1 Corinthians 15:22
For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.
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(22) As in Adam . . .—Better, as in the Adam all die, so in the Christ shall all be made alive. The first Adam and the second Adam here stand as the heads of Humanity. All that is fleshly in our nature is inherited from the Adam; in every true son of God it is dying daily, and will ultimately die altogether. All that is spiritual in our nature we inherit from the Christ; it is immortal, is rising daily, will ultimately be raised with a spiritual and immortal body. We must remember that the relationship of Christ to Humanity is not to be dated only from the Incarnation. Christ stood in the same federal relation to all who went before as He does to all who have come since. (See the same thought in 1Corinthians 10:4, and in Christ’s own words, “Before Abraham was, I am.”) The results of Christ’s death are co-extensive with the results of Adam’s fall—they extend to all men; but the individual responsibility rests with each man as to which he will cherish—that which he derives from Christ or that which he derives from Adam—the “offence” of Adam or the “grace” of Christ. The best comment on this passage is, perhaps, the prayer in the Baptismal Office: “O merciful God, grant that the old Adam in this child may be so buried, that the new man may be raised up in him.” There seems to be this moral significance in these words of St. Paul, as well as the obvious argument that, as all men die physically, so all shall be raised from the dead; as we have the evidence of death in the death of a man and of all men, so we have the evidence (and not the mere theoretical promise) of a resurrection in the resurrection of the Man Christ Jesus.

15:20-34 All that are by faith united to Christ, are by his resurrection assured of their own. As through the sin of the first Adam, all men became mortal, because all had from him the same sinful nature, so, through the resurrection of Christ, shall all who are made to partake of the Spirit, and the spiritual nature, revive, and live for ever. There will be an order in the resurrection. Christ himself has been the first-fruits; at his coming, his redeemed people will be raised before others; at the last the wicked will rise also. Then will be the end of this present state of things. Would we triumph in that solemn and important season, we must now submit to his rule, accept his salvation, and live to his glory. Then shall we rejoice in the completion of his undertaking, that God may receive the whole glory of our salvation, that we may for ever serve him, and enjoy his favour. What shall those do, who are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Perhaps baptism is used here in a figure, for afflictions, sufferings, and martyrdom, as Mt 20:22,23. What is, or will become of those who have suffered many and great injuries, and have even lost their lives, for this doctrine of the resurrection, if the dead rise not at all? Whatever the meaning may be, doubtless the apostle's argument was understood by the Corinthians. And it is as plain to us that Christianity would be a foolish profession, if it proposed advantage to themselves by their faithfulness to God; and to have our fruit to holiness, that our end may be everlasting life. But we must not live like beasts, as we do not die like them. It must be ignorance of God that leads any to disbelieve the resurrection and future life. Those who own a God and a providence, and observe how unequal things are in the present life, how frequently the best men fare worst, cannot doubt as to an after-state, where every thing will be set to rights. Let us not be joined with ungodly men; but warn all around us, especially children and young persons, to shun them as a pestilence. Let us awake to righteousness, and not sin.For as in Adam - (ἐν τῳ Ἀδαμ en tō Adam). By Adam; by the act, or by means of Adam; as a consequence of his act. His deed was the procuring cause, or the reason, why all are subjected to temporal death; see Genesis 3:19. It does not mean that all people became actually dead when he sinned, for they had not then an existence; but it must mean that the death of all can be traced to him as the procuring cause, and that his act made it certain that all that came into the world would be mortal. The sentence which went forth against him Genesis 3:19 went forth against all; affected all; involved all in the certainty of death; as the sentence that was passed on the serpent Genesis 3:14 made it certain that all serpents would he "cursed above all cattle," and be prone upon the earth; the sentence that was passed upon the woman Genesis 3:16 made it certain that all women would be subjected to the same condition of suffering to which Eve was subjected; and the sentence that was passed on man Genesis 3:17 that he should cultivate the ground in sorrow all the days of his life, that it should bring forth thistles and thorns to him 1 Corinthians 15:18, that he should eat bread in the sweat of his brow 1 Corinthians 15:19, made it certain that this would be the condition of all people as well as of Adam. It was a blow at the head of the human family, and they were subjected to the same train of evils as he was himself. In like manner they were subjected to death. It was done in Adam, or by Adam, in the same way as it was in him, or by him, that they were subjected to toil and to the necessity of procuring food by the sweat of the brow; see the notes on Romans 5:12-19; see 1 Corinthians 15:47-48.

