What does 1 Corinthians 15:48 mean?
ESV: As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.
NIV: As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven.
NASB: As is the earthy one, so also are those who are earthy; and as is the heavenly one, so also are those who are heavenly.
CSB: Like the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; like the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven.
NLT: Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man.
KJV: As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.
Verse Commentary:
This passage has shown that the two kinds of bodies—that of the pre-death self and that of the resurrected believer—both follow a pattern. For all humans who live on the earth before death, that pattern was set by the "first man," Adam. We are people of the dust, originally formed by God's hands for earthly lives (Genesis 2:7; 1 Corinthians 15:47).

Born-again Christians, though, will follow another pattern: that of the man of heaven, Jesus. He was raised by God into a glorified body made of "heaven stuff." That body is designed to live and exist in eternity. When Christ returns and we are resurrected, we too will be remade of the stuff of heaven as we become the people of heaven (1 John 3:2).

Earlier, this was compared to the way a seed dies as it is sown, only to grow into something much grander (1 Corinthians 15:37). God's intent for resurrection is not merely to restore movement to a corpse (1 Corinthians 15:35), but to give us a body perfectly suited to heaven.
Verse Context:
First Corinthians 15:35–49 describes how the resurrected bodies of believers will be different from our current bodies. Resurrected bodies will not be reanimated corpses or some lesser version of our pre-death frame. The opposite is true. Our current, corrupt bodies are like seeds that are sown to bring to life the plant. These forms are temporary, dishonorable, and weak. Our transformed bodies will be eternal, glorified, and powerful, made from the materials of heaven, not earth, and built for an eternity with God.
Chapter Summary:
Paul provides thorough teaching about the resurrection of Christians from the dead. This is a direct counter to some group of Corinthians who did not believe in such a resurrection. He shows that natural death is not the end of life for Christians; it is the last step before receiving a glorified, resurrected body like that of the risen Christ. That ''spiritual'' body will be as different from our current bodies as a star is from a fish. In that moment, for all who have believed in Christ, living and dead, death will be defeated for good.
Chapter Context:
In chapters 12, 13, and 14, Scripture focused on the concept of spiritual gifts and how best to use them. This follows several other ideas where Paul corrected errors in the Corinthians' thinking. Chapter 15 contains extensive teaching on one last issue about which some Corinthians were confused or misled. Apparently, they harbored some doubts about the physical resurrection of Christians from the dead. After clearing up these confusions, Paul will address various other items, of a less doctrinal nature, and close out his letter.
Book Summary:
First Corinthians is one of the more practical books of the New Testament. Paul writes to a church immersed in a city associated with trade, but also with corruption and immorality. These believers are struggling to properly apply spiritual gifts and to resist the ungodly practices of the surrounding culture. Paul's letter gives instructions for real-life concerns such as marriage and spirituality. He also deals with the importance of unity and gives one of the Bible's more well-known descriptions of love in chapter 13.
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