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Introduction

All four of the gospels – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – contain accounts of the resurrection of Jesus. Basically, after Jesus had been in the grave for three days, God resurrected Jesus – that is, God brought Jesus back to life. According to the apostle Paul, that resurrection is the entire basis of our faith. (See 1 Corinthians 15:12-19.)

Since the resurrection is such an important concept, I’d like to explore two items about it in more detail.


Is Jesus currently a human being, or a spirit being?

First of all, when God resurrected Jesus, what kind of “being” did Jesus become? In other words, did Jesus remain a human being – or did he become a spirit being – after his resurrection?

There are a number of verses that are used to support both views. However, here are the two most explicit verses that I have found, which appear to address this question:

1 Timothy 2:5 (ESV):

5For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

1 Corinthians 15:45 (ESV):

45Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

The first verse definitely appears to state that Jesus is currently a human being – because Paul wrote that verse after Jesus had been resurrected. However, the second verse – which was also written by Paul – definitely appears to state that Jesus is currently a spirit being.

As a result, it appears that Scripture “contradicts” itself here. Needless to say, I do not believe that Scripture ever contradicts itself. So, is there some way that we can “reconcile” this apparent contradiction?

Here is the way that I reconcile the above two verses. (Of course, I could be wrong.)

First off, Paul tells us that there are two “types” of bodies – “natural” bodies, and “spiritual” bodies:

1 Corinthians 15:42-44 (ESV):

42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

Paul also tells us that when Jesus returns, he will transform our “lowly” bodies, so that they will become like his “glorious” body:

Philippians 3:20-21 (ESV):

20But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, 21who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself.

I understand three key points from the above passages:

– “natural” bodies and “lowly” bodies are synonyms;

– “spiritual” bodies and “glorious” bodies are synonyms;

– When Jesus returns, he will transform our “lowly” (or “natural”) bodies, to become like his “glorious” (or “spiritual”) body.

The above points tell me that Jesus currently has a spiritual body – and when he returns, he will give us spiritual bodies as well.

The reason why this is important is because it seems to “resolve” the apparent contradiction I listed above. Basically, from this information, I have come to the following conclusion:

“When Jesus was originally born on the earth, he was a man who had a natural body. When God resurrected Jesus, Jesus became a man who has a spiritual body.”

In my mind, the above conclusion appears to reconcile 1 Timothy 2:5 and 1 Corinthians 15:45. Basically, 1 Timothy 2:5 states that Jesus is currently a man – which he is. 1 Corinthians 15:45 states that Jesus became a life-giving spirit – which refers to the fact that Jesus currently has a spiritual body.

Assuming that the above conclusion is true – that Jesus is currently a man who has a spiritual body – that causes another question to arise:


What, exactly, is a “spiritual body”?

Everyone is quite familiar with natural bodies, of course – because all of us currently have natural bodies. However, some of us may wonder, “What are the characteristics of a spiritual body?” In other words, what are the exact “specifics” of spiritual bodies?

Unfortunately, Scripture does not give us all of the “details” about spiritual bodies. In fact, the apostle John appears to explicitly state that he does not know what our spiritual bodies will be like:

1 John 3:2 (NIV):

2Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

It looks to me like John is saying the following: “When Jesus returns, we will have bodies like the one that he has now – but I do not know the exact ‘specifics’ about that kind of body.”

So, if even the apostle John does not know all of the details about spiritual bodies, then it seems likely that we will not know that information, either – until Jesus returns, of course.

Nevertheless, there are a few items that Scripture does tell us about spiritual bodies. First off, one of the passages listed above – 1 Corinthians 15:42-44 – gives us a “comparison” between natural bodies and spiritual bodies. From that passage, it appears the following items are true:

– Natural bodies are “perishable” (mortal); while spiritual bodies are “imperishable” (immortal).

– Natural bodies are “dishonorable”; while spiritual bodies are “glorious”. I assume this means that natural bodies are prone to sin, but spiritual bodies are not.

