Dr. Willis Newman, Esmeralda Newman, bible-teaching-about.com
The Bible teaching about our resurrection bodies is exciting, insightful – and kind of like something out of science fiction. Actually, it raises more questions than it answers, but the answers we find are a source of tremendous hope and motivation.
I am very interested in mine. Maybe you are too. I care about what our resurrection bodies will look like. So does Esmie, but she has a much better design than me to begin with! When I walk out the door every day, I decorate it. During the day, I faithfully clean it, feed it, protect it, and even take it to the doctor when it hurts.
Though resigned to the fact, I do all I can to keep my body from looking old and wrinkled, and I worry when things quit working. It only makes sense, then, that people should be interested to know what the final state is or our bodies. That is what this Bible teaching is about.
Christians have the absolutely astonishing hope: the actual, real, genuine resurrection of the same body we love so much on this earth! Powerful stuff! Don’t you think? Together, let’s sift through some details.
Our resurrection bodies will be patterned after that genuine resurrected body of Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:20, 21; 1 Corinthians 15:47-49; 1 John 3:2; Luke 24:36-43).
It will also be identified as the same body you have now, “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:42-44; cf. 15:53, 54). The repeated use of “it” points to our present body.
This is enormously great news! We fear death, dissolution, and decay in this life. Not so in the future life. Paul writes, “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body” (1 Corinthians 15:42, 50, 52-54; cf. Romans 8:11).
Imperishable (Gr. aphtharsia) means incorruption or immortal – enduring forever, not subject to corruption or decay. This quality points to the internal nature of the body. Included is the absence of decay, elimination, or deterioration. It is the omission of death, and cancellation of the aging process.
Colds, cancer, heart attack, pain, all sickness will be a thing of the past. Dentists, doctors, undertakers will be out of business. Graveyards will be forgotten about. Stop and reflect on that for a moment. Doesn’t it stir the juices in your heart a bit? Be happy!
Paul describes our resurrection bodies, “it (they are) is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory” (1 Corinthians 15:43). Whereas imperishable places primary focus in the internal nature, glory is the quality that points to external appearance and beauty.
One way to understand what glorified means is to contrast it to dishonor.
Dishonor (Gr. Atimia) means disgrace, shame, humiliation, reproach. On the other hand, glory (Gr. Doxa) means brightness, splendor, and radiance. Glory is used to describe the radiance of the heavenly bodies, such as the sun, moon and stars (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:40-41).
Glory, in different settings, means magnificence, fame, renown, or honor resulting from a good opinion, and majesty. Glory is also used to explain the divine splendor of God (cf. Philippians 3:21; 2 Corinthians 3:7-18; Romans 9:11; Matthew 17:2).
In this life we are aware of the lack of glory in our body. We instinctively seek to glorify our body. People use lipstick, eye shadow, face creams, hair styles and dyes, perfumes. Made up pretty girls are used to sell women’s magazines. Men use razors, moustaches, hair pieces and sprays, and shaving lotions.
No society is without a cosmetic industry. People don’t want to be plain or ugly. However, that which we try to create by cosmetic effect is what our glorified resurrection bodies will naturally be like – utterly beautiful.
Paul wrote, “it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power” (1 Corinthians 15:43). Weakness (Gr. Astheneia) means a lack of strength, an inability to produce results, or powerless. Power (Gr. Dunamis) means might, strength, force, ability, capability. This quality of power points to the ability of our resurrection bodies.
Consider its future mobility. Christ could travel at tremendous speed, or a slow deliberate pace through space. He was free from spatial limitations as we know them. To Mary He said, “Stop clinging to Me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to My brethren, and say to them, ‘I ascend to My Father and your Father; and My God and your God’” (John 20:17).
Where was God? He was in Heaven. It took Jesus less than a day to make a round trip to Heaven where God and the holy angels dwell. His speed was more observable at His ascension (Acts 1:10, 11). Superman is slow in comparison!
Various atmospheres, temperatures, and pressures did not affect Jesus. He could interact directly with both the physical and spiritual world. He could pass through closed, locked doors, and instantly become visible or invisible to the human eye (cf. John 20:19; Luke 24:31, 36, 37; 2 Corinthians 5:2ff; Romans 8:18-24).
In this life, our bodies are once powerful and beautiful in the flower of youth. The beautiful girl attracts the admiring looks of men. Yet, at the end of life, her body is no longer an honor to her. It stoops and twists. The skin wrinkles. Fingers become gnarled. Young men no longer look her way.
The mighty arm which once hurled a rock a long distance, someday in old age or disease cannot lift food to the mouth or a phone to the ear. But the great hope of the Christian is our resurrection bodies - powerful – just like Jesus.
Paul informed us, “it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body” (1 Corinthians 15:44).
A spiritual body is not one of pure spirit. It is a real, physical body of flesh and bone, but which is adapted for Heaven (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:39, 40), and which the life sustaining principle is Spirit (cf. Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:50; Luke 24:39).
A natural body is one in which the life sustaining force is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11). God can adapt flesh and bone to Heaven. A spiritual Heaven is not a necessarily a Heaven of spirits.
Our body will be similar to the way it is now. Looking to Jesus, His resurrection body was flesh and bone, people could see and hear Jesus, He handled and ate food, He said He was not a ghost (spirit), and people were invited to handle and touch Him.
He retained the scars of the crucifixion, He was recognized as being Jesus, and He was considered a normal human by mistake. He could talk, walk, exercise rational abilities, and His voice was recognized (cf. Luke 24:1, 16, 36-43; John 20:15-31; 21:9).
It is with this stunning absolute truth of the universe, that Esmie and I leave you with this Bible teaching about our resurrection bodies. May your life be enriched, and your hope strengthened. God bless you.
Dr. Willis and Esmie Newman
BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS
1. What are your ideas about future resurrection bodies? Do you believe it is true? Explain you view.
2. If resurrection bodies are a fable, then what does that make Christianity (16-19)?
3. Explain from the Bible the difference between a spiritual and physical body.
4. How does the Bible explain or relate to the worldwide cosmetic industry (2 Corinthians 5:2ff; Romans 8:18-24)?
5. What impact on our attitude and behavior should the reality of the resurrection bodies have (1 Corinthians 57, 58)?
6. Has this teaching affected your attitude and behavior? Explain how.
7. What does Romans 8:29 and Colossians 1:18 teach us about our resurrection?
8. In what ways are you concerned about your own body?
9. In your own words, what do you learn from 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18?
10. What stands out to you’re the most in this Bible teaching about our resurrection bodies? Explain.
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