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1 Corinthians 15:42-44 Sown and Raised

Posted by Matt Postiff November 21, 2009 on Matt Postiff's Blog under Bible Texts 
"So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body."

The point of this section is to help us understand the nature of the new body that we will receive upon resurrection. Paul has already established that there is a resurrection. Now he turns to answer the foolish man who, doubting the resurrection in the first place, asks the question, "Well, what kind of body will come out of that grave?"

To begin his answer, Paul uses an agricultural illustration (vv. 36-38). What is planted in the ground is not what ends up coming out of the ground. A corn seed turns into something far more complex and glorious than another corn seed. Rather, a whole corn plant is formed with a stalk, leaves, and multiple ears of corn, each with hundreds of other seeds on it. Then, he points to creation to show that there are different kinds of bodies with different levels of glory (vv. 39-41). Heavenly bodies are of a different sort than earthly ones.

The resurrected body is likewise different than the body before the resurrection, just like the plant is different in quality from the seed that it came from. Our passage distinguishes the two bodies in four dimensions: corruptibility, glory, strength, and spirituality. The limited, weak and fleshly body that we have now will be transformed into something far better at the resurrection. The agricultural illustration comes to a point when we think of committing a believer's body to the grave--as if we are actually planting it into the ground.

Dear believer, have you experienced the death of a saved loved one this year? That one's body has been planted into the earth. Like the farmer, we must patiently wait for the "seed" to germinate and bring forth a body which will be far better than the former one. God guarantees it! Let's thank him for it. MAP

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