– Natural bodies are “weak”, while spiritual bodies are “powerful”. This may mean that natural bodies are vulnerable to injuries, diseases, etc; but spiritual bodies are not. There is another possible meaning to this particular comparison, though – and that meaning will be described in more detail later in this post.

Another item to note is that Scripture makes some very explicit statements about blood. Basically, Scripture states that the very life of humans – and of animals – is in the blood:

Genesis 9:4 (ESV):

3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. 4But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.

Leviticus 17:11 (ESV):

11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it for you on the altar to make atonement for your souls, for it is the blood that makes atonement by the life.

Deuteronomy 12:23 (ESV):

23 Only be sure that you do not eat the blood, for the blood is the life, and you shall not eat the life with the flesh.

In addition, a common Scriptural idiom for a person is “flesh and blood”. In other words, that idiom is used to describe people who have natural bodies. For example:

Matthew 16:17 (ESV):

And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.

1 Corinthians 15:50 (ESV):

I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Ephesians 6:12 (ESV):

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

However, take a look at what Jesus said to his disciples, after his resurrection:

Luke 24:39 (ESV):

See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”

Notice – Jesus explicitly avoids using the normal idiom of “flesh and blood”. Instead, he refers to himself as having flesh and bones, after his resurrection.

As noted above, Scripture states that the life of a “natural” body is in its blood. Since Jesus goes out of his way to avoid using the normal “flesh and blood” idiom to describe himself, that seems to indicate that Jesus’ life is not maintained by blood any longer.

Also, take a look at this passage from the apostle Peter:

2 Peter 1:3-4 (ESV):

3His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, 4by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire.

What does Peter mean, when he says that we will become “partakers of the divine nature”? Well, since the Holy Spirit is God’s own presence and power, he presumably means that we will have Holy Spirit “within” our bodies in some way. The prophet Ezekiel appears to agree with that assessment:

Ezekiel 37:14 (ESV):

14And I will put my Spirit within you, and you shall live, and I will place you in your own land. Then you shall know that I am the LORD; I have spoken, and I will do it, declares the LORD.”

So, this may explain why Paul describes spiritual bodies as “powerful” – and natural bodies as “weak”.

Overall, given all of the above information, I will make the following assertion:

“Jesus still has a physical body – because he still refers to himself as having flesh and bones. However, Jesus’ body is not kept alive by blood any longer – instead, his body is now kept alive by Holy Spirit.”

To put it another way, it seems that the following is true:

“Natural bodies and spiritual bodies both have physical forms. However, natural bodies remain alive by blood flowing through them – while spiritual bodies remain alive by Holy Spirit ‘flowing’ through them”

If the above assertion is true, then the term “spiritual body” makes a lot of sense… What do all of you think?

22 Responses to “Natural Bodies vs. Spiritual Bodies”

  1. on 26 Jul 2010 at 2:01 pmDavid

    Right now, I’d have to agree with the last statement… that a spiritual body is the same as the physical body, however this body has the Holy Spirit flowing through it, healing it, regenerating it, and keeping it perfect.

  2. on 26 Jul 2010 at 4:17 pmrobert

    “Natural bodies and spiritual bodies both have physical forms. However, natural bodies remain alive by blood flowing through them – while spiritual bodies remain alive by Holy Spirit ‘flowing’ through them”

    Brian
    that is exactly how Rev 5 descibes it.
    Jesus is still shown to be indwelled by the Holy Spirit.
    If he had been changed completely he wouldnt need the Holy Spirit.

    Revelation 5
    6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

  3. on 26 Jul 2010 at 10:16 pmRandy

    Great teaching. Really makes sense answers a lot of questions as what type of body Jesus had after his resurrection and what kind of body we can expect to have in “that day.”

  4. on 26 Jul 2010 at 10:57 pmRay

    I Cor 15:45
    And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

    Let’s consider that Adam was more than a living soul, but also let’s consider that the living soul part of Adam was the best part of him
    for thereby he communed with God.

