I Corinthians 15 Metaphysical Bible Interpretation

Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of I Corinthians Chapter 15

Metaphysically Interpreting I Corinthians 15:1-11

15:1Now I make known unto you brethren, the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye received, wherein also ye stand, 15:2by which also ye are saved, if ye hold fast the word which I preached unto you, except ye believed in vain.

15:3For I delivered unto you first of all that which also I received: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 15:4and that he was buried; and that he hath been raised on the third day according to the scriptures; 15:5and that he appeared to Cephas; then to the twelve; 15:6then he appeared to above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain until now, but some are fallen asleep; 15:7then he appeared to James; then to all the apostles; 15:8and last of all, as to the child untimely born, he appeared to me also. 15:9For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 15:10But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not found vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 15:11Whether then it be I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed.

April 5, 1931: I Cor. 15:1-8

What does today's lesson cover? Today's lesson covers the at-one-ment and the resurrection of Jesus Christ, together with a statement of the scope of at-one-ment and the nature of its action.

What was Jesus Christ's chief teaching? The chief teaching of Jesus Christ was the instruction that He gave in regard to life. He taught that He had come in order that men might have abundant life. In the full consciousness of the Christ principle, He stated “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father but by me.”

When was Jesus’ work of at-one-ment with God Mind definitely begun? Jesus' work of at-one-ment with God Mind was definitely begun at the age of twelve years, when he asked his parents the significant question, “Knew ye not that I must be in my Father’s house?” He realized early the necessity of incarnating mind and soul completely in the body consciousness; that the true work of mind and soul (the Father's business) is to raise the physical man to a knowledge and possession of his divine estate as a son of God. Sin is the cause of death, and as we learn to unify our faculties in the light of the Christ principle of life, we shall make of sin an obsolete expression with which nothing in our future experience shall have anything to do.

SUNDAY, APRIL 16, 1933: I Cor. 15:1-8

What is the cause of the separation of mind (or soul) and body that is called death? Mind action, called thinking, directs and controls the elemental force of the body. When one's thoughts are out of harmony with divine law, cross currents are set up. In the Scriptures this condition is called sin. Sin results in death: “For the wages of sin is death.”

October 13, 1946: I Cor. 15:8-10

Does divine love sanction the manmade conviction that ignorance of the law excuses no one? It does not. “I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.” The intention is the deciding factor.

January 9, 1949: I Cor. 15:3-5

How can we make our thoughts, words, and teachings convincing? By demonstrating them in action. They must be proved to be workable before they can be convincing and generally accepted.

Sunday, April 9, 1950: I Cor. 15:1-8

What is the cause of the separation of mind (or soul) and body that is called death? Mind action, called thinking, directs and controls the elemental force of the body. When one's thoughts are out of harmony with divine law, cross currents are set up. In the Scriptures this condition is called sin. Sin results in death: “For the wages of sin is death.”

How may mind and body be restored to harmony and to perpetual health? When we have harmonized our thoughts with Divine Mind (kept the commandments of Jehovah) we are restored to our original estate, and the last enemy, death, is overcome.

Has anyone ever been able to eliminate sin and to obtain such perfect unity with Divine Mind that his body was fully restored and eternal life established in it? Yes. Jesus Christ overcame all the sins of the flesh, saved His body from the tomb, and raised it to eternal life.

What was Jesus Christ's chief teaching? That He had come so that men might have abundant life. In the full consciousness of the Christ principle, He stated: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me.” “Christ Jesus,” Paul said, “. . . abolished death and brought life and immortality to light.”

Does this teaching imply that all men must die and be raised from the tomb as Jesus was raised? No. The words “If a man keep my word, he shall never see death” were also spoken from the Christ consciousness and form a part of eternal Truth.

Do Christian metaphysicians believe that the resurrection of Jesus from the dead was a miracle, or do they believe that it was the result of the outworking of divine law? Christian metaphysicians are applying that law as taught by Jesus, and they see that His overcoming, the Resurrection, was the outworking and fulfillment of that law. Through faith and understanding they are overcoming many of the ills of mind and body, and they know by analogy that the final demonstration of the law will be perfect health, that is, continuous life in the body, spiritualized.

