1 Corinthians 15:42
So will it be with the resurrection of the dead: What is sown is perishable; it is raised imperishable.
The Exposition and Defence of the ResurrectionJ.R. Thomson 1 Corinthians 15:1-58
The Two AdamsR. Tuck 1 Corinthians 15:21-23, 45
Harvest SermonJ. Glyde.1 Corinthians 15:35-44
How are the Dead Raised UpW. W. Champneys.1 Corinthians 15:35-44
The Analoqies of NatureS. Cox, D.D.1 Corinthians 15:35-44
The Natural ResurrectionDr. John Pearson.1 Corinthians 15:35-44
The ResurrectionD. Thomas, D.D.1 Corinthians 15:35-44
The Resurrection BodyJohn Thomas, M.A.1 Corinthians 15:35-44
The Resurrection BodyReuen Thomas, D.D.1 Corinthians 15:35-44
The Resurrection of the BodyH. Melvill, B.D.1 Corinthians 15:35-44
The Resurrection PossiblePrincipal Edwards.1 Corinthians 15:35-44
The Resurrection, Credibility OfF. W. Robertson, M.A.1 Corinthians 15:35-44
Objections to the Resurrection; Replies Thereto; Conclusions InvolvedC. Lipscomb 1 Corinthians 15:35-50
Enlarged Conceptions of the Term BodyR. Tuck 1 Corinthians 15:39-44
Death and the Grave the Physical Preparation for the Perfect Humanity of the Resurrection StateJ. Cochrane, A.M.1 Corinthians 15:41-42
Degress of Glory in HeavenH. Kollock, D.D.1 Corinthians 15:41-42
Diversity in the Heavenly InhabitantsD. Thomas, D.D.1 Corinthians 15:41-42
Identity and VarietyBp. Phillips Brooks.1 Corinthians 15:41-42
A Spiritual BodyCanon Evans.1 Corinthians 15:42-45
It is Sown in Dishonour; it is Raised in GloryF. W. Aveling, M.A.1 Corinthians 15:42-45
It is Sown in Weakness; it is Raised in PowerC. H. Spurgeon.1 Corinthians 15:42-45
Life in Heaven a Spiritual Life in a Glorified BodyJ. Lyth, D.D.1 Corinthians 15:42-45
Our Spiritual BodiesChristian Age1 Corinthians 15:42-45
The Natural Body and the Spiritual BodyS. Cox, D.D.1 Corinthians 15:42-45
The Old House and the New1 Corinthians 15:42-45
The Relation Between Resurrection and Immortality1 Corinthians 15:42-45
The ResurrectionProf. Van Oosterzee.1 Corinthians 15:42-45
The Resurrection BodyJ. Lyth, D.D.1 Corinthians 15:42-45
The Resurrection HarvestT. Guthrie.1 Corinthians 15:42-45
The Resurrection of the DeadJ. Lyth, D.D.1 Corinthians 15:42-45
The Resurrection of the SaintJ. Lyth, D.D.1 Corinthians 15:42-45
The Resurrection BodyE. Hurndall 1 Corinthians 15:42-53

Limited to resurrection body of redeemed, for we know not what will be that of the lost. Of the former in our present state we can know comparatively little. Still some valuable and cheering truths respecting it are revealed.


1. Incorruptible. Our body now is corruptible, tending towards decay and dissolution, bearing the marks of injury, disease, age. It becomes more corruptible at death. But the resurrection body will have no such tendencies, be subject to no such influences.

2. Glorious. Our present body is a body of dishonour. The marks of the curse of sin are upon it. In the grave it becomes very inglorious. Paul calls it "our vile body" (Philippians 3:21). The resurrection body will be in striking contrast - a body of glory and beauty, like unto the glorious body of the Son of man.

3. Strong. Now our body is weak, subject to enervating sickness, and when "sown" as a corpse is the very perfection of weakness. But the resurrection body will possess fulness of strength, abundant energy, never diminishing vitality.

