Thinking Cap #49 - What Happens to Us at the Resurrection ... or Beam Me Up Scotty
Reading 1 Cor. 15:39-53 is great fun. It is an amazing passage about the difference between what our bodies are like now and what they will be like when we are resurrected. You may not give that a lot of thought, but since I have a more warped mental faculty, I ponder that at times. We all say, that there will be no tears in heaven and everything will be just wonderful. But, can we be just a bit more precise? I think that we can and the key is in this wonderful passage of Scripture. So think with me (or at least indulge me).
A pastor was talking to a group of young children about being good and going to heaven. At the end of his talk, he asked, "Where do you want to go?" "Heaven!" they all piped up. "And what do you have to do to get there?" They said, "Be dead!"
While not encouraging, they are theologically accurate. The Bible tells us in Heb. 9:27, "And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:" So unless, we are fortunate enough to be counted in among the likes of Enoch and Elijah, who did not die physically, but were taken directly to heaven, or unless, the Lord comes again for us in the rapture, you and I face the certainty of physical death. But, what then? What happens to us after death? For those who have the gift of eternal life, there are some very definite things that we can look forward to. First of all, the Bible promises that we will be present with the Lord the very moment that we pass through the portals of death. And what a blessed promise that is.
But, then down the road there is a thing called the resurrection (see Rev 20:6). And, then in Rev. 22:5, we find that we shall reign forever and ever in that new heaven and new earth and it will be in our resurrection bodies. Now I'm sure that you've all seen one of those old cowboy birthday cards, with the old man that looks all banged up and worn out, with the caption, "If I'd of known I was going to life this long, I would've taken better care of myself." Well, we're going have one of those resurrection bodies for a long long long time, so I thought it would be a good idea if we found out just what it would be like.
In this thinking cap I'd like to share with you seven things that I believe will happen to us in the resurrection. Seven changes that will take place in our mortal bodies and what we can not only expect, but actually look forward to, and I trust it will be an encouragement to you personally, and also a motivation to reach out and bring others with you.
II. A Change of Dimension
First of all, there is going to be a change of dimension. Paul says in verse 40, "There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial." "42 So also is the resurrection." Right now we have bodies which are terrestrial. They're designed by God to enable us to live on this particular planet in space. One day we are going to have a celestial body. It's interesting that the moment the Apostle Paul begins to talk about the resurrection body of the believer, he takes us out to a realm where all our concepts of time and space are changed. And he directs our gaze upward to worlds unknown.
In the modern era when new instruments were handed to science, our Astronomers began to discover the vastness of the distances that exist in space. They soon determined that there wasn't the slightest bit of use trying to measure distances in space in terms of miles. Miles were meaningless in space. What does it mean that our Sun is 93 millions miles from earth. Who can comprehend that. The closest star to our solar system, Alpha Centuri is 5 trillion, 865 billion, 696 million miles away. Can you imagine the surveyor out there with his little measuring stick, pacing that one off. Numbers like that just don't mean anything to us. So they invented a new yard stick. They called it a light-year. The distance that light can travel in a single year. Well light travels about 186,000 miles a second, which is roughly the speed that folks on the Florida turnpike system drive. That's 696 millions miles an hour. A light year is 6 trillion miles. That's just the yardstick for measuring distances in space. For example, our own Milky Way galaxy is about 100,000 light years from rim to rim . 600 million billion miles. Traveling at the speed of light, it would take 100,000 years just to get across our galaxy.
I remember when I was a child in school, I was taught that the fastest thing known to man was the speed of light. That is not true. There is something infinitely faster than the speed of light. I mean, suppose in the millennium, you were stationed in one place and the Lord was to send word to you, that he wanted you to go out to the star Polaris, the north star and take a look around and come back and report. And He would provide you with a space ship traveling at the speed of light. Well, it would take you 680 years to get there and another 680 years to get back, and you'd miss the whole millennium . I mean, who wants to lumber around the universe at the chronically slow speed of light? There's something infinitely faster than the speed of light, and that's the speed of thought.
