“The Last Enemy” (1 Corinthians 15: 20 – 22, HCSB) by Carley Evans

Paul is very concerned that people in the Corinthian church are saying there is no resurrection of the body. He argues that if Christ is raised bodily, then Christians are raised bodily.

“The last enemy to be abolished is death,” writes Paul. (1 Corinthians 15: 27)

“Then the saying that is written will take place: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory. Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting? Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.’ ” (1 Corinthians 15: 54 – 56)

This will occur, says Paul, when Christ returns in His glory. We will change; “the dead will be raised incorruptible, and this mortal must be clothed with immortality.” (1 Corinthians 15: 52, 53)

Paul reminds us that “there are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the splendor of the heavenly bodies is different from that of the earthly ones. There is a splendor of the sun, another of the moon, and another of the stars; for [one] star differs from [another] star in splendor. So it is with the resurrection of the dead… If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.” (1 Corinthians 15: 40 – 42)

So, presently we live in the company of our greatest enemies: sin and death. But Paul exhorts us: “My dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15: 58)

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