    It was the breath of God that gave Adam this life and this ability to worship God and communicate with him. Should a soul not have this life that is of God, he would be dead even as he lives.

    I wonder how many there are that are in this condition today.

    It seems to me that through sin Adam lost some of the livelyhood of his soul. Jesus came to restore that to fallen man.

    I Cor 15:45 says that Jesus was made a quickening spirit. I suppose I can consider that to be the best part of him. I might at times consider that part of him to be of the highest order or value, though all of Jesus is important, just as all of Adam was important also.

    One thing I’ve considered is how connected the soul of Jesus was and is to the holy spirit of God. Were and are they not one?

    I Cor 6:17

  5. on 27 Jul 2010 at 7:42 amMichael

    1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.

    Brian writes-The first verse definitely appears to state that Jesus is currently a human being – because Paul wrote that verse after Jesus had been resurrected

    Response…The most quoted verse of scripture for those that believe Jesus is a human being after the resurrection is followed by the most unquoted verse of scripture that puts 1Timothy 2:5 into context, 1Timothy 2:6 Who gave himself a ransom for all…

    It was Jesus before the resurrection that gave himself as a ransom for all and it was Jesus before the resurrection that became mediator of the New Testament.

    Hebrews 9:15 And for this cause he is the mediator of the New Testament, that by means of death,

    Paul who received his apostleship from Jesus and God claimed that he did not receive it from a human being but that he received it from the resurrected Jesus.

    Galatians 1:1 Paul, an apostle, not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;

  6. on 04 Jul 2012 at 12:09 pmMike

    1 John 3:2 (NIV):

    2Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

    It looks to me like John is saying the following: “When Jesus returns, we will have bodies like the one that he has now

    There has been much debate in my mind over this verse and 1 John 2 and 3 as a whole. John talks much about God and Christ, but also frequently uses the pronouns “he” and “him” and I have difficulty determining who he is speaking about at any given time. Is John here saying, as you suggest, that we will be like Jesus? He appears to be speaking about God. That when God appears, we will be like Him for we will see Him as He is.

    I admit to being confused about God’s appearing. While I believe that Jesus will return and usher in a time of peace and healing, in what way are we to understand God’s appearing? Will we see Him with our eyes sitting on a throne, or will we “see” Him in Jesus (If you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father)?

    I am presently trying to answer a Oneness argument that compares John 14:3 with 1 John 3:1-2, thus questioning who is the coming one, Jesus, God, or both.

  7. on 04 Jul 2012 at 3:45 pmWolfgang

    Brian,

    To put it another way, it seems that the following is true:

    “Natural bodies and spiritual bodies both have physical forms. However, natural bodies remain alive by blood flowing through them – while spiritual bodies remain alive by Holy Spirit ‘flowing’ through them”

    If the above assertion is true, then the term “spiritual body” makes a lot of sense… What do all of you think?

    it seems to me that the above assertion is not true … and the term “spiritual body” as defined by this assertion does not make sense to me.
    These are my thoughts in answer to your question.

  8. on 04 Jul 2012 at 3:48 pmWolfgang

    Robert,

    “Natural bodies and spiritual bodies both have physical forms. However, natural bodies remain alive by blood flowing through them – while spiritual bodies remain alive by Holy Spirit ‘flowing’ through them”

    Brian
    that is exactly how Rev 5 descibes it.
    Jesus is still shown to be indwelled by the Holy Spirit.
    If he had been changed completely he wouldnt need the Holy Spirit.

    Revelation 5
    6 And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth.

    hmn … are you implying or saying that (in light of Brian’s assertion which you quoted at the beginning of your post) the physical form of Jesus’ “spiritual body” was that of a lamb with seven horns and seven eyes?

  9. on 04 Jul 2012 at 3:56 pmWolfgang

    Brian, and all

    is a physical body visible? IF so, why do the gospel records which tell about the time after Jesus’ resurrection indicate and strongly imply that Jesus in his “spiritual body” was actually invisible and did not live in a physical body as before and only became visible when he “showed himself” / when “he appeared” ?