All die - All mankind are subjected to temporal death; or are mortal. This passage has been often adduced to prove that all mankind became sinful in Adam, or in virtue of a covenant transaction with him; and that they are subjected to spiritual death as a punishment for his sins. But, whatever may he the truth on that subject, it is clear that this passage does not relate to it, and should not he adduced as a proof text. For:

(1) The words "die" and "dieth" obviously and usually refer to temporal death; and they should be so understood, unless there is something in the connection which requires us to understand them in a figurative and metaphorical sense. But there is, evidently, no such necessity here.

(2) the context requires us to understand this as relating to temporal death. There is not here, as there is in Romans 5, any intimation that men became sinners in consequence of the transgression of Adam, nor does the course of the apostle's argument require him to make any statement on that subject. His argument has reference to the subject of temporal death, and the resurrection of the dead; and not to the question in what way people became sinners.

(3) the whole of this argument relates to the "resurrection of the dead." That is the main, the leading, the exclusive point. He is demonstrating that the dead would rise. He is showing how this would be done. It became, therefore, important for him to show in what way people were subjected to temporal death. His argument, therefore requires him to make a statement on that point, and that only; and to show that the resurrection by Christ was adapted to meet and overcome the evils of the death to which people were subjected by the sin of the first man. In Romans 5 the design of Paul is to prove that the effects of the work of Christ were more than sufficient to meet all the evils introduced by the sin of Adam. This leads him to an examination there of the question in what way people became sinners. Here the design is to show that the work of Christ is adapted to overcome the evils of the sin of Adam in one "specific matter - the matter under discussion, that is," on the point of the resurrection; and his argument therefore requires him to show only that temporal death, or mortality, was introduced by the first man, and that this has been counteracted by the second; and to this specific point the interpretation of this passage should be confined. Nothing is more important in interpreting the Bible than to ascertain the specific point in the argument of a writer to be defended or illustrated, and then to confine the interpretation to that. The argument of the apostle here is ample to prove that all people are subjected to temporal death by the sin of Adam; and that this evil is counteracted fully by the resurrection of Christ, and the resurrection through him. And to this point the passage should be limited.

(4) if this passage means, that in Adam, or by him, all people became sinners, then the correspondent declaration "all shall be made alive" must mean that all people shall become righteous, or that all shall be saved. This would be the natural and obvious interpretation; since the words "be made alive" must have reference to the words "all die," and must affirm the co-relative and opposite fact. If the phrase "all die" there means all become sinners, then the phrase "all be made alive" must mean all shall be made holy, or be recovered from their spiritual death; and thus an obvious argument is furnished for the doctrine of universal salvation, which it is difficult, if not impossible, to meet. It is not a sufficient answer to this to say, that the word "all," in the latter part of the sentence, means all the elect, or all the righteous; for its most natural and obvious meaning is, that it is co-extensive with the word "all" in the former part of the verse.

And although it has been held by many who suppose that the passage refers only to the resurrection of the dead, that it means that all the righteous shall be raised up, or all who are given to Christ, yet that interpretation is not the obvious one, nor is it yet sufficiently clear to make it the basis of an argument, or to meet the strong argument which the advocate of universal salvation will derive from the former interpretation of the passage. It is true literally that all the dead will rise: it is not true literally that all who became mortal, or became sinners by means of Adam, will be saved. And it must be held as a great principle, that this passage is not to be so interpreted as to teach the doctrine of the salvation of all people. At least, this may be adopted as a principle in the argument with those who adduce it to prove that all people became sinners by the transgression of Adam. This passage, therefore, should not be adduced in proof of the doctrine of imputation, or as relating to the question how people became sinners, but should be limited to the subject that was immediately under discussion in the argument of the apostle. "That object was, to show that the doctrine of the resurrection by Christ was such as to meet the obvious doctrine that people became mortal by Adam; or that the one was adapted to counteract the other."

