Welcome, Guest
Username Password: Remember me

1 Corinthians 15
(1 viewing) (1) Guest
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2

TOPIC: 1 Corinthians 15

1 Corinthians 15 6 months, 3 weeks ago #5181

  • Andrew32
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 14
  • Karma: 0
I read the new article refuting universalism. The writer seemed to have a decent case built around 1 Corinthians 15:26, so I looked up the text wondering if there were any problems with the explanation.

Here is what I believe the text may be saying (in contrast to the article writer's understanding of the text).

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

This verse can't be ignored before looking at the rest of the chapter. The "all" in verse 22 appears to be a mathematically exhaustive "all," as in 100%.

My reading of the rest of the chapter follows as an explanation of how "in Christ shall all be made alive."

23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

Now this subdivides the "all" into those who belong to Christ in this life and those who don't. It would seem that an explanation might follow for how "those who don't belong to Christ in this life" will "in Christ be made alive."

It appears that verses 24-28 are somewhat poorly constructed in the ESV, chronologically. 24 "Then comes the end when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father" [summarizes this section] "after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet."

Does verse 25 not explain that Christ will reign over all (perhaps for ages and ages) in between his second coming and "the end when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father." And does it not imply that during this time, all of his enemies are (potentially slowly) subjected to him? At the end of this period, it seems, that all will have accepted their place in creation. The enemies of Christ will have accepted their punishment/chastisement and come to know him as their Lord. Thereby there will be no enemies left once the last human who has lived has become submissive to Christ in will and heart.

Then, 26 "The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For 'God has put all things in subjection under his feet.'

... 28b "...that God may be all in all."

verse 29 is linked to this section above with 'otherwise'

29 "Otherwise, what do people mean by being baptized on behalf of the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized on their behalf?"

verse 29 seems to point to my understanding of verse 25. In my estimation, the Mormons seem to have a point on this verse.


Can someone kindly explain why my reading of these verses is wrong? Like I said, it seems that the author has a good argument. But with verses 22 and 29 included, how is his logic sound?
Last Edit: 6 months, 3 weeks ago by Andrew32. Reason: clarity

Re: 1 Corinthians 15 6 months, 1 week ago #5182

  • Singalphile
  • OFFLINE
  • Gold Boarder
  • Posts: 237
  • Karma: 12
Hi, Andrew32. Thank you for your thoughts. I don't have much time, but I'll briefly respond.

First, the whole chapter is primarily about the resurrection, I think. So that's the main focus.

I think verse 22 is simply saying that every person who is in Christ will be made alive in Christ. It's not saying that everyone is in Christ or that everyone will be in Christ.

Verse 23 explains that Christ - the "first fruits", as designated in verse 20 - was raised first, and then the rest of us in Christ will be raised when He returns. I don't see anything that tells us about "those who don't belong to Christ in this life" yet.

The following verses do discuss his enemies and their nullification/subjection/destruction. What that will look like is not clear to me, but the salvation/redemption of all those enemies seems out of place. Paul could have said that plainly, but he doesn't.

"That God may be all in all" could be a hopeful nod towards universalism, but that is again, unfortunately, too brief and vague for me to say much about it.

I don't know what verse 29 means. I don't know how you tie it to verse 25, since you said verse 25 refers to a future reign of Christ after his return. Verse 29 would appear to refer to something happening at Paul's time. (I have always agreed that Mormons have a point about baptism for the dead. So I don't knock them for trying, even though these few words are far, far too little to form the basis for such a practice, imo, since we have no other reference to it in the Bible or church history, afaik.)

That's all I have time for. Thank you. Have a great day!
"Singalphile" - Name chosen (hastily) to indicate being on a narrow path, pursuing the love of God. Male, upper-30's, USA.

