The Resurrection


With what hat kind of body will we be resurrected?



Dr. John Hoole




When you read Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, you will notice that the last two thirds of the Book finds Paul addressing questions the Corinthian church members had written to him.


1 Corinthians 7:1 NKJV begins,…


1.   Now concerning the things of which you wrote to me:


We don’t know the wording of the question submitted by the Corinthians believers. One of the items they had written to Paul about concerned the resurrection.  Although the text does not specify what the Corinthians’ concerns are, their main concern  appears to center around the body since that is the focus of Paul’s response.


Paul is not the first to communicate the teaching of bodily resurrection.    In our last lesson, we looked at the writings of both Job and David and saw their belief they would one day see their Redeemer in their own resurrected body.


And in Acts 23, when the Jews were plotting to kill Paul, he used the subjected of the resurrection to cause a stir among the Jewish leaders, because some of them were Sadducees, who did not accept the concept of bodily resurrection.


In the second to  last chapter of First Corinthians – chapter 15 – we find one of the best passages in the Bible, covering the subject of the resurrection. In fact, he addresses both the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the future resurrection of all believers. And in doing so, as we noted in our last lesson, Paul links our resurrection to that of Christ.


The firsts 11 verses of the chapter addresses the authenticity of Christ’s bodily resurrection. To Paul, and as it should be with us, the resurrection of Christ is non-negotiable.


In the remainder of the eleventh chapter, Paul links our resurrection to that of Christ.


That was title to last week’s lesson: “Because Christ Lives, so Shall We.”


Today’s lesson is: “With Was Kind of Body Will We Be Raised.


And next week’s lesson will be: “A Body Like Unto His Body.”


Look at a short section of this chapter 15.


1 Corinthians 15:17-22 NKJV


17 And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins!

18 Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.

19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable.

20 But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

21 For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead.

22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.


Then in verse 35, Paul seems to anticipate further questions from the Corinthian congregation.


1 Corinthians 15:35 NIV


35   But someone may ask, "How are the dead raised? With what kind of body will they come?"


Paul raises two questions, and I have had these questions asked of me many times.


1.   How, or by what process & power, are the dead raised?


2.   What kind of bodies will we have?


In our last lesson, we answered the first question. We will be raised from the dead with the same power that Christ was raised.


For some these may be very perplexing issues, when you think of the different ways people have died. Some have been shredded to bits,  blown to smithereens, and aborted in the womb. Others have been devoured by beast….or eaten by cannibals. Still others have been burned at the stake, or cremated, having their ashes scattered to the winds.


Will their bodily atoms be re-assembled? Will there be male and female? With our new bodies, will we recognize one another? Will we look young, or old?


But when we begin to think about our future resurrection bodies, we have more questions than answers. Some of these will be answered when we discuss Heaven.


Many agnostic critics suggest that the bodily resurrection of the saints is impossible if the body is decayed or destroyed. Some have questioned how a body could be physically resurrected after a person had been eaten by a shark, and had become part of the food chain.


A famous example of this curious criticism of the idea of a resurrection is found in the writings of the French atheistic philosopher Voltaire. He ridiculed the doctrine of resurrection. He proposed a hypothetical situation where a starving soldier was forced by circumstances to eat an Iroquois Indian he had killed who himself had fed recently on some Jesuit priests.


Voltaire contemptuously asked: “How is each to take again precisely what belongs to him? And what part belongs to each?”


The French philosopher Rousseau wrote a letter disputing the argument used by Voltaire, saying,


      “All the subtleties of metaphysics will never make me doubt for a moment the immortality of the soul and a beneficent providence………I feel it, I believe it, I want it, I hope for it.  I will defend it to my last breath.”


While Voltaire and other atheists and agnostics may see this issue as an insolvable problem, God is not subject to the finite limitation of their human minds. God is quite capable of resurrecting a body of a man as He was in creating that body the first time in his mother’s womb.


