Impartial Grace: 1 Corinthians 15

Then they also who are fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have only hoped in Christ in this life, we are of all men most pitiable. But now Christ has been raised from the dead. He became the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since death came by man, the resurrection of the dead also came by man. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then those who are Christ’s, at his coming. Then the end comes, when he will deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father; when he will have abolished all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For, “He put all things in subjection under his feet.” But when he says, “All things are put in subjection”, it is evident that he is excepted who subjected all things to him. When all things have been subjected to him, then the Son will also himself be subjected to him who subjected all things to him, that God may be all in all.

(1 Corinthians 15:18 – 28, emphasis added)

Christ Jesus is the first fruits. His resurrection from the dead is proof that all will be resurrected. Adam’s sin caused a universal physical death. Christ’s resurrection universally restores life. Jesus is the only Man ever resurrected from the grave and remains alive. He is seated at the right hand of the Father at this moment. Those of us in Christ at the time of our respective deaths will be raised to life when the trumpet sounds His return. Those who fail to believe will be raised in life before the judgment seat. During this judgment “every knee will bow” and proclaim Jesus as their Lord. Further, Jesus will eventually give over His Kingdom to His Father. Each and every of His enemies will be defeated. The last enemy being death itself. Death is defeated, therefore life reigns. It must be so. Everything is subjected to Him; EVERYTHING. Christ then surrenders His position to the Father. Christ, however, is not subjected to the Father as He, too, is God.

These verses are profound and define the doctrine of universal reconciliation. They are worthy of reiterated points and more discussion. His love is over all He has created. I believe He will be “all in all.” Adam sinned and there was The Fall. We all know of the story of Adam’s poor and even deadly choice when he took the fruit from Eve and ate it. Because of that single event now all men are created by God, but subject to sin within. Adam caused physical death in all men.

We all know the testimony of Christ Jesus and His Holy Word. Christ was buried in a grave. After three days He was resurrected. Because of this divine act, resurrection is now the condition of all created men. “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.” Is there an argument to be made here that only those chosen by God or only those who have chosen God are saved? “…In Christ shall all be made alive.”

What is the ultimate end? God will be “all in all.” How does He accomplish that? I reiterate. It’s not hard to see that “all things” will be given to Christ Jesus. He will give “all things” to His Father Who created “all things.” All things are in Christ. All things are in the Father. He is “all in all.” These verses support themselves. The Gospel is in these verses. Adam’s sin causes all to die. Christ Jesus is the cause of all life…all will be made alive! All die because of Adam. All live because of Christ.

There is not a person created who is not subjected to Christ and consequently subjected to the Father. Who is the Creator of all things? His Sovereignty over all things has never ceased and in the same way His love conquers all. The clear meaning of scripture is this; Adam sinned and consequently came physical death. Jesus comes to end the curse of physical death. Under Christ Jesus all of those who are deceased will be raised to life. There is an order in the resurrection of the dead. First, Himself, then those who He owns, then at the end all are resurrected and given to God the Father. Jesus Christ defeated every known rule, tradition, law, and authority. He is King. There is nothing to hinder our love for Him. “Every knee will bow” and “every tongue will confess Jesus Christ is Lord.”

God has placed everything…all things…under the authority of Christ Jesus. Christ Jesus declared Himself that He does nothing that is not the will of the Father. Christ’s authority is under the Father’s authority. For what purpose? So that “God may be all in all.” What does it mean “that God may be all in all?”

But when this perishable body will have become imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then what is written will happen: Death is swallowed up in victory.

(1 Corinthians 15:54, emphasis added)

Mr. Sprenger remarks, “‘The last enemy to be destroyed is death’ (I Cor 15:26)…. This refers to all death, both physical death and spiritual death. Then the only thing that shall remain is…Life!” Paul is deliberately explaining the meaning of resurrected life. He preaches about fruit having to die to yield its seed and the seed having to die and to be brought back to life to produce more of that kind of fruit. He explains how to distinguish between the flesh of men and the various kinds of flesh of others of God’s creation.

Glory in all things is God’s glory. Glory comes from heaven and from the earth. The glory from heaven is different from the glory that comes from the earth. The planets all have their own, yet different, kind of glory. Each star’s glory is different from all the other stars in the heavens. It will be that way when all are resurrected. Perhaps our flesh will be different. The glory we exude to God is different, too. Each child of God dies an earthly death. The flesh of the earth is transformed to the flesh of heaven. The glory we once showed was earthly and is shed for heavenly glory. Earthly flesh dies and it is raised to live eternally with the Anointed King.

Adam was fashioned by God and he “…became a living being (v.45)….” Christ Jesus gives a life giving spirit. Adam’s flesh is bound by earth. His spirit “…returned to God Who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7).” God’s only begotten Son is not bound to earth. He is Emmanuel; God with us. He is Jesus; God saves. God is with us and He saves us. “We shall all be changed…(v.51).” First the dead will be raised from their graves and their bodies will no longer be made of earthly flesh, but of heavenly flesh. Their glory will no longer be earthly glory, but heavenly glory. Those who remain will have perishable bodies changed to imperishable bodies. Then, “death is swallowed up by Victory.” The end of death! There is nothing eternal in death. It has been defeated.

The Pulpit Commentary cited earlier provides this insight. “What a glorious change awaits humanity!” The body is raised from its grave. It is “a more glorious resurrection—a resurrection of the human soul from the false, the unrighteous, the impure, to the true, the right and the holy—a resurrection, thank God, taking place every day in the world….”

All men will be resurrected and eventually all of creation will be reconciled to Him. These verses do not divide people who believe in Christ Jesus from those who do not. These verses point to all mankind being changed from earthly flesh to heavenly flesh. They point to a change in the kind of glory all men express. The most vicious man who seldom gave glory will now give heavenly glory. The saintliest woman will be transformed with a heavenly, imperishable body. The worst and the best are redeemed and all are reconciled to Him. After all, it is His will that none should perish. “A glorious change awaits humanity.”

All in all” deeper discussion.