But let me recall to you, brethren, the Good News which I brought you, which you accepted, and on which you are standing,
through which also you are obtaining salvation, if you bear in mind the words in which I proclaimed it--unless indeed your faith has been unreal from the very first.
For I repeated to you the all-important fact which also I had been taught, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures;
that He was buried; that He rose to life again on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,
and was seen by Peter, and then by the Twelve.
Afterwards He was seen by more than five hundred brethren at once, most of whom are still alive, although some of them have now fallen asleep.
Afterwards He was seen by James, and then by all the Apostles.
And last of all, as to one of untimely birth, He appeared to me also.
For I am the least of the Apostles, and am not fit to be called an Apostle--because I persecuted the Church of God.
But what I am I am by the grace of God, and His grace bestowed upon me did not prove ineffectual. But I labored more strenuously than all the rest--yet it was not I, but God's grace working with me.
But whether it is I or they, this is the way we preach and the way that you came to believe.
But if Christ is preached as having risen from the dead, how is it that some of you say that there is no such thing as a resurrection of the dead?
If there is no such thing as a resurrection of the dead, then Christ Himself has not risen to life.
And if Christ has not risen, it follows that what we preach is a delusion, and that your faith also is a delusion.
Nay more, we are actually being discovered to be bearing false witness about God, because we have testified that God raised Christ to life, whom He did not raise, if in reality none of the dead are raised.
For if none of the dead are raised to life, then Christ has not risen;
and if Christ has not risen, your faith is a vain thing--you are still in your sins.
It follows also that those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
If in this present life we have a *hope* resting on Christ, and nothing more, we are more to be pitied than all the rest of the world.
But, in reality, Christ *has* risen from among the dead, being the first to do so of those who are asleep.
For seeing that death came through man, through man comes also the resurrection of the dead.
For just as through Adam all die, so also through Christ all will be made alive again.
But this will happen to each in the right order--Christ having been the first to rise, and afterwards Christ's people rising at His return.
Later on, comes the End, when He is to surrender the Kingship to God, the Father, when He shall have overthrown all other government and all other authority and power.
For He must continue King until He shall have put all His enemies under His feet.
The last enemy that is to be overthrown is Death;
for He will have put all things in subjection under His feet. And when He shall have declared that "All things are in subjection," it will be with the manifest exception of Him who has reduced them all to subjection to Him.
But when the whole universe has been made subject to Him, then the Son Himself will also become subject to Him who has made the universe subject to Him, in order that GOD may be all in all.
Otherwise what will become of those who got themselves baptized for the dead? If the dead do not rise at all, why are these baptized for them?
Why also do we Apostles expose ourselves to danger every hour?
I protest, brethren, as surely as I glory over you--which I may justly do in Christ Jesus our Lord--that I die day by day.
If from merely human motives I have fought with wild beasts in Ephesus, what profit is it to me? If the dead do not rise, let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we are to die.
Do not deceive yourselves: "Evil companionships corrupt good morals."
Wake from this drunken fit; live righteous lives, and cease to sin; for some have no knowledge of God: I speak thus in order to move you to shame.
But some one will say, "How can the dead rise? And with what kind of body do they come back?"
Foolish man! the seed you yourself sow has no life given to it unless it first dies;
and as for what you sow, it is not the plant which is to be that you are sowing, but a bare grain, of wheat (it may be) or of something else, and God gives it a body as He has seen fit,
and to each kind of seed a body of its own.
All flesh is not the same: there is human flesh, and flesh of cattle, of birds, and of fishes.
There are bodies which are celestial and there are bodies which are earthly, but the glory of the celestial ones is one thing, and that of the earthly ones is another.
There is one glory of the sun, another of the moon, and another of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.
It is the same with the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in a state of decay, it is raised free from decay;
it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;
an animal body is sown, a spiritual body is raised. As surely as there is an animal body, so there is also a spiritual body.
In the same way also it is written, "The first man Adam became a living animal"; the last Adam is a life-giving Spirit.
Nevertheless, it is not what is spiritual that came first, but what is animal; what is spiritual came afterwards.
The first man is a man of earth, earthy; the second man is from Heaven.
What the earthy one is, that also are those who are earthy; and what the heavenly One is, that also are those who are heavenly.
And as we have borne a resemblance to the earthy one, let us see to it that we also bear a resemblance to the heavenly One.
But this I tell you, brethren: our mortal bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God, nor will what is perishable inherit what is imperishable.
I tell you a truth hitherto kept secret: we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the sounding of the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incapable of decay, and *we* shall be changed.
For so it must be: this perishable nature must clothe itself with what is imperishable, and this mortality must clothe itself with immortality.
But when this perishable nature has put on what is imperishable, and this mortality has put on immortality, then will the words of Scripture be fulfilled, "Death has been swallowed up in victory."
"Where, O death, is thy victory? Where, O death, is thy sting?"
Now sin is the sting of death, and sin derives its power from the Law;
but God be thanked who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
Therefore, my dear brethren, be firm, unmovable, busily occupied at all times in the Lord's work, knowing that your toil is not fruitless in the Lord.