1 Corinthians 15:31-40

1 Cor 15:31 (KJV)
I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

Paul is now affirming to the Corinthians that he dies daily which basically means that he is in peril each day that he lives because of the Gospel he teaches. The Corinthians seemed to be having a good time while Paul was in constant danger of losing his life. “I die daily” appears first in the Greek to emphasize the reality that Paul was facing. By dying to the things of the world, he was simultaneously being a witness against the world system which daily imperiled him.

1 Cor 15:32 (KJV)
If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.

The episode which Paul is referring to is found in Acts 19. When he came in to Ephesus and many people started to believe the true Gospel, they were beginning to destroy all their pagan statues and other artifacts. Ephesus was the center of the worship of Diana and many businessmen made much money selling all the pagan paraphernalia to the worshippers. So if there was no resurrection then why would Paul even place himself in such peril? He might as well join the eat, drink, and be merry crowd since there is nothing but annihilation after death. If the grave is the end, then there is no need to be careful and live a holy life.

1 Cor 15:33 (KJV)
Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.

Paul now reminds them that if they allow any evil teachings or teachers, they will become a corrupted church. You cannot allow evil or corrupt teachings to linger in any church or they will begin to chip away at the true teachings. The word “manners” carries with it the meaning of “habits.” Once false teachings begin to pervade a church, the acting out of habits in concert with those false teachings begin to happen, and any false teaching will cause people to walk differently from the biblical norm. You cannot associate yourself with bad teachings and expect to walk a solid Christian walk. We see this today as many Christians are carried away by false teachings which sound good.

1 Cor 15:34 (KJV)
Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

The word “awake” carries with it the meaning of “becoming sober.” He is not speaking of the type of sober when someone gets drunk, rather he is speaking of “coming back to one’s senses.” He is exhorting the Corinthian church to become a church of true Gospel which will bring righteousness. He commands them to not sin. He also chides them that some in the church do not have the knowledge of God. This makes one wonder what type of Gospel they were teaching if some were unaware of the knowledge of God. He was probably speaking concerning knowing God in an intimate way through the teaching of the true Gospel. Paul says this is a shameful thing and it is when a church does not convey the true teachings of Scripture. Many churches in our times do not teach the true Gospel but rather teach a social imposter for a Gospel. The true Gospel which Paul would have them teach is found in verses 3 & 4 of this chapter.

1 Cor 15:35 (KJV)
But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?

Now Paul begins to get into the heart of the matter of the resurrection. These questions may have come up in Corinth by those who were skeptical of the resurrection. However, Paul had answered them and gave good detail in the following part of the chapter concerning the resurrected body.

1 Cor 15:36 (KJV)
Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:

A seed is a very tiny thing but when it is planted in the ground and after it sprouts, it brings forth a plant much larger than the seed which was planted, plus it also yields seed for the next generation of plants. If the plant grows from a seed which was planted, and the evidence of that is all around the earth, then why would it be so hard for someone to believe that God could not do that with His children? This is why Paul begins the statement with, “thou fool.” He probably thought the questions were very disbelieving. Just as we read in Psalm 14 and 53, that the fool says there is no God. Here Paul is basically saying that those who do not think that God can do this, are as foolish as the ones who doubt His existence. He just got done explaining that the resurrected Lord was witnessed by over 500 people, and yet, there seems to have been a spirit of unbelief concerning this very subject.

1 Cor 15:37 (KJV)
And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:

Here Paul is saying that the body of the seed which you are sowing in the ground is not going to be the same body which will grow from the ground. It does not matter what type of grain it is, whatever you plant will be different from the yield. Basically, the sower is going to receive a different and more complete product when the product grows from the ground.

1 Cor 15:38 (KJV)
But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.

You can have all the sunshine and rain that a plant can use but it is God who gives the plant the body. He also gives the seed a body. If you look at sunflower seeds versus pumpkin seeds, you will see a difference and when they are planted, you will see two different plants. It is the same with all seeds. God is the one who designed each one and designed the fruit of the grown seed. Now as God has given a specific body for each seed and for each plant, he will also give a specific body to every redeemed child of His.

1 Cor 15:39 (KJV)
All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.

In the creation, God created each animal with the type of flesh they were to need for the environment they were going to dwell in. A fish has a different type of body than a bird because a bird will not survive under water and neither will a fish survive above water. God gave man a certain kind of flesh which would be necessary for the environment he was going to live in. If God was capable of giving all of these specific bodies for their environment, then God will be able to give each of His children a body to exist in for eternity.

1 Cor 15:40 (KJV)
There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.

Paul furthers the illustration that there is a vast difference between earthly bodies and the heavenly bodies. He uses the illustration of the sun, moon, and stars and how they differ from not only earth but from each other in certain ways. He wants them to understand that even for a body in space, God had designed it specifically. The earth is made up of certain minerals, water, and dirt. The sun is made up of gases which permit it to burn and give heat and light to the Solar System surrounding it. Each body is designed perfectly for its intended use. Paul intends his readers to know that the resurrected body will be as different from the present body, as the terrestrial bodies are different from the celestial bodies.