Read Introduction to 1 Corinthians
42 “So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”
Paul draws four contrasts between our natural body and the resurrection body:
It is sown in corruption but raised in incorruption.
It is sown in dishonor but raised in glory.
It is sown in weakness but raised in power.
It is sown a natural body but raised a spiritual body.?
So also is the resurrection of the dead.
Having argued the difference and newness of the resurrection body, Paul now contrasts the resurrection body with the natural body. Resurrection bodies will be as unique as all the contrasts seen in previous verses. Our resurrection body will be unique and different from other resurrection bodies.
The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption.
The word “sown” refers to burial. We put the human body into the ground (interment) just like a seed, but God raises it to incorruption (imperishable). Our present bodies are subject to disease, aging, and death. Our resurrection bodies are not subject to corruption or death. God will replace corruption with incorruption in the resurrection body.
1 Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you,
It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory.
When we put the human body into the ground, it dishonors the body. There is nothing noble about death. We put dead bodies out of sight because they rot and decay. However, God raises the body to glory and honor. We will change from a flawed state to a complete state. Our flawed bodies will become like the glorified body of the Lord Jesus (Ph 3:21). Throughout the eternal state, our resurrection bodies will honor the Lord because they will be free from the sin capacity.
It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power.
The body is at the point of ultimate weakness when it dies, but it is much more powerful in its resurrection body. Our body succumbs to disease because it is weak. The fact that a diseased body rises from the dead demonstrates God’s power in raising something so corruptible.
It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
The word “natural” is soulish – an organism animated by the soul. Our present bodies function by the auspices of our soul (mind, emotions, and will). God designed these present bodies only for this life. Our current body is natural while the resurrection body is spiritual, designed for eternity, and suited for living in God’s presence.
There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.
The natural body has animal life as the animating principle. However, God fits or adapts the spiritual body for eternity. It is a body wholly designed for eternity.
God designed our resurrection body for eternity.
The resurrection body comes from the natural body that died. This new body will not succumb to disease and decay. The resurrection body is grander than a reanimation of the present body; it is a complete glorification of the old body. The soul dominates our entire body before the resurrection. After the resurrection, the spirit dominates the body completely. It will never know sickness or pain, will never grow old or die. It will never again submit to death. It will not yield to lusts again. It will never tire and there will not be a need for night. Our bodies will not stay buried; the casket is not final. The word “cemetery” means sleeping place. The body sleeps temporarily in the cemetery until the resurrection. Those who know Christ will rise in the first resurrection; those who do not know Him will rise in the second resurrection.
2 Co 5:1 For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. 2For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven,
There is nothing in the Bible about the transmigration of the soul. There is nothing about coming back as a monkey. Christians will instantaneously go to be with the Lord at death.
2 Co 5:8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.