1 Corinthians 6:19-20, NIV
Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body…
Our bodies belong to God. He bought us for a price. According to Revelation chapter 5, Jesus shed his blood to purchase “men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation.” Yet the Bible also teaches us that “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it…”, Psalm 24:1. If God created everything and everything belongs to God, why did he have to buy us?
The law of sin and death guarantees physical death to those who sin. Everyone dies once because Adam sinned. Everyone will be resurrected once because Jesus obeyed, but there is a second death (Rev. 2:11; 20:6, 20:14, 21:8). I can blame Adam for the first time I die, but I can’t blame him if I die twice because Jesus purchased our bodies from death.
Jesus bore the harsh burden of law and suffered the same punishment everyone suffers – DEATH! His death created an imbalance. When he gave the law blood that he did not owe, he created a debt that must be satisfied and obtained the right to give life to whoever he will. Spirits don’t die. Bodies do. God bought our bodies back from the law with the innocent blood of his son, so he can give our bodies back to us.
If spirits died, there would be no need of a place called hell to contain the disobedient. When we are resurrected, God has options. He can allow you to keep your body or he can return your body to the ground in the second death. He paid a terrible price for that right.
As we saw in the previous lesson, Christians have alienated multitudes fussing and fighting over food, clothes, hair and a myriad of other inconsequential matters with our opinions of what makes us holy. The bible calls many things holy. The Sabbath day is holy. What did the day do to become holy? The garments of the priest are called holy. What did the garments do to become holy? The altar is called holy? What did the altar do to become holy? The utensils used in the tabernacle are called holy. What did the utensils do to become holy? There is one common factor, all of these items are used in the service of God and that is the only reason they are holy.
God’s has a lot of holy vessels, but finding a clean vessel to pour himself into is difficult. My body is holy no matter what I do but that does not make me worthy of what God has done.
2 Timothy 2:20
But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.
Every vessel in God’s house is holy but every vessel is not worthy of honor. Our sins make us holy vessels God cannot honor. God purchased my body not my will. I am free. I can choose to follow his will or not. God is free too. He can choose to give me a body or not. Therefore on the heels of a revelation of holiness came a revelation of resurrection.
Moreover He said, “I am the God of your father – the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look upon God.
Do you see resurrection in God’s words?
When Israel returned from captivity three religious groups arose, the Pharisees, Sadducees and the scribes. The Pharisees developed a body of oral and written law intended to interpret the Law of Moses called the “tradition of the elders”. Jesus and the Sadducees were united in their rejection of the manmade addition to God’s law. When the high priests, consisting primarily of Sadducees, lost the respect of the people through corruption the scribes, also called lawyers, arose. The scribes were not priest but lay people who considered themselves experts in God’s law. In modern day language, the Pharisees would be republicans, the Sadducces democrats, and scribes the independents.
The Sadducees considered themselves the king of the Jews deriving their authority from the laws of Moses. They believed God existed but had ceased to intervene in the affairs of men. They believed the soul perished with the body and angels were a myth. Since there was no afterlife, there were no rewards or punishments after death. Man was responsible for the heaven or hell he lived in on earth. They could not accept the resurrection of the dead because the law said nothing about it so they thought.
The Sadducees took much pleasure in Jesus denunciation of the Pharisees teachings. If Jesus destroyed the Pharisees, it would only strengthen their power. Many had arisen claiming to be the Messiah before Jesus. They all came to nothing in time. Therefore, they paid little attention to Jesus until a great multitude laid their clothes and branches in the road crying, Hosanna to the Son of David! If the acclaim had stayed in the streets, the Sadducees might have ignored it as foolishness, but Jesus came into the temple. He intruded into their domain when he drove out the moneychangers and healed the blind and the lame. Then children cried, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” in the temple.
The Sadducees were indignant and exchanged sharp words with Jesus. “Do you hear what they are saying?”
“Yes,” Jesus said, “have you never read; Out of the mouth of babes you have perfected praise?”
Jesus claim to be king of the Jews wasn’t a problem, but the people recognizing him as a king was. They would have arrested him and thrown him in jail, but they feared the people. They had to undermine his popularity before they dared touch him. The Sadducees let the Pharisees try to take Jesus down first. Why get their hands dirty if they don’t have too?
When the Pharisees made themselves look foolish with unlearned questions, the Sadducees came in for the kill. If they could destroy Jesus doctrine, they would not only eliminate Jesus but the Pharisees too. They confronted Jesus before the multitudes with a “what if” question designed to show the absurd consequences that can arise from believing in the resurrection of the dead.
