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The Uniqueness of Our Resurrection Bodies

Grace To You / John MacArthur
The Truth Network Radio
May 31, 2023 4:00 am

The Uniqueness of Our Resurrection Bodies

Grace To You / John MacArthur

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We will be everything God created mankind to be, radiating even the glory of God shining through our redeemed and resurrected humanity. We will be like Christ in His transfiguration, radiant glory. Welcome to Grace to You with John MacArthur.

I'm your host, Phil Johnson. The consequences of man's rebellion against God are seen in every facet of life. Disease and death and crime, these are all products of man's sin nature. The same goes for the immorality celebrated by the world and the battle you face with your own sinful flesh. But here's the wonderful news. There is coming a day when all of that evil will be wiped away.

Today, John MacArthur looks ahead to that glorious day as he continues his series, The End is Not the End. It's a study that is showing you the blessing that's ahead for every believer. And with today's lesson now, here is John. Let's open our Bibles to 1 Corinthians, chapter 15, and look at Paul's chapter on resurrection. The resurrection of believers is the theme of this chapter. The Bible promises a redemption of the body, not just the spirit, not just the soul, not just the inner person.

Romans 8 23 says that we are waiting for the redemption of our body. Now Paul has four lines of argument. First of all, there is an analogy. He talks about an analogy to help us understand resurrection. Then he talks about the form of resurrection. Then he talks about the contrasts, and then the prototype of a resurrection body. Let's begin with the analogy in verse 36.

You fool, you're foolish because you think you're smart and you're a fool. Listen to what I have to say to explain resurrection. First he starts with an analogy. It is the analogy of seed, the planting of seed that produces some kind of result in what grows out of that seed. Secondly, Paul moves from the analogy to the form of resurrection down in verse 39.

It's incredible to realize the massive, incomprehensible, creative power of God. No two people are alike, no two plants are alike, no two animals are alike, no two flowers are alike, no two blades of grass are alike. So also is the resurrection of the dead. We're not going to be resurrected as cookie cutter kind of clones. We're going to be who we are uniquely. As one body differs from another, so the resurrection body of the believer will differ from this body.

That's what he said. Now having said that, there are two more points to Paul's thoughts here. Number three, we've seen the analogy in the seed. We've seen the form in looking at all the bodies throughout heaven and earth. The contrasts are on his mind starting in verse 42, the contrasts.

This is very interesting. It, speaking of the resurrection of the dead, the body, it is sown a perishable body. It is raised an imperishable body. It is sown in dishonor. It is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness.

It is raised in power. It is sown a natural body. It is raised a spiritual body.

If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. The chief objection, of course, from the typical Greek denier of resurrection was that the body was corruptible and the body was subject to decay. So Paul's showing us how this ceases to be a problem in the resurrection by a series of contrasts. We get these contrasts very, very clearly in verses 42 and 43.

Yes, what died was perishable. What is raised is imperishable. What died was sown in dishonor, but raised in glory, sown in weakness, raised in power, sown natural, raised spiritual. These are contrasts.

Let me just look a little more closely at them. The Authorized Version used to say, sown in corruption, raised in incorruption. The whole of life for man from the cradle to the grave is in the sphere of corruption.

What does that mean? It means that the first breath you take is the beginning of your dying. This is corruption, dust to dust. The moment you're born, you begin to die.

Corruption begins to function and operate. It is a property of man's earthly body. There, literally it says, there is a raising of an imperishable or incorruptible body. So resurrection life is not just bringing back, like the rabbis said, some corruptible body, but it is raising an incorruptible body. Peter is talking about that when he says, the future life of a believer promises an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, unfading, kept in heaven for you, 1 Peter 1.4.

As our inheritance is incorruptible, imperishable, so we are incorruptible and imperishable who inherit that. And second, he says, not only is this resurrection body sown a perishable body, but raised an imperishable, verse 43, it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. There is a sowing in dishonor. This is the dishonor of death. This is the dishonor of dying. No matter how intelligent you are, no matter how handsome you are, no matter how brilliant you are, no matter how successful you are, no matter how much you've accomplished, you begin to show signs of dishonor, corruption. Sin takes its toll, and all your beauty and youth and brilliance and strength and power and influence begin to fade, and you go from whatever honor you received to dishonor. And if you ever wonder about that, just go visit a home for old people and see some of the brightest and the most honorable people in a state of utter dishonor. We all get there unless our life is snatched away before. Sin is ultimately going to dishonor us. It's going to turn us into something that needs to be removed from society and put away and locked up. Human life eventually becomes dishonorable in that sense, in the bodily sense.

