The image of physical resurrection implies that all believers can attain spiritual salvation through Christ. “We will all be changed,” says Paul in I Corinthians 15:52). Jesus Christ serves as a symbol of the spiritual resurrection that comes from faith. Whether in spirit or in body, resurrection is possible through unconditional faith. Although for many Christians, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is literal, Paul further hints that the resurrection of the physical body might have purely symbolic meaning: “I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable,” (I Corinthians 15:50). The notion of actual physical resurrection — the raising of a corpse from the dead — might be reserved for a being as miraculous as the Christ.
Through belief in Christ as the son of God, all will attain eternal salvation, another central Christian concept Eternal salvation may be dependent on a symbolic, or spiritual, resurrection, if not a physical one. The resurrection is therefore offered by God as an example of the potential for all Christians to obtain Gods grace and salvation. Therefore, Pauls message to the Corinthians in his epistle is that eternal salvation can only be won through faith. Because belief in the resurrection is potentially unpalatable and at least illogical, Paul attempts a logical, rhetorical analysis in light of his Greek audience: “If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith,” (I Corinthians 15:13-14).
Again, Paul sets forth faith as the fundamental reason for accepting the resurrection of Christ. Paul states that there is no reason to accept any Christian tenet unless the entire canon of Christianity is embraced.
The resurrection is one of the most controversial concepts in Christian thought, which is why Paul goes through so much trouble in his writings to persuade a skeptical audience. I Corinthians 15 begins by Pauls attesting that he personally witnessed the resurrection of Christ. Doing this establishes Paul as a credible witness. Paul continues to claim that faith in Christian discourse or cosmology is in vain unless the resurrection is believed in as well. Christian rituals like Baptisms are meaningless without the ultimate goal of spiritual transformation of the body: “If the dead are not raised at all, why are people baptized for them?” (I Corinthians 15:29).
Furthermore, Paul suggests that the resurrection of all human beings will eventually occur after the Day of Judgment: “The last enemy to be destroyed is death,” (I Corinthians 15:26). Resurrection implies that the body can and should be ultimately transcended. Resurrection means also the transformation of the mundane into the spiritual, which is the ultimate goal of salvation through Christianity. The significance of the resurrection within the Christian community is to solidify faith, underscore the grace of God, and offer hope of future salvation and sublimation of the body into a spiritual, rather than finite and mortal, substance.
The Bible: New International Version. I.