I had that brought home to me very forcefully after we moved to Southern Florida. I had been brought up in west central Wisconsin and spent a lot of time in the woods hiking, exploring and camping. I spent four summers working at a Boy Scout camp in northern Wisconsin. I remember spending many a cool night in the pines around Lake Crystal enjoying the freshness and solitude and the beauty. After, we had been in Florida for a year, we moved to a small home in a development of about 100 similar homes. There was a central facility in the development for mail. Rather than getting our mail at our front door, we would have to walk the three block to the central building and pick it up out of a bank of small boxes. This building was surrounded by tall Australian pine trees. As I walked up to get the mail one night in January, it was cool, the starts were out and as I approached the building there was a strong scent of pine trees in the air.
In an instant, I was transported to northern Wisconsin. I was in the pines around Lake Crystal and enjoying the star studding sky and the beauty of God's creation. When you get your resurrection body, you're going to be able to move around this universe, not at the speed of light, but at the speed of thought. There are two examples of this given to us in the NT. Do you remember the Apostle John writing towards the end of the 1st century. And he's taking his people back to the beginning in his gospel. And he's reminding them that these things actually happened. He was an eyewitness. He was there. He saw. He experienced. He heard. And he was remembering particularly the occasion recorded in John 6, when the Lord Jesus sent the multitudes away because they wanted to make Him the king. And that wasn't the time or the place for that to occur. He sent the disciples away for the same reason. He told them to get into a boat and row across the other side of the lake.
Well, then a storm came down upon them on the lake and the disciples were terrified. They knew that lake. They knew its storms and they knew they were in trouble. And they were being tossed like corks on the mountainous waves that had suddenly begun to arise all around them and they were in desperate fear. Then their fears were multiplied because, here was this ghostly figure, apparently walking on the waves. Their hair stood up on end. They thought it was a ghost. It turned out, however, to be Jesus. You remember Simon Peters little adventure of walking on the water. And then Jesus joined them in the boat. And then John says this in John 6:21, "Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land." They were half-way across the lake, 25 or 30 furlongs, John said, he knew that lake like the palm of his hand. They were about 3 ½ miles out in the lake, and then immediately, the ship was at the land. Jesus had annihilated distance.
There is another example of that in the book of Acts, chapter 8, where you remember the evangelist Phillip was called away from a tremendous revival that had broken out in Samaria and was sent down to the back side of the dessert, to met a man from Ethiopia, who was heading back home. A high placed official in the Ethiopian government, he had been up to Jerusalem. Evidently he was a Jewish proselyte, had brought a copy of the book of Isaiah, and was pouring through its pages, reading the Hebrew or perhaps the Greek edition. And as he was reading through that book, he becomes completely mystified. He doesn't have the slightest idea of what it is all about. And, you remember how Philip ran up to this man, riding in his chariot, and explained the Scripture and lead the man to Christ and then taught him the truth of believers baptism.
They saw an oasis in the dessert. They stopped the chariot and they both went down into the water. Philip baptized the Ethiopian Eunuch. And I can just see the man as he comes up from the water after being baptized. He's rubbing the water out of his eyes and he turns to say something to Philip. But, Philip is not there. I can see him in my mind as he asks the chariot driver, "Where's that preacher fellow?" "Well, I don't know sir. He was here just a second ago." "Well, find him, I want to talk to him." "Yes, sir." He looked under the chariot. Climbed up in the chariot and looked all around and could find no sign of Philip. He was there, and then suddenly, he was gone. Acts 8:39 says, that "the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip." And he uses the same word for "caught away" that the Holy Spirit uses to describe the rapture in 1 Thes. 4:17. He "caught away" Philip and they couldn't find him, because he was 20 or 30 miles away on the coastline headed north toward Caesarea. One minute he was there. The next second, he was gone. We're going to be able to do those kind of things one of these days. And we're going to have a body "fashioned like unto his glorious body." (Phil 3:21)
That's something to look forward to. A change of dimension. And then there is going to be a change in destiny.
III. A Change in Destiny
The Apostle Paul says in verse 42, "It [our body] is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption" Right now, you see, we have bodies that are destined for the grave. Not much we can do about it. In fact, there's nothing we can do about it. One day, we're going to have bodies that are destined for the glory. When the Apostle Paul wrote his letter to the Philippian believers, and he's in prison, anticipating death; wasn't quite sure if he was going to be executed or set free. If he was set free, he had his plans in place to go to Spain. I imagine, if you had looked at his itinerary, after Spain, he was planning to go over to the islands of Britain. Then across the Rhine into the Germanic tribes. He would have liked to have been set free. But, he said, as a matter of fact folks, I'd just as soon die. If I could have my own choice in the matter, I'd chose to die. "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." (Phil 1:21) How could he say that? I'd prefer to die!