It always amazes me to go to a funeral and see what they do to the body to try to give it some honor, make up, dressing corpses in their Sunday best, putting them in a fine casket. And yet we all know this is the ultimate indignity, the ultimate dishonor. But, says Paul, it is raised in glory, it is raised in glory.

What does that mean? In the picture of that, Matthew 17, transfiguration, glory of Christ. It is raised in radiant glory.

It is raised in the full manifestation of divine creation intention. This doesn't mean we'll be like Adam. No, we will not be like Adam before he fell. We will be like Adam would have been if he had never sinned. We will be glorified.

Romans 8, he says that, whom He has chosen, He justified, and He glorified. When we come out of the grave there will be no dishonor. We will be everything God created mankind to be, full human glory, radiating even the glory of God shining through our redeemed and resurrected humanity. We will be like Christ in His transfiguration, radiant glory.

Saints are viewed in pictures in the book of Revelation as literally radiating light, garments of radiating light and glory. When we die, we are sown in the ground like a seed that is perishable. We are raised imperishable. We are sown like a seed that is in dishonor.

We are raised in glory. Thirdly, in verse 43, we are sown like a seed in weakness raised in power. Nothing is weaker than a dead body. We are even weak when we're alive. We get weaker as life goes on.

We're subject to disease, heartache, failure, injury. We can't fulfill our dreams. We can't fulfill our desires. We can't conquer our weaknesses.

We can't overcome our temptations. Finally, in death we are utterly helpless. We are sown then in weakness, nothing weaker than a dead body. But we are raised in power, raised in power. When we are raised there will be no weakness. We will be raised possessing eternal power, divine power, the power that is generated in and through us by the very life of God in us. No more the sting of defeat, no more the bitterness of disappointment, no more the shame of failure, no more the impossibility of certain accomplishments and efforts.

We will live in a sphere of power and triumph and victory. That's why over in verse 54 says, "'Death is swallowed up in victory.' We come out of the grave victorious. Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin. The power of sin is the law.

But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." Martin Luther said about the human body, as weak as it is now, without all power and ability when it lies in the grave, so strong will it eventually become when the time arrives so that not a thing will be impossible for it. It will have the mind for it, and it will be so light, says Luther, so agile that in an instant it can float here below on earth or above in heaven, describing our moving back and forth in the new heavens and the new earth. Yes, the grave does declare the body to be sown in corruptibility, dishonor, and weakness, and it decays. No matter how grandiose the eulogy is, no matter how well-dressed the corpse is, no matter how ornate the funeral, no matter how sweet the fragrance is, no matter how beautiful the flowers, it is death, it is decay, the seed sown. But when the resurrection comes, out of the grave will come for the believer a new body.

It will be a body raised imperishable, raised in glory, and raised in power. And summing it up in verse 44, it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there's a natural body, there's also a spiritual body. Natural means pertaining to the flesh. Natural means pertaining to this life. It has to do with the present life. It's the natural man, 1 Corinthians 2, 14.

That's what this body is for. When we go into the grave, we go sowing. That body is being sown as a natural body, a body designed to fit this present life.

It's sukikon, it's sukay, flesh, natural life. As long as we live on earth, we're plagued by being natural, thus corruption, dishonor, and weakness. That all is a part of sin, of course. The natural body then is not suitable for the life to come. It has to be sown, it has to die so that another body can come forth, not a natural body, but that it be raised a spiritual body . That is a body which is fit for the spiritual realm, not a spirit, but a body suited for the spiritual realm.

