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1 Corinthians 15


 1 Moreover, (1) (*) brethren, I declare unto you the Gospel which I preached unto you, which ye have also received, and wherein ye (a) continue,


(1) The sixth treatise of this Epistle, concerning the resurrection; and he useth a transition, or passing over from one matter to another, shewing first that he bringeth no new thing, to the end that the Corinthians might understand that they had begun to swerve from the right course; and next that he goeth not about to entreat of a trifling matter, but of another chief point of the Gospel, which if it be taken away, their faith must needs come to nought. And so at the length he beginneth this treatise at Christ's resurrection, which is the ground and foundation of ours, and confirmeth it first by the testimony of the Scriptures, and by the witness of the Apostles, and of more than five hundred brethren, and last of all by his own.

(*) Galatians 1:11 .
(a) In the profession whereof you continue yet.


 2 And whereby ye are saved, if ye keep in memory, after what manner I preached it unto you, (b) (*) except ye have believed in vain.


(b) Which is very absurd, and cannot be, but that they which believe, must reap the fruit of faith.

(*) If you believe to be saved by the Gospel, ye must believe also the resurrection of the dead, which is one of the principal points thereof, or else your belief is but vain.


 3 For first of all, I delivered unto you that which I (♣) received, how that Christ died for our sins, according to the (*) Scriptures,


(♣) He sheweth that nothing ought to be taught, which we have not learned by Godís word.

(*) Isaiah 53:5; 1 Peter 2:24 .


 4 And that he was buried, and that he arose the third day according to the (*) Scriptures,


(*) Jonah 2:1 .


 5  (*) And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the (c) (♣) twelve.


(*) John 20:19 .

(c) Of those twelve picked and chosen Apostles, which were commonly called twelve, though Judas was put out of the number.

(♣) Although Judas wanted, yet they were so called still.


 6 After that, he was seen of more than five hundred brethren at (d) once; whereof many remain unto this present, and some also are asleep.


(d) Not several times, but together and at one instant.


 7 After that, he was seen of James, then of all the Apostles.


 8  (*) (2) And last of all he was seen also of me, as of one born out of due time.


(*) Acts 9:4-5 .

(2) He maintaineth by the way, the authority of his Apostleship, which was requisite to be in good credit among the Corinthians, that this Epistle might be of force and weight amongst them. In the mean season he compareth himself in such sort after a certain divine art with certain others, that he maketh himself inferior to them all.   


 9  (*) For I am the least of the Apostles, which am not meet to be called an Apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God.


(*) Ephesians 3:8 .


 10  (*) But by the (♣) grace of God I am that I am, and his grace which is in me, was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which is with me.


(*) Ephesians 3:7 .

(♣) For he was but the instrument, and minister and giveth the whole glory to God.


 11 Wherefore, whether it were I, or they, so we preach, and so have ye believed.


 12  ∂ (3) Now if it be preached, that Christ is risen from the dead, how say some among you, that there is no resurrection of the dead?


(3) The first argument to prove that there is a resurrection from the dead: Christ is risen again, therefore the dead will rise again.


 13  (4) For if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen;


(4) The second by an absurdity: If there is no resurrection of the dead, then is not Christ risen again.


 14  (5) And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching (*) vain, and your (♣) faith is also vain.


(5) The proof of that absurdity by other absurdities; If Christ be not risen again, the preaching of the Gospel is in vain, and the credit that you gave unto it is vain, and we are liars.

(*) Christís death is not effectual except he rise from death.

(♣) For if Christ be swallowed up of death, there remaineth no hope of life anymore.


 15 And we are found also false witnesses of God, for we have testified of God, that he hath raised up Christ, whom he hath not raised up, if so be the dead be not raised.


 16  (6) For if the dead be not raised, then is Christ not raised.


(6) He repeateth the same argument taken from an absurdity, purposing to shew how faith is in vain if the resurrection of Christ is taken away.


