Topic: The natural body becomes the spiritual body, and they cannot be separated.
Significance: Paul is combating the Gnostic doctrines which had entered the church. These were preaching the separation of physical and spiritual, and teaching the evil of matter and the good of spirit. A good belief, in moderation, not to the point of the gnostics, who denied to body and acted in whatever manner they desired as the body had no meaning. This is not the gospel which Paul had so greatly emphasized.
As I have mentioned in devotionals before, the Gnostic movement was one which believed that all physical was evil, hopelessly evil, and therefore there was no point in even trying to save it. Therefore, they lived out in the physical, life here on Earth, however they wanted, because they believed that the spiritual was inherently good, and therefore they didn’t have to do anything for it. This movement counter-acted the Gospel of Christ, as it first denied some very key parts of the Gospel. Jesus was not fully human, the spirit of Jesus came to dwell upon a man named Jesus at the baptism and left at the crucifixion, as that would defile the spirit of Jesus. In their minds, why would a good spirit die for the evil physical? The next part is that in this case, if the physical is so evil, why would there be resurrection of it? Why would God desire for the material and bodily to resurrect into glory? Therefore, there is no resurrection in this system of gnosticism. Paul cannot have this tolerated, because he knows that the dead are resurrected, now this is not talking about physical resurrections but those of the spirit and those of the body into the spiritual glory which awaits us. Paul resurrects a boy who fell from the window of a three-story building while listening to Paul speak. Boring sermon… Although this is a key point in the argument for resurrection, this is not the type of resurrection which Paul speak on. This type is the one which occurs when we are lifted from this life into the next, which for us Christians is Heaven.
This resurrection is core around the Gospel which Jesus completed for us. Jesus had to be man, physical human then resurrected into the spiritual being He is after He rose. The idea being that our Lord lived out the human life first, with all the aches and joys, highs and lows, He lived the life of a man in order for us to have an example. Jesus resurrected into glory from the physical, and in this, we live in the physical, honoring God as much as is possible, till we reach glory.
My father, earthly, put it this way: There is the mystery, how Jesus was both man and God we may never understand, it is not black and white. If He was wholly man, sin would have flecked His life as it does ours, but if He was wholly God, then there would have been no need for the life He lived, the death and resurrection, and all the suffering endured. Therefore, Jesus was both, and that is simply how it is. Now, we have a resurrected soul, but a dying body. Our resurrection is to come, but through that of Jesus’, we have been resurrected spiritually. Remember the heritages from Adam and Christ? They were the firstborn of their line, and the fathers were Satan and God. I described this in a devotional before, and basically, Jesus offers us resurrection through death, into new life. Adam offers us only death, death through death, into more, eternal death. The decision can’t be too hard to make, can it? Adam was of the dust, and therefore he was not able to give those who were of the same, more than what they were. Meaning, Adam could not grant the people after him that which was from Heaven, his authority was over the animals, not other humans. See, Jesus on the other hand being from Heaven, could offer us more than we could get on our own. “As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth, and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven.” We were like Adam, and could not offer anything to each other but death, however Jesus, who is of Heaven, offers us life because He is of life. “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one enters the Father but through me.” We were born into the likeness of Adam and Eve, humanly images, however when we are resurrected into the new body, we will bear the image of heavenly beings. We will no longer be created from the dust, but be of Heaven and God. This is something to look forward to, and we live in anticipation to it.
Therefore, we are bound to the laws of Adam and Earth until we die and are born into our new body. However, until then, we can still honor God with everything we are. In fact, this is the life in which we honor God. In Heaven, we worship and glory Him, however this life is what defines the next. Should you honor God here, you receive crowns to cast to Him and glorify the name in those specific ways. Do you honor God with your life, because although this body is dying and this life is not in comparison with the next, we have a resurrected soul and spirit. Therefore, we must live beyond this world and live for the next. Paul in Titus 2:11-13 tells us to live in hope for the return of Jesus. We have to live holy because no one knows when our savior will return for us, and how do you want to be when he comes? You could be preaching to thousands with a fire in you when He returns, or you could be intoxicated and high in a corner. Think to yourself, which one pleases God more? Live holy. There is no greater charge I, the apostles, Jesus, the Holy Spirit or any other can give you but to live for the glory of Him. In that, nothing you do will be in vain and you find fulfillment in the little things, and life has so much more purpose.
We live in a natural body, born from the image of Adam, made of the Earth, and in that we live under the curse of Adam. However, we have been freed in the spiritual, and now we live in a spiritual freedom and new life in which sin and Satan no longer have their hold on us. Do they affect us? Yes, but someone I heard spoke put it this way: we are no longer under the curse of sin, but we are still under the presence. There is a necessary need to live holy now, because at the cross Jesus gave it all, held nothing back. Now, we are born of the second man, the man of heaven. We must live in life as He does, we must also give life as He did for us. No longer do we live in the death of Adam, but in the life of Christ. In hope of the bodily resurrection. I urge you to live holy, and in this charge, do it all for the glory of God. Consider this, not only do you find purpose when you glorify God, but everything you do falls into His will and your good. Romans 8:28, “For we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose” Right there, two things! When you glorify God, everything you do will be in the accordance of His purpose, and therefore you are honoring Him. Jesus says in John 14:15, “If you love me, you will keep my commands”. When you live for the glory of God, you follow His commands, and therefore your love for Him grows. With your love will come the desire to obey His commands more, it is a foolproof cycle. It leads into itself, live for Him, be in His will, follow His commands, love Him, with that love, follow His commands, and therefore live for Him… This is how we are to live, for the absolute glory of God in all we do. That is the final goal in this life, because only what you do for Christ lasts.
How do we live for God then? Simple, but so profound. Ask Him to give you a desire to obey the Word. Then, as you read the Bible more and more, your life will change. There is no way, if you truly study the Bible that your life will not be impacted. However, study it, do not simple read it and then close the cover. You do not have to write four page devotionals, but take time and learn from it. See, we were born into Adam, and that was resulting in imminent death. There was nothing but death in his heritage. This is how we lived, now, we live in the life and glory of God, through the beautiful, selfless sacrifice of Jesus. We have a resurrection pending, anytime now, Jesus could return or we could be called home into the arms of the Father. In each situation, we are resurrected into the new body and life. Think about this, no sin, no pain, face to face, hand in hand with Jesus, walking along the streets of Heaven. Forever singing and learning about God, for me personally, that makes me smile and have joy, and hope. If you smile at that, you have hope thinking about that. Now, take that hope and joy and apply them to your entire life, and live in that hope of Heaven, either through death or the rapture. This is my charge I leave you with, get in the Word for 30 minutes every day, at least 30 minutes. A good friend of mine put it this way, we are not to just give our money to God but our time as well. Ten percent of your time is 2.4 hours a day. 30 minutes should not be a problem, because think of it this way. Jesus did not give 10% of Himself on the cross, no He gave everything.
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. (Romans 12:1)” Live for God and find the purpose of life come to view. You do not know the fullness of this life, until you live for the One who breathed that very life into you. Read the Word, study it, meditate on it. If you ever find yourself static for the name of God, then please just ask Him to replenish that passion in you. Above all, glorify God in all, striving to live perfect, get that word if nothing else. Striving. Push, pull, move, drive forward, fight, persevere… This is the name of Jesus we are talking about, that is not something to simply remain still about.
In all, live in anticipation, through hope and joy, of the kingdom of Heaven. You never know when you might go, or it may come.