And again, I perhaps should read 2 Corinthians 5. Paul says, "'If this earthly tent, which is our house, is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.'" It's an eternal body. "'Indeed, in this house we groan, longing to be clothed with our dwelling from heaven, inasmuch as we having put it on will not be found naked. Indeed, while we are in this tent we groan, being burdened, because we don't want to be unclothed, but to be clothed so that what is mortal will be swallowed up by life.'" And then he goes on to say, "'This is God's purpose for us. We give up a suke, flesh, for pneumaticonsoma, a body that fits the spiritual realm, the realm where God dwells, fit for spiritual life.

The body we have now is adapted to this lower place. The body we receive in resurrection will be adapted to that higher place. It is pneumaticonsoma, a body transformed by the life-giving power of the Holy Spirit and adapted for our new residence in heaven. It will be a body of glory.'" Glory means it'll be a body where God's manifestation will radiate from us. We will possess divine life in every sense. We will radiate the very glory of God.

Now you're saying to yourself, no, wait a minute, I still don't know what this thing's going to look like. So let me give you the final point that Paul makes, the prototype, verse 45. So also it is written, "'The first man, Adam, became a living soul. The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy, the second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy, and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.'" Paul loves to make comparisons between Adam and Christ.

He does it a lot, he does it a lot. And he does it here again, comparing Adam to Christ, the heads of two families. Adam, of course, is the head of all those who are earthy. Christ is the head of all those who are heavenly.

He contrasts these two. There is Adam who became a living soul, quoting from Genesis 2, and he has given us natural life, life that is from the earth, earthy. But then there is Christ, who is the last Adam, who becomes a life-giving spirit, who gives us spiritual life.

This is heavenly life. The last Adam gives us life suited for heaven as the first Adam gave us life suited for earth. We all descend from Adam. We were all there in the loins of Adam. All of us have come from Adam and Eve, and Adam's nature basically is our nature.

We're like Adam. Adam is the prototype of man's natural life and a natural body with sin. Jesus Christ is the prototype of man's spiritual life and a spiritual body. So if you ask the question, what will your body be like? It will be like the resurrected body of Christ.

That's the best that we can say. And they saw Him, they recognized Him, they talked with Him, He ate with Him, He walked through walls, He moved Himself from one place to another instantaneously without traversing the space in between. He had a glory about Him that was transcendent.

He moved from earth to heaven. Adam, as originally created, gave us all our natural life, and with it death. Christ, as risen from the dead, gives us our spiritual life. Incorruptible, glorified, powerful, spiritual life. Paul actually says in Philippians 3 21, we will have the body of His glory.

There's that word glory again. First John 3, 2, we will see Him as He is. We will be like Him, different, obedient, transcendent, powerful, yet to be touched and felt. And Christ still had the scars of the wounds, still recognizable, the same Jesus. Do you remember Acts 1 11, Jesus sent into heaven? The angel said, this same Jesus who is taken up from you will come.

It's the same Jesus. That is the prototype for a resurrection. So all that we know about the resurrected Christ is what we know about our resurrection bodies.

Again, look at Philippians 3 20 and 21 for yourself. Look at all the records in the gospels of Christ after His resurrection and you'll see the prototype of our resurrected bodies. We bear now the image of Adam, the body of decay, then we will bear the image of Christ, the body of glory. Now we are earthy, then we will be heavenly. Now we bear the image of the earthy, verse 49, then the image of the heavenly. We will be copies of the Lord Jesus Christ after His resurrection. It's just an incredible thing to realize.

What an astonishing and amazing gift. That's going to happen. That resurrection is going to happen when our Lord comes. Listen to 1 Thessalonians 4. We believe, verse 14, that if Jesus, that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we are alive and remain till the coming of the Lord will not precede those who have fallen asleep.

In other words, the dead will rise first. The Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain at the rapture will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. So shall we always be with the Lord.