    I’ve read people claim that what they understand to have been Jesus’ spiritual body after the resurrection could enter rooms through walls, seeing that the doors were locked, etc ….. how can one physical body move through another physical body (such as a wall)? are those people thinking along the lines of “Copperfield magic” who in his natural physical body supposedly “walked / passed through” the Great Chinese wall ?

  10. on 04 Jul 2012 at 5:00 pmSarah

    Wolfgang,

    is a physical body visible? IF so, why do the gospel records which tell about the time after Jesus’ resurrection indicate and strongly imply that Jesus in his “spiritual body” was actually invisible and did not live in a physical body as before and only became visible when he “showed himself” / when “he appeared” ?

    The gospel record records Jesus himself plainly stating he had flesh and bone after his resurrection. If words are to have any legitimate meaning, then his body was physical. When you start connecting his visibility or invisibility with his physicality, you’re headed down the road of Greek metaphysics.

    The OT talks about striking unbelievers with blindness on many occasions. A house full of people was hidden from sight in the story of Lot. And then there is the story of Elijah himself being taken to heaven, where he was hidden from sight. The scriptural context shows us that God, by his spirit, can hide or reveal physical things from the sight of others as he so chooses. Since Jesus possesses the fullness of the Spirit, he is certainly able to hide or reveal himself by means of the Spirit. This does not require him to possess a non-physical body.

  11. on 04 Jul 2012 at 6:14 pmSarah

    Mike,

    Will we see Him with our eyes sitting on a throne, or will we “see” Him in Jesus (If you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father)?

    Good question. I’ve been wondering this one too.

  12. on 04 Jul 2012 at 10:14 pmtimothy

    Hello Mike,

    you write:
    will we “see” Him in Jesus (If you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father)?

    I have always thought that means that Jesus was always being like GOD. Always agapao love of GOD to be seen by his actions, etc..

    We are commanded to do the same, by imitating Jesus Christ, who we see by reading about him in GODs word. We are also commanded to imitate the Apostle Paul whose actions are seen by reading.

    These verses imply being like GOD:like Christ:like Paul(or an example of a believer talking the talk and walking the walk)

    1 Corinthians 4: (nasb)
    16 Therefore I exhort you, be imitators of me.

    1 Corinthians 11:
    1 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.

    Ephesians 5:
    1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
    2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma.

    1 Thessalonians 1:
    6 You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,
    7 so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia.

    Hebrews 6:
    11 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope until the end,
    12 so that you will not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

    Jesus Christ has perfect fellowship with GOD, then and now. He did what GOD said to do, said what GOD showed him to say. He imitated GOD to 100 % and seeing him was like seeing GOD. We have the spiritual ability to do the same. How?

    Through teaching/instruction and practical application. A good way to start is by “renewing your mind”:

    http://lhim.org/resources/classes.php?id=24

    All of the above are *Helps* to be *Kingdom Ready* (KR):

    Timothy

  13. on 05 Jul 2012 at 1:08 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    The gospel record records Jesus himself plainly stating he had flesh and bone after his resurrection.

    The gospel records record that Jesus WHEN HE SHOWED HIMSELF in his physical body (which was the same body, he had previously, cp. the wounds used as proof!) was flesh and bone. The gospel records record just as plainly that Jesus did NOT have this visible “physical” body all the time … for if so, the situation would have been as before and the disciples should have recognized him immediately, he should not have been able to enter a locked room, etc.

    If words are to have any legitimate meaning, then his body was physical. When you start connecting his visibility or invisibility with his physicality, you’re headed down the road of Greek metaphysics.

    Words certainly do have legitimate meaning … but words are used in contexts! The legitimate meaning of “spiritual” includes as a major point “invisible” and “non-physical” … and that Jesus’ resurrection body was indeed a “spiritual body” (that is, non visible, non physical, etc.) is clear from what the post-resurrection records record and indicate in terms of things which are plainly impossible for a physical body.

