Author: Ron Graham


Paul’s Doctrine of the Resurrection
—His seven points

This Bible study is about the resurrection of all the dead at the last day. We consider the points made by Paul in his teaching about the raising of the dead.

Paul very strongly believed in a future resurrection. He wrote to the Philippians about his desire and effort to "attain to the resurrection from the dead" (Philippians 3:10-11). Paul believed in a transformation from a humble bodily state to a glorious bodily state (Philippians 3:20-21).

Writing to the Corinthians, however, Paul gives the most detailed argument and explanation in all the Bible concerning the resurrection of the dead.

Paul’s Seven Points

...concerning the resurrection of the dead

1 Belief in Christ's resurrection, and belief in the general resurrection from the dead, both stand or fall together (1Corinthians 15:12-18).

2 Christ was the firstfruits of those raised from the dead, and we shall be raised by the power of his resurrection (1Corinthians 15:19-26).

3 Objections to the resurrection are those of a fool, the same kind of fool who says in his heart that there is no God (1Corinthians 15:35-36, Psalms 14:1).

4 The resurrection may be understood in principle by likening it to a seed that is sown producing a plant (1Corinthians 15:37-44). The seed scattered upon the ground by the sower is not the beautiful golden field of wheat that later arises. Likewise the mortal flesh and blood bodies that return to the dust are not the glorious bodies that shall arise at the resurrection.

5 It stands to reason that, as we have born the image of Adam, the man who came from dust and returned to dust in corruption, so we shall bear the image of Christ, the man who came from heaven and returned to heaven in glory (1Corinthians 15:45-49 cf 1John 3:2).

6 Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, thus our mortal nature must put on immortality (1Corinthians 15:50-58).

7 Our mortal bodies, destroyed by death, will be "swallowed up by life" so our souls, called out of hades, shall not be naked, but clothed in glorious bodies (2Corinthians 5:1-5).

Those who deny the resurrection hope have been known to ridicule the idea that destroyed bodies of flesh and blood can be put back together again atom by atom. However that's not the idea or hope that we hold at all. The last four points in the above list show that the resurrection is not a reassembling of our bodies in their flesh and blood form, but rather a renewing of our bodies in a spiritual, glorious, heavenly, and eternal form.