What happens at the rapture when we're all going up into the air, those who are alive and those who are coming out of the graves? Verse 51 of 1 Corinthians 15 tells us, I tell you a mystery, we will not all sleep, we will all be changed in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. And that is when this perishable must put on the imperishable and this mortal must put on immortality. That is when death is swallowed up in victory. That's the resurrection. That's what the Lord has prepared for us. A body fit for the full life of heaven, a body from which the glory of God will radiate, a body of power, a body without any human restrictions of time or space, a body that can eat but never need to, a body that can fly and move from one place to another freely, a body with no age, no time limitation, a body that exists in an eternal present of joy and peace that knows no past and knows no future, just an eternal moment of peace and joy, a body exalted to be capable of doing everything that God designed man to do and far beyond what we can imagine, a body totally happy, totally content, totally at peace, totally satisfied, where there is no pain, no tears, no sorrow, no crying, no dying, a body of splendor described as dazzling, as transparent, as shining like the moon and the stars, as the brightness of the sky, as the sun in its strength, and as the Lord Jesus Christ in full resurrection glory. This is an amazing and astonishing promise.

We will rise. That's John MacArthur. He's the Bible teacher here on Grace To You. He's also chancellor of the Master's University and Seminary in Southern California. Today he continued his study, The End Is Not The End. Now, John, near the end of the message, you said that believers in their eternal bodies will radiate the very glory of God. And, of course, the Bible has a lot to say about this topic. Still, I don't know that we really understand this notion of radiating God's glory, and so let's dig into this a little bit here in the studio. Talk about what the glory of God is and how that's something that we will someday radiate. Well, you know, you're talking about 2 Corinthians 3.18, where Paul says, As we gaze at the glory of the Lord, we're changed into his image from one level of glory to the next by the Lord who is the Spirit.

So a spiritual growth and sanctification is the believer looking at the glory of the Lord, and the Holy Spirit, as he looks at the glory of the Lord, changes him into that very glory from one level to the next, from glory to glory. We don't see that because the Bible says we are the children of God but not yet manifest. So you don't see—it's like Christ, they didn't see the glory until he went up to the Mount of Transfiguration and pulled back his flesh and revealed his glory.

That's true of us. The glory is in us. The Spirit of God lives in us. The Christ is in us.

The Father is in us. We have the glory in us, and that glory is expanding as we go from one level of glory to the next, but it's not going to be manifest until we enter into the presence of the Lord. What that glory essentially means is spiritual perfection, holiness, virtue, perfect righteousness, and all of that. That is what heaven is going to be. It's not going to be a bunch of strangers and aliens up there saying, oh wow, so that's what righteousness looks like. Wow, look at that.

That's perfect. Look at that beautiful scene over there. No, we will be perfect. We will be made all glorious. We will reflect the very glory of Christ. This is what it ultimately means to be saved, to enter into full heavenly glory. I want to mention a book called Only Jesus, subtitled What It Really Means to Be Saved. In this book, I combine everything Jesus said about salvation into one clear, coherent description of the gospel. It answers questions like, what did Jesus say about his own identity and authority? What does it mean that he is Savior and Lord? What must you give up to become a Christian, if anything? How will your thoughts, actions, and identity change when you follow Christ?

An ideal book, this is more than ideal. This is critical for every non-believer and for every new believer, every Christian, because this is the full richness of what it means to be saved, what it really means. Title Only Jesus, affordably priced and available from grace to you.

Thank you, Jon. And friend, Only Jesus is a quick read, but as Jon said, it shows you everything Jesus taught about salvation. Right now, it's available at 25% off the night normal price, so pick up a copy today. Just call our toll-free number, 855-GRACE, or go to our website, Only Jesus is a great resource to give to anyone you know who needs to understand what it means to follow Christ.

During the sale, it costs $7.50 and shipping is free. Again, to get your copy of Jon's book called Only Jesus, call 800-55-GRACE or go to And during our sale, with nearly every resource available at 25% off the regular price, this is a great time to stock up on Jon's books and commentaries or grace to use flagship resource, the MacArthur Study Bible. To highlight the Study Bible for a moment, it has 25,000 footnotes that give you important details about history and language and cultural background and more to help you understand the precise meaning of each verse. To order the MacArthur Study Bible, call 800-55-GRACE or go to Now for Jon MacArthur, I'm Phil Johnson reminding you to watch Grace To You television this Sunday and join us tomorrow when Jon shows you perhaps the greatest blessing you can look forward to if you're a Christian. Tune in for the next half hour of unleashing God's truth one verse at a time on Grace To You.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-05-31 06:03:55 / 2023-05-31 06:13:31 / 10

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