You have two worldly systems that were around at the time of Paul the Apostle, neither of which believed in a resurrection espoused it. So for Paul to speak of not only Jesus' resurrection, but our future resurrection flew in the face of prevailing ideology.
Listen. At the end of the program, Skip and his wife, Lane, share what the resurrection means for your everyday life. When Jesus got up from the grave, it was for Peter evidence that everything Jesus ever promised was possible. And true. And so it's like he predicted his death and he predicted his resurrection.
Anybody can do that. But when it happens and you conquer death, then you look back and go, well, then every other promise ever said is possible and true. Thank you, Skip and Lenya. Be sure to stay with us after Do you think Peter is actually saying that there are times when God knows you need a trial? Is that what he's saying? Uh-huh.
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Please call 800-922-1888 or give online securely at connectwithskip.com slash offer. Thank you for partnering with us. Now we're in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 as we join Skip Heitzing for today's message. Back in 1922, an author by the name of F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote an interesting idea in a book that he called The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Now it became a movie and so some of you thought that's all it really was, was a movie, that Hollywood came up with that idea, but it was an author that came up with that in the 1920s. And the premise of the book, the premise of the story is that a man who was a septuagenarian, an old guy, was born in an old folks home and he regressed and became younger rather than what is human experience. And that is we are born and then we grow older. And it was even as a film, a fascinating film and a fascinating idea that you start life old and then you work your way down until birth. So along those lines, somebody wrote this idea down called My Next Life.
He said, I want to live my next life backwards. I'll start out dead and get that out of the way right off the bat. Then I'll wake up in a nursing home feeling better every day. When I'm kicked out of the home for being too healthy, I'll spend several years enjoying my retirement collecting benefit checks.
When I start work, I'll get a gold watch on my first day. I'll work 40 years or so getting younger every day until pretty soon I'll be too young to work. So then I'll go to high school, play sports, date and party. As I get younger, I'll become a kid again. I'll go to elementary school, play and have no responsibilities.
In a few years, I'll become a baby and everyone will run themselves ragged keeping me happy. I'll spend my last nine months floating peacefully in luxury spa-like conditions with central heating and room service on tap. An interesting idea, but imagine having a body that never wears out. Imagine having a body that can never have a handicap. Imagine having a body that never sags, never droops, never aches. One that never has any kind of a disease, any kind of a problem. We really can't imagine that, especially as we age.
We'd have to think back a long time to remember such carefree days, but imagine having something that eternally was like that. Do you know the Bible promises exactly that? With a resurrected body, your body resurrected in the future. That's what chapter 15 is dealing with.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 15, Paul addresses an apparent confusion in the church at Corinth regarding the idea of a future resurrection. A few years ago, a poll was given to differing Americans. The poll simply said, if you could change one thing about your life, what would you change?
Interesting question. There's a lot of things that I'd like to change about my life, but if you could change one thing about your life, what would you change? You might think that somebody would say, my short temper, I'm impatient, I'd like to change that, or I'd like to become a more loving person in this situation, but by and large, most everyone, their answer was a physical answer. I want to change something about my physical body.
I wish I was younger, I wish I had a different body shape, I wish my hair was different, I wish I didn't have wrinkles, or whatever. It was always physical. When it comes to resurrection, and Paul asserts resurrection here, keep in mind that when he wrote, and again we did discuss this in 1 Corinthians 15 last time, but that was last month, so I'm going to recap a little bit. Paul was writing against prevailing ideologies, almost all of which denied physical resurrection.
He wrote in a Greek culture. The Greeks thought the idea of a resurrection was ludicrous. When Paul went to Athens and preached the resurrection, they thought he was nuts.
These are strange things, they said on the Areopagus, strange ideas that you're bringing to our ears. Because to the Greeks, the human body was a trap. The idea of death is to release the spirit from the confines of the body.
It was something that was looked forward to, not getting your body back again to be trapped all over again. That was ludicrous to the Greek mind. So Paul was writing against Greek ideology and philosophy. Also, he was writing in a Roman world, and the Romans had no place for a resurrection.
They didn't think it was possible. Their belief system, their religious system had no resurrection available or possible or written about. So much so, you remember when the apostle Paul stood up in Caesarea and he preached to two procurators and one Jewish king, King Agrippa II, that he spoke about Jesus, his death, and his bodily resurrection. And the Roman procurator Festus said, Paul, you're out of your mind. Your much learning has driven you mad. You're insane talking about dead people rising again.
That's insanity. So you have two worldly systems that were around at the time of Paul the apostle, neither of which believed in a resurrection, espoused it. So for Paul to speak of not only Jesus' resurrection, but our future resurrection flew in the face of prevailing ideology. Number three, within Judaism, and you would say, well, certainly in that religious background, they believed in the resurrection.
