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1 Corinthians 15 MSG/NIV - Online Parallel Bible

 
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1 Friends, let me go over the Message with you one final time - this Message that I proclaimed and that you made your own; this Message on which you took your stand 1 Now, brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand.
2 and by which your life has been saved. (I'm assuming, now, that your belief was the real thing and not a passing fancy, that you're in this for good and holding fast.) 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
3 The first thing I did was place before you what was placed so emphatically before me: that the Messiah died for our sins, exactly as Scripture tells it; 3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,
4 that he was buried; that he was raised from death on the third day, again exactly as Scripture says; 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,
5 that he presented himself alive to Peter, then to his closest followers, 5 and that he appeared to Peter, and then to the Twelve.
6 and later to more than five hundred of his followers all at the same time, most of them still around (although a few have since died); 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep.
7 that he then spent time with James and the rest of those he commissioned to represent him; 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles,
8 and that he finally presented himself alive to me. 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
9 It was fitting that I bring up the rear. I don't deserve to be included in that inner circle, as you well know, having spent all those early years trying my best to stamp God's church right out of existence. 9 For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
10 But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am. And I'm not about to let his grace go to waste. Haven't I worked hard trying to do more than any of the others? Even then, my work didn't amount to all that much. It was God giving me the work to do, God giving me the energy to do it. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them--yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
11 So whether you heard it from me or from those others, it's all the same: We spoke God's truth and you entrusted your lives. 11 Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.
12 Now, let me ask you something profound yet troubling. If you became believers because you trusted the proclamation that Christ is alive, risen from the dead, how can you let people say that there is no such thing as a resurrection? 12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 If there's no resurrection, there's no living Christ. 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.
14 And face it - if there's no resurrection for Christ, everything we've told you is smoke and mirrors, and everything you've staked your life on is smoke and mirrors. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.
15 Not only that, but we would be guilty of telling a string of barefaced lies about God, all these affidavits we passed on to you verifying that God raised up Christ - sheer fabrications, if there's no resurrection. 15 More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised.
16 If corpses can't be raised, then Christ wasn't, because he was indeed dead. 16 For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.
17 And if Christ wasn't raised, then all you're doing is wandering about in the dark, as lost as ever. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.
18 It's even worse for those who died hoping in Christ and resurrection, because they're already in their graves. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.
19 If all we get out of Christ is a little inspiration for a few short years, we're a pretty sorry lot. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are to be pitied more than all men.
20 But the truth is that Christ has been raised up, the first in a long legacy of those who are going to leave the cemeteries. 20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
21 There is a nice symmetry in this: Death initially came by a man, and resurrection from death came by a man. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man.
22 Everybody dies in Adam; everybody comes alive in Christ. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.
23 But we have to wait our turn: Christ is first, then those with him at his Coming, 23 But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.
24 the grand consummation when, after crushing the opposition, he hands over his kingdom to God the Father. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power.
25 He won't let up until the last enemy is down - 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
26 and the very last enemy is death! 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
27 As the psalmist said, "He laid them low, one and all; he walked all over them." When Scripture says that "he walked all over them," it's obvious that he couldn't at the same time be walked on. 27 For he "has put everything under his feet." Now when it says that "everything" has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ.
28 When everything and everyone is finally under God's rule, the Son will step down, taking his place with everyone else, showing that God's rule is absolutely comprehensive - a perfect ending! 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.
29 Why do you think people offer themselves to be baptized for those already in the grave? If there's no chance of resurrection for a corpse, if God's power stops at the cemetery gates, why do we keep doing things that suggest he's going to clean the place out someday, pulling everyone up on their feet alive? 29 Now if there is no resurrection, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?
30 And why do you think I keep risking my neck in this dangerous work? 30 And as for us, why do we endanger ourselves every hour?
31 I look death in the face practically every day I live. Do you think I'd do this if I wasn't convinced of your resurrection and mine as guaranteed by the resurrected Messiah Jesus? 31 I die every day--I mean that, brothers--just as surely as I glory over you in Christ Jesus our Lord.
32 Do you think I was just trying to act heroic when I fought the wild beasts at Ephesus, hoping it wouldn't be the end of me? Not on your life! It's resurrection, resurrection, always resurrection, that undergirds what I do and say, the way I live. If there's no resurrection, "We eat, we drink, the next day we die," and that's all there is to it. 32 If I fought wild beasts in Ephesus for merely human reasons, what have I gained? If the dead are not raised, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die."