Well you see, he had been caught up into the 3rd heaven on one occasion. And he had seen things that were untranslatable. He tells us himself about that experience in 2 Cor. 12. As a matter of fact, he said, I really don't know if I was in my body, or out of my body. It was so real. It was so solid. It was so substantial. I could taste it. I could feel it. I could hear it. I could see it. I could have been in the body. But, it was so different from anything I have ever experienced, there's no way I can describe it. Ever since that experience, Paul had a desire to depart from this life, to be with Christ, which he told his Philippian friends is "far better." (Phil 1:23) To depart and be with Christ. Go back to that lovely land of which he had caught just a passing glimpse on his pilgrim journey. Forever on after that he became an addict of heaven. That's exactly what the word "desire" means in the Greek. I have a "desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better." It's the usual word for lust in the NT, epithumia - it's translated "lust" about 30 times in the NT. He was lusting to go to heaven. He'd had a taste of glory and he wanted to go. It would be very nice to stay and evangelize a few more countries before I, but if I had my choice, I'd go right now. I have this desire, this lust to go to heaven. To depart and be with Christ.
Can you imagine those poor soldiers chained to Paul in the prison. (imagine the barracks talk - did he get you saved?) What could the devil do? Free Paul - he'd revolutionize the world. Jail Paul - he'd convert the army. Kill Paul - he would be promoted to heaven. Paul couldn't lose!
And the word that is translated "depart" in Phil. 1:23 "to depart and be with Christ," has the idea of weighing anchor, and setting sail for another shore. And also it carries with it the idea of not only going there, but coming back again. A change of destiny. A body destined for the grave, changed to a body that is destined for the glory. To be with Christ, he says, which is far better. And literally, the Greek would have it translated, far far far better. A change of destiny. But, then there's also going to be a change of dress.
IV. A Change of Dress
Paul tells us in verse 43, "It [our body] is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory." Whenever I think about that, I think about the caterpillar. Did you hear by the way of the great super bowl football game between the animals? The big animals were crushing little animals and at half time, the coach made a passionate speech to rally the little animals.
At the start of the second half the big animals had the ball. The first play, the elephant got stopped for no gain. The second play, the rhino was stopped for no gain. On third down, the hippo was thrown for a 5 yard loss.
The defense huddled around the coach and he asked excitedly, "Who stopped the elephant?" "I did" said the caterpillar.
"Who stopped the rhino?" "Uh, that was me too" said the caterpillar. "And how about the hippo? Who hit him for a 5 yard loss?"
"Well, that was me as well," said the caterpillar. "SO WHERE WERE YOU THE FIRST HALF?" demanded the coach. "Well" said the caterpillar, "I was having my ankles taped."
"It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory." I think about the caterpillar. Lowly little creature, crawling around on a lot of legs. Did you ever watch one of those little things making progress. They have a strange way of doing it. He puts down his front end and then lifts up his middle and walks his back end up to his front end. Makes a big arch in the middle and then moves his front end forward. Can you imagine the chiropractic nightmare he must be creating with all that spinal gyrating going on.
And I can see this little caterpillar, he lives out his life as a grub, crawling in the dust. I can see him, as he lifts his head and looks upward to the sky. I know exactly what the little fella must be thinking to himself. He's saying to himself, I wish I could fly. Oh, if only I had wings. If only I had wings, I'd soar upward to the sky. I catch the rising air currents. I'd wing my way from tree to tree, from flower to flower, from garden to garden. But, but, I'm only wretched little grub with a lot of legs, crawling up and down the trunks of trees. I am only a caterpillar. Then one day, he feels something over taking him, and he realizes that his days on earth as a caterpillar are finished. He builds himself a little coffin and crawls inside, and pulls down the lid and dies . To the only life it had every known. And there it lies in that little coffin, hanging to the underside of a tree. For all intents and purposes, he's dead. And then he feels a strange moving, and a change and an unheard voice rings through his being, and he emerges out of his little coffin and he's been changed. He goes in a caterpillar. But he comes out a butterfly. Mind you, it's exactly the same creature that comes out, that went in. But, it's been changes. It spreads its wings. It soars upwards to the sky in a blaze of color and beauty. It was sown in dishonor. It was raised in glory.
