New Defender's Study Bible Notes
15:42 incorruption. The Greek word translated “incorruption” is aphtharsia. It is translated “immortality” in II Timothy 1:10. Another word, athanasia, is rendered as “immortality” in I Corinthians 15:53-54. The new bodies which believers will receive at the resurrection will thus be both “without corruption” and “without death.” Note that these both apply to the spiritual body (I Corinthians 15:44). Both pagans and New Agers believe in the “immortality of the soul,” either in an eternally disembodied state or in reincarnation in another body. The Scriptures, however, clearly teach the resurrection of the dead (I Corinthians 15:42, I Thessalonians 4:16-17).
15:43 sown in dishonour. In I Corinthians 15:35-45, death and resurrection are compared to seed-sowing and harvest. When a seed is planted in the ground, it is as though it had died and was being buried. For a long time after its death, the seed cannot be seen, but finally it rises again as a beautiful sheaf of grain. Jesus made the same analogy: “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit” (John 12:24; note also Mark 4:26-29). The human body, because of sin and the curse, eventually dies and is buried, but one day (like the planted seed) it will appear again. The same basic body, now immortal and glorified, its only real inhabitant, its eternal created spirit has been born again in Christ.
15:44 raised a spiritual body. The spiritual body rising from the dead will no longer be under bondage to gravitational and electromagnetic forces, as at present, but only to spiritual forces of which we now have no real knowledge. We do know, however, that our spiritual bodies will be like that of the resurrected body of Christ (Philippians 3:20-21; I John 3:2), able to move through solid walls (John 20:26), and move with tremendous speed between earth and God’s throne in heaven (John 20:17-19).
15:45 it is written. Paul here quotes Genesis 2:7, again confirming the historicity of the special creation of Adam and, therefore, of the Genesis record of creation as a whole.
15:45 first man Adam. This is a clear affirmation that Adam was, indeed, the first man, thus refuting the various quasi-evolutionary theories involving pre-Adamite men.”
15:45 the last Adam. The “last Adam,” of course, was the Lord Jesus. As in Romans 5:12-19, the divinely inspired apostle showed Adam to be a contrasting type of Christ. Both were true men, yet their bodies were formed directly by God without genetic inheritance from human parents. Adam was the first man made a living soul, the federal head of the human race; the Lord Jesus was the first begotten from the dead, the captain of our salvation, the first man made a life-giving spirit. Adam brought sin and death into the world; Christ brought everlasting righteousness and eternal life.
15:47 the second man. Jesus Christ was certainly not “the second man” in the natural sense—that would be Cain! Neither was he the second man born supernaturally; there were Isaac and Samuel and John the Baptist, for example. The phrase obviously is comparing Him with Adam as “the first man,” but Adam was not born at all—he was formed directly by God (Genesis 2:7). In fact, that is the key. The body of Jesus was also directly formed by God, in Mary’s womb (see notes on Genesis 2:7; Jeremiah 31:22; Romans 1:3; Galatians 4:4 and Hebrews 10:5), and this was the second and last man of whom this was true.
15:49 image of the heavenly. One of the greatest promises of God is that those who believe in Christ will one day “be conformed to the image” of the Son of God. See notes on Romans 8:29; Philippians 3:21; I John 3:2.
15:51 a mystery. This “mystery,” not revealed in previous ages, assures us that Christ’s second coming will be initiated by simultaneous resurrection and glorification of the dead in Christ and glorification of the bodies of those still living at the time. Note that all will be raised! There is no basis for the so-called “partial rapture” theory. This same mystery had been unveiled previously to the Thessalonian believers (I Thessalonians 4:13-17), but his epistle to that church did not include the more detailed specifications for the spiritual body as described here. That body would be immortal (that is, no longer subject to death) and incorruptible (that is, no longer subject even to decay, pain, disease, or other physical effects of the curse). Paul would soon point out essentially this same truth to the churches at Philippi (Philippians 3:20-21) and Colosse (Colossians 3:4). In none of these is there any instruction to look first for the Antichrist, or the great tribulation, or for anything except Christ Himself!
15:52 In a moment. “Moment” is the Greek atomos, believed at that time to be the very smallest particle of matter. The coming of Christ is to be very sudden, and without advance notice, so that we should be “abiding in Him” at all times. See I John 2:28; Hebrews 9:28; II Timothy 4:8.
15:52 the last trump. Paul is not referring to the last of the seven trumpets in the Apocalypse (Revelation 8:2; 11:15), for the book of Revelation had not yet been written and Paul obviously intended for the Corinthians to understand what he meant. The sounding of an angelic trumpet at the resurrection day had also been mentioned in I Thessalonians 4:16. Trumpets were traditionally associated with calls to action (e.g., I Corinthians 14:8; Judges 7:20), and this particular trumpet sounded in heaven will call all saints, living and dead, to ascend into heaven to meet the returning Christ. It is, therefore, “the last trump” of this present age of the church.
15:53 put on incorruption. At present, the whole creation is in “the bondage of corruption” (Romans 8:21), and this certainly includes our mortal bodies. Scientifically, this condition is known as the law of increasing entropy, theologically as the curse on the ground (Genesis 3:17) because of sin. This law will be set aside as far as our present bodies are concerned, at this first phase of Christ’s second coming, then finally repealed in entirety at the final phase (Revelation 22:3).
15:54 saying that is written. See Isaiah 25:8, supplemented by Hosea 13:14. In I Corinthians 15:55, “death” and “grave” are the same Greek word, thanatos.
15:58 not in vain. No matter how great the temptation to compromise, do not yield! No matter how demanding and difficult may be the work to which God has called us, do not quit! There will be a day of resting and reward, but not yet! Note Hebrews 4:9,11; 6:10.