Re: 1 Corinthians 15 6 months, 1 week ago #5183

  • webb
  • OFFLINE
  • Moderator
  • Posts: 491
  • Karma: 17
Hello, Andrew!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'll give my brief comments on 1 Cor. 15:21-28 below.
22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
Paul speaks here of resurrection. Paul believes in the resurrection of both the just and the unjust (Acts 24:15). And Jesus (Jn 5:24-29--if you'll forgive mixing and matching John and Paul) says that it is his life, and his unique authority to bring human beings to life, which the Father has given him (see also Rev. 1:18), which will bring all out of their tombs--some to a resurrection of life (implicitly, everlasting and incorruptible life in God), and some to a resurrection of judgment (which Jesus leaves unelaborated in Jn 5). I think you have to go to the Book of Revelation to discover the elaborated version of what Jesus is prophesying here about the resurrection and judgment of the unrepentant (Rev. 20:7-10 || Rev. 20:13-15 || Isa. 26:10-11 || Isa. 27:1-5 || Heb. 10:26-27). See the end of this post.
23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.
Christ's resurrection is first, then the faithful, who are "his own," then, implicitly, the unrepentant. However, Paul pulls back from naming this third and final tagma (division) in my opinion for the specific reason that he does not want his readers to conclude, mistakenly, that the belated resurrection of the unrepentant is a resurrection to everlasting life, as is the resurrection that Christ grants to "his own." Yes, those who belong to the third tagma will be made alive by the power--and grace--of Christ. But the notion that they will in resurrection enjoy everlasting communion with God is something that Paul does not add--contrast this with the fact that he will later speak explicitly of the incorruptibility of the resurrected experience when talking about the faithful (1 Cor. 15:50-55).
24 Then comes the end when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father" [summarizes this section] "after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
You ask,
Does verse 25 not explain that Christ will reign over all (perhaps for ages and ages) in between his second coming and "the end when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father"{?}
I think Paul gives a sequence and he does not elaborate at all on lengths of time. Paul saying that Jesus will put down all of God's enemies can in principle be fulfilled if he kills all of God's enemies or if he reconciles them all or if he kills some who prove themselves incorrigible and reconciles others. So when you ask,
And does it not imply that during this time, all of his enemies are (potentially slowly) subjected to him?
I answer, no. I don't think it does imply that. But Paul is being very brief here and I am answering from my awareness that John, in the Book of Revelation, sees the unrepentant resurrected (if we believe the words of Jesus in John 5, by the life-power of Jesus), and then cast into a second death (Rev. 20:13-15). So they are saved from the death we all know about, which brings the mortal human life to an end in this age, and they are subjected to a second death that brings the resurrected human life to an end.
26 "The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For 'God has put all things in subjection under his feet.' ... 28b "...that God may be all in all."
I read Isa. 26:10-11 and Isa. 27:1-5 and Isa. 66:22-24 and Rev. 20:7-10 and Rev. 20:13-15 as all prophesying the same thing: God will indeed give resurrection life to the unrepentant through the life-power of Christ, and they will even be sincerely and earnestly invited (see Isa. 27:5 and compare Isa. 57:19-21) to take part in peace and harmony in the new creation and the new humanity that God has created in Christ. But they will refuse and they, together with the devil, the ancient serpent, the dragon, will be deceived into murderousness all over again, and they will be subjected to the second death--complete, permanent, and irrevocable removal from creation.

All by itself 1 Cor. 15:21-28 could possibly be taken as compatible with universal salvation. I can't make that work when I use as my key to its interpretation the more thoroughly elaborated picture of the end shared by the Book of Revelation and Isaiah.

Re: 1 Corinthians 15 6 months, 1 week ago #5185

  • Andrew32
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 14
  • Karma: 0
Singalphile wrote:
Hi, Andrew32. Thank you for your thoughts. I don't have much time, but I'll briefly respond.

First, the whole chapter is primarily about the resurrection, I think. So that's the main focus.

I think verse 22 is simply saying that every person who is in Christ will be made alive in Christ. It's not saying that everyone is in Christ or that everyone will be in Christ.

Verse 23 explains that Christ - the "first fruits", as designated in verse 20 - was raised first, and then the rest of us in Christ will be raised when He returns. I don't see anything that tells us about "those who don't belong to Christ in this life" yet.

The following verses do discuss his enemies and their nullification/subjection/destruction. What that will look like is not clear to me, but the salvation/redemption of all those enemies seems out of place. Paul could have said that plainly, but he doesn't.

"That God may be all in all" could be a hopeful nod towards universalism, but that is again, unfortunately, too brief and vague for me to say much about it.

I don't know what verse 29 means. I don't know how you tie it to verse 25, since you said verse 25 refers to a future reign of Christ after his return. Verse 29 would appear to refer to something happening at Paul's time. (I have always agreed that Mormons have a point about baptism for the dead. So I don't knock them for trying, even though these few words are far, far too little to form the basis for such a practice, imo, since we have no other reference to it in the Bible or church history, afaik.)

That's all I have time for. Thank you. Have a great day!


