Bible Verse Explanations and Resources


1 Corinthians 15:38

King James Version (KJV)
Adam Clarke
Bible Commentary

But God giveth it a body - And is there any other way of accounting for it but by the miraculous working of God's power? For out of that one bare grain is produced a system of roots, a tall and vigorous stalk, with all its appendages of leaves, etc., besides the full corn in the ear; the whole making several hundred times the quantum of what was originally deposited. There are no proofs that what some call nature can effect this: it will ever be a philosophical as well as a Scriptural truth, that God giveth it a body as it pleaseth him; and so doth he manage the whole of the work, that every seed shall have its own body: that the wheat germ shall never produce barley; nor the rye, oats. See the note on Genesis 1:12.

Albert Barnes
Notes on the Whole Bible

But God giveth it a body … - God gives to the seed sown its own proper body, formation, and growth. The word body here, as applied to grain, seems to mean the whole system, or arrangement of roots, stalks, leaves, flowers, and kernels that start out of the seed that is sown The meaning is, that such a form is produced from the seed sown as God pleases. Paul here traces the result to God, to show that there is no chance, and that it did not depend on the nature of things, but was dependent on the wise arrangement of God. There was nothing in the decaying kernel itself that would produce this result; but God chose that it should be so. There is nothing in the decaying body of the dead which in itself should lead to the resurrection; but God chose it should be so.

As it hath pleased him - As he chose. It is by his arrangement and agency. Though it is by regular laws, yet it is as God pleases. He acts according to his own pleasure, in the formation of each root, and stalk, and kernel of grain. It is, probably, here intimated that God would give to each one of the dead at the resurrection such a body as he should choose, though it will be, doubtless, in accordance with general laws.

And to every seed his own body - That which appropriately belongs to it; which it is suited to produce; which is of the same kind. He does not cause a stalk of rye to grow from a kernel of wheat; nor of maize from barley; nor of hemp from lenthes. He has fixed proper laws, and he takes care that they shall be observed. So it will be in the resurrection. Everyone shall have his own, that is, his proper body - a body which shall belong to him, and be suited to him. The wicked shall not rise with the body of the just, or with a body adapted to heaven; nor shall the saint rise with a body adapted to perdition. There shall be a fitness or appropriateness in the new body to the character of him who is raised. The argument here is designed to meet the inquiry how should the body be raised, and it is that there is nothing more remarkable and impossible in the doctrine of the resurrection, than in the fact constantly before us, that grain that seems to rot sends up a shoot or stalk, and is reproduced in a wonderful and beautiful manner. In a manner similar to this, the body will be raised; and the illustration of Paul meets all the difficulties about the fact of the resurrection. It cannot be shown that one is more difficult than the other; and as the facts of vegetation are constantly passing before our eyes, we ought not to deem it strange if similar facts shall take place hereafter in regard to the resurrection of the dead.

Matthew Henry
Concise Bible Commentary
1. How are the dead raised up? that is, by what means? How can they be raised? 2. As to the bodies which shall rise. Will it be with the like shape, and form, and stature, and members, and qualities? The former objection is that of those who opposed the doctrine, the latter of curious doubters. To the first the answer is, This was to be brought about by Divine power; that power which all may see does somewhat like it, year after year, in the death and revival of the corn. It is foolish to question the Almighty power of God to raise the dead, when we see it every day quickening and reviving things that are dead. To the second inquiry; The grain undergoes a great change; and so will the dead, when they rise and live again. The seed dies, though a part of it springs into new life, though how it is we cannot fully understand. The works of creation and providence daily teach us to be humble, as well as to admire the Creator's wisdom and goodness. There is a great variety among other bodies, as there is among plants. There is a variety of glory among heavenly bodies. The bodies of the dead, when they rise, will be fitted for the heavenly bodies. The bodies of the dead, when they rise, will be fitted for the heavenly state; and there will be a variety of glories among them. Burying the dead, is like committing seed to the earth, that it may spring out of it again. Nothing is more loathsome than a dead body. But believers shall at the resurrection have bodies, made fit to be for ever united with spirits made perfect. To God all things are possible. He is the Author and Source of spiritual life and holiness, unto all his people, by the supply of his Holy Spirit to the soul; and he will also quicken and change the body by his Spirit. The dead in Christ shall not only rise, but shall rise thus gloriously changed. The bodies of the saints, when they rise again, will be changed. They will be then glorious and spiritual bodies, fitted to the heavenly world and state, where they are ever afterwards to dwell. The human body in its present form, and with its wants and weaknesses, cannot enter or enjoy the kingdom of God. Then let us not sow to the flesh, of which we can only reap corruption. And the body follows the state of the soul. He, therefore, who neglects the life of the soul, casts away his present good; he who refuses to live to God, squanders all he has.
Ellen G. White
Education, 110

More than this: as we impart the blessings of this life, gratitude in the recipient prepares the heart to receive spiritual truth, and a harvest is produced unto life everlasting. Ed 110.1

By the casting of grain into the earth, the Saviour represents His sacrifice for us. “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die,” He says, “it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.” John 12:24. Only through the sacrifice of Christ, the Seed, could fruit be brought forth for the kingdom of God. In accordance with the law of the vegetable kingdom, life is the result of His death. Ed 110.2

So with all who bring forth fruit as workers together with Christ: self-love, self-interest, must perish; the life must be cast into the furrow of the world's need. But the law of self-sacrifice is the law of self-preservation. The husbandman preserves his grain by casting it away. So the life that will be preserved is the life that is freely given in service to God and man. Ed 110.3

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Ellen G. White
SDA Bible Commentary, vol. 6 (EGW), 1093

The two Adams will meet in Paradise and embrace each other, while the dragon, the beast, and the false prophet, and all who have refused the opportunities and privileges given to them at such infinite cost, and have not returned to their loyalty, will be shut out of Paradise (Manuscript 33, 1897). 6BC 1093.1

42-52 (ch. 13:12). Personality Preserved in a New Body—Our personal identity is preserved in the resurrection, though not the same particles of matter or material substance as went into the grave. The wondrous works of God are a mystery to man. The spirit, the character of man, is returned to God, there to be preserved. In the resurrection every man will have his own character. God in His own time will call forth the dead, giving again the breath of life, and bidding the dry bones live. The same form will come forth, but it will be free from disease and every defect. It lives again bearing the same individuality of features, so that friend will recognize friend. There is no law of God in nature which shows that God gives back the same identical particles of matter which composed the body before death. God shall give the righteous dead a body that will please Him. 6BC 1093.2

Paul illustrates this subject by the kernel of grain sown in the field. The planted kernel decays, but there comes forth a new kernel. The natural substance in the grain that decays is never raised as before, but God giveth it a body as it hath pleased Him. A much finer material will compose the human body, for it is a new creation, a new birth. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body (Manuscript 76, 1900). 6BC 1093.3

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