4. Spiritual. Our present body is dominated by the animal soul; it is fitted for life in the lower world; it is an organism of flesh and blood (ver. 50); it is "of the earth, earthy." It is a "natural" body. But the resurrection body will be "spiritual," moulded by the Spirit, an organism adapted to the higher and spiritual life.

II. THOUGH SO DIFFERENT FROM, IT IS IDENTIFIED WITH, OUR PRESENT BODY. It is a new body and yet identified with the old. Not the same particles or form, yet our body. Note the apostolic expression: "It is sown;... it is raised." Much mystery is here. But perhaps the seed developing into a living plant conveys as much of the truth as we are capable of comprehending.

III. WE RECEIVE IT THROUGH THE SECOND ADAM, CHRIST. Through the first Adam we have our present body, and, through his sin and our own, not a few of its imperfections. The first Adam was a "living soul," endowed with an animal soul, the living principle of the body. His body was adapted for the lower life - for a life on earth. He was "of the earth, earthy." But the second Adam is a life-giving Spirit. If we are in him, he quickens our mortal body into glorious immortality. Through him we receive the spiritual body suited for the higher life. Contrasted with Christ, the characteristic of the first Adam is animal life, - the characteristic of Christ is spiritual life. We inherit from Adam what he had and was. So also we inherit from Christ what he had and was. The difference between the first Adam and the second causes the difference between our body now and our body at the resurrection.

IV. CIRCUMSTANCES ATTENDANT UPON ITS BESTOWAL. It will be assumed suddenly at the second coming of Christ. "The trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible" (ver. 52). The living will be "changed" "in the twinkling of an eye" (see 1 Thessalonians 4:16). No slow process, as in the development of the present body, but suddenly we shall be "clothed upon."

V. WE SHOULD BE INTENSELY GRATEFUL FOR THIS GLORIOUS GIFT. This poor body we may be glad to lose. Certainly its imperfections. But what a life may we anticipate when we are "clothed upon with our house which is from heaven"! To be free from weakness, weariness, pain, decay, most of all from carnal cravings and fleshly lusts; to have abounding energy, perfect health, pure desires, and great and completed powers: - what service and pleasure we shall be capable of! This is "of the Lord." Is he our Lord? When we die shall we die in "Christ"? Can we humbly lay claim to this great gift as true, though imperfect, servants of the Master? - H.

So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption.

1. It is not the work of an age, but of a moment — not a gradual process, but an instantaneous act.

2. It is to be distinguished in its nature from —

(1)An awakening out of a soul sleep.

(2)A clothing of the unclothed spirit.

(3)A restoration of our flesh and bone in like form as before.

3. It is a work of perfect beauty.

II. ITS CERTAINTY. A threefold voice testifies to it.

1. The voice of nature, which shadows it forth.

2. The testimony of the Scripture, which confirms it.

3. The testimony of the spirit within, which awakens the expectation of it.


1. The enemy which at this hour shall be annihilated.

2. The condition of happiness which begins now.

3. The kingdom of God which will now be completed.

(Prof. Van Oosterzee.)


1. Material and identical: that which is sown is raised, and not by any process but by the Word of God.


1. No longer corruptible, but undecaying, vigorous, and immortal.

2. No longer dishonoured by sin and defect, but; holy, beautiful, glorious.

3. No longer weak and frail, but endued with extraordinary capabilities and strength.

4. No longer a natural body subject to sense, passion, and the necessities of the earthly nature, but governed by the Spirit.

III. ITS LIFE. Not natural, but mysteriously sustained by the life-giving Spirit: for there is a natural and there is a spiritual body.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

Look at those grassy mounds in the light of this truth; the eye of faith sees them change into a field sown with the seeds of immortality. Blessed field! what flowers shall spring there! What a harvest shall be gathered there! In the neighbouring fields, "Whatsoever a man soweth, that he shall also reap." But here how great the difference between what is sown amid mourners' tears, and what shall be reaped amid angels' joys; between the poor body that we restore to the earth, and the noble form that shall spring from its ashes. Those who saw Lazarus' putrid corpse, with health glowing on its cheek, saw nothing to match the change the grave shall work on these mouldering bones.

