resurrection from the dead. But Paul is ready to answer anyone who asks the questions: How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?
The resurrection of the dead is a doctrine that threads its way throughout both Old and New Testaments, and is the foundational pillar of the Christian faith - for if Christ had not been raised from the dead, then our faith would be in vain, and we would remain in our sin.
As Christians, our identification with Christ's resurrection, is the absolute assurance that we, who have been saved by grace through faith in Him, will likewise be raised from the dead, into newness of life - for we are saved... spirit, soul and body, and we will have resurrection bodies, like unto His glorious Body.
One by one, he demolishes each false premise and gradually rebuilds the truth.. that death has been swallowed up in victory. Paul's motive, in laying out this carefully constructed argument, is to prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that the veracity of the resurrection, and the certainty that we too will be raised from the dead, is steadfast and true. Paul was ready and willing to give an answer for the hope that was in him, when challenged about the resurrection of the body, from the dead.
Paul covers historical reasons, logical arguments, experiential causes and theological evidences, in his defence of the resurrection, and provides additional detail, by answering any objections that may be raised. He also gives a description of the glories of the resurrection body, and details of the rapture of the living saints - who will be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye - at the last trump. Indeed, Paul writes: for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.... for, THEN will come about the saying that is written, 'death is swallowed up in victory. 'O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting'
Yes, Paul goes into detail about the first Adam, who is clothed in a natural, earthly, mortal body and has a fallen nature that is subject to physical death - for scripture teaches that the wages of man's sin is death. He then describes Christ as the last Adam, Who illustrates the heavenly, spiritual, immortal body, where His eternal life and righteousness, has been imputed to us!
Both the resurrection and rapture are glorious truths, that give great encouragement to Christians - especially in times of hardship, which is why Paul wrote his extended treatise on the resurrection.. and concluded with the exhortation - Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.
Paul's doctrinal lecture on the resurrection, closes with some practical instructions, for we are to stand fast, on the truth of the Word of God. We are not to be tossed about by every wind of doctrine. Indeed, we are to test the teachings of those that in any way, contradict the Word of God, and we are to be ready to answer anyone who questions our blessed hope in Christ, and the promise of our bodily resurrection.
We are to be unmoved by the increasing numbers of extra-biblical revelations, and other religious agendas, and we must remain steadfast and unaffected by those that spiritualise the Bible... by reading into the text what they want it to say - in order to promote their false teachings, instead of reading what the text clearly teaches.
We are to occupy until Jesus comes, and trust the Word of truth - which teaches that our toil for the Lord will not be in vain. May we who have been saved by faith, and are growing in grace.. rejoice. Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we will also be raised, and live with Him for ever. May we keep our eyes on Jesus and finish the good work that God has prepared for us to do - knowing that our toil for the Lord is not carried out in vain, but will receive a great reward when He returns, to take us to be with Himself.
Heavenly Father, thank You that because Christ is risen from the dead.. my earthly, corrupted mortal body will be raised a heavenly and incorruptible body, that will not fade away. Help me to remain steadfast and immovable - always abounding in the work of the Lord. Thank You that my work is not in vain in the Lord, but will receive a great reward - may all I do, be done to Your greater praise and glory - This I ask in Jesus name, AMEN.