Even so - (οὕτω houtō.) In this manner; referring not merely to the certainty of the event, but to the mode or manner. As the death of all was occasioned by the sin of one, even so, in like manner, the resurrection of all shall be produced by one. His resurrection shall meet and counteract the evils introduced by the other, so far as the subject under discussion is concerned; that is, so far as relates to temporal death.

In Christ - By Christ; in virtue of him; or as the result of his death and resurrection. Many commentators have supposed that the word "all" here refers only to believers, meaning all who were united to Christ, or all who were his friends; all included in a covenant with him; as the word "all" in the former member of the sentence means all who were included in the covenant with Adam; that is, all mankind. But to this view there are manifest objections:

(1) It is not the obvious sense; it is not that which will occur to the great mass of people who interpret the Scriptures on the principles of common sense; it is an interpretation which is to be made out by reasoning and by theology - always a suspicious circumstance in interpreting the Bible.

(2) it is not necessary. All the wicked will be raised up from the dead as well as all the righteous, Daniel 12:2; John 5:28-29.

(3) the form of the passage requires us to understand the word "all" in the same sense in both members, unless there be some indispensable necessity for limiting the one or the other.

(4) the argument of the apostle requires this. For his object is to show that the effect of the sin of Adam, by introducing "temporal" death, will be counteracted by Christ in raising up all who die; which would not be shown if the apostle meant to say that only a part of those who had died in consequence of the sin of Adam would he raised up. The argument would then be inconclusive. But now it is complete if it be shown that all shall be raised up, whatever may become of them afterward. The sceptre of death shall be broken, and his dominion destroyed, by the fact that all shall be raised up from the dead.

Be made alive - Be raised from the dead; be made alive, in a sense contradistinguished from that in which he here says they were subjected to death, by Adam. If it should be held that that means that all were made sinners by him, then this means, as has been observed, that all shall be made righteous, and the doctrine of universal salvation has an unanswerable argument; if it means, as it obviously does, that all were subjected to temporal death by him, then it means that all shall be raised from the dead by Christ.

22. in Adam all—in union of nature with Adam, as representative head of mankind in their fall.

in Christ … all—in union of nature with Christ, the representative head of mankind in their recovery. The life brought in by Christ is co-extensive with the death brought in by Adam.

As in the first Adam all men, that were in him, became subject both to temporal death, and all the afflictions and miseries of this life, which are so many little deaths, Romans 8:36, and forerunners of natural death, or attendants upon it; and also to that eternal death, which is the consequent of the guilt of sin, Romans 6:23: so in Christ, that is, through the merits of his death, and through his resurrection, all that are in him, being chosen in him, given to him, and by faith implanted into him, are not only spiritually made alive, (being passed from death unto life, 1Jo 3:14), but shall be raised from the dead unto eternal life. But though this text doth not prove the general resurrection, (being only intended of believers, that are members of Christ), yet it doth not oppose it. But that the all here mentioned is no more than all believers, appeareth not only from the term in Christ in this verse, but from the whole following discourse; which is only concerning the resurrection of believers to life, not that of the wicked to eternal condemnation.

For as in Adam all die,.... The apostle here shows who he meant in the former verse, by the one man the cause of death, and by the other the author of the resurrection of the dead, and that he intended Adam and Christ; all men were in Adam seminally, as the common parent of human nature, in such sense as Levi was in the loins of Abraham when Melchizedek met him, and in him paid tithes unto him; and they were all in him representatively, he being the federal head of all his posterity, and so a type and figure of Christ that was to come; and being in him, they all sinned in him, and so died in him, the sentence of death passed on them in him; they became subject to a corporeal death, which has ever since reigned over mankind, even over infants, such who have not sinned after the similitude of his transgression; this was the doctrine of the Jewish church; See Gill on Romans 5:12, to which may be added one testimony more; says (g) one of their writers,