Yes and no. Some did, some didn't. Pharisees did believe in a bodily resurrection. For that matter, they believed in all things supernatural. But Sadducees did not believe in angels, spirits, miracles, nor did they believe in the resurrection. This is why during Jesus' ministry, while he was on the earth, the greatest enemy of Christ in the religious world was from the Pharisees. But post-resurrection, when the disciples in every message in the book of Acts kept the resurrection of Christ at the center of their message, like you would imagine, the number one religious enemy they faced were the Sadducees because they did not hold to the resurrection.
So it was not a popular idea, and it would seem some even within the church were struggling with the idea with all sorts of questions. What's it going to be like? What's the body going to be like?
What are we going to be able to do? How do you know there's going to be a resurrection, etc.? So he begins the chapter, as we saw last time, with Jesus' resurrection, and he continues after that with our future resurrection. I did get a letter because I realized that the idea of people having problems with physical resurrection is not just one in antiquity, but people today, even within the church, have problems with the idea of resurrection.
Listen to this letter that I got. I asked her, skip, why does God want to resurrect our body if we will have a new body anyway? Now, apparently, this person believes that when you die, you get a new body, so why on earth would God want to resurrect this body? At the rapture, those who are dead in Christ, the decomposing bodies, the ashes, etc., you hopefully get the idea.
God resurrects, pulls back together from the four winds, so to speak. Why? Why?
What's up with that? Good question, honest question. Short answer is this. The resurrection is what completes our salvation. God is interested in saving not just your soul, but also redeeming your body. It's an entire, complete process.
Why? Because of what happened in the garden when man sinned, when there was original sin. Remember what the Lord said, in the day that you eat thereof, you shall surely die, and man has died, women have died ever since. They died immediately spiritually, they were separated from God, but immediately Adam began to deteriorate, as did Eve, and they died in every generation since has. So to counteract the death principle that was instilled into God's creation at the fall, a resurrection is absolutely necessary. Well, verse 20, even though we kind of brushed down to around verse 30, 31, even down to 34, but we only read it. We left a lot uncovered.
I just want to overlap that. He goes, but now Christ is risen from the dead. The resurrection is a fact. Jesus died, was buried, and he rose, meaning he's alive presently. And notice this, has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
Now, do you remember what we said? First fruits was a Jewish feast after the Passover, and the ritual was they would bring a sheaf of the harvest, and they would wave it before the Lord, and the first sheaf, the one sheaf, indicated the rest of the harvest is coming as well. We're going to dedicate more than just one sheaf to the Lord, but a whole lot more is coming that we're going to dedicate to the Lord of our produce.
So the sheaf was indicative of more to come. Jesus' bodily resurrection was the first fruits. There are more resurrections to come, yours and mine. So Jesus' resurrection is what guarantees our resurrection.
That's the principle. He is then the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. Fallen asleep is a metaphor for death, because that is how the body appears. Number one, number two, it's called going to sleep, because when you sleep, you get up again, and when you die, you're going to get up again.
Your body will rise. For since by man came death, that is through Adam, by man, notice in your Bible, at least in my Bible, M is capitalized, the second M for man, so since by man Adam came death, by man, that is Jesus, also came the resurrection from the dead. For as in Adam, all die, even so in Christ, all shall be made alive. Last time we mentioned that in the Bible, Adam and Christ are seen as federal heads of two dispensations. Adam brought sin into the world, Jesus brought life into the world. Adam caused the great fall of humanity, Jesus brought redemption.
Both acted as federal heads. See, people think of Adam, and they go, it's not fair that Adam sinned, and I today, thousands of years later, am suffering the repercussions for it. Okay, I'll go along with you, not fair. But it's also not fair that Jesus died on a cross, you weren't there when that happened, and you get all the benefits just by believing in him. I could say, not fair.
You shouldn't have the benefits, but you have them. So both performed an act that has repercussions like Adam sin, or like Jesus' death on the cross, and we get the bogus results of one, and we get the benefits with the other. The capital, M-A-N. By the way, when you work and sweat, when you do something and you pull a muscle, or you strain your back, or you get an ache or a pain, you can blame Adam. When women have pain in childbirth, you can blame Adam.
But we're part of that family, so we are part of the Adams family, we're part of humanity, and so yes, we can blame Adam, but we can also bless Jesus Christ for his work as federal head. And in Adam, we all die, even so in Christ, we all will be made alive, but each one in his own order, and we talked a little bit about that last time, so I won't rehash the order. Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ's at his coming, then comes the end when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when he puts an end to all rule, all authority and power, for he must reign until he has put all enemies under his feet.