Hi Singalphile,

Your reading of verse 22 is exactly as mine was when I first read it. But it simply does say that "all" will be made alive in Christ, and it equates that "all" with the "all" that die because of Adam. The all who die because of Adam is certainly 100% of humans (with the exception of those in Christ at His coming), so it would seem that the "all" who will be made alive in Christ is similarly 100%.

Verse 23 seems to create two subsets, {Christ} and {His people}, within the subset {Christ, and His people} of {all}. Verse 22 already established that the set of {all} will be raised in Christ. Verse 25 appears to address the remaining subset of {all}, that is: {those who are not Christ's in the life}. That subset will be reigned over until they are brought into subjection under His feet.

"under His feet" is perhaps a reference to Psalm 8, verse 6 specifically.

In that passage, man has all of the animals put under his feet by God. It seems that when a being is put "under His feet," the being in not totally destroyed necessarily, but subjugated.

Maybe you, or someone else, has some better historical context on "under His feet," though?


I don't know how you'd enjoy hearing this, but your thoughts on the matter are exactly what mine were 15 years ago before life experiences directed me towards the belief that salvation is not at all as simple of a concept as I was taught in the Baptist church.
Last Edit: 6 months, 1 week ago by Andrew32.

Re: 1 Corinthians 15 6 months, 1 week ago #5186

  • Andrew32
  • OFFLINE
  • Fresh Boarder
  • Posts: 14
  • Karma: 0
webb wrote:
Hello, Andrew!

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I'll give my brief comments on 1 Cor. 15:21-28 below.
22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
Paul speaks here of resurrection. Paul believes in the resurrection of both the just and the unjust (Acts 24:15). And Jesus (Jn 5:24-29--if you'll forgive mixing and matching John and Paul) says that it is his life, and his unique authority to bring human beings to life, which the Father has given him (see also Rev. 1:18), which will bring all out of their tombs--some to a resurrection of life (implicitly, everlasting and incorruptible life in God), and some to a resurrection of judgment (which Jesus leaves unelaborated in Jn 5). I think you have to go to the Book of Revelation to discover the elaborated version of what Jesus is prophesying here about the resurrection and judgment of the unrepentant (Rev. 20:7-10 || Rev. 20:13-15 || Isa. 26:10-11 || Isa. 27:1-5 || Heb. 10:26-27). See the end of this post.
23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.
Christ's resurrection is first, then the faithful, who are "his own," then, implicitly, the unrepentant. However, Paul pulls back from naming this third and final tagma (division) in my opinion for the specific reason that he does not want his readers to conclude, mistakenly, that the belated resurrection of the unrepentant is a resurrection to everlasting life, as is the resurrection that Christ grants to "his own." Yes, those who belong to the third tagma will be made alive by the power--and grace--of Christ. But the notion that they will in resurrection enjoy everlasting communion with God is something that Paul does not add--contrast this with the fact that he will later speak explicitly of the incorruptibility of the resurrected experience when talking about the faithful (1 Cor. 15:50-55).
24 Then comes the end when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father" [summarizes this section] "after destroying every rule and every authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
You ask,
Does verse 25 not explain that Christ will reign over all (perhaps for ages and ages) in between his second coming and "the end when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father"{?}
I think Paul gives a sequence and he does not elaborate at all on lengths of time. Paul saying that Jesus will put down all of God's enemies can in principle be fulfilled if he kills all of God's enemies or if he reconciles them all or if he kills some who prove themselves incorrigible and reconciles others. So when you ask,
And does it not imply that during this time, all of his enemies are (potentially slowly) subjected to him?
I answer, no. I don't think it does imply that. But Paul is being very brief here and I am answering from my awareness that John, in the Book of Revelation, sees the unrepentant resurrected (if we believe the words of Jesus in John 5, by the life-power of Jesus), and then cast into a second death (Rev. 20:13-15). So they are saved from the death we all know about, which brings the mortal human life to an end in this age, and they are subjected to a second death that brings the resurrected human life to an end.
26 "The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For 'God has put all things in subjection under his feet.' ... 28b "...that God may be all in all."
I read Isa. 26:10-11 and Isa. 27:1-5 and Isa. 66:22-24 and Rev. 20:7-10 and Rev. 20:13-15 as all prophesying the same thing: God will indeed give resurrection life to the unrepentant through the life-power of Christ, and they will even be sincerely and earnestly invited (see Isa. 27:5 and compare Isa. 57:19-21) to take part in peace and harmony in the new creation and the new humanity that God has created in Christ. But they will refuse and they, together with the devil, the ancient serpent, the dragon, will be deceived into murderousness all over again, and they will be subjected to the second death--complete, permanent, and irrevocable removal from creation.

