Change is Coming
1 Corinthians 15:50-58
Our future resurrection gives us the ability to persevere in our faith.
Published October 4th, 2020
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Main point summary
Acknowledgements and references
Main point summary
Because our perishable bodies will be changed into imperishable ones suitable for eternal life, an event that represents God’s defeat over death, be strong in your faith, doing good works.
1 Corinthians 15:50-58
I tell you this, brothers:
Here is an important truth, my brothers in Christ:
Τοῦτο δέ φημι, ἀδελφοί, ὅτι σὰρξ καὶ αἷμα βασιλείαν θεοῦ κληρονομῆσαι οὐ δύναται οὐδὲ ἡ φθορὰ τὴν ἀφθαρσίαν κληρονομεῖ.
q flesh and blood r cannot inherit the kingdom of God,
in our fallen state, in which are bodies are weak, and subject to death and decay, we are not suited to be with God in his dwelling place, in which everything is holy.
nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
and things that waste away cannot become part of a world that lasts forever.
Behold! I tell you a mystery.
And yet , listen to this good news! A mystery, in fact.
ἰδοὺ μυστήριον ὑμῖν λέγω• πάντες οὐ κοιμηθησόμεθα, πάντες δὲ ἀλλαγησόμεθα,
s We shall not all sleep,
We won’t all die before Jesus comes back,
t but we shall all be changed,
but we will all get new bodies,
in a moment,
a change that will happen in a split second,
ἐν ἀτόμῳ, ἐν ῥιπῇ ὀφθαλμοῦ, ἐν τῇ ἐσχάτῃ σάλπιγγι• σαλπίσει γὰρ καὶ οἱ νεκροὶ ἐγερθήσονται ἄφθαρτοι καὶ ἡμεῖς ἀλλαγησόμεθα.
in the twinkling of an eye,
faster than you can blink,
at the last trumpet.
and that will happen at the last trumpet that occurs at the return of Christ.
For u the trumpet will sound,
Specifically , this is what will happen: the trumpet will sound,
and v the dead will be raised imperishable,
and those who have died in Christ will be raised with new bodies that are suited for eternity,
and we shall be changed.
and we will all have been made new.
For this perishable body must put on the imperishable,
And this change will happen to us because we must receive everlasting bodies to be part of God’s everlasting kingdom,
Δεῖ γὰρ τὸ φθαρτὸν τοῦτο ἐνδύσασθαι ἀφθαρσίαν καὶ τὸ θνητὸν τοῦτο ἐνδύσασθαι ἀθανασίαν.
and w this mortal body must put on immortality.
and our mortal bodies, sinful and subject to death and decay, must be recreated so that they are suited to enter God’s holy place.
When the perishable puts on the imperishable,
The result of all of this is that when we receive everlasting bodies
ὅταν δὲ τὸ φθαρτὸν τοῦτο ἐνδύσηται ἀφθαρσίαν καὶ τὸ θνητὸν τοῦτο ἐνδύσηται ἀθανασίαν, τότε γενήσεται ὁ λόγος ὁ γεγραμμένος• κατεπόθη ὁ θάνατος εἰς νῖκος.
and the mortal puts on immortality,
and our sinful bodies become holy,
then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
then this scripture (a hybrid quotation from Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14) will be fulfilled:
x “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“God will have victory over death and destroy it.” (See Isaiah 25:8)
y “O death, where is your victory?
Because : “O death, you cannot possibly have victory over God.
ποῦ σου, θάνατε, τὸ νῖκος; ποῦ σου, θάνατε, τὸ κέντρον;
O death, where is your sting?”
O death you are weak and helpless compared to Yahweh.”
The sting of death is sin,
For even though death now has an effect on us because of sin,
τὸ δὲ κέντρον τοῦ θανάτου ἡ ἁμαρτία, ἡ δὲ δύναμις τῆς ἁμαρτίας ὁ νόμος•
and z the power of sin is the law.
and sin has an effect on us because of the law of God.
But thanks be to God,
Thankfully God
τῷ δὲ θεῷ χάρις τῷ διδόντι ἡμῖν τὸ νῖκος διὰ τοῦ κυρίου ἡμῶν Ἰησοῦ Χριστοῦ.
a who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
uses his great power to give us victory of death by fulfilling the law through Christ and removing the power of sin over us, releasing us from the effect of death.
b Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable,
My brothers in Christ, loved by God, because of this hope of being changed, let your faith be unshakeable,
Ὥστε, ἀδελφοί μου ἀγαπητοί, ἑδραῖοι γίνεσθε, ἀμετακίνητοι, περισσεύοντες ἐν τῷ ἔργῳ τοῦ κυρίου πάντοτε, εἰδότες ὅτι ὁ κόπος ὑμῶν οὐκ ἔστιν κενὸς ἐν κυρίῳ.
always abounding in c the work of the Lord,
continually being full of good works,
knowing that in the Lord d your labor is not in vain.
because you know that all of the time and energy and money you spend while doing good works will not be wasted.
All of us believers will be changed.
When we are changed then death will be defeated by God.
All of us believers will be changed and at this time death will be defeated.
In our fallen state, which is sinful and subject to death and decay, we cannot enter God’s eternal dwelling place.
Based on Thiselton (NIGTC), I took “flesh and blood” and “perishable” to mean two distinct and complementary ideas, rather than the second being a restatement of the first.
Be strong in your faith, doing good works.
Acknowledgements and references
I was helped by Brent Karding’s bracket of this passage:
Disclaimer: The opinions and conclusions expressed on this page are those of the author and may or may not accord with the positions of Biblearc or Bethlehem College & Seminary.