The last enemy that will be destroyed is death. So, what kind of body will we have in the resurrection? Well, our resurrected body, since Jesus is the firstfruits of the resurrection, our resurrected body is going to be very much like Jesus' resurrected body, being able to do some of the things Jesus was able to do. We're going to have, that is, in our resurrected body, an earthly body glorified, an earthly body glorified. Jesus rose from the dead, and he was fully man, but glorified. He said, touch me and see, a spirit does not have flesh and bones like you see me have, he was able to eat meals with his disciples, and then he ascended into heaven. Today, at the throne of God, there's a man, a physical, real man, Jesus, in his glorified, resurrected body in heaven, at the throne of his Father. He's the firstfruits, so what is your body going to be like?
It's going to be very much like that. You're going to have your earthly body, you're going, well, I hope it's not going to look quite like this, hold that thought, hold that thought. But it is going to be an earthly body glorified, not a new body, your old body renewed. Your old body renewed, not a new body per se, there's a one-to-one correspondence in the resurrection, do you follow me? Jesus died and was buried, a new body didn't come up, his body that was on the cross and died is the same body that resurrected. So it's not like your body goes in the ground while you get a new body, now you've got two bodies, that's a problem. Especially if that thing ever gets raised up. Are you going to be two youths talking to each other in heaven? No, there's a one-to-one correspondence, the body that goes into the ground at death is the body that gets raised from the dead at resurrection.
But your body is going to have advanced properties. It's interesting when Jesus rose from the dead and was in his glorified physical body, the same one that was on the cross but now glorified, renewed, what he was able to do? He would just appear and then vanish. It's like he could go through walls, the disciples are in the upper room, the doors are locked and all of a sudden Jesus just, shalom, hello, peace.
Whoa, how did he do that? And then he vanished from their sight. And then he was able to be in Jerusalem and then suddenly when the disciples were in Galilee, just be transported to Galilee instantly.
On the shores of Galilee for a fish breakfast. Then he was also, that body was able to move not just horizontally but vertically. He ascended up into heaven, the disciples stood on the Mount of Olives as Jesus went heavenward, up, up, up. So think of that in your new physical body and the reason I talk about your vertical body is because if you remember when I taught on Revelation and we talked about the new Jerusalem and we gave its dimensions, we see that it is a 1300 mile cube. So it's not just, the city is not just 1300 miles across but you have the ability or you have places vertically as well as horizontally and the only way you could really appreciate something like the new Jerusalem would be in a glorified body that could move instantly from place to place and go vertically as well as horizontally.
You could have a lot of fun with this but I don't want to go too far because we only have certain things revealed but you'll have advanced properties. The last enemy, verse 26, that will be destroyed is death. Remember what Revelation chapter 20 says, that death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. Verse 27, 4, he has put all things under his feet. Paul is now quoting Psalm 8. He has put all things under his feet. But when he says all things are put under him, it is evident that he who put all things under him, that is God the Father, is accepted. Now when all things are made subject to him, then the son himself will also be subject to him who put all things under him that God may be all in all.
That's Skip Heitzig's message from the series Expound First Corinthians. Now, here's Skip and Lenya as they share what the resurrection means for your everyday life. The resurrection of Jesus has changed history and our lives forever.
It's a truth that can impact our daily lives as well. Skip, how does Jesus' resurrection impact your everyday life? You know, I was reading a passage, Lenya, in the book of Peter, where Peter, who was a follower of Jesus in the flesh, called the resurrection a living hope. We have a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. And I got to thinking about what the resurrection meant to Peter and his life.
Here's how I look at it. When Jesus got up from the grave, it was for Peter evidence that everything Jesus ever promised was possible. And true. And so it's like he predicted his death and he predicted his resurrection.
Anybody can do that. But when it happens and you conquer death, then you look back and go, well, then every other promise he ever said is possible and true. And so that's the way I look at it. The resurrection means when I read the Bible, I can read truth because the source is the one who gave life and conquered death itself.
And so that just brings a wealth of power behind every promise. And when I approach Scripture that way, everything's changed. Was it Job who said, I know my Redeemer lives?
Yeah. And there is something about knowing that your God is alive. It's not a God of the past or he's dead or a historical figure. He's living, breathing in heaven, making intercession for us. I know my Redeemer lives. Thank you, Skip and Lenya. We hope this conversation with Skip and Lenya challenge you to keep pursuing God and his truth.
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So thank you for giving generously and come back tomorrow as Skip Heitzig shares startling insight on your future resurrection. Make a connection. Make a connection at the foot of the crossing. Cast all burdens on his word. Make a connection. Connection. Connect with Skip Heitzig is a presentation of Connection Communications, connecting you to God's never changing truth in ever changing times.
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