33 But don't fool yourselves. Don't let yourselves be poisoned by this anti-resurrection loose talk. "Bad company ruins good manners." 33 Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."
34 Think straight. Awaken to the holiness of life. No more playing fast and loose with resurrection facts. Ignorance of God is a luxury you can't afford in times like these. Aren't you embarrassed that you've let this kind of thing go on as long as you have? 34 Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God--I say this to your shame.
35 Some skeptic is sure to ask, "Show me how resurrection works. Give me a diagram; draw me a picture. What does this 'resurrection body' look like?" 35 But someone may ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?"
36 If you look at this question closely, you realize how absurd it is. There are no diagrams for this kind of thing. 36 How foolish! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.
37 We do have a parallel experience in gardening. You plant a "dead" seed; soon there is a flourishing plant. There is no visual likeness between seed and plant. 37 When you sow, you do not plant the body that will be, but just a seed, perhaps of wheat or of something else.
38 You could never guess what a tomato would look like by looking at a tomato seed. What we plant in the soil and what grows out of it don't look anything alike. The dead body that we bury in the ground and the resurrection body that comes from it will be dramatically different. 38 But God gives it a body as he has determined, and to each kind of seed he gives its own body.
39 You will notice that the variety of bodies is stunning. Just as there are different kinds of seeds, there are different kinds of bodies - humans, animals, birds, fish - each unprecedented in its form. 39 All flesh is not the same: Men have one kind of flesh, animals have another, birds another and fish another.
40 You get a hint at the diversity of resurrection glory by looking at the diversity of bodies not only on earth but in the skies - sun, moon, stars - all these varieties of beauty and brightness. And we're only looking at pre-resurrection "seeds" - who can imagine what the resurrection "plants" will be like! 40 There are also heavenly bodies and there are earthly bodies; but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another.
42 This image of planting a dead seed and raising a live plant is a mere sketch at best, but perhaps it will help in approaching the mystery of the resurrection body - but only if you keep in mind that when we're raised, we're raised for good, alive forever! 42 The sun has one kind of splendor, the moon another and the stars another; and star differs from star in splendor.
43 The corpse that's planted is no beauty, but when it's raised, it's glorious. Put in the ground weak, it comes up powerful. 43 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;
44 The seed sown is natural; the seed grown is supernatural - same seed, same body, but what a difference from when it goes down in physical mortality to when it is raised up in spiritual immortality! 44 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;
45 We follow this sequence in Scripture: The First Adam received life, the Last Adam is a life-giving Spirit. 45 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
46 Physical life comes first, then spiritual - 46 So it is written: "The first man Adam became a living being"; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit.
47 a firm base shaped from the earth, a final completion coming out of heaven. 47 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual.
48 The First Man was made out of earth, and people since then are earthy; the Second Man was made out of heaven, and people now can be heavenly. 48 The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven.
49 In the same way that we've worked from our earthy origins, let's embrace our heavenly ends. 49 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.
50 I need to emphasize, friends, that our natural, earthy lives don't in themselves lead us by their very nature into the kingdom of God. Their very "nature" is to die, so how could they "naturally" end up in the Life kingdom? 50 And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.
51 But let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I'll probably never fully understand. We're not all going to die - but we are all going to be changed. 51 I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
52 You hear a blast to end all blasts from a trumpet, and in the time that you look up and blink your eyes - it's over. On signal from that trumpet from heaven, the dead will be up and out of their graves, beyond the reach of death, never to die again. At the same moment and in the same way, we'll all be changed. 52 Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed--
53 In the resurrection scheme of things, this has to happen: everything perishable taken off the shelves and replaced by the imperishable, this mortal replaced by the immortal. 53 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
54 Then the saying will come true: Death swallowed by triumphant Life! 54 For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
55 Who got the last word, oh, Death? Oh, Death, who's afraid of you now? 55 When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory."
56 It was sin that made death so frightening and law-code guilt that gave sin its leverage, its destructive power. 56 "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"
57 But now in a single victorious stroke of Life, all three - sin, guilt, death - are gone, the gift of our Master, Jesus Christ. Thank God! 57 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
58 With all this going for us, my dear, dear friends, stand your ground. And don't hold back. Throw yourselves into the work of the Master, confident that nothing you do for him is a waste of time or effort. 58 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.