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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Eternal Life, #4
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. (I Corinthians 15:21-23)
The promise is that through Christ we will receive everlasting life, meaning that our bodies will be redeemed and we will be enabled to live once again on the earth.
The message of Easter is not that Christ's Spirit was raised from the dead. The physical body of Jesus—His flesh and bones—walked out of the cave of Joseph of Arimathea. Christ arose physically. Christ came in the flesh and was raised from the dead in the flesh. This is the marvelous, incomparable hope of the Christian faith.
But is it true that the death of Adam was physical?—that the hope of the Christian Gospel is the redeeming of the material creation?
Notice carefully the following passage:
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is [physical] death. (I Corinthians 15:26)
It is obvious that the above passage (I Corinthians 5:21-23) is referring to physical death. We who belong to Christ shall be made alive at His coming; not made alive spiritually, for that already has taken place. We shall be made alive physically. The expression "in Adam all die" means that all die physically.
Now, let us consider the true scriptural orientation to John 3:16, to the promise that whoever believes in Christ will not perish but have everlasting life. Is the verse directed toward our living in Heaven in the spirit realm or is it oriented toward living forever on the earth in the material realm?
The eternal spiritual life that Christ is, is in our spirit now if we are abiding in Him. Our hope is that one day eternal life will enter our mortal body and raise it from the dead. This is the Christian Gospel, the Gospel of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The redeeming of our mortal body is not a secondary issue of the Christian redemption, it is a central issue—perhaps the central issue.
The world is dead spiritually and physically because of sin. Christ has come to save the world by giving it access to the tree of life. The Scriptures are not directed toward establishing mankind in Heaven, they are concerned with redeeming man's original and eventual home, which is the earth.
The true home of the saints, our native land, is wherever Christ is. The reason our native land is in Heaven today is that Jesus is there. When the Lord Jesus returns to the earth, which is His inheritance from the Father and therefore our inheritance, our home will be in the earth.
Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen [nations] for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. (Psalms 2:8)
But in order to inherit the earth we must possess—as Jesus does—a material body.
The resurrection from the dead does not bring us to Heaven. Physical death does bring us to Heaven if our spirit is acceptable to God. The purpose of the resurrection from the dead is to enable us once more to live on the earth.
To be continued.