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 imperishabl e,
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,
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 since death is not the end, 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: https://www.biblearc.com/author/Brent_Karding/Eschatology_Study/
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1 Corinthians 15:50-58
Mystery and Victory 50 I tell you this, brothers: q flesh and blood r cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable . 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. s We shall not all sleep , t but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For u the trumpet will sound, and v the dead will be raised imperishable , and we shall be changed . 53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable , and w this mortal body must put on immortality . 54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable , and the mortal puts on immortality , then shall come to pass the saying that is written: x “ Death is swallowed up in victory .” 55 y “O death , where is your victory ? O death , where is your sting ?” 56 The sting of death is sin , and z the power of sin is the law . 57 But thanks be to God, a who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 b Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in c the work of the Lord , knowing that in the Lord d your labor is not in vain.
17 And Jesus answered him, e “Blessed are you, f Simon Bar-Jonah! For g flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, h but my Father who is in heaven.
3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is n born o again 1 he cannot p see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born q of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.
1 Thessalonians 4:15-17
15 For this we declare to you k by a word from the Lord, 1 that l we who are alive, who are left until m the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep . 16 For n the Lord himself will descend o from heaven p with a cry of command, with the voice of q an archangel, and r with the sound of the trumpet of God. And s the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be t caught up together with them u in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so v we will always be with the Lord.
21 who will transform f our lowly body g to be like his glorious body, h by the power that enables him even i to subject all things to himself.
31 And w he will send out his angels with a loud x trumpet call, and they will y gather z his elect from a the four winds, b from one end of heaven to the other.
1 Thessalonians 4:16
16 For n the Lord himself will descend o from heaven p with a cry of command, with the voice of q an archangel, and r with the sound of the trumpet of God. And s the dead in Christ will rise first.
13 And in that day v a great trumpet will be blown, w and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt x will come and worship the Lord on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.
The Lord Will Save His People 14 Then the Lord will appear over them, and o his arrow will go forth like lightning; p the Lord God will sound the trumpet and will march forth in q the whirlwinds r of the south.
2 Corinthians 5:2-4
2 For in this tent n we groan, longing to o put on our heavenly dwelling, 3 if indeed by putting it on 1 we may not be found naked. 4 For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal p may be swallowed up by life.
8 v He will swallow up death forever; and w the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces, and x the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth, y for the Lord has spoken.
14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood , he himself likewise h partook of the same things, that i through death he might j destroy k the one who has the power of death , that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who l through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.
14 Then u Death and Hades v were thrown into the lake of fire. This is w the second death , the lake of fire.
4 h He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and i death shall be no more, j neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
14 b Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? b Shall I redeem them from Death ? c O d Death , where are your plagues? c O d Sheol, where is your sting ? e Compassion is hidden from my eyes.
15 For h the law brings wrath, but i where there is no law j there is no transgression.
13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but x sin is not counted where there is no law .
5 For while we were living in the flesh , our sinful passions, aroused by the law , were at work k in our members l to bear fruit for death .
8 But sin , q seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. r For apart from the law , sin lies dead.
13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin , producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin , and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.
37 No, in all these things we are more than y conquerors through z him who loved us.
1 John 5:4
4 For r everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world— s our faith.
2 Peter 3:11-14
11 Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, c what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, 12 d waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and e the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn! 13 But according to his promise we are waiting for f new heavens and a new earth g in which righteousness dwells. Final Words 14 h Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him i without spot or j blemish, and k at peace.
1 Corinthians 16:10
10 s When Timothy comes, see that you put him at ease among you, for t he is doing u the work of the Lord , as I am.
10 m “Cursed is he who does n the work of the Lord with slackness, and cursed is he who keeps back his sword from bloodshed.
28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing p the works of God ?”