The Rapture of the Church, Part 10

skyRead the series so far.

Resurrection and Corinthian/Greek philosophy

Why did so many in the church at Corinth have deep doubts about the promise of a resurrection body for believers? The amazing answer is that they did not want a resurrected body! Why not? Because they believed that such a body would be nothing more than what they already had—a weak, often painful, unimpressive thing. After all, they thought, who would really want to live forever in a resuscitated corpse?

Their drastic heresy on the design, function, significance and destiny of the human body, which they had learned from many Greek thinkers of that day, resulted in perverted views of morality and marriage. See how Paul had to deal with this in 1 Corinthians 6:15—“Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not!” (NKJV).

In spite of the fact that we still possess sinful natures, even after being born again—a sad reality which Paul explains in Romans 7:15-25—the mortal body of the Christian is a divine temple! “Do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

In his NICNT commentary, The First Epistle to the Corinthains (1987), Gordon Fee writes as follows:

The Corinthian pneumatics’ understanding of spirituality had allowed them both a false view of freedom (“everything is permissible”) and of the body (“God will destroy it”), from which basis they argued that going to prostitutes is permissible because the body doesn’t matter….

[1 Corinthians 6] should forever lay to rest the implicit dualism of so much that has been passed off as Christian, where the body is rejected, subdued, or indulged because it is of no significance for—or is even a hindrance to—“real salvation,” which has to do with the “soul”…. (251)

The body of the believer is for the Lord because through Christ’s resurrection God has set in motion the reality of our own resurrection. This means that the believer’s physical body is to be understood as “joined” to Christ’s own “body” that was raised from the dead…. (258)

[The apostle Paul takes over] their own theological starting point, namely that they are “spiritual” because they have the Spirit, and redirecting it to include the sanctity of the body. The reality of the indwelling Spirit is now turned against them. They thought the presence of the Spirit meant a negation of the body; Paul argues the exact opposite: The presence of the Spirit in their present bodily existence is God’s affirmation of the body. (264)

Resurrection and the theory of evolution

For most Christians in the western world, it is the theory of evolution, not Greek thinking, that has lowered our respect for the human body and dimmed our expectation of a glorified body. But our Lord Jesus Christ, who created all things (cf. John 1:3; Col. 1:16), told us that we have no physical/genetic relation to the animal kingdom. Our Lord affirmed: “He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’” (Matt. 19:4). Note: God did not put a soul/spirit into the body of an ape. He created our first parents physically.

We are not left in any doubt about this in Genesis: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground [i.e., not from an animal], and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being” (Gen. 2:7).

And the first woman? “And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man” (Gen. 2:21, 22).

Consider this: Planning from all eternity the exact physical form He would assume in His incarnate state, and thus the form He would have in His resurrection, the Son of God designed the body of Adam accordingly.

In the womb of Mary, and during the third of a century that followed, He “increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52). That is what Adam and Eve were created to do—and we as well. But no animal can do this! No animal was ever created in God’s “image” and “likeness” (Gen. 1:26); and therefore no animal will ever have a resurrection body. The difference is profound and permanent. Thus Greek philosophy and neo-Darwinian evolutionism have this in common—they are totally unbiblical and totally erroneous!

[node:bio/john-c-whitcomb body]

613 reads

Help keep SI’s server humming. A few bucks makes a difference.