Transformation Brings Victory
I Corinthians 15:50-58
Two fellas were watching an old cowboy movie and it
came to the part when the cowboy, on his horse, at full
gallop, was headed right towards a cliff. One of the
guys said to the other, “Hey, I’ll bet you 10 bucks that
he rides over the cliff.” The other said, “You’re on!”
Well the cowboy and the horse went right over the
cliff. The fella that lost the bet paid up. A while later,
the guy who won said, “Hey, I’m feeling a little guilty
about our bet and need to make a confession … I have
already seen the movie.” The other fella replied, “Well,
I have also seen the movie before … but I didn’t think
he’d do it again!”
Today we are going to study Paul’s closing comments
regarding the resurrection found in
I Corinthians 15:50-58
I Corinthians 15:50
Paul refers to the Corinthians as brothers which tells us
he is writing to believers.
He’s explaining the difference between this world and
heaven. Our bodies in this world are perishing. They are
decaying. We can’t take those bodies to heaven.
Just like unbelievers cannot inherit the kingdom of God,
our earthly bodies are not able to enter heaven in their
God is going to take care of the transformation from
perishable to imperishable.
I Corinthians 15:51
The Mystery of Transformation
Behold is the equivalent of a verbal highlighter.
What Paul is about to say is extremely important.
If someone mentioned the word mystery you would think
of something you are not able to fully understand.
Mystery in the Bible means something that has been
hidden from our understanding in the past, but is made
known in God’s perfect timing.
The mystery is this:
We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed
What Paul means here is that all believers are going to
get their glorified bodies whether Christ comes back
when they are living or dead.
If they are dead, their bodies will be raised at the sound
of the trumpet.
If they are living, they will exchange their earthly body
for a heavenly one.
God does this! He alone has the power to transform our
perishable bodies to glorified bodies.
I Corinthians 15:52-53
The Timing of the Transformation
Paul writes that it will happen in a moment.
In the twinkling of an eye.
It’s going to happen so fast we will not be able to watch it
Everyone blink your eyes.
That’s how fast the transformation is going to happen.
It is not some lengthy surgery, God will transform us in
How will we know when it will happen?
The Bible tells us that a trumpet will signal the end.
Matt 24:31 “And he will send out his angels with a
loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect
from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the
I Thessalonians 4:16 “For the Lord himself will descend
from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice
of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet
of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.”
In a certain Bible College, it was the habit of six
young men to gather for a prayer meeting right at
the crack of dawn each day. They would kneel and
pray in a special room at the end of their floor in a
dormitory. One of these college students would
always fall asleep while praying. The others
thought they would play a practical joke on him, so
one morning they planted a fellow student with a
trumpet outside the window of the room in which
they prayed. They all knelt to pray and the young
man fell asleep on his knees as always. The others
quietly got off their knees and tiptoed away, hiding
in the last room way down the hail. The trumpeter
then gave a huge blast on the trumpet. The young
man awakened from his sleep to find his friends
had all disappeared. He concluded that the rapture
had taken place and he was left behind. He began
to shake and sweat. He got up, ran down the hall
and looked in every room but found no one. When
he came to the last room and found his friends
doubled up with laughter, the young man literally
passed out on the spot due to fear. What kind of
fear will grip the unsaved when the rapture does
occur and they are left only to face the angry wrath
of God? – Jack Arnold
John writes about the transformation of believers when
1 John 3:1-3 NIV “See what great love the Father
has lavished on us, that we should be called
children of God! And that is what we are! The
reason the world does not know us is that it did not
know him. Dear friends, now we are children of
God, and what we will be has not yet been made
known. But we know that when Christ appears, we
shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All
who have this hope in him purify themselves, just
as he is pure.”
We have this hope that Christ is coming back and
whether we are alive or dead, we are going to get our
glorified bodies! And what a glorious day it will be!
I Corinthians 15:54-56
The Power of the Transformation
Sin, death and the law are interconnected.
The Law reveals sin
The wages of sin is death Rom 6:23
The good news is that:
Jesus took our punishment on the cross I Peter 2:24
Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the Law Gal 3:13
Christ was victorious over death which gives us victory
over death as well.
For the believer death is nothing to be afraid of.
Listen to Paul’s words from his letter to the Philippian
Philippians 1:21-24 “For to me to live is Christ, and
to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that
means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall
choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between
the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ,
for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is
more necessary on your account.”
Paul wants the Corinthians to understand that for
believers death is not the end.
It is just the beginning of eternity and our time with
I Corinthians 15:57
Praise for the Victory
Paul expresses his gratitude for the victory over death
that Christ brought through His death and resurrection.
We too can celebrate the fact that death no longer has a
hold on our lives. We have been set free from the
bondage of sin.
“Since we have been justified by faith, we have
peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Through him we have also obtained access by faith
into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in
hope of the glory of God.” Romans 5:1-2
Paul is grateful for the victory over death and we should
Praise God for His perfect plan.
Praise God for removing the sting of death.
I Corinthians 15:58
This final verse of chapter 15 begins with therefore.
Here is what Paul is saying.
In light of all the reasons I have just given you.
The resurrection IS true
Christ IS alive
He IS risen from the dead
This final verse is the application for the entire chapter.
Stand Firm – be steadfast. The Corinthians were in
danger of falling back into the previous beliefs. Paul
encourages them to stand firm in what they have
We too are in danger of caving to the ways of the world.
We must daily make an effort to stand firm in what we
believe. We have to daily surrender to following Christ
rather than our own desires.
Be Immovable – Psalm 112:6 “For the righteous
will never be moved: he will be remembered
The Psalmist goes on to write about not being afraid of
bad news. No matter what comes the way of the believer,
he doesn’t have to worry or be afraid because no matter
what, God wins. To live is Christ, to die is gain.
We can stand firm in our faith and trust that God’s plan is
the only plan and that He is working things out for us in
His perfect timing.
But, rest assured, the victory has already been won.
We must hold to the truth that we will one day join Jesus
in heaven with God.
Even if the world says there is no resurrection, Christ has
in fact been raised. He is the first fruits of those who have
We must not let anything move us. God has promised us
the victory and He knows that sin and death have been
We can rejoice in that fact and let nothing move us from
our faith in Him.
Keep Working for the Lord
Paul reminds the Corinthians and us that our labor in the
Lord is not for nothing.
In the beginning of his argument Paul mentioned that if
there is no resurrection that his preaching is in vain and
even more, their faith is in vain.
But, the truth is, Jesus was raised from the dead and He
So therefore, all of the work we do for Him is not in vain.
Ephesians 2:10 “For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God
prepared beforehand, that we should walk in
Our work for the Lord helps us store up treasures in
There is eternal purpose in working for the Lord.
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