When all the bodily functions are acting perfectly under the guidance of Divine Mind, will the body ever grow old and feeble, and will it die? No. Under perfect mind action the body will remain young, intelligent, strong, and beautiful.

Did Jesus leave the earth when He resurrected His body temple? No. Jesus did not leave the earth, but He did leave the consciousness of material conditions, which men call the earth. He is still in our midst in His eternal body. He dwells in another form as described in verse 5: “He appeared to Cephas; then to the twelve.”

Metaphysically Interpreting I Corinthians 15:12-34

15:12Now if Christ is preached that he hath been raised from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 15:13But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither hath Christ been raised: 15:14and if Christ hath not been raised, then is our preaching vain, your faith also is vain. 15:15Yea, we are found false witnesses of God; because we witnessed of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead are not raised. 15:16For if the dead are not raised, neither hath Christ been raised: 15:17and if Christ hath not been raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.15:18Then they also that are fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 15:19If we have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all men most pitiable.

15:20But now hath Christ been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of them that are asleep. 15:21For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 15:22For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 15:23But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; then they that are Christ's, at his coming. 15:24Then cometh the end, when he shall deliver up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have abolished all rule and all authority and power. 15:25For he must reign, till he hath put all his enemies under his feet. 15:26The last enemy that shall be abolished is death. 15:27For, He put all things in subjection under his feet. But when he saith, All things are put in subjection, it is evident that he is excepted who did subject all things unto him. 15:28And when all things have been subjected unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subjected to him that did subject all things unto him, that God may be all in all.

15:29Else what shall they do that are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them?

15:30Why do we also stand in jeopardy every hour? 15:31I protest by that glorifying in you, brethren, which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily. 15:32If after the manner of men I fought with beasts at Ephesus, what doth it profit me? If the dead are not raised,

let us eat and drink,
for to-morrow we die.
15:33Be not deceived:
Evil companionships corrupt good morals.

15:34Awake to soberness righteously, and sin not; for some have no knowledge of God: I speak this to move you to shame.

Tom Thorpe speaking on this passage in April 2015 at Unity in the UK. The Bible lesson begins at 11:05.

SUNDAY. APRIL 12, 1925: I Cor. 15:12-20

For what purpose was Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians written? The Corinthians were inhabitants of Corinth, a Grecian city in which Paul had dwelt for a time. The letter was written for the purpose of settling all doubt in the minds of the people concerning the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ.

What is the meaning of verse 12: “Now if Christ is preached that he hath been raised from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?” Verse 12 calls attention to the fact that the preachers were preaching Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and that it must follow that all those who apply Jesus’ teachings will be resurrected also, but that some persons were doubting the possibility of resurrecting the body.

Does a parallel teaching exist today in Christian churches? Yes. The preachers preach that Jesus was raised from the dead, but there is a widespread doubt as to whether all people have the inherent ability to resurrect their bodies.

Paul says in verse 13: “But if there is no resurrection of the dead, neither hath Christ been raised.” What is the meaning of this statement? Verse 13 plainly means that, if the law of resurrection were not universal, it would not have been possible for Jesus Christ to resurrect his body.

What is the meaning of verse 14: “And if Christ hat not been raised, then is our preaching vain, your faith also is vain”? Verse 14 clinches the argument that, if Christ was not raised from the dead, it is vain to preach of his resurrection; that, if Christ was not raised, all faith in the restoration of the human family to the deathless state in which they were originally created is futile.

What is the meaning of verse 17: “And if Christ hath not been raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins”? The Bible teaches that death came into the world through the sin of Adam. “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” The Adamic man, the natural man, broke the consciousness that the life current connected him with the parent life; Jesus Christ restored that union. Paul argues that, if Christ did not overcome death, as taught in the Scriptures, we all are still separated from the Father mind and have no living faith that we shall escape death.