Now folks, let me tell you this. The God that can do that for a caterpillar, can surely do it for a Christian. There's going to be a change of dress. Then, there's going to be a change of disposition
V. A Change of Disposition
Verse 43, " it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power." Sown in weakness. I never think of that, without also thinking about Peter, James and John in Matt. 26. They'd been in the upper room for hours, and the Lord had been telling them about going on home. And they were so sad. They couldn't grasp anything he was talking about. They just knew that disaster lay ahead. And they came down the stairs from the upper room, scattered to the various parts of the city where they were lodging, and the Lord took with Him, Peter, James and John to the garden of Gethsemane. He said to these three friends of his. "Now look fellas, I'm going over there to pray. I want you to stay back here and pray." "My soul," He says "is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death." (Matt 26:38) He says that He's got this absolutely, unsupportable burden. It's Mark who tells us that Jesus was "very heavy." And the word that he uses in Mark 14:33 means that he was depressed . Very heavy.
Well, I never thought of the Lord Jesus as being depressed. He was always on top of every situation. But this this brought him right down. This enormous weight upon His soul. And he said to his disciples, "I'm going over there to pray." Luke 22:41, tells us, "And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed." A stones cast away. That was a significant expression, because that is how the Jews put people to death. It was the distance of death. He says, "I'm going over there to pray, you fellas stay back here and pray. Would you do that for me Peter?" "Yes, Lord." Would you do that for me John? "Yes, Lord." How about you James? "Yes, Lord." They meant it. Of course they did. They had every intention of staying awake.
But, they were worn out and they fell asleep. While He broke his heart. While he sweat great drops of blood falling down upon the ground. While He gazed into that dark and dreadful cup, filled to overflowing with unmentionable horror . Soon to be heaped upon him at the cross of Calvary. And he wept, and prayed. And three times, he came back and each time the disciples were sound asleep. They meant to do it, but as Jesus said in Matt 26:41, "the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Sown in weakness, raised in power.
One of these days, we're going to have a body of power. A body that will never grow old. That will never get tired. That will never get ill. That will never yield to lusts. That will never stumble or fall. A body of power. Like unto His glorious body . Do you remember that after the Lord Jesus had spent those three days and those three nights in the nether region, He came back from the dead. But he did a very significant thing on His way back from the nether region. He stopped by the tomb, to pick up His body. You see, that body was part of him. Forever and ever. He will always, now have that body of his, bearing the marks of Calvary, gloriously changed, but still his body, recognizable with the prints of the nails in His hands. So he stopped by the tomb to pick up His body. It was an important part of Him.
I don't know what He did all day, but towards the evening, he decided to pop in on the disciples. And, I can see Him in my minds eye, as he stands there at the foot of the stairs on the outside of that house, that lead up to the upper room. And He's saying to himself, something like this. "I wonder. I wonder what I should do?" "I wonder if I should just go up and knock on the door?" . Naw. That would scare the disciples to death. They'd think it was the Sanhedrin police coming to take them away. Besides, Peter's probably already got the piano shoved up against the door. I won't scare them like that. I'll just come in through the walls . And that's what he did.
I don't know how it did it. But, I know he did. And I know that someday, I'll be able to do it. I remember being taught elementary science in school. I learned that the world was made up of atoms and that atoms themselves were made up mostly of empty space. I never could figure it out. But, that's what my teachers said. It lead to the atomic age, so there must be something to it. Atoms are mostly empty space. So maybe Jesus took the empty space of the atoms of his body and passed it through the empty space of the atoms of the wall, or something like that. But could you imagine being the disciples. Here he comes walking through the wall, and they sit there staring at him. And they begin to get this creeping feeling up and down their spine, and their hair stands up on end.
Then Jesus says, "Peace be unto you." (Lu. 24:36). Yeah, right "37 But they were terrified and frightened and supposed that they had seen a spirit." He says, "It's me. It's me Peter. It's me John. Touch me. "39 Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have." Come on, put your hands in the print of the nail. They still aren't convinced. So he sat down and said give me something to eat. "42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and an honeycomb." And having demonstrated to them that he had a body that could partake of a meal Now, that's an interesting concept also isn't it for eternity. No more sweat about red meats, or salt or cholesterol, or fat cells, or grease. Bring it on, even so, come Lord Jesus He had a body that could pass through a solid wall; in which he could sit down and eat a meal and then he just disappear. We're going to have a body like that one of these days.