The quick response to this dilemma is if God is God, He can easily resurrect the humans He created. If someone can explain to me how God constructed man out of dust in the first place, I will tell you how He can REconstruct us out of it.    To put together someone who has disintegrated might be a problem for us, but not for God.


When we grasp the fact that nothing is impossible with God, resurrection then become simple. Absolutely nothing, including raising the dead, is too difficult for God. We used to sing a chorus that comes from a Bible verse that echoes this thought.


Jeremiah 32:17 NKJV


17      'Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.


Absolutely nothing is impossible with God. Of course, not everyone will accept this biblical argument. And, actually, Paul anticipates the objection of someone arguing against the idea of a bodily resurrection.


And in 1 Corinthians 15:36, Paul calls such a person a "fool." The Bible, in Psalm 14:1, defines a fool as anyone who fails to take God into account. Such a person excludes God from consideration.


Remember, if God is God, bodily resurrection is absolutely no problem. The apostle Paul would definitely argue that when a believer dies, we have truly only then begun to live.


God created each of us as very unique creatures. No two of us are exactly alike.


Now, consider this: Every one of our bodies’ 50 trillion cells, even the smallest cell of our hair or skin, contains the complete DNA genetic code required to reconstruct our complete body. All that is needed is one cell. It contains the precise code to your whole physical body, down to our particular tastes in music and food.


Besides that, Biologists tell us that our physical body constantly renews itself at the cellular level. Every seven years or so, almost every one of these 50 trillion cells has been completely replaced by new cells.


Therefore, in the natural course of life, our body will use and discard trillions of cells and they are scattered throughout your home and workplace, etc. The enormous quantity of discarded cells would be enough to make up our body several times over. God would only need one single cell of our body, with its DNA code, in order to recreate our complete body.


DNA determines the arrangement for 206 bones, 600 muscles, 10,000 auditory nerve fibers, 2 million optic nerve fibers, 100 billion nerve cells, 400 billion feet of blood vessels and capillaries, and so on.


There really is no difficulty in God locating one single cell, regardless of what happens to our entire body.






1.     Firstly, our bodies will be our own bodies.


2.  Secondly, our bodies will be changed to like Christ’s glorified body.


      Let’s look at what the Bible says about the first point.


1.   Firstly, our bodies will be our own bodies.


There are many Scriptural reasons for believing that we will be raised with the same body that died.


First, Christ was raised in the same body He had before He died. We know this because the tomb was empty (Luke 24:1-6) and because His resurrected body retained scars from the crucifixion (John 20:2527).


Since Christ's resurrection is the pattern that our resurrection will follow (Philippians 3:20-211 Cor. 15:49), then we will also be raised with the same body.


Second, this is also evident from the very meaning of the term "resurrection of the dead" (1 Corinthians 15:13, etc.). The phrase means: that which is dead (namely, our body) is made alive. If the same body that died is not the body that was raised, Paul could not call it the "resurrection of the dead."  It would not be a resurrection at all.


Third, the phrase "the dead will be raised" (1 Cor. 15:52) also communicates this. If God meant to start all over with no continuity between the body I have now and the one I will have, why would Paul say 'the dead will be raised'?


FourthPhilippians 3:20-21 says that our earthly body is transformed into conformity with Christ's body in the resurrection, not that God creates a new body from scratch:


"For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ; who will transform the body of our humble state into conformity with the body of His glory, by the exertion of the power that He has even to subject all things to Himself."


Fifth, Jesus speaks of the resurrection as involving the coming forth out of tombs, which strongly indicates that the resurrection is the reanimation of the body that had been lied to rest originally:


"An hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment" (John 5:28-29).


Sixth, Paul's statement "it is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body" (1 Corinthians 15:42) establishes that there is a continuity between our current body and our resurrected body, for it is the same "it" in both cases.


Seventh, verse 11:53 indicates that the same body we have now (which is mortal), will become immortal:


"For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality."


While the bodies we will have following our resurrection will be our current body, we will also have been transformed bodies so that it is like that of Christ’s resurrected body.


That will be the focus of our next lesson, Lord willing.