What is the essence of verse 20: “But now hath Christ been raised from the dead, the first-fruits of them that are asleep”? In verse 20 Paul denies all arguments that may have been advanced to disprove the raising of Jesus Christ from the dead. Paul affirmed that Jesus Christ was the first fruits of them that had fallen asleep for lack of the constant inflow of new life from the fountainhead.

April 16, 1933: I Cor. 15:20-26

How may mind and body be restored to harmony and to perpetual health? When we have harmonized our thoughts with Divine Mine, that is, kept the commandments of Jehovah, we are restored to our original estate, and the last enemy, death, is overcome. “The last enemy that shall be abolished is death.” “O death, where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting?”

Has anyone ever been able to eliminate sin and to obtain such perfect unity with Divine Mind that his body was fully restored and eternal life established in it? Yes. Jesus Christ overcame all the sins of the flesh, saved His body from the tomb, and raised it to eternal life.

Do Christian metaphysicians believe that the resurrection of Jesus from the dead was a miracle, or do they believe that it was the result of the outworking of divine law? Christian metaphysicians are applying that law as taught by Jesus, and they see that His overcoming was the fulfilling of that law. Through faith and understanding they are overcoming many of the ills of mind and body, and they know by analogy that the final demonstration of the law will be perfect health, that is, continuous life in the body, spiritualized.

When all the bodily functions are acting perfectly under the guidance of Divine Mind, will the body ever grow old and feeble, and will it die? No. The body, under perfect mind action, will be and will remain young, intelligent, strong, and beautiful.

When we shall have attained perfect obedience to divine law under the guidance of Divine Mind, will our bodies still be visible to the eye of flesh? Under the divine law our bodies will take on a much higher degree of energy; the molecules comprising the cells will vibrate so rapidly that they fleshly eye will not be able to see them, but they will be perfectly visible to those who see spiritually.

Did Jesus leave the earth when He resurrected His body temple? No. Jesus did not leave the earth, but He did leave the consciousness of material conditions, which men call the earth. He is still in our midst in His eternal body. He dwells in another form as described in verse 5: “He appeared to Cephas; then to the twelve.”

Have we reliable authority for the statement that Jesus has been seen since His resurrection? Yes. In the 6th verse of this lesson we are told: “Then he appeared to above five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain until now, but some are fallen asleep.” Also, in Mark 16:14, we are told, “And afterward he was manifested unto the eleven themselves as they sat at meat; and he upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them that had seen him after he was risen.”

April 9, 1939: I Cor. 15:19-22

How are all be “made alive” in Christ? Christ is the principle that quickens the life of Spirit in man. Everyone who acknowledges within himself the truth of this principle thereby makes himself receptive to its quickening power, and is made alive as a conscious spiritual being.

April 9, 1950: I Cor. 15:20-21

By rising from the dead what did Jesus prove to all people? By rising from the dead Jesus proved [to] all people that death is no part of the law of God. Sin is the cause of death, and as we learn to unify our faculties in the light of the Christ principle of life, we shall make of sin an obsolete expression with which nothing in our future experience shall have anything to do.

April 17, 1949: I Cor. 15:20-26

What is meant by the “firstfruits of them that are asleep”? The Christ or ideal man, who was the perfect example of the transforming power of Divine Mind over the personal or sense mind. The sense mind is dead to spiritual values, but the Christ awakens it to them.

“In Adam all die.” Is this true only in a material sense? No, it is true in a spiritual sense also. To know only the material and superficial aspects of life is to be dead to eternal life. To be perfect in awareness of the Spirit of life is to partake of the Christ consciousness. “In Christ shall all be made alive.”

How will God abolish “all rule and all authority and power”? By establishing the Spirit of truth as the sole guide to conduct in human relations. The authority and dominion of earthly rulers will give place to the authority and dominion of God in Christ.

Metaphysically Interpreting I Corinthians 15:35-58

15:35But some one will say, How are the dead raised? and with what manner of body do they come? 15:36Thou foolish one, that which thou thyself sowest is not quickened except it die: 15:37and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not the body that shall be, but a bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other kind; 15:38but God giveth it a body even as it pleased him, and to each seed a body of its own. 15:39All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one flesh of men, and another flesh of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fishes. 15:40There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 15:41There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory.