Now I know of course that the angels of God can never be jealous. It is not in their nature to be jealous. But, if it could be possible for an angel to be jealous, I know what they'd be jealous of. There you go, walking down hallelujah highway, over across Beulah boulevard, on your way back home down Glory street, and you walk right past Michael and Gabriel. And they see you go walking by. And as they see you disappear around the corner, Gabriel turns to Michael and he says, "I say, Michael . I wish I had a body like his . It's just like His."
Folks, that's why the Devil hates your body and wants to scar it with alcohol, drugs, smoking and venereal diseases . It reminds him of Jesus. Don't let that happen.
A Change of disposition. "Sown in weakness, raised in power." Then Paul says in verse 44, "It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body." There will be a change in dynamics.
VI. A Change in Dynamics
Sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body. You something that used to bother me for years? It says in the Bible that the Lord Jesus is the first born from the dead (Col. 1:18). But, I could remember that he wasn't the one who came back from the dead first, was he? Go back to the OT and Elijah raised one, and Elisha, with a double portion of Elijah's spirit upon him, raised two. And in the NT, Jesus raised three. So that makes six. So Jesus was number seven. How can number seven, be number one? And that used to bother me.
Do know how number seven can be number one? All those others, the one Elijah raised from the dead, and the two that Elisha brought back to life, and the three Jesus raised from the dead they were all sown a natural body and they were all raised a natural body. So they died again. No wonder Jesus wept at the tomb of Lazarus. He wept because He was man, he could feel the heart ache of Martha and Mary. And he just sat down and wept tears over it . knowing full well what He was going to do 5 minutes later. He wept for Martha and Mary. But, he also wept for Lazarus. He could see where Lazarus was. He could, but they couldn't. And there's Lazarus, he's just been introduced to several of the folks in heaven. He's just gotten his new harp and he just taking his place in the celestial choir and he's just getting tuned up and getting the hang of things in heaven and then somebody comes along and says, "The Master has come calling for you."
He had to give back his harp. He had to hang up his celestial robes and step out of the choir. He had to come back down and crawl back into those rotting grave clothes and lie back down in that tomb. No wonder Jesus wept for him. The poor fellow was going have to die all over again. He was sown a natural body; and he was raised a natural body and then he was going to have to die again in a natural body. We are going to be sown a natural body, but we are going to be raised a spiritual body.
Scientist who study and map the human brain indicate that on the average people do not use more than 2 - 10% of their human capacity. Imagine that. Not even Einstein, Shakespeare, Beethoven, or Hawking. Nobody has used more than 2% of their mental capacities. What's the other 98% for? Well, I believe that if Adam hadn't sinned, that we would have used all 100% of our mental capacities. If Adam hadn't sinned, he would have begun by ruling the garden, and then he would have ruled the globe and then he would have ruled the galaxy. He had the mental capacity for it. All spoiled by sin. But, when we get our resurrection bodies, we are going to be able to use all of the unsuspected, untapped resources which God built into the human brain, when he fashioned it with His omniscient genius from the dust of the earth. There going to be a change. A change of dynamic. And then there'll be a change of durability.
VII. A Change of Durability
Paul says in verse 53, "this mortal must put on immortality." In the Dawn of time, man lived nearly a millennium. He was engineered that way. But man sinned, an then death caught up and they died. So we are stuck with disease and decaying bodies. A fella went to his doctor, he was feeling just terrible. "I can't find a cause for your illness," the doctor said. "Frankly, I think it's due to drinking." "In that case," replied the patient, "I'll come back when you're sober." There's going to be a change in durability.
We're going to live forever in a land of eternal fadeless day, where they pave their streets with gold, where they build their walls with jasper and make their gates with pearls. And we shall outlast all the suns and stars of space. We shall live on and on beyond the reach of death, in a tumult of joy indescribable and full of glory. And last of all, there going to be a change of dynasty.
VIII. A Change of Dynasty
"47 The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly." Now, we need to pause here for a minute and go back to the garden of Eden. To the day when God created not only the animals, but then also created man in His own image and in His own likeness.
Now when God created the animals, he gave each animal a body. A body that is engineered and suited for their particular function on this planet. He gave them a body. And then, with the higher animals anyway, He gave them a soul. We have three cats in our house. They most certainly have something more than the lower caste animals, they have all kinds of personality. Our cats are very intelligent. They understand everything I say to them. They don't do anything about it, but I'm sure they understand much of it.
