"But now Christ is risen from the dead and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep" (I Cor. 15:20).
Resurrection is the heart and soul of the Christian faith. For without the resurrection of Christ, we would have no hope of salvation (I Cor. 15:17). Paul said, "For we know that if our house of this tent upon the earth should be loosed from us, we have a building out of God, a house not made by hands, eternal in the heavens" (II Cor. 5:1). Paul uses skin or tent to refer to our earthly, physical body in this passage. There are some that attempt to spiritualize the word resurrection. The word resurrection in the Greek text clearly defines a bodily resurrection. The Greek word for resurrection is anastasis which literally means a standing up again. Spirits don't stand up or again stand up. Souls don't stand up or again stand up. However, bodies certainly do stand up and can stand up again. Even though, our new heavenly bodies or spiritual bodies are not made by man or substance of this world, God considers our body rising or standing up again – or a bodily resurrection. Resurrection in scripture always pertains to a bodily resurrection (I Cor. 15:35-44). Lazarus was bodily raised by Jesus (John 11:43,44). Christ was bodily raised and seen by many (I Cor. 15:3-6).
Paul clearly tells us that our temporal body is corruptible, but it is raised again as an incorruptible body (I Cor. 15:22). Paul also tells us that it is sown as a natural body but is raised as a spiritual body (I Cor. 15:44). There may be dishonor and weakness in these old bodies of flesh out of this earth. However, our heavenly body will be raised incorruptible and exchanged into glory and power (I Cor. 15:42,43). The eternal body comes from God, and is made from eternal and heavenly counterparts (II Cor. 5:1; I Cor. 15:42-44). Paul tells us we desire to be clothed with our eternal body (II Cor. 5:2). Mortality is swallowed-up or exchanged by life (II Cor. 5:4). One split second following death, we will receive our glorified body. For "to be absent from the body," is "to be present with the Lord" (II Cor. 5:8). The Word of God does not teach soul sleep for man, but an immediate exchange. "That mortality may be swallowed up by life" (II Cor. 5:4), speaks of immediate exchange.
There are three (3) major exchanges that take place with the believer. The first is the Spirit birithing exchange done immediately with the Spirit being complete in Christ in all things (I Cor. 12:13; Col. 2:10). The second is the soul/mind renewal which takes place continually throughout this earthly life. We need to know Christ, and the power of His resurrection life in us (Phil. 3:10). The third and final exchange takes place a split second after death or the rapture, when we receive as Christ did, our immediate resurrection in our glorified body! V
Written by Dwight Davis
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