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September 18, 2016

"THE RESURRECTION BODY"

TEXT: 1 Corinthians 15: 35-30
READING:
 Philippians 3: 1-21

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SUBJ: The matter of questions answered with regard to the resurrection bodies of believers and the Gospel seen in the answers Paul provided.

AIM: That we might find reason to be encouraged in the contemplation of our eternal estate and the form in which it will be enjoyed.

INTR: It is a normal thing to have questions regarding the future estate of those who love the Lord and live with the expectation of His coming again to receive His own unto Himself.
1. It is unthinkable that there should be doubt as to the acceptability to both God and His people. His desire for them and the fact of His promise of preparation may be extended to a number of topics – even our physical estate in Heaven.
2. There was apparently a great deal of doubt lingering here in that even the heathen gods made no provision that mortal man could ever be made immortal and did not claim such power.
3. Even with us this is among those things received by faith and believing it because the Lord said so: And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. John 6:39.

THESIS: In that flesh and blood cannot inherit the “Kingdom of God” it is a matter of necessity that a bodily change into that which is fully compatible with Heaven and the joyous spiritual existence we shall know throughout eternity – a body like His glorious body.

I. Two questions (v. 35)
1. We would first ask who might ask such things as Paul either has heard or perhaps anticipates?
1) There is no doubt that some such as those at Athens who heard Paul but were contemptuous of the thought of resurrection – their logical minds could not go there.
2) There are many who are infidels who would attack the foundation of Christianity at its foundation.
3) But there may have been even the case of a weak believer who while not actually doubting might yet wrestle in his mind with a seeming impossibility.
2. The sharpness of Paul’s answers suggest that he took it to be a serious issue and, seeing that he was in a strong mode of defense of the resurrection, his answer would be strong as well.

II. The first answer (vv. 36-38)
1. His answer as to how this comes about is short and to the point
1) It would seem that he calls to thought that which was also used by the Lord with regard to Himself: Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. John 12:24.
2) He points to nature, as did our Lord, and attributes the life that comes from a seed that dies to the God alone.
2. It is God that gives the body that comes from that dead seed even as God will give a body to the dead saint at his resurrection.

III. The second answer (vv. 39-50)
1. Looking back to v. 37, he points out that the grain that is sown is not that which shall be. A drastic change occurs as we have already noted and Paul will emphasize.
2. He thus observes that not all flesh is the same:
1) There is that of beasts, fish, and birds, and so each is distinguished.
2) None of which is akin to that of men
3) His point being that the flesh of the fish is not suitable for men!
3. Pointing to the celestial bodies such as the sun, moon and stars and terrestrial bodies such as animals, trees, stones, etc. each with its own distinctive glory or unique identity.
4. It is interesting that in pointing to the far flung universe that the distinguishing glory of each of the heavenly bodies is noted and that even the stars differ in their manner of existence.
5. Paul has said all this to drive home the point that our resurrection body will be distinct and uniquely glorious in accordance with the divine design. And so it is:
1) Sown in corruption and raised in incorruption
2) Sown in dishonor and raised in in glory
3) Sown in weakness and raised in power
4) Sown a natural body and raised a spiritual body with the distinction emphasized!
6. Thus it is of Christ that resurrection is brought about and we note the comparison to Christ and Adam – Adam was made a living soul and died spiritually in the fall – But, For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will. John 5:21.
7. So it is that first the natural and then the spiritual body even as it was with Christ. Note again, the first man is of the earth and it earthy; the second man is the Lord from Heaven
1) In verse 48 we are shown that even as Adam was so are all who came from Him and even as Christ is so are all that are found in Him!
2) We who believe and subscribe to the Gospel and have borne the image of the earthy shall also bear the image of the heavenly:
i. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. 1 John 3:2
ii. Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself. Philippians 3:21
iii. PSee also: Matthew 17:2 and Colossians 3:4
8. Verse 50 is the emphatic conclusion to it all – None in this present form shall inherit the Kingdom, but a new body, perfectly suited to heavenly habitation and divine fellowship will be the habitation of them that look for His appearing!