"by the means of the first Adam , "death was inflicted by way of punishment on all":''

even so in Christ shall all be made alive: not made spiritually alive, for Christ quickens whom he will; not all in this sense, some die in their sins; nor are all entitled to an eternal life; for though Christ has a power to give it, yet only to those whom the Father has given to him; it is true indeed, that all that are in Christ, chosen in him and united to him, are made alive by him, and have the gift of eternal life through him; but the apostle is not speaking of such a life, but of a corporeal one: to be quickened or made alive, is with the Jews, and other eastern nations, a phrase of the same signification with being raised from the dead, and as the context here shows; and not to be understood of the resurrection of all men, for though there will be a resurrection of the just and unjust, yet the one will be the resurrection of life, and the other the resurrection of damnation; now it is of the former the apostle here speaks, and expresses by being made alive: and the sense is, that as all that were in Adam, all that belonged to him, all his natural seed and posterity, all to whom he was a federal head, died in him, became mortal, and subject to death through him; so all that are in Christ, that belong to him, who are his spiritual seed and offspring, to whom he is a covenant head, and representative, shall be raised to an immortal life by him; or as all the elect of God died in Adam, so shall they all be quickened, or raised to life in and by Christ.

(g) Baal Hatturim in Dent. iii. 26.

For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be {g} made alive.

(g) Will rise by the power of Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:22. More precise explanation confirmatory of 1 Corinthians 15:21, so that the first διʼ ἀνθρώπου is defined in concreto by ἐν τῷ Ἀδάμ, likewise θάνατος by πάντες ἀποθνήσκουσιν κ.τ.λ.

ἐν τῷ Ἀδάμ] In Adam it is causally established that all die, inasmuch as, namely, through Adam’s sin death has penetrated to all, Romans 5:12; to which statement only Christ Himself, who, as the sinless One, submitted Himself to death in free obedience toward the Father (Php 2:8; Romans 5:19), forms a self-evident exceptio.

ἐν τῷ Χ.] for in Christ lies the ground and cause, why at the final historical completion of His redemptive work the death which has come through Adam upon all shall be removed again, and all shall be made alive through the resurrection of the dead. In this way, therefore, certainly no one shall be made alive except in Christ,[42] but this will happen to all. Since πάντες, namely, is not to be restricted to the totality of believers, but to be taken quite generally (see below), there thus results more specially as the idea of the apostle: Christ, when He appears in His glory, is not simply the giver of life for His believing people; He makes them (through the resurrection, and relatively through the transformation, 1 Corinthians 15:51) alive unto the eternal Messianic ζωή (Romans 8:11); but His life-giving power extends also to the other side, that is, to the unbelievers who must experience the necessary opposite of the completed redemption; these He awakes to the resurrection of condemnation. Paul thus agrees with John 5:28 f.; Matthew 10:28; and thus his declaration recorded in Acts 24:15 finds its confirmation in our text (comp. on Php 3:11).