(T. Guthrie.)

I. THE DOCTRINE teaches that the same body shall be raised in glory to a nobler life.


1. The Word of God.

2. The resurrection of Christ.

3. The quickening Spirit within us.

III. ITS USE. It teaches us to take care of the soul first — then the body, not to enfeeble it by folly, pollute it with sin, neglect it in suffering, or mourn it when dead.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

I. THE BODY IS SOWN, not buried. No exact analogy with the seed; life is extinct. Yet it is sown in hope of a new life.

II. WILL BE GLORIOUSLY TRANSFORMED — from corruption to incorruption, etc.


(J. Lyth, D.D.)

When we pluck down a house, with the intent to rebuild it, or repair the ruins of it, we warn the inhabitants out of it, lest they should be soiled with the dust and rubbish, or offended with the noise, and so for a time provide some other place for them; but, when we have newly trimmed and dressed up the house, then we bring them back to a better habitation. Thus God, when He overturneth this rotten room of our flesh, calleth out the soul for a little time, and lodgeth it with Himself in some corner of His kingdom, repaireth the imperfections of our bodies against the resurrection, and then, having made them beautiful — yea, glorious and incorruptible — He doth put our souls back again into their acquainted mansions.

( Chrysostom.)


1. A new body, incorruptible, glorious, vigorous, spiritual.

2. Yet substantially the same that was sown in the grave, therefore glorified by the power of God as the organ of the redeemed spirit.


1. Freed from ignorance and sin, from the control of the body, from the capability of suffering.

2. Yet retaining its peculiar properties.

(1)Knowledge, which must then be perfected in sight.

(2)Will, that shall then be clothed with power.

(3)Sensibility, that will be filled with enjoyment.

(J. Lyth, D.D.)

Dishonour belongs to the corpse of even the richest and the noblest in the land. You may conceal that humiliation by a splendid coffin, a rich funeral pall, the pomp of lying in state, and a costly monument; but the corpse is a poor, poor thing, with all your elaborate attempt to conceal its shame. The loveliest, sweetest maiden that you know soon becomes ghastly in the coffin, and you long to put the body out of sight. It was the shock of such a sight that made Don Francis Borgia, one of the founders of the Jesuits, renounce the world and devote himself to a religious life. It was the custom in Spain not to bury any of the royal family until some grandee of the highest rank should look within the coffin and identify the body. Queen Isabella, to whom Francis had been much attached, was smitten down by death. Don Francis was chosen to look within the coffin and say whether or not it was the corpse of the queen, whose eyes, now closed in death, had always turned in kindness unto him; whose every facial lineament was perfectly familiar unto him. Amidst the half-uttered prayers which commended her soul to the Divine mercy and the low dirge of the organ, Francis advanced with streaming eyes and reverently raised the covering which concealed the secrets of the grave;... but the horrible change which death had wrought upon the queen's countenance was so loathsome and appalling that Francis turned aside to shudder and to pray, and from that day the courtier became a monk. Verily Queen isabella's body was sown in corruption and dishonour, in spite of all the funeral pomp and show! But the resurrection body of every Christian shall be incorruptible, spiritual powerful, and glorious.At Stratford-on-Bow, in the days of Queen Mary, there was once a stake erected for the burning of two martyrs, one of them a lame man, the other a blind man. Just when the fire was lit, the lame man hurled away his staff, and turning round said to the blind man, "Courage, brother, this fire will cure us both." So can the righteous say of the grave, "Courage, the grave will cure us all; we shall leave our infirmities behind us."
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body
At first the phrase "a spiritual body" seems a contradiction in terms. "Body" and "spirit" are not only distinct in our thoughts, but opposite.