    As far as Jesus having a physical body after his resurrection, those records are also plain and clear in stating that it was ONLY DURING certain special times when Jesus “SHOWED HIMSELF ALIVE after his passion” and his previous physical body with the wounds was one (perhaps the major one) “infallible proof”!

  14. on 05 Jul 2012 at 1:29 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    The scriptural context shows us that God, by his spirit, can hide or reveal physical things from the sight of others as he so chooses. Since Jesus possesses the fullness of the Spirit, he is certainly able to hide or reveal himself by means of the Spirit. This does not require him to possess a non-physical body.

    I see you equate Jesus in a sense with God … I suppose you then do the same with resurrected believers?
    With your idea here, it would seem that since physical bodies are normally visible, that after the resurrection Jesus only for a few occasions was doing the normal (be visible) and mostly the unusual (of hiding, making himself invisible)?

    I would say that the post-resurrection passages reveal just the opposite: namely, that the “normal state” of the resurrected Jesus was “invisible” and the “unusual state” was that of showing himself in his physical body with the wounds for the purpose of providing infallible proof.

    Also, what are we to make of the statement in 1Co 15:45 about Jesus being made a quickening spirit, contrasting him with the first Adam who was made a living soul ?

  15. on 05 Jul 2012 at 8:06 amtimothy

    Mike,

    For now…from you Post # 6…..

    Yes, I too see that we will have a resurrected body as Jesus Christ now has…..and as:

    1 John 3: (nasb)
    3 And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

    Fore now muse in your mind, *HOPE* too about the new resurrected body Christians will be with:

    1 Corinthians 15:
    51 Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed,
    52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised [r]imperishable, and we will be changed.
    53 For this [s]perishable must put on [t] the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.
    54 But when this [u]perishable will have put on [v]the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immorta……..
    [r] Lit incorruptible
    [s] Lit corruptible
    [t] Lit incorruption
    [u] Lit corruptible
    [v] Lit incorruption

    There is a paralleled thread going on here, that, I have already responded to. So:

    A}respond “do you wish that I repeat all my instruction(what I have learned *didaskalia*) on this doctrine ?

    B}respond to the post, recently made to you, on another, different thread(the resent post ‘index’ has left the post behind)

    In the meantime, patiently listen to this teaching given by our KR moderator *Sean Finnegan*:

    http://lhim.org/sunday/teaching_notes.php?id=426&mode=audio&page=0&find_me=

    Timothy….Daytona Beach 8)

  16. on 05 Jul 2012 at 8:52 amMike

    Timothy,

    Yes I have been following the related thread, although as you know I have tried to somewhat remove myself from the argument.

    Hello Mike,

    you write:
    will we “see” Him in Jesus (If you’ve seen me you’ve seen the Father)?

    I have always thought that means that Jesus was always being like GOD.

    I agree with your assesment of John 14:9. My question had to do with 1 John 3:2. At this point my hope remains for a future, physical return of Christ to the earth and a resurrection that will give me an incorruptible body just as He has.

    As for God Himself dwelling on the earth, it seems to me that in whatever way that He was present with Adam and Eve in the garden before their sin is how He will be present with us in eternity when sin has been removed. For now I will have to content myself with not knowing all of the details and logistics of that; whether or not we will actually see Him with our eyes etc.

    God bless.

  17. on 05 Jul 2012 at 11:49 amtimothy

    Mike,

    Thank you for responding so soon!

    I too want to remove my self from the argument. However I do not feel that I am arguing to win an argument.(not with you anyway) But to reconcile a brother from “being led and held captive”.

    2 Timothy 2:
    24 The Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged,
    25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth,

    26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will.

