1Now, brothers and sisters, I want you to remember the Good News I told you about. You received this message, and you continue strong in it. 2You are saved by this message. But you must continue believing the things I told you. If you don’t do that, then you believed for nothing. 3I gave you the message that I received. I told you the most important things: that Christ died for our sins, like the Scriptures say; 4that Christ was buried and was raised to life on the third day, like the Scriptures say; 5and that Christ showed himself to Peter and then to the twelve ˻apostles together˼. 6After that, Christ showed himself to more than 500 of the brothers and sisters at the same time. Most of these people are still living today. But some have died. 7Then Christ showed himself to James and later to all the people he sent to do his work. 8Last of all, Christ showed himself to me. ˻I was different,˼ like a baby that is born before the normal time. 9All the other apostles are greater than I am. This is because I persecuted the church of God. That is why I am not even good enough to be called an apostle. 10But, because of God’s grace (gift), that is what I am. And his grace that he gave me was not wasted. I worked harder than all the other apostles. (But I was not really the one working. It was God’s grace that was with me.) 11So then ˻it is not important˼ if I ˻told you God’s message˼ or if it was the other apostles ˻that told you˼—we all tell people the same message, and this is what you believed. 12We tell everyone that Christ was raised from death. So why do some of you say that people will not be raised from death? 13If people will never be raised from death, then Christ has never been raised from death. 14And if Christ has never been raised, then the message we tell people is worth nothing. And your faith is worth nothing. 15And also we will be guilty of lying about God. Why? Because we have told people about God, saying that he raised Christ from death. And if people are not raised from death, then God never raised Christ from death. 16If dead people are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. 17And if Christ has not been raised from death, then your faith is for nothing; you are still guilty of your sins. 18And those people in Christ who have already died are lost. 19If our hope in Christ is only for this life ˻here on earth˼, then people should feel more sorry for us than for anyone else. 20But Christ has truly been raised from death—the first one of all those ˻believers˼ who will be raised from death. 21Death happens to people because of what one man ˻(Adam)˼ did. But the rising from death also happens because of one man ˻(Christ)˼. 22In Adam all of us die. In the same way, in Christ all of us will be made alive again. 23But every man will be raised to life in the right order. Christ was first to be raised. Then when Christ comes again, the people who belong to Christ will be raised to life. 24Then the end will come. Christ will destroy all rulers, authorities, and powers. Then Christ will give the kingdom to God the Father. 25Christ must rule until God puts all enemies under Christ’s control. 26The last enemy to be destroyed will be death. 27˻Like the Scripture says,˼ “God put all things under his control.” When it says that “all things” are put under him ˻(Christ)˼, it is clear that this does not include God himself. God is the one putting everything under Christ’s control. 28After everything has been put under Christ, then the Son ˻(Christ)˼ himself will be put under God. God is the One who put all things under Christ. Christ will be put under God, so that God will be the complete ruler over everything. 29If people will never be raised from death, then what will people do who are baptized for those who have died? If dead people are never raised, then why are people baptized for them? 30And what about us? Why do we put ourselves in danger every hour? 31I die every day. That is true, brothers, the same as it is true that I boast about you in Christ Jesus our Lord. 32I fought wild animals in Ephesus. If I did that only for human reasons, to satisfy my own pride, then I have gained nothing. If people are not raised from death, “Let us eat and drink, because tomorrow we die.” 33Don’t be fooled: “Bad friends will ruin good habits.” 34Come back to your right way of thinking and stop sinning. Some of you don’t know God. I say this to shame you. 35But some person may ask, “How are dead people raised? What kind of body will they have?” 36Those are stupid questions. When you plant something, it must die ˻in the ground˼ before it can live and grow. 37And when you plant something, the thing you plant does not have the same “body” that it will have later. The thing you plant is only a seed, maybe wheat or something else. 38But God gives it a body that he has planned for it. And God gives each kind of seed its own body. 39All things made of flesh ˻(bodies)˼ are not the same kind of flesh: People have one kind of flesh ˻(body)˼, animals have another kind, birds have another kind, and fish have another kind. 40Also there are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies. But the beauty of the heavenly bodies is one kind. The beauty of the earthly bodies is another kind. 41The sun has one kind of beauty, the moon has another kind of beauty, and the stars have another. And each star is different in its beauty. 42It is the same with the dead people who are raised to life. The body that is “planted” will ruin and decay. But that body is raised to a life that cannot be destroyed. 43When the body is “planted,” it is without honor. But it is raised in glory. When the body is “planted,” it is weak. But when it is raised, it has power. 44The body that is “planted” is a physical body. When it is raised, it is a spiritual body. There is a physical body. So there is also a spiritual body. 45Like the Scriptures say, “The first man (Adam) became a living thing.” But the last Adam ˻(Christ)˼ became a spirit that gives life. 46The spiritual ˻man˼ did not come first. It was the physical ˻man˼ that came first; then came the spiritual. 47The first man came from the dust of the earth. The second man ˻(Christ)˼ came from heaven. 48People belong to the earth. They are like that first man of earth. But those people who belong to heaven are like that man of heaven. 49We were made like that man of earth. So we will also be made like that man of heaven. 50I tell you this, brothers and sisters: Flesh and blood ˻(a physical body)˼ cannot have a part in the kingdom of God. A thing that will ruin cannot have a part in something that never ruins. 51But listen, I tell you this secret: We will not all die, but we will all be changed. 52It will only take the time of a second. We will be changed as quickly as an eye blinks. This will happen when the last trumpet blows. The trumpet will blow and those ˻believers˼ who have died will be raised to live forever. And we ˻also˼ will all be changed. 53This ˻body˼ that will ruin must clothe itself with something that will never ruin. And this ˻body˼ that dies must clothe itself with something that will never die. 54So this ˻body˼ that ruins will clothe itself with that which never ruins. And this body that dies will clothe itself with that which never dies. When this happens, then the Scriptures will be made true: “Death is swallowed ˻(defeated)˼ in victory.” 55”Death, where is your victory? Grave, where is your power to hurt?” 56Death’s power to hurt is sin. And the power of sin is the law. 57But we thank God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58So, my dear brothers and sisters, stand strong. Don’t let anything change you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord. You know that your work in the Lord is never wasted.
1 Corinthians 15