Bible Question:

What does 1 Corinthians 15:35-55 teach about our resurrection?

Bible Answer:

1 Corinthians 15:35-55 is about the future resurrection of Christians. There are four different topics in these 21 verses. But in order to understand these verses, it is important that we know in verses 12-19 the apostle Paul teaches us that everyone will be resurrected from the dead since Christ was resurrected. In verses 20-23 we are told that Christ was the first one resurrected. After that, Christians will be resurrected next. Verses 23-28 is a short summary of end game events. What follows now is an explanation of 1 Corinthians 15:35-55.

Raised With Imperishable Bodies

Earthly and Resurrected Bodies Are Different

In verses 35-42a Paul states that those who are resurrected will have a different body than the one they previously had. Verse 40 specifically states there are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies.

There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. 1 Corinthians 15:40 (NASB)

The message of these verses is that the heavenly bodies are different than the earthly bodies.

Earthly and Resurrected Bodies Compared

Next Paul compares the heavenly bodies and earthly bodies. Earthly bodies perish, are dishonorable, weak and natural. Our heavenly bodies will not perish. They are glorious and possess power. They will be spiritual and will be with our God in heaven.

Earthly and Heavenly Bodies Compared

Earthly and Resurrected Bodies Compared

From verse 45 through 49 the apostle Paul repetitively elaborates that Christians are not spiritual now but we are natural. We will be spiritual later. In heaven we will have a heavenly image.

At The Rapture Christians Receive Their New Bodies

Then in 1 Corinthians 15:50-55 we are told that we cannot enter heaven if still in our earthly bodies (v. 50). In verse 51 we are told that we will die and at some future time we will be instantly resurrected. This refers to the rapture of the church at the sound of the trumpet (see 1 Thessalonians 4:16). At that moment Christians will receive their imperishable and immortal bodies.


1 Corinthians 15:35-55 teaches Christians that some day we will obtain new bodies at the rapture of the church prior to the tribulation. The description of the new bodies is general but wonderful. Daniel 12:3 adds that our bodies will shine like the sun and the stars. Are you looking forward to your new bodies and your new home called heaven (John 14:1-4)?

Suggested Links:

Promise of Future Resurrection
What does the Bible teach about the resurrection of the dead?
Why were people resurrected when Jesus died?
Are the Old Testament saints resurrected at the rapture?
Do the dead really go to heaven or hell?