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The Daily Word of Righteousness
Eternal Life, #5
For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: (Job 19:25,26)
How wonderful to realize that the Lord Jesus Christ shall return to earth and redeem the material creation!
The purpose of any redemption is to return to the original or rightful owner that which had been taken from him by cunning, or forfeiture, or force. The earth and our bodies have been taken from us by cunning. The Lord Jesus has come from Heaven, not to give us a new home in Heaven (which would be to confirm Satan's success in robbing us of our material inheritance) but to redeem us to God and to redeem the creation to us.
But, one will object, did not Jesus state He has gone to prepare a place for us in Heaven?
No, He did not. He said He has gone to prepare a place for us in the Father's house.
The Father's house is Christ—Head and Body, the eternal Tabernacle of God, the Wife of the Lamb, the new Jerusalem. When the new Jerusalem has been perfected it will be established forever on the new earth. The new Jerusalem is the kingdom coming from Heaven, the kingdom that will govern the nations of the saved forever.
When Paul says, "by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead," he is teaching that the death that came upon Adam and Eve, the penalty for disobedience, was physical death.
The subject of the fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians is the resurrection of our material body from the dead. When Paul states, in First Corinthians 15:21, that by man (Christ) came also the resurrection of the dead, he is referring to the bodily resurrection of Christ and the saints—for that is the topic under discussion in the chapter.
Paul taught that bodily death came by Adam's sin, and bodily resurrection came through Christ's righteousness.
In the Scriptures God talks plainly about the body of man, and that is where our interests are also although one might not think so from our theological discussions.
Notice that God spoke plainly and directly concerning Adam's body, not about what we might refer to as his "Divine, immortal spirit":
. . . for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. (Genesis 3:19)
The curse did not fall primarily on the spirits of Adam and Eve but on their bodies. "In sorrow thou shalt bring forth children"; "thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee"; "in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life"; "in the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return to the ground"; "for out of it wast thou taken;"—all refers to their bodies.
When God said you He seemed to ignore the fact that they were spiritual as well as physical creatures. "You are dust," God declared. "You were taken from the ground and you shall return to the ground."
So "by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead" is speaking primarily of the redemption of our mortal bodies, not of our spirits. It is the insidious influence of other philosophies, perhaps primarily Gnosticism, that has caused Christian thinking to stress the spiritual at the expense of the material.
To be continued.