1 Corinthians 15:35

Sunday, 24 April 2016

-Today’s teaching will be part four of a series I’ve titled, “Why Jesus had to be Resurrected.” -In verses 1-34, the Apostle Paul has addressed, ever so brilliantly, the why of the resurrection, and now will talk about the how. -In our text today, he answers the question of how the dead are raised, and what our bodies will be like when we’re resurrected.

-It’s important to understand that in asking him these questions the Corinthians were not looking for an answer but an argument. -The reason I point this out is it may help to better understand why it is that Paul is so blunt and strong in his rebuking of them. -The point being is that Paul possessed the discernment of the Holy Spirit, Who enabled him to recognize what they were doing.

-Be that as it may, I will be taking a different approach in teaching today’s text by dividing it into two aspects of the resurrection. -First, we’ll look at the aspect of how the dead are resurrected, and second, what our bodies will be like after we are resurrected. -This because, the Apostle Paul, by the Holy Spirit, provides a brilliant explanation concerning both aspects of the resurrection.

1. How are the dead raised? (Verses 35-36) -Here, Paul sort of answers their question by actually not answering their question and instead rebuking them for being foolish. -In effect, he’s simply stating that God is able to raise the dead, and to ask the question of how implies that God can’t resurrect. -In other words, just asking the foolish question of “how are the dead raised,” indicates that raising the dead is too hard for God.

Paul on trial asks King Agrippa in Acts 26:8 he says, “Why should any of you consider it incredible that God raises the dead?”

2. What will our resurrected bodies be like? (Verses 37-50) -Paul starts by using three examples of the body that’s raised, the first of which is agriculturally related to sowing a wheat seed. -The second example is of flesh and blood using man and animals saying God has created different bodies all in their splendor. -The third example is of the moon and stars in the heavenly bodies and the earthly bodies all, different in their splendor as well.

-After using these three examples, Paul then goes on to explain how that this is what it’s like with the resurrection of the dead. -Specifically, just as the body that is sown is perishable, it’s raised imperishable, and as it’s sown in dishonor, it’s raised in glory. -He then goes on to say as it’s sown in weakness it’s raised in power, and as it’s sown a natural body it is raised a spiritual body.

-Paul then goes on to explain that just as Adam ties us to our earthly bodies, so too does Jesus tie us to our heavenly bodies. -The reason being is that the first Adam was of the dust of the earth, and Jesus as the second and final Adam is of the heaven. -Then, he sums it up saying that just as we bear the image of Adam, we’ll bear the image of Christ when we inherit the kingdom.

-All of this begs the question of what the bodily resurrection of dead means to me and how does knowing this apply to my life. -In order to answer this I’m hoping you’ll kindly indulge me for the remainder of our time together in 1 Corinthians to explain how. -What follows are some of the most often asked questions about death and what we’ll look and be like when we are in heaven.

Question #1 -What happens to our body when we die? -The best illustration I’ve ever heard was using a light bulb, which when burnt out goes into the ground from where it’s created. -The electricity that once supplied the bulb goes back to its source, and the light that the bulb and electricity created ceases. -The body like the bulb goes into the ground, the spirit like the electricity back to its source and the soul like light is deceased.

2 Cor. 5:6–8 So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.

Question #2 -What will our heavenly bodies be like? -Frist, Paul describes our new heavenly bodies as being imperishable or if you prefer, incorruptible, which means they’re eternal. -This is why he explains it saying a perishable body cannot inherit an imperishable kingdom such that, it must be an eternal one. -Paul expounds on this when he says that it’s sown in corruption, but raised in incorruption, and as such will never see death.

Question #3 -Will our bodies be the same age in heaven? -If they are they will not be old, as we understand it here on earth because Paul says it’s sown in weakness, but raised in power. -Moreover, it’s sown in the natural but raised in the spiritual, which means our bodies aren’t impacted by the earthly sin nature. -In other words, it won’t be like it is now where as we get older we get weaker rather our new bodies will never grow old or weak.

Question #4 -Will we recognize each other in heaven? -Absolutely!  As one humorously quipped, “We’re certainly not going to be more stupid than we are now when we’re in heaven.” -That’s not to say that we will know each other in heaven the same way we knew each other on earth. That wouldn’t be heaven! -When we’re in heaven will we bear Christ’s resemblance and we won’t know each other according to the flesh here on earth.

2 Corinthians 5:16 (NKJV) Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.

-I’ll take it a step further and suggest that not only will we be recognizable in heaven we’ll have our same personality in heaven. -Let me hasten say that just as our bodies are perfect and glorified, so too will our personalities be both perfect and sanctified. -This because, we will put off our corruptible sin nature with our corruptible bodies, and put on our incorruptible nature instead.