What did you learn from last week’s sermon, “With What Kind of Body?”?
Q1: When Paul said, “You fool,” was he saying that the person was an idiot?
Q2: Of those asking questions, who were the “learners” that never came to the knowledge of the truth?
Q3: Who determines what our resurrected bodies will look like?
Q4: What color will our clothes be in Heaven?
Q5: Paul uses the animals and stars to illustrate God’s variety in making bodies (earthly & spiritual). What does he use to demonstrate that death always precedes resurrected life?
Q6: What limitless things will you have once you are resurrected?
Q7: How many days did Christ stay on the earth, after His resurrection, and in His resurrected body?
Q8: Will we recognize (on some level) other believers that we knew when we get to Heaven?
Sermon Summary & Answers
Paul has been dealing with the subject of believers’ resurrection in chapter 15. He now comes to an interesting question from skeptics, masquerading as believers (learners never coming to the knowledge of the truth) and some who are just confused. They have asked how the dead are raised and with what kind of body do they have? It is a reasonable question to ask, given that we know a body decays. Verse 36 starts with “You fool.” He most likely wasn’t saying the person was an idiot. He most likely meant to imply, “why don’t you just think.” He wants us to see the obvious. Paul fleshes this idea out in Romans 1:19.
Paul tries to answer their question by first asking them to consider what they already know happens all around them, all the time. He uses the example of a seed having to first die to be birthed into a living plant. He points out that death is not necessarily a barrier to life on the other side for the plant or the believer. The plant actually highlights the fact that death must happen before true life begins. So, death is an essential element of resurrection. Just as each plant, flower, and fruit are different, so will our resurrected bodies be. God determines the body that the resurrected plant will wear.
Paul’s second illustration is that of animals and the innumerable variety of fleshly bodies. Here again, we have a seed that starts it all. It dies and produces a unique being that is never duplicated precisely in all of time. Death creating new life all around us. Variety is also seen in the unknown depth of stars all around our planet. No two are ever alike, each having its own expressive glory.
Paul then applies these three examples (plants, animals, stars) and tells us to consider our believer’s death. We, too, will die and be raised into new life. Nowhere else in the Bible are we given as much detail about our resurrected bodies. Revelation 3:5 only tells us that we will be clothed in white garments. It might not be much information, but Pastor Wilson reminds us that it is “sufficient” for our understanding.
Paul tells us that our bodies have a shelf life. We are made to be perishable. Job chapter 14 also points out that we are “short-lived,” our lives are pure turmoil, and we have a use-by-date. Job speaks of his future resurrection as his “change.” Our bodies are made natural and earthy, for down here and are made spiritual for up there. It is now an imperishable body. Paul says his earthly body is “sown in dishonor, but raised in glory” This simply means that you no longer have any rights when you die. Your opinion and station no longer mean anything. Then you are raised up in glory with limitless rights, freedom, power, and possibilities. God eagerly awaits this glory for us.
Paul then goes on to illustrate how the first Adam was natural and fleshly. Christ, the second Adam, was heavenly or spiritual who took on a fleshly body. The spiritual Adam was not first. No, the natural/earthy Adam came first, then the spiritual. Paul says we are the same. First the natural, then the spiritual. The natural is all that we can see, but it is not all that we can believe. Again, Romans 1 says we can know the spiritual (God) by his vast, intricately complicated creation. Someday, the natural (earth) will also pass away, and all that will be left is the spiritual (Heaven and hell). This is a noticeable pattern that hums loudly and repeats ad Infinitum until Christ comes again.
So let’s look to the last Adam to see what our resurrected bodies will look like. Christ stayed on earth for 40 days in His resurrected body. We see that people (including disciples) did not always recognize Him. Sometimes it was when He spoke that they realized who it was; possibly it was the words He used or the way He spoke. Others were suddenly made aware, like the men He broke bread with in Emmaus. Thomas recognized Him when he saw the scars. There was continuity, but also discontinuity. So, from these small glimpses into the resurrected body of Christ we learn of the amazing reality of our own resurrection and what it will be like, because the Bible says we will be like Him. That’s exciting!
Lastly, Paul tells us that those alive when Christ comes will not physically die but that they will also have to have their bodies changed.
- No probably not
- Skeptics, masquerading as believers
- A seed
- Limitless rights, freedom, power, and possibilities
- 40 days
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