    Think about this(less supporting scriptural support examples, which are available):

    Two different types of believing and non believing.

    pistia=to believe

    Apistia=not to believe because has not heard

    and

    peithia=has heard and believes=persuaded

    Apeithia=has heard, but will not be(or refuses to be) persuaded

    It is available for you, mike, to be able to:

    Ephesians 3: (nasb) (this is a long sentence)
    14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,
    15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man,
    17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love,

    **18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,**

    19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

    W x L x H x D=4th dimension.(maybe this would be a spiritual vision)

    In the mean time I am watching again, right now, the links I have given to you for your “didaskalia” and mine.

    didaskalia=teaching, instruction, precepts and doctrine(used 21 times)

    Matt 15:9
    Mark 7:7
    Rom 12:7-15:4
    Eph 4:1
    Col 2:2
    1 Tim 1:10-4:1,6,13,16-5:17-6:1,3
    2 Tim 3:19,16-4:3
    Titus 1:9-2:1,7,10

    Timothy 😉

  18. on 05 Jul 2012 at 12:09 pmSarah

    Wolfgang,

    I see you equate Jesus in a sense with God … I suppose you then do the same with resurrected believers?

    You misunderstood me. My point is that Jesus has the fullness of the Holy Spirit. This would be the same Holy Spirit that hid Elijah in heaven, for example. Flesh and bone is an unmistakably clear statement , except perhaps when it becomes necessary to redefine it to suit one’s particular view.

    I’m weary of this debate, Wolfgang. It’s clear to me where you stand and frankly I need a break from the disagreement.

  19. on 05 Jul 2012 at 12:48 pmWolfgang

    Sarah

    Flesh and bone is an unmistakably clear statement , except perhaps when it becomes necessary to redefine it to suit one’s particular view.

    indeed, it is an unmistakably clear statement … especially so when read in context and in harmony with considering the overall picture we are given in the Scriptures about “resurrection” in general, and “Jesus’ resurrection” in particular.
    Just to clarify … I did NOT redefine “flesh and bone” but rather even mentioned context so as to provide for more accurate understanding of the topic at hand

  20. on 08 Jul 2012 at 1:48 amWolfgang

    Sarah,

    what do you make of the statement in 1Co 15:50 that there will need to be a change from a natural body to a spiritual body, one of the arguments being that “FLESH and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God”?

    What do you make of the rather emphatic use of “earthy” vs. “heavenly” as corresponding terms to “natural” and “spiritual” in the section about the “how the dead are raised” in 1Co 15:42-50?

  21. on 08 Jul 2012 at 10:33 pmSarah

    Wolfgang,

    what do you make of the statement in 1Co 15:50 that there will need to be a change from a natural body to a spiritual body, one of the arguments being that “FLESH and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God”?

    Yes, there will need to be a change. The question is what that change entails. You say it results in Christians becoming spirits that dwell in heaven. But I disagree with the idea that Paul is thinking in terms of physicality versus an immaterial state when he says flesh cannot inherit the kingdom. Paul refers to “the flesh” quite a bit throughout his works (e.g. Romans 8, Gal 2-3) and it is always shorthand for the sin nature, or in other words, the body as it exists under the curse. The very substance we’re made of is cursed via the fall, but at the appointed time the Holy Spirt will renew the physical bodies of believers. Consider:

    Ps 104:29 You hide Your face, they are dismayed; You take away their spirit, they expire and return to their dust.
    Ps 104:30 You send forth Your Spirit, they are created; And You renew the face of the ground.

    What do you make of the rather emphatic use of “earthy” vs. “heavenly” as corresponding terms to “natural” and “spiritual” in the section about the “how the dead are raised” in 1Co 15:42-50?

    Earthy/natural is the cursed flesh we inherited due to Adam’s fall. Heavenly/spiritual is the gift of the Holy Spirit sent from heaven to live in our bodies. Those who are led by the Spirit in life will be raised by the Spirit after death, at which time the Spirit will dwell permanently within the temple of their resurrected flesh. Thus resurrected bodies are “spiritual” or “heavenly”  bodies. We don’t go to heaven, but rather, in a sense heaven comes to us via the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. 

  22. on 07 Jun 2013 at 2:57 amJoy

    This makes perfect sense…it appears that to overcome sin in the flesh,the physical body must change to spiritual body (Hebrews2:14)

  

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