Now, brothers and sisters, I want you to remember the Good News I brought to you. You received this Good News and continue strong in it.
And you are being saved by it if you continue believing what I told you. If you do not, then you believed for nothing.
I passed on to you what I received, of which this was most important: that Christ died for our sins, as the Scriptures say;
that he was buried and was raised to life on the third day as the Scriptures say;
and that he was seen by Peter and then by the twelve apostles.
After that, Jesus was seen by more than five hundred of the believers at the same time. Most of them are still living today, but some have died.
Then he was seen by James and later by all the apostles.
Last of all he was seen by me -- as by a person not born at the normal time.
All the other apostles are greater than I am. I am not even good enough to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
But God's grace has made me what I am, and his grace to me was not wasted. I worked harder than all the other apostles. (But it was not I really; it was God's grace that was with me.)
So if I preached to you or the other apostles preached to you, we all preach the same thing, and this is what you believed.
Now since we preached that Christ was raised from the dead, why do some of you say that people will not be raised from the dead?
If no one is ever raised from the dead, then Christ has not been raised.
And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is worth nothing, and your faith is worth nothing.
And also, we are guilty of lying about God, because we testified of him that he raised Christ from the dead. But if people are not raised from the dead, then God never raised Christ.
If the dead are not raised, Christ has not been raised either.
And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith has nothing to it; you are still guilty of your sins.
And those in Christ who have already died are lost.
If our hope in Christ is for this life only, we should be pitied more than anyone else in the world.
But Christ has truly been raised from the dead -- the first one and proof that those who sleep in death will also be raised.
Death has come because of what one man did, but the rising from death also comes because of one man.
In Adam all of us die. In the same way, in Christ all of us will be made alive again.
But everyone will be raised to life in the right order. Christ was first to be raised. When Christ comes again, those who belong to him will be raised to life,
and then the end will come. At that time Christ will destroy all rulers, authorities, and powers, and he will hand over the kingdom to God the Father.
Christ must rule until he puts all enemies under his control.
The last enemy to be destroyed will be death.
The Scripture says that God put all things under his control. When it says "all things" are under him, it is clear this does not include God himself. God is the One who put everything under his control.
After everything has been put under the Son, then he will put himself under God, who had put all things under him. Then God will be the complete ruler over everything.
If the dead are never raised, what will people do who are being baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people being baptized for them?
And what about us? Why do we put ourselves in danger every hour?
I die every day. That is true, brothers and sisters, just as it is true that I brag about you in Christ Jesus our Lord.
If I fought wild animals in Ephesus only with human hopes, I have gained nothing. If the dead are not raised, "Let us eat and drink, because tomorrow we will die."
Do not be fooled: "Bad friends will ruin good habits."
Come back to your right way of thinking and stop sinning. Some of you do not know God -- I say this to shame you.
But someone may ask, "How are the dead raised? What kind of body will they have?"
Foolish person! When you sow a seed, it must die in the ground before it can live and grow.
And when you sow it, it does not have the same "body" it will have later. What you sow is only a bare seed, maybe wheat or something else.
But God gives it a body that he has planned for it, and God gives each kind of seed its own body.
All things made of flesh are not the same: People have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds have another, and fish have another.
Also there are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies. But the beauty of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the beauty of the earthly bodies is another.
The sun has one kind of beauty, the moon has another beauty, and the stars have another. And each star is different in its beauty.
It is the same with the dead who are raised to life. The body that is "planted" will ruin and decay, but it is raised to a life that cannot be destroyed.
When 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 is powerful.
The body that is "planted" is a physical body. When it is raised, it is a spiritual body. There is a physical body, and there is also a spiritual body.
It is written in the Scriptures: "The first man, Adam, became a living person." But the last Adam became a spirit that gives life.
The spiritual did not come first, but the physical and then the spiritual.
The first man came from the dust of the earth. The second man came from heaven.
People who belong to the earth are like the first man of earth. But those people who belong to heaven are like the man of heaven.
Just as we were made like the man of earth, so we will also be made like the man of heaven.
I tell you this, brothers and sisters: Flesh and blood cannot have a part in the kingdom of God. Something that will ruin cannot have a part in something that never ruins.
But look! I tell you this secret: We will not all sleep in death, but we will all be changed.
It will take only a second -- as quickly as an eye blinks -- when the last trumpet sounds. The trumpet will sound, and those who have died will be raised to live forever, and we will all be changed.
This body that can be destroyed must clothe itself with something that can never be destroyed. And this body that dies must clothe itself with something that can never die.
So this body that can be destroyed will clothe itself with that which can never be destroyed, and this body that dies will clothe itself with that which can never die. When this happens, this Scripture will be made true: "Death is destroyed forever in victory."
"Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your pain?"
Death's power to hurt is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
But we thank God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
So my dear brothers and sisters, stand strong. Do not let anything change you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your work in the Lord is never wasted.