All by itself 1 Cor. 15:21-28 could possibly be taken as compatible with universal salvation. I can't make that work when I use as my key to its interpretation the more thoroughly elaborated picture of the end shared by the Book of Revelation and Isaiah.


Webb,

Thanks - I don't really have much to write contrary to anything that you wrote as I am in agreement with much of your sentiment.

Scientific research may have no interest to you. But consider all of the health problems that science solves on this earth. God created atoms, molecules, and the forces that hold them together in such a way that many thousands of scientists have rewarding research to conduct towards the perfection of medicine and technology.

Similarly theologians, philosophers, and writers have much complex work trying to bring people into right relationship with God.

I would say that heaven would be less complex and amazing as earth if such work, in every mentioned field and all others, did not continue in some way.

If you understand how rewarding that work can be, would God not create a complex network of labor distinctions - similar to our doctors, judges, scientists, craftsmen, and engineers - for heaven? Vacation, praising God, and worshipping Him for hours on end might be wonderful. But you need rewarding work to fully enjoy a vacation. And there must be a complete life well lived, which involves some kind of rewarding work, to enjoy praising Him.

The work that saints may have into eternity might be a complex network that combines sciences, the arts, and craftsmanship to slowly but surely bring every being who has lived into some kind of contented state of worship and service to Christ.

I don't doubt that many, if not all as you believe, would reject a new life in eternity once they found out the truth of Christ after death. Complete death might seem sweet compared to life at the bottom of the creation totem pole. But what would the saints have to do for trillions of years if not to gradually bring these poor souls to life - in such a way that:

1) Godly rewards of service to God are maintained as rewards throughout eternity

2) Some fulfillment can be given to all who are eventually brought into the kingdom

3) Jealousy, envy, and all wickedness have no place in creation


For those who fully reject Christ in this life, it may be hard to exist at the bottom of the kingdom without jealousy and envy. How can honor and reward be upheld without jealousy arising in those at the bottom, who lack the honor of having served Christ in life?

But trillions of years of work from the saints could rectify all wrongs as Christ reigns over all. Until He delivers the kingdom to God, allowing God to be all in all.

Re: 1 Corinthians 15 6 months, 1 week ago #5187

  • Singalphile
  • OFFLINE
  • Gold Boarder
  • Posts: 237
  • Karma: 12
Andrew32 wrote:


But it simply does say that "all" will be made alive in Christ, and it equates that "all" with the "all" that die because of Adam. The all who die because of Adam is certainly 100% of humans (with the exception of those in Christ at His coming), so it would seem that the "all" who will be made alive in Christ is similarly 100%.


To clarify, we both agree that "in Christ all will be made alive". The question is: Who will be "in Christ"?

You're saying that everyone who ever lives is "in Adam", and so everyone who ever lives will be "in Christ". I hope so, but this passage doesn't address that, imo, and so I'm hesitant to grasp at that possibility.

As an analogy, the coast guard could say this: "For since by a [boat] came death, by a [boat] also came the [salvation]. For as in [the sinking boat] all die, so also in [the rescue boat] all will be [saved]."

That certainly means that everyone (all) in the rescue boat will be saved, but it doesn't necessarily mean that everyone will end up in the rescue boat. That's a different matter.

(As webb noted, and as we probably all agree, all will actually be resurrected. I suppose that's what Paul may mean in verse 22, but that seems at odds with Paul's usual use of "in Christ", imo.)

What will happen to those who don't get in the rescue boat? I'm not 100% certain (though I have an opinion about it, which accords with this site's view). To say the least, it doesn't seem good, and it doesn't seem temporary. I don't have any clarity about "under his feet" and "abolished" and "subjection". That might be interesting to look into.

Thank you, brother, and have a great weekend!
"Singalphile" - Name chosen (hastily) to indicate being on a narrow path, pursuing the love of God. Male, upper-30's, USA.
Last Edit: 6 months, 1 week ago by Singalphile.
  • Page:
  • 1
  • 2
Time to create page: 0.82 seconds
Featured audio: Dr. Al Mohler & Chris Date debate
"Should Christians rethink Hell?" on Unbelievable?