Those of you who have dogs, can they understand you? You say "Bad dog" what happens? How about, "Let's go for a walk? Or Ride?" "How about a bath?" There is a "soul" and sense of intelligence in the higher animals. I heard about a psychologist who was selling a video that teaches you how to test your dog's IQ. Here's how it works: if you spend $12.99 for the video, your dog is smarter than you.
Dolphins exhibit some basic communication and intelligence. Did you know that dolphins are so intelligent that within only a few weeks of captivity, they can train humans to stand at the edge of the pool and throw them fish?
Dogs think. A dog thinks: Hey, these people I live with feed me, love me, provide me with a nice warm, dry house, pet me, and take good care of me... They must be Gods!
A cat thinks: Hey, these people I live with feed me, love me, provide me with a nice warm, dry house, pet me, and take good care of me... I must be a God!
An animal has a body and it has a soul. And then what God did for the animals, is He gave each animal a controlling principle. And He locked each particular animal into a behavior cycle. Locked into a behavior pattern that we often refer to as a basic instinct. It does what it does, because it is what it is. It's an animal. Little baby bees born into the hive, quickly learn to behave. They do things that bees do. You don't have to send a baby bee off to architectural college to learn how to build a hive and how to set the whole thing at a certain angle to the sun. It knows how to do that. It's a bee. It does what bees do.
You don't have to say to a little baby salmon going down the great western rivers into the Pacific Ocean, "Stop by the navigation school, because you'll have to be taught how to find your way back to this river and back to your birth place." You don't have teach a baby salmon that. It does what it does, because it is what it is. It's a salmon.
Now when God made man, He didn't do that. Now He gave us a body, which in many ways is similar to an animals body. And, He gave us a soul, infinitely superior to the soul or mental component of an animal. The ability to think and create and to feel and to decide. And since the fall, the ability to know right from wrong. But, then having given us a body and a soul, he could have locked us into a behavior pattern like an animal. And, we could have been so locked into a behavior pattern so that we would always do things that pleased the Father, because that's the way we were made. We were made to do that kind of thing. But, God didn't do that. It seems to me that if God had done that, He wouldn't have had people, he'd of had puppets. And He didn't want puppets. He wanted people. So He gave us a body and He gave us a soul and then instead of locking us into a behavior pattern, He gave us something He didn't give to an animal. He gave us a spirit.
And the whole genius behind the creation of man in the image and likeness of God was simply this: that man was made to be inhabited by God. And the whole idea was that the Holy Spirit would come and inhabit the human spirit. His Spirit bearing record with our spirit (Rom 8:16), Our spirit being controlled by His Spirit (Eph. 5:18) in total harmony with God's design. And the human spirit would work in cooperation with the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit and the human spirit working in close harmony together, would control the thoughts, the emotions and the will. And by being in communion with the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit indwelling the human spirit, we would always do those things that pleased the Father. And then sin entered. Man in sin is not what God intended at all.
Man in sin has a body. He has a soul. But, he has a spirit a vacant spirit no indwelling Holy Spirit. In this condition, man is incapable of behaving himself - there is no governing principle that is adequate for his personality. It means he's lost. Sometimes, people control their lives through their intellect. Sometimes they control their lives through their emotions. Sometimes they control their lives through their wills. Sometimes they control their lives through their senses. Or, sometimes it's a combination of the above. But, they're lost. That's why Jesus said to Nicodemus, "ye must be born again." John 3:6-7, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." You were born all wrong the first time. You need to born again.
And the genius of the Gospel is simply this. That, when a person comes to Christ, the blood of Jesus Christ, God's son, cleanses him from all sin, and the Holy Spirit comes back into the human spirit. And you begin a life of cooperation, the human spirit and the Holy Spirit, controlling the intellect, the emotions, the senses, so that stumbling as first, but with ever improving step, you walk with God.
There's one flaw however in that process. We still have these old bodies of ours. And they let us down. Our body has not yet been redeemed Paul says, but it will be. And when Jesus comes, the body, the soul, the spirit . We will be man, woman, boy, girl just as God intended us to be. Beam me up Scotty. Even so, come Lord Jesus.
Dr. Kent (Doc) Haralson
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