And now I want to remind you, my friends, of the Good News which I preached to you, which you received, and on which your faith stands firm.
That is the gospel, the message that I preached to you. You are saved by the gospel if you hold firmly to it - unless it was for nothing that you believed.
I passed on to you what I received, which is of the greatest importance: that Christ died for our sins, as written in the Scriptures;
that he was buried and that he was raised to life three days later, as written in the Scriptures;
that he appeared to Peter and then to all twelve apostles.
Then he appeared to more than five hundred of his followers at once, most of whom are still alive, although some have died.
Then he appeared to James, and afterward to all the apostles.
Last of all he appeared also to me - even though I am like someone whose birth was abnormal.
For I am the least of all the apostles - I do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted God's church.
But by God's grace I am what I am, and the grace that he gave me was not without effect. On the contrary, I have worked harder than any of the other apostles, although it was not really my own doing, but God's grace working with me.
So then, whether it came from me or from them, this is what we all preach, and this is what you believe.
Now, since our message is that Christ has been raised from death, how can some of you say that the dead will not be raised to life?
If that is true, it means that Christ was not raised;
and if Christ has not been raised from death, then we have nothing to preach and you have nothing to believe.
More than that, we are shown to be lying about God, because we said that he raised Christ from death - but if it is true that the dead are not raised to life, then he did not raise Christ.
For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised.
And if Christ has not been raised, then your faith is a delusion and you are still lost in your sins.
It would also mean that the believers in Christ who have died are lost.
If our hope in Christ is good for this life only and no more, then we deserve more pity than anyone else in all the world.
But the truth is that Christ has been raised from death, as the guarantee that those who sleep in death will also be raised.
For just as death came by means of a man, in the same way the rising from death comes by means of a man.
For just as all people die because of their union with Adam, in the same way all will be raised to life because of their union with Christ.
But each one will be raised in proper order: Christ, first of all; then, at the time of his coming, those who belong to him.
Then the end will come; Christ will overcome all spiritual rulers, authorities, and powers, and will hand over the Kingdom to God the Father.
For Christ must rule until God defeats all enemies and puts them under his feet.
The last enemy to be defeated will be death.
For the scripture says, "God put [all] things under his feet." It is clear, of course, that the words "all things" do not include God himself, who puts all things under Christ.
But when all things have been placed under Christ's rule, then he himself, the Son, will place himself under God, who placed all things under him; and God will rule completely over all.