] which is to be understood not of the new principle of life introduced into the consciousness of humanity (Baur, neut. Theol. p. 198), but, according to the context and on account of the future, in the eschatological sense, is by most interpreters (including Flatt, Billroth, Rückert, Osiander, van Hengel, Maier, Ewald, Hofmann, Lechler, apost. Zeit. p. 145; Lutterbeck, II. p. 232 ff.) held to refer only to believers. But ἕκαστος, 1 Corinthians 15:23, requires us to think of the resurrection of all (so also Olshausen, de Wette); for otherwise we should have to seek the πάντες collectively in the second class ἜΠΕΙΤΑ ΟἹ ΤΟῦ ΧΡΙΣΤΟῦ, so that ΟἹ ΤΟῦ ΧΡΙΣΤΟῦ and the ΠΆΝΤΕς would cover each other, and there could be no mention at all of an ἝΚΑΣΤΟς ἘΝ Τῷ ἸΔΊῼ ΤΆΓΜΑΤΙ in reference to the ΠΆΝΤΕς. Accordingly we must not restrict ΖΩΟΠ. to blessed life, and perhaps explain (so de Wette, comp. also Neander in loc.; Messner, Lehre der Apost. p. 291 f.; Stroh, Christus d. Erstl. d. Entschlaf. 1866) its universality (πάντες) from the (not sanctioned by the N. T.) ἈΠΟΚΑΤΆΣΤΑΣΙς ΠΆΝΤΩΝ (comp. Weizel in the Stud. u. Krit. 1836, p. 978; Kern in the Tüb. Zeitschr. 1840, 3, p. 24). Neither must we so change the literal meaning, as to understand it only of the destination[43] of all to the blessed resurrection (J. Müller in the Stud. u. Krit. 1835, p. 751), or as even to add mentally the condition which holds universally for the partaking in salvation (Hofmann)—which alteration of what is said categorically into a hypothetical statement is sheer arbitrariness. On the contrary, ζωοποιηθ. (see also 1 Corinthians 15:36), confronted with the quite universal assertion of the opponents that a resurrection of the dead is a non ens (1 Corinthians 15:12-16), is in and by itself indifferent (comp. Romans 4:17; 2 Kings 5:7; Nehemiah 9:6; Theod. Isaiah 26:14; Lucian, V. H. i. 22), the abstract opposite of θάνατος (comp. 1 Corinthians 15:36), in connection with which the concrete difference as regards the different subjects is left for the reader himself to infer. As early interpreters as Chrysostom, Ambrosiaster, and Theodoret have rightly understood πάντες ζωοπ. not simply of the blessed resurrection, but generally of bodily revivification, and without limiting or attaching conditions to the πάντες. It denotes all without exception, as is necessary from 1 Corinthians 15:23, and in keeping with the quite universal πάντες of the first half of the verse. See, too, on 1 Corinthians 15:24. In opposition to the error regarding the Apokatastasis, see generally Philippi, Glaubenslehre, III. p. 372 ff.; Martensen, Dogmat. § 286.

[42] Von Zezschwitz in the Erlang. Zeitschr. 1863, Apr. p. 197. Comp. also Luthardt, v. d. letzten Dingen, p. 125.

[43] Comp. Krauss, p. 107 ff., who finds in the whole chain of thought the ἀποκατάστασις τῶν πάντων.

22. For as in Adam all die] In the possession of a common nature with Adam all mankind are liable to death.

even so in Christ shall all be made alive] By possession of a common nature with Christ all shall partake of that Resurrection to which He has already attained. Cf. St John 5:21; John 6:27; John 6:39-58; John 11:25.

1 Corinthians 15:22. Πάντες ἀποθνήσκουσιν, all die) he says, die, not in the preterite, as for example, Romans 5:17; Romans 5:21, but in the present, in order that in the antithesis he may the more plainly speak of the resurrection, as even still future. And he says, all. Those who are in the highest degree wicked die in Adam; but Paul is here speaking of the godly, of whom the first fruits, ἀπαρχὴ, is Christ, and as these all die in Adam, so also shall they all be made alive in Christ. Scripture everywhere deals with believers, and treats primarily of their resurrection, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 : and only incidentally of the resurrection of the ungodly.—ἐν τῷ Χριστῷ, in Christ) These are the emphatic words in this clause. The resurrection of Christ being once established, the quickening of all is also established.—ζωοποιηθήσονται, they shall be made alive) He had said; they die, not, they are put to death; whereas now, not, they shall revive; but they shall be made alive, i.e. implying that it is not by their own power.

Verse 22. - As in Adam all die. All of us partake of Adam's nature, and are therefore liable to the death which that nature incurred as the law and condition of its humanity. In Christ shall all be made alive. It is St. Paul's invariable habit to isolate his immediate subject; to think and to treat of one topic at a time. He is not here thinking directly and immediately of the resurrection in general. In this verse, writing to Christians who are "in Christ," he is only thinking and speaking of the resurrection of those who are "in Christ." That any can be nominally "in Christ," yet not really so, is a fact which is not at present under his cognizance; still less is he thinking of the world in general. In other words, he is here dealing with "the resurrection of life" alone, and not also with the "resurrection of judgment" (John 5:26-29). Still, as far as his words alone are concerned, it is so impossible to understand the phrase, "shall all be made alive," of a resurrection to endless torments, that his language at least suggests the conclusion that "the principle which has come to actuality in Christ is of sufficient energy to quicken all men for the resurrection to the blessed life" (Baur, 'Life of St. Paul,' 2:219). 1 Corinthians 15:22All - all

What the all means in the one case it means in the other.

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