1. He has taught us that one life, one flesh, one glory, may take many forms; the same flesh: it clothes itself in many forms in man, in beasts, in fishes, in birds, modified by the external conditions in which it is placed. So, also, there is one glory of light; but it takes many and diverse forms in the suns, the moons, the stars. And that bodies answer to the quality of the inward life, and are adapted to it, and to the conditions in which it is to act. This is the law of the universe.

2. Let us illustrate this.(1) Take the parable of the Grain of Wheat. The seed is cast into the ground. In the husk are whatever the vital germ needs for its sustenance; and these, by the process of fermentation, are reduced to the very state in which the germ can most easily assimilate them. Its roots strike downwards, the stem springs upward, and soon we get the blade, the ear, and the full corn in the ear. And this new body, no less than the old, has all that it needs for the nourishment of its life, and is no less exactly adapted to its conditions. But how vast the change! From an earthly, it has become an aerial body, which draws vigour and comeliness from the bountiful heavens.(2) Take the Greek parable of the butterfly. Psyche, the butterfly, has two bodies. First, it is a worm, creeping slowly on the earth, ugly, liable to be crushed, destroying the leaves on which it feeds, and the fruit which they should shelter. Finding itself grow sick with age, it spins its own shroud, coffin, grave, all in one — to prepare for its resurrection. At length, when the appointed time has come, out of the body of the crawling worm there breaks a new body, all the old imperfections taken away. Instead of creeping on the earth, it flies; for ugliness, it is clothed in beauty; instead of destroying that on which it feeds, it now feeds on the delicate fragrant flowers, and fertilises them by carrying pollen from plant to plant: the lovely flowers paying a willing tribute to the yet higher loveliness of the flower angel.(3) Once more; as I stood looking at my marine aquarium one hot summer day, I saw on the surface of the water a tiny creature — half fish, half snake — not an inch long, writhing as in a mortal agony. I was stretching out my hand to remove it, lest it should sink and die and pollute the clear waters; when lo, in the twinkling of an eye, its skin split from end to end, and there sprang out a delicate fly. Balancing itself for an instant on its discarded skin, it preened its gossamer wings, and then flew out of an open window. Afterward I saw the marvel repeated again and again, and thus I learned that on sea as on land God bears perpetual varied witness to the mystery of the resurrection.

3. Therefore we may fairly assume that this universal law holds good of man, that he too will pass into a new form, a form more heavenly and spiritual, as his capacities are spiritualised and he rises into more heavenly conditions.


1. The Greeks called the soul psyche, as well as the butterfly. And as psyche stood for soul, of course psychical stood for soulish, or of the soul. So St. Paul speaks here of a soulish and of a spiritual body, just as elsewhere he speaks of a soulish and a spiritual man. He held, as Aristotle held before him, and as the ablest metaphysicians still hold, that man is composed of body, soul, and spirit. He meant —(1) By the soul all of intelligence and emotion which we possess in common with other animals, though in higher degree.(2) By the spirit, our moral nature; the higher reason and conscience. With him the psychical man is the man in whom the psyche rules; the man who is intelligent, but uses his intelligence for ends bounded by time and space; but the spiritual man is the man in whom the spirit rules; in whom conscience, faith, love, are supreme.

2. St. Paul holds that so long as we remain soulish men, we have the very body adapted to our present stage of life and to the conditions of our life. But he also holds that if we live in the spirit, and walk in the spirit, we thus develop capacities and graces to which the present body gives neither full scope nor adequate expression. Therefore it is that, like the seed which has the life of wheat in it, our bodies must be sown in the earth that they may spring up heavenly bodies. Therefore it is that, as the caterpillar, which has in it the germ of a nobler life, lies down in death that its life may pass into a new aerial body, so we must lie down in the grave that, shedding these earthly husks, we may be clothed upon with a spiritual body, incorrupt, immortal, strong, glorious.