The Sadducees approached Jesus under the guise of seeking counsel from a fellow teacher. There were seven brothers. The first died after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother, likewise the second also, and the third, even to the seventh. Last of all the woman died also. Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her.
Jesus answered and said to them, The sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore, for they are equal to the angels and are sons of God, being sons of the resurrection. But even Moses showed in the burning bush passage that the dead are raised, when he called the Lord the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For He is not the God of the dead but of the living, for all live to Him. Then some of the scribes answered and said, Teacher, You have spoken well. But after that they dared not question Him anymore.
Jesus knew the Sadducces would only accept what came from the law, so he showed them where resurrection was found in the law. God is not a God of dead men. If he is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob their spirit did not perish with their body. The unspoken question everybody heard silenced the Sadducces and they dared not question him anymore. If Moses believed in the resurrection, why didn’t the Sadducees? Moses was the source of their authority?
If there is no resurrection of the dead, we may as well eat drink and be merry for tomorrow we die! If this life is all there is why not satisfy every lust? If there is no resurrection, Christians are the biggest fools of all because we are worshipping a dead man.
1 Cornthians 15:12-19
Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.
Why is our faith vain and existence miserable if the dead rise not?
Our faith is vain and existence miserable because we will not live long enough to see “that age”. The one Jesus referred to when he answered the Sadducces. “That age” begins when God’s kingdom comes to earth. If we cease to exist when we die, what good is faith? What good did it do Abraham to believe in God if the dead rise not?
Abraham did not receive anything God promised to him except one son from his barren wife. The promises were made to Jesus not Isaac.
God has not promised us anything in the heavens. The blessing given to Abraham is a nation on the earth governed by a king who cannot lie and will never use us and abuse us. One day, a king will livie among us who thinks no evil. One day, a king will live among us that would rather die with us than live without us. One day, a king will live among us who will give us the one thing nations seek but never find – equality.
No one has received the things God promised Abraham to this day. The flesh children of Abraham never possessed all the land God promised to them. Neither were they a blessing to the surrounding nations. Even Jesus has not received the kingdom promised to him yet. Our king died in faith just like we will.
The knowledge about God in our head will enter our heart when we die. Experience drives knowledge from the head to the heart. I don’t know God will raise me from the dead. I hope he will. The reasons I have to hope is the substance called faith because faith is the substance of things hoped for.
Let’s briefly examine the doctrine of resurrection and then we will talk about a reason to hope.
And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Man became a “living being” when the breath of life from God and the ground formed into a body by his hands united. To be a “living being” you need two things, a body and the breath of life or spirit. I can exist without this body, but I am not a living being. I need a body to be a living being. The moment my Spirit leaves my body, I am dead and the body decays rapidly. The body cannot exist without me in it. But what happens to my Spirit?
Paul wrote to the Corinthians,
2 Corinthians 5:6-8
So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight.We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
If I leave my body I do not cease to exist. Spirits don’t die. Bodies do! My spirit goes into the presence of the Lord, IF I belong to the Lord. There is another place to exist for those who don’t belong to the Lord.
A Greek doctrine of immortality entered the Corinthian church distorting their faith and may be the reason Paul wrote chapter 15 in 1 Corinthians. The doctrine said the body perished forever at death but the soul continued to live. That made sense to some of the Corinthian Christians. They questioned the resurrection even saying there is no resurrection of the dead. Christians began teaching the only resurrection is the spiritual resurrection of the soul from its death in trespasses and sins. They were teaching truth, because the Bible teaches a spiritual resurrection, but not the whole truth.
But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, Even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), And raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus That in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
When you are born again, a spiritual resurrection takes place. We are no longer dead in sin nor do we desire to sin because we are alive in Christ. His desires have now become our desires and Christ Spirit in us bears witness with our spirit that we are God’s. The spiritual resurrection that takes place when we are born again has a purpose we will not fully understand in this age. In this age, we see through a glass darkly. Only if you make it to the next age and ages to come will you come into a full understanding of the exceeding riches of the grace and kindness God has shown us that are in Christ Jesus.
Remember, Jesus said to the Sadducees, “the sons of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are counted worthy to attain that age, and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage; nor can they die anymore”. Spirits don’t die. Bodies do!
