1 Now let me remind you, brothers, of the essence of the good news which I proclaimed to you, which you accepted, on which you now are standing, 2 and through which you are to be saved, unless your faith at first was spurious. 3 For I passed on to you, among the primary principles of the good news, what I had received, that Christ died for our sins, in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that He was buried, that on the third day He was raised from the dead, in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, and then by the Twelve. 6 After that, at one time He was seen by more than five hundred brothers, most of whom are still living, though some of them have fallen asleep. 7 Then He was seen by James, then by all the apostles, and finally 8 He was seen by me, too, as though I were born out of time.
9 For I belong to the lowest rank of the apostles, and am not fit to bear the title apostle, because I once persecuted the church of God. 10 But by God's unmerited favor I have become what I am, and His unmerited favor shown to me was not bestowed for nothing, for I have toiled more extensively than any of them, and yet it was not I but God's unmerited favor working with me. 11 But whether it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed.
12 Now if we preach that Christ has been raised from the dead, how is it that some of you are saying that there is no such thing as a resurrection of the dead? 13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised, 14 and if Christ was not raised, the message which we preach has nothing in it; there is nothing in our faith either, 15 and we are found guilty of lying about God, for we have testified that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if indeed the dead are never raised. 16 For if the dead are never raised, Christ has not been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is a mere delusion; you are still under the penalty of your sins. 18 Yes, even those who have fallen asleep, though in union with Christ, have perished. 19 If for this life only we Christians have set our hopes on Christ, we are the most pitiable people in the world.
20 But in reality Christ has been raised from the dead, the first to be raised of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since it was through a man that death resulted, it was also through a man that the resurrection of the dead resulted. 22 For just as all men die by virtue of their descent from Adam, so all such as are in union with Christ will be made to live again. 23 But each in his proper order; Christ first, then at His coming those who belong to Christ. 24 After that comes the end, when He will turn the kingdom over to God His Father, when He will put an end to all other government, authority, and power; 25 for He must continue to be king until He puts all His enemies under His feet. 26 Death is the last enemy to be stopped, 27 for He has put everything in subjection under His feet. But when He says that everything has been put in subjection to Him, He Himself is evidently excepted who put it all in subjection to Him. 28 And when everything has been put in subjection to Him, then the Son Himself will also become subject to Him who has put everything in subjection to Him, so that God may be everything to everybody.
29 Otherwise, what do those people mean who submit to being baptized on behalf of their dead? If the dead are never raised at all, why do they submit to being baptized on their behalf? 30 Why too do we ourselves run such risks every hour? 31 I protest, by the boasting which I do about you, my brothers, through our union with Christ Jesus our Lord, I myself run the risk of dying every single day! 32 If from merely human motives I have fought wild beasts here in Ephesus, what profit will it be to me? If the dead are never raised at all, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we shall be dead." 33 Do not be so misled: "Evil companionships corrupt good character." 34 Sober up, as is right, and stop sinning, for some of you -- to your shame I say so -- are without any true knowledge of God.
35 But someone will ask, "How can the dead rise? With what kind of body do they come back?" 36 You foolish man! the seed that you sow never comes to life unless it dies first; 37 and what you sow does not have the body that it is going to have, but is a naked grain, of wheat (it may be) or something else; 38 but God gives it just the body He sees fit, even each kind of seed its own body. 39 Every kind of flesh is different. One kind belongs to men, another to cattle, another to birds, another to fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies, and earthly bodies, but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is of one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is of another. 41 One kind of splendor belongs to the sun, another to the moon, and another to the stars; yes, one star differs from another in splendor. 42 It is just like this with the resurrection of the dead. 43 The body is sown in decay, it is raised without decay; it is sown in humiliation, it is raised in splendor; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in strength; 44 it is sown a physical body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, there is a spiritual body too. 45 This is the way the Scripture puts it too, "The first man Adam became a living creature." The last Adam has become a life-giving Spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that comes first; it is the physical, and then the spiritual.
47 The first man was made of the dust of the earth; the second Man is from heaven. 48 Now those who are made of the dust are just like him who was first made of dust, and those who are heavenly are like Him who is from heaven, 49 and as we have reflected the likeness of him who was made of dust, let us also reflect the likeness of the Man from heaven.
50 But this I tell you, brothers: Our physical bodies cannot take part in the kingdom of God; what is decaying will never take part in what is immortal. 51 Let me tell you a secret. We shall not all fall asleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the sound of the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised with bodies not subject to decay, and we shall be changed. 53 For this decaying part of us must put on the body that can never decay, and this part once capable of dying must put on the body that can never die. 54 And when this part once capable of dying puts on the body that can never die, then what the Scripture says will come true, "Death has been swallowed up in victory. 55 O Death, where is your victory now? O Death, where is your sting?" 56 Now sin gives death its sting, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 So, my dear brothers, continue to be firm, incapable of being moved, always letting the cup run over in the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the service of the Lord is never thrown away.