3. Our present body only imperfectly expresses our spiritual life; it veils from us many of "the things of the Spirit," it impedes us in the pursuit of spiritual excellence. When the spirit is willing, how often is the flesh weak! The more spiritual we are, so much the more do we feel that we are in bondage to the flesh, and crave that spiritual body which, instead of veiling and clogging, will further and express all that is highest in us and best. How bright and animating the hope, then, that one day we too shall have a body as quick and responsive to the spirit in us as the mortal body to the soul, a body whose organs will minister as delicately and perfectly to our spiritual capacities, energies, virtues, graces, as the senses now minister to the energies and passions of the soul!

(S. Cox, D.D.)

is a bodily organism adapted to the life of the spirit, and controlled thereby. In it the soul has taken its proper position of subordination: man's spirit now holds the administrative power, and, ruled by Gods Spirit, rules the body through the executive medium of the willing soul. Man is at last what God originally intended him to be, a creature in whom the spirit is the personifying principle and the seat of government: his proper self down from his own spirit, as from a throne, reigns supreme over the soul, and through that over the body, in a threefold harmony: the harmony of the parts is the harmony of the whole: for the body is now reconstituted meet for the new government: it is pneumatic, no longer psychical. In the hour of Adam's probation, as his spirit was to him the vehicle of fellowship with the Holy Spirit and his body the channel of communication with the sensible world, so his soul or self-living nature had to decide between two attractions, a higher and a lower, whether it would consent in accordance with the Divine intention to be determined by the spirit and thereby continue in fellowship with God, or would conclude against God and choose a life of selfish independence. By the fall of Adam his fellowship with God was dissolved, and the Divine life of his spirit was quenched, although its Divine substance remained, but not unimpaired.

(Canon Evans.)

The doctrines of immortality and resurrection stand somewhat in the same relation as a block of marble to a finished statue. The Christian doctrine of resurrection is the natural fact of immortality wrought into shape. We may know there is a statue in the marble, but how beautiful it may be, in what grace of posture it may stand, what emblems may hang upon its neck or crown its head, what spirit may breathe from its features, we do not know till the inspired sculptor has uncovered his ideal and brought it to light. The analogy may go farther. As an artist works a mass of marble into a statue, putting mental conceptions and meanings into it that are no part of the marble, so Christ has given a Divine shape to immortality and filled it with beautiful suggestions and gracious meaning. We see in the statue the mind of the sculptor as well as the marble; so in the doctrine of the resurrection we see the mind and purpose of Christ as well as the bare fact of future existence.

Christian Age.
Our spiritual bodies will doubtless have new powers, and new glories, as much beyond those we now have as the flower in the sunshine, beautiful and fragrant, is beyond the seed under ground. May it not be that the wonderful development of our national powers by the inventions of Christian civilisation are but hints and glimpses and foretastes of the enlarged powers of our spiritual bodies? In the microscope, in the telescope, in the telegraph and telephone, in our facilities of travel, in the connection of mind with mind hinted at in some of the facts of mesmerism, all which a few years ago were but wildest dreams, but have more than realised the fables of the "Arabian Nights," may we not have gleams of the dawning rays of our spiritual bodies when the resurrection morn shall have come? A curious illustration of the possibilities of our spiritual bodies was given not long ago in the American Popular Science Monthly. Sound is the vibration produced on us when the vibrations of the air strike on the drum of our ear. When they are few, the sound is deep; as they increase in number, it becomes shriller and shriller; but when they reach forty thousand in a second they cease to be audible. Light is the effect produced on us when waves of light strike on the eye. When four hundred millions of millions of vibrations of ether strike the retina in a second, they produce red, and as the number increases the colour passes into orange, then yellow, then green, blue, and violet. But between forty thousand vibrations in a second and four hundred millions of millions we have no organ of sense capable of receiving the impression. Yet between these limits any number of sensations may exist. We have five senses, and sometimes fancy that no other is possible. But it is obvious that we cannot measure the infinite by our own narrow limitations.

(Christian Age.)

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