 17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is (*) vain; (7) ye are (e) yet in your (♣) sins.


(*) As mortification, and remission of sins depend on Christís death; so our quickening and restoring to life stand in his resurrection.

(7) First, seeing death is the punishment of sin, in vain should we believe that our sins were forgiven us, if they remain, but they do remain, if Christ rose not from death.
(e) They are yet in their sins, which are not sanctified, nor have obtained remission of their sins.

(♣) You are not forgiven nor sanctified.


 18  (8) And so they which are asleep in Christ, are perished.


(8) Secondly, unless that this be certain that Christ rose again, all they which died in Christ, are perished. So then what profit cometh of faith?


 19  (9) If in this life (*) only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most miserable.


(9) The third argument which is also taken from an absurdity; for unless there be another life, wherein such as trust and believe in Christ shall be blessed, they were the most miserable of all creatures, because in this life they are the most miserable.

(*) Or, only for this lifeís sake.


 20  (10) But now is Christ risen from the dead, (11) and was made the (*) (f) (♣) firstfruits of them that slept.


(10) A conclusion of the former argument: Therefore Christ is risen again.
(11) He putteth the last conclusion for the first proposition of the argument that followeth. Christ is risen again, Therefore shall we the faithful (for of them he speaketh) rise again. Then followeth the first reason of this consequent; for Christ is set forth unto us, to be considered of, not as a private man apart and by himself, but as the firstfruits; and he taketh that which was known, to all men, to wit, that the whole heap is sanctified in the firstfruits.

(*) Colossians 1:18; Revelation 1:5 .
(f) He alludeth to the firstfruits of corn, the offering whereof sanctified the rest of the fruits.

(♣) As by the offering of the first fruit the whole fruit is sanctified, so by Christ which is the first that is raised, all have assurance of the resurrection.


 21  (12) For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.


(12) Another confirmation of the same consequent: for Christ is to be considered as opposite to Adam, that as from one man Adam, sin came over all, so from one man Christ, life cometh unto all. That is to say, that all the faithful, as they die, because by nature they were born of Adam, so because in Christ they are made the children of God by grace, they are quickened and restored to life by him.


 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in (*) Christ shall (♣) all be (g) made alive.


(*) Who rose first from the dead to take possession in our flesh for us his members.

(♣) To wit, the faithful.

(g) Shall rise by the virtue of Christ.


 23  (13) But every man in his (*) own order: the firstfruits is Christ, afterward, they that are of Christ, at his coming shall rise again.


(13) He doeth two things together: for he sheweth that the resurrection is in such sort common to Christ with all his members, that notwithstanding he far surpasseth them, both in time (for he was the first that rose again from the dead) and also in honor, because that from him and in him is all our life and glory. Then by this occasion he passeth in the next argument.

(*) 1 Thessalonians 4:13-15 .


 24  (14) Then shall be the (h) end, when he hath (*) delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father, when he hath put down (i) all rule, and all authority and power.


(14) The fourth argument, wherewith also he confirmeth the other, hath a most sure ground, to wit, because that God must reign. And this is the manner of his reign, that the Father will be shewed to be King in his Son who was made man, to whom all things are made subject (the promiser only except) to the end that the Father may afterwards triumph in his Son the conqueror. And he makes two parts of this reign and dominion of the Son, wherein the Father's glory consisteth, to wit, the overcoming of his enemies (whereof some must be deprived of all power, as Satan and all the wicked, be they never so proud and mighty, and others must be utterly abolished as death)  and a plain and full delivery of the godly from all enemies, that by this means God may fully set forth the body of the Church, cleaving fast to their head Christ, his kingdom and glory as a King in his subjects. Moreover, he putteth the first degree of this kingdom in the resurrection of the Son, who is the head, and the perfection, in the full conjunction of the members with the head, which shall be in the latter day. Now all these tend to this purpose, to shew that unless the dead do rise again, neither the Father can be King above all, neither Christ the Lord of all. For neither should the power of Satan and death be overcome, nor the glory of God be full in his Son, nor his Son in his members.
(h) The shutting up and finishing of all things.