In regards to the resurrection was Jesus talking about a place? No! He was talking about “this age” and “that age.” He was talking about a period of time. The people in this age, the period of time we live and he lived in, marry but there is coming an age, a period of time, when God’s people will not marry. It will be a new age. It will be “that age.” The night will be past. A new day will dawn. With the new day, there will be a new way of living. Marriage for God’s people will no longer be necessary because “nor can they die anymore.” We don’t need to marry and reproduce if we don’t die.
Therefore, the number of times you marry in this lifetime cannot not affect eternity. The marriage vow is broken at death. When your marriage partner dies, you are free to remarry and it is not sin. The woman who married seven brothers in the Saduccees question belongs to none of them. Death legally broke any right or claim any of the seven brothers had to her.
Romans 7:2-4 NKJV
For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. 3 So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another— to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.
God purchased us to become the bride of Christ when we are resurrected. We are not going to pick up where we left off in this age. The real issue is this and that. How will we make it to that age, that period of time, the next age, and the ages to come in which God will show us the exceeding riches of His grace and kindness. How will we make it to that age when the people of this age only live about 70-80 years – some longer, some not that long.
Can you live long enough to participate in the next age? Or will you die and miss out on the good things coming to planet earth when Jesus establishes his kingdom on the earth. He left the earth in a body and he is returning in a body. Do you think Jesus needed a body and you won’t? The only way to participate in that age, the next age, is to be resurrected. Even if you are alive when he comes, flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. If you are alive when he comes you will die and be resurrected in the twinkling of an eye without your body sleeping in the ground for a period of time. Jesus called death sleep because your body lies in the ground inactive until he wakes it up and gives it back to you.
Are you beginning to understand the value of life, the value of being a living being, the value of being immortal? If you’ve got the time you can do almost anything.
When the children of Israel refused to obey God in the wilderness, God said, Fine! I’ll be back in 40 years when those who don’t want me are dead and then I’ll finish what I started. Moses responded with a prayer.
Lord, you have been our dwelling place
throughout all generations.
2Before the mountains were born
or you brought forth the earth and the world,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
3You turn men back to dust,
saying, “Return to dust, O sons of men.”
4For a thousand years in your sight
are like a day that has just gone by,
or like a watch in the night.
5You sweep men away in the sleep of death;
they are like the new grass of the morning–
6though in the morning it springs up new,
by evening it is dry and withered.
7We are consumed by your anger
and terrified by your indignation.
8You have set our iniquities before you,
our secret sins in the light of your presence.
9All our days pass away under your wrath;
we finish our years with a moan.
10The length of our days is seventy years–
or eighty, if we have the strength;
yet their span is but trouble and sorrow,
for they quickly pass, and we fly away.
11Who knows the power of your anger?
For your wrath is as great as the fear that is due you.
12Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
God does not have to kill you. A thousand years is like one day to him. When he said I’ll be back in forty years it was like saying I’ll be back in an hour. It is impossible to mock God. All God has to do is wait and you will cease to be a problem.
God said he would bring them to the Promised Land, but he never told them when. It is God’s sovereign right to do what ever he has promised to do whenever he chooses to do it because God has time on his side. There was a popular song in the 60’s about time that said,
Time Is On My Side
Time is on my side yes it is. Time is on my side yes it is.
Now you always say that you want to be free.
But you’ll come running back, you’ll come running back,
you’ll come running back to me
Time is on my side yes it is. Time is on my side yes it is.
You’re searching for good times but just wait and see
You’ll come running back, you’ll come running back,
you’ll come running back to me
Time is on my side yes it is. Time is on my side yes it is.
I got the real love the kind that you need
You’ll come running back, you’ll come running back,
you’ll come running back to me because
Time Time Time is on my side yes it is!
Is time on your side? Or will you die before Jesus returns in his immortal body to establish his kingdom on planet earth. Jesus said the meek will inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5)
I watched a documentary about one of the astronauts who went to the moon. He said it was somewhat ironic that we spent millions of dollars to go to the moon. When he got to the moon the the most significant thing he saw was the earth.
God’s eternal kingdom will be built on the land between the River of Egypt and the Euphrates River. That is the land he promised Abraham and his seed. Paul tells us in Galatians one seed meaning Jesus. Jesus spiritual kingdom is being built in this age but not the physical kingdom. Every one that has tried it has failed. In this age we are in Egypt multiplying. When Jesus left, the Holy Spirit came and the church was instituted to care for spiritual babes born into his kingdom until he returns to gather us together on the land his father promised to him. Then we will become the great nation God swore with an oath Abraham would become.