15:42So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: 15:43it is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: 15:44it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 15:45So also it is written, The first man Adam became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 15:46Howbeit that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; then that which is spiritual. 15:47The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is of heaven. 15:48As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 15:49And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.

15:50Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption. 15:51Behold, I tell you a mystery: We all shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed, 15:52in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 15:53For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 15:54But when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written,

Death is swallowed up in victory.
15:55O death, where is thy victory?
O death, where is thy sting?

15:56The sting of death is sin; and the power of sin is the law: 15:57but thanks be to God, who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

15:58Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not vain in the Lord.

Sunday, April 9, 1944: I Cor. 15:41-58

To what truth does the listing of the comparative glories of the sun, moon, and stars lead up? To the truth that spiritual life is greater than the material, and that whereas the soul clings to material existence and fears the unconsciousness of the material that death brings, consciousness of spiritual life overcomes all such fear. All that is needed is confidence or faith in the Christ or spiritual essence of life within us that endues us with power to hold fast in every situation.

What [is the difference] between “a living soul” and “a life-giving spirit”? A living soul is the individual consciousness of the self as one of the race in thought, feeling, and expression. The life-giving spirit is the expression of the Christ consciousness or idea of God.

What has the Resurrection accomplished for the race? For those who believe in it, it has removed the fear of death as the inevitable end of life. Jesus passed through death, then raised up His body. He proved that death is merely and experience to be mastered, not one that every man must necessarily undergo.

What mystery does Paul show us? The mystery of immortality, that eternal life subsists here and now as well as on the other side of death. “We all shall not sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment.” The change is one of consciousness.

“Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.” What meaning has this statement? It means that we are to develop consciousness of more than flesh and blood and thus put ourselves in contact with eternal life here and now.

How does “this mortal . . . put on immortality”? By entering into and expressing the Spirit of the Christ, thus developing a consciousness of eternal life in the mind and heart.

How is death “swallowed up in victory”? In the victory of the resurrection life. When this is grasped and firmly held in faith, death is forgotten (swallowed up).

What quality of Spirit is life-giving? Faith. Through faith “women received their dead by a resurrection.” Faith has always given new life to the soul’s flagging energies, and has stirred them to fuller expressions of life and being.

How is death conquered? By the exercise of firm, steadfast, immovable faith in eternal life, and expression in harmony with such a faith.

April 5, 1931: I Cor. 15:50-58

Does this teaching imply that all men must die and be raised from the tomb as Jesus was raised? No. The words “If a man keep my word, he shall never see death” were also spoken from the Christ consciousness and form a part of eternal Truth.

What truth did the apparent death of Jesus and the radical change in His flesh body also illustrate? The apparent death of Jesus and the radical change in His flesh body symbolically illustrate the necessity of the death of the “devil,” the carnal mind or fleshly consciousness, which holds the whole human family in its material grip. In Hebrews 2:14-15 we read: “Since then the children are sharers in flesh and blood, he also himself in like manner partook of the same; that through death he might bring to nought him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; and might deliver all them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”

April 4, 1942: I Cor. 15:50-58

Why is the power of God mentioned in connection with the Resurrection or eternal life? Because all things are possible to Omnipotence, even the resurrection of the dead. Jesus once said of one whom others had pronounced dead, “She is not dead, but sleepeth,” proving that to Him death was not the final state that we regard it and that life is never wholly extinct.

What is the clearest example of His attitude toward death? The case of Lazarus, whom He recalled to life after four days in the grave. On that occasion He said to Martha, “Said I not unto thee, that, if thou betievedst, thou shouldest see the glory of God?” The glory of God is life eternal, which cannot be destroyed.

How can we make ourselves aware of eternal life here and now? By developing an understanding of God as Spirit and gaining an awareness of the life of Spirit, which interpenetrates all life, we may enter now into eternal life, leaving behind the life of the flesh or sense consciousness.

What is the victory that God gives us through “our Lord Jesus Christ”? This same consciousness of God or Christ consciousness expressed in our daily living. “Be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that our labor is not vain in the Lord.”

Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 11-17-2013