(*) Christ as he is man and head of the Church is said to be subject to God; but in respect of the world, is King of heaven and earth. This kingdom standeth in governing the faithful; and overcoming the adversaries, even death the chiefest, which done, Christ being perfected with all his members, shall as he is man and head of the Church, with his fellow heirs deliver his Kingdom, and be subject to God with whom and the holy Ghost in Godhead he is equal.
(i) All his enemies which shall be spoiled of all the power they have.


 25 For he must reign (*) till he hath put all his enemies (k) under his feet.


(*) Psalm 110:1; Acts 2:34; Hebrews 1:13; Hebrews 10:13 .

(k) Christ is considered here, as he appeared in the form of a servant, in which respect he ruleth the Church as head, and that because this power was given him of his Father.


 26 The (l) last enemy that shall be destroyed, is death.


(l) The shutting up of the argument, which is taken from the whole to the part, for if all his enemies shall be put under his feet, then must it needs be that death also shall be subdued under him.


 27  (*) For he hath put down all things under his feet. (And when he saith that all things are subdued to him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put down all things under him.)


(*) Psalm 8:6; Hebrews 2:8 .


 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, (m) then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him, that did subdue all things under him, that (n) God may be (*) all in all.


(m) Not because the Son was not subject to his Father before, but because his body, that is to say, the Church which is here in distress, and not yet wholly partaker of his glory, is not yet fully perfect; and also because the bodies of the Saints which be in the graves shall not be glorified until the resurrection. But Christ as he is God, hath us subject to him as his Father hath, but as he is Priest, he is subject to his Father together with us. Augustine, book 1, chapter 8; of the Trinity.
(n) By this high kind of speech, is set forth an incomprehensible glory which floweth from God, and shall fill all of us, as we are joined together with our head, but yet so, that our head shall always reserve his preeminence.

(*) We shall be perfectly fulfilled with his glory and felicity.


 29  (15) Else what shall they do which are baptized (o) (*) (♣) for dead? If the dead rise not at all, why are they then baptized for dead?


(15) The fifth argument taken of the end of Baptism, to wit, because that they which are baptized for dead, that is to say, that they may have a remedy against death because that Baptism is a token of regeneration.
(o) They that are baptized, to this end and purpose, that death may be put out in them, or to rise again from the dead, whereof baptism is a seal.

(*) That is, as dead and because they were but newly come to Christ, would be baptized before they died.

(♣) Except these things be true of Christís kingdom and his subjection, what shall become of them whom the Church daily baptizeth, for to destroy death in them which is the end of baptism, and so they to rise again?


 30  (16) Why are we also in jeopardy every hour?


(16) The sixth argument: Unless there be a resurrection of the dead, why should the Apostles so daily cast themselves into danger of so many deaths?


 31  (*) By our (p) rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.


(*) I take to weariness all my sorrows, wherein I may justly rejoice in the Lord, that I have sustained them among you.

(p) As though he said, I die daily, as all the miseries I suffer can well witness, which I may truly boast of, that I have suffered amongst you.


 32  (17) If I have fought with beasts at Ephesus (q) after (♣) the manner of men, what advantageth it me, if the dead be not raised up? (*) (18) Let us (r) eat and drink, for tomorrow we shall die.


(17) The taking away of an objection; but thou Paul didst ambitiously, as commonly men are wont to do, when thou didst fight with beasts at Ephesus. That is very like, saith Paul, for what could that advantage me, were it not for the glory of eternal life which I hope for?
(q) Not upon any godly motion, nor casting mine eyes upon God, but carried away with vain glory, or a certain headiness.

(♣) That is, having regard to this present life, and not to Godís glory, and to life everlasting.

