What does 1 Corinthians 15:53 mean?
ESV: For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
NIV: For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality.
NASB: For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.
CSB: For this corruptible body must be clothed with incorruptibility, and this mortal body must be clothed with immortality.
NLT: For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
KJV: For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.
Verse Commentary:
Death does not exist in heaven. When God calls humanity to live with Him, there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain (Revelation 21:1–5). The natural-born bodies we occupy, though, are stained with sin and destined to exist only temporarily. They are built for living on earth and not in heaven (Genesis 2:7; 1 Corinthians 15:42–44).

Another suggestion about the misunderstanding in Corinth was that some thought Christians had to gradually become more and more holy in their natural bodies on this side of heaven. Paul rejects any such notion. Our bodies will not improve; they will die. The work of translating the body from natural to "spiritual" is not ours to accomplish—it's God's. If some of us are still alive when Christ returns, the transformation from old body to glorified body will be instant.

This must be so, Paul writes. These temporary, dying bodies must put on what is imperishable or deathless. These earth-bound, sin-corrupted, mortal bodies must put on immortality in order to exist in eternity with God. Therefore, God can and will transform them.
Verse Context:
First Corinthians 15:50–58 powerfully concludes Paul's teaching on the resurrection of Christians: when the last trumpet blasts and Christ returns for those who belong to Him. In that moment, all believers in Jesus, living and dead, will be transformed into the glorified, eternal bodies God has promised us. Death will be defeated forever, never to hurt anyone again. Sin brings death, and the law is the power of sin, but God has given us the victory over death by forgiving our sin through faith in Jesus and by His grace.
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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