(*) Isaiah 22:13 .
(18) The seventh argument which dependeth upon the last: if there is no resurrection of the dead, why do we give ourselves to anything else, save to eating and drinking?
(r) These are speeches that Epicureans use.


 33  (19) Be not deceived: evil speakings corrupt good manners.


(19) The conclusion with a sharp exhortation, that they take heed of the naughty company of certain, from whence he sheweth that this mischief sprang, warning them to be wise with sobriety unto righteousness.


 34 Awake to live righteously, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God, I speak this to your shame.


 35  (20) But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? And with what body come they forth?


(20) Now that he hath proved the resurrection, he discovereth their doltishness, in that they scoffingly demanded, how it could be that the dead should rise again, and if they did rise again, they asked mockingly, what manner of bodies they should have. Therefore he sendeth these fellows which seemed to themselves to be marvelous wise and witty, to be instructed of poor rude husbandmen.


 36  (21) O fool, that which thou sowest, is not quickened, except it die.


(21) Thou mightest have learned either of these, saith Paul, by daily experience, for seeds are sown, and rot, and yet notwithstanding so far it is off, that they perish, that contrariwise they grow up far more beautiful. And whereas they are sown naked and dry, they spring up green from death by the virtue of God, and doth it seem incredible to thee that our bodies should rise from corruption, and that endued with a far more excellent quality?


 37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare corn as it falleth, of wheat, or of some other.


 38  (22) But God giveth it a body at his pleasure, even to every seed his own body.


(22) We see a diversity both in one and the selfsame thing which hath now one form and then another, and yet keepeth its own kind, as it is evident in a grain which is sown bare, but springeth up far after another sort; and also in divers kinds of one selfsame sort, as amongst beasts; and also among things of divers sorts, as the heavenly bodies and the earthly bodies; which also differ very much one from another. Therefore there is no cause why we should reject either the resurrection of the bodies, or the changing of them into a better state, as a thing impossible, or strange.


 39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one (*) flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another of fishes, and another of birds.


(*) There is one substance as touching the flesh both of man and beast, but the difference is as touching the quality.


 40 There are also heavenly bodies, and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another.


 41 There is another glory of the (*) sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory.


(*) Even as the sun and the moon being of one substance differ in dignity; so in the resurrection our bodies shall have more excellent qualities than they have now.


 42  (23) So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is (s) sown in corruption, and is raised in incorruption.


(23) He maketh three manner of qualities of the bodies being raised: Incorruption, to wit, because they shall be sound, and altogether of a nature that cannot be corrupt; Glory, because they shall be adorned with beauty and honor; Power, because they shall continue everlasting without meat, drink, and all other helps, without which this frail life cannot keep itself from corruption.
(s) Is buried, and man is hid as seed in the ground.


 43 It is sown in (t) (*) dishonor, and is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, and is raised in (u) power.


(t) Void of honor, void of glory and beauty.

(*) For what is more vile to look unto than the dead carcass.
(u) Freed from the former weakness, whereas it is subject to such alteration and change, that it cannot maintain itself without meat and drink, and such otherlike helps.


 44  (24) It is sown a natural body, and is raised a (*) spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.


(24) He sheweth perfectly in one word, this change of the quality of the body by the resurrection, when he saith, that of a natural body, it shall become a spiritual body; which two qualities being clean different, the one from the other, he straightway expoundeth and setteth, forth diligently.

(*) Not changing the substance, but made partaker of the divine nature.


 45  (25) As it is also written, The (x) first man (*) Adam was made a living soul; and the last Adam was made a (y) (♣) quickening Spirit.


(25) That is called a natural body, which is quickened and maintained by a living soul only, such as Adam was, of whom we are all born naturally; and that is said to be a spiritual, which together with the soul is quickened with a far more excellent virtue, to wit, with the Spirit of God, which descendeth from Christ the second Adam unto us.
(x) Adam is called the first man, because he is the root as it were from whence we spring; and Christ is the latter man, because he is the beginning of all them that are spiritual, and in him we are all comprehended.

(*) Genesis 2:7 .
(y) Christ is called a Spirit, by reason of that most excellent nature, that is to say, God who dwelleth in him bodily, as Adam is called a living soul, by reason of the soul which is the best part in him.

(♣) Christ bringeth us from heaven the Spirit of life.


 46  (26) Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.


(26) Secondly, he willeth the order of this double state or quality to be observed, that the natural was first, Adam being created of the clay of the earth; and the spiritual followed and came upon it, to wit, when as the Lord being sent from heaven, endued our flesh, which was prepared and made fit for him, with the fullness of the Godhead.


 47 The first man is of the earth, (z) earthly; the second man is the Lord (*) from (a) heaven.


(z) Wallowing in dirt, and wholly given to an earthly nature.

(*) This is attributed to Christ as concerning his divinity, not in respect of his humanity whose flesh hath this glory by the power of God who dwelleth in it.
(a) The Lord is said to come down from heaven by that kind of speech, whereby that which is proper to one is vouched of another.


 48  (27) As is the earthly, such are they that are earthly; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.


(27) He applieth both the earthly naturalness of Adam (if I may so say) to our bodies, so long as they are naturally conversant on earth, to wit, in this life, and in the grave; and also the spirituality of Christ to the same our  bodies, after that they are risen again; and he saith, that which goeth before and this shall follow.


 49 And as we have borne the (b) (*) image of the earthly, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly.


(b) Not a vain and false image, but such a one as had the truth with it indeed.

(*) Both in substance and form we are earthly.


 50  (28) This say I, brethren, that (c) (*) flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.


(28) The conclusion: We cannot be partakers of the glory of God unless we put off all that gross and filthy nature of our bodies subject to corruption, that the same body may be adorned with incorruptible glory.
(c) Flesh and blood are taken here for a living body, which cannot attain to incorruption, unless it put off corruption.

(*) This natural body as it is now, till it be made new by the Spirit of Christ.


 51  (29) Behold, I shew you a (d) secret thing; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be (*) changed,


(29) He goeth further, declaring that it shall come to pass that they which shall be found alive in the latter days shall not descend into that corruption of the grave, but shall be renewed with a sudden change, which change is very requisite; and that the certain enjoying of the benefit and victory of Christ, is deferred unto that latter time.
(d) A thing that hath been hid, and never known hitherto, and therefore worthy that you give good ear unto it.

(*) When the Lord cometh to judgment, some of the Saints shall be alive, whom he will change even as if they were dead, so that this change is instead of death to them.


 52 In (e) a moment, in the twinkling of an eye at the last (*) trumpet; for the trumpet shall blow, and the dead shall be raised up incorruptible, and we shall be changed.


(e) He sheweth us that the time shall be very short.

(*) Matthew 24:31; 1 Thessalonians 4:16 .


 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.


 54 So when this corruptible hath put on incorruption, and this mortal hath put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, (*) Death is swallowed up into victory.


(*) Isaiah 25:8; Revelation 7:17 .


 55  (*) (♣) O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory?


(*) Hosea 13:14; Hebrews 2:14 .

(♣) O death, where is thy victory? O grave, where is thy sting?


 56 The sting of death is sin, and the (*) strength of sin is the Law.


(*) Sin first brought in death and giveth it power over us, and the strength of sin is the Law, because it doeth reveal the judgment of God against us; or else the chief cause of our destruction is in ourselves.


 57  (*) But thanks be unto God, which hath given us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.


(*) 1 John 5:5 .


 58  (30) Therefore my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, abundant always in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in (*) vain in the (f) Lord.


(30) An exhortation taken of the profit that ensueth, that seeing they understand that the glory of the other life is laid up for faithful workmen, they continue and stand fast in the truth of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead.

(*) The hope of resurrection causeth the faithful to surmount all difficulties.
(f) Through the Lord's help and goodness working in us.





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