The resurrection is our protection. No one can harm us without condemning him or herself because nothing we believe will happen unless there is a resurrection. Therefore, what does this world have to fear? Unless, they believe it is true. Unless, they believe there will be a resurrection. If they believe there will be a resurrection why do they resist us instead of join us. If they believe we have the truth and don’t want any part in it how is God unjust to leave them out of it. Will you have a part in the resurrection? Jesus has a body. Will you have a body when he returns? Will you die in the second death to be dust under our feet for eternity? Do you have time on your side?
Jesus used his body to do the will of his Father. Do you? Death has a right to keep our bodies because Adam sinned. Nevertheless,
…we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, While we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the thing which are not seen are eternal.
Even though my body is growing old and dying, if I keep my eyes on the things I cannot see I will not lose heart and give up. Everything I can see is temporary even the body I live in. No matter how hard I try? I can’t keep my body alive forever. Abraham died. Moses died. David died. All the prophets died. Even Jesus died. But Jesus has something no one else has, an immortal body. I can’t keep my body alive long enough for God to come to the earth and keep the promises he has made but I don’t lose heart because I know something,
2 Corinthians 5:1-5
For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not make with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation, which is from heaven, If indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life. Now He who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who also has given us the Spirit as a guarantee.
We groan because we want to be clothed not unclothed. Christianity is about living, not dying. We want the same kind of immortal body Jesus possesses. The body God gave him he when he raised Jesus from the dead. If I have an immortal body, I have time on my side. I won’t be shut out of the good things that are coming to planet earth in “that age,” the next age, the age and ages to come when God shows us the exceeding riches of His grace and his kindness toward us who are in Christ Jesus.
Humanity has wandered away from God, but he knows it’s just be a matter of time before all creation comes running back to him. One day we will realize that He has the real love, the kind that we need.
Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. ‘And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’
Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did not live long enough to see that prophet come in the flesh. Moses did not live long enough. The great men of faith who believed the prophet would come did not live long enough to see him come the first time much less the second time. God’s got more time to do what he wants to do than you have time to see him do it, but he has not left us without hope. That prophet’s name is Jesus. We have been promised a body like his, so we can be present at the restoration of all things, when all the earth comes running back to him. If there is no resurrection, I’ll miss that time, that age, and so will all that have died in faith before me.
Everything God promised us depends on the resurrection. What hope do I have that my body will ever live again? The Bible says so? The Bible is a source of truth but not always a source of faith. There are a lot of books. How do I know the claims in the Bible are true? Do I really have a reason to believe what goes into the ground and dies can live again?
1 Corinthians 15:35
But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up?” And with what body do they come?
The NKJ is kind saying, “Foolish one”! KJV is a little more blunt – “fools! Another version says “simpleton”! The Modern English Bible says, “Now that is talking without using your minds!” The Living Bible says,
1 Corinthians 15:36
What a foolish question! You will find the answer in your own garden! When you put a seed into the ground it doesn’t grow into a plant unless it “dies” first.
How is it you can believe a tree will come out of a little seed that weighs less than an ounce when it is put in the ground and dies, but you can’t believe if this body goes into the ground it can come out and be a different body?
But what if my body is destroyed. What if I fall off a ship and fish eat me. How will God put me back together? Foolish one! How did you come together in your mother’s womb? One cell divided exponentially until a fully developed body was ready to come out of your mother’s womb.
We have information that the Apostle Paul did not have. You don’t need a whole body to reproduce a body. Scientist in England took cells from a sheep and reproduced the sheep. The cells or the DNA of everyone that has every lived from Adam to this day are on this planet. Everything you are began in one cell. God only needs one cell to reproduce your body.
What comes out of the ground when you plant a seed?
What ever is in the seed! If I don’t know what kind of seed I have, I can plant it in the ground and wait many days until something grows. What ever was in the seed will come out of the ground. Your body is like a seed; whatever is in the seed will come out of the ground hence the necessity of a spiritual resurrection before a physical one. When your body dies, the life within you determines what kind of body comes out of the ground. If you are still dead in trespasses and sins, the death in you will determine what kind of body comes out of the ground, a living or dead one. Jesus said, “Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation” (John 5:28-29).
Everyone is coming out of the ground. On that day, you won’t be able to hide who you really are anymore. It will be real easy to separate the wheat from the tares on that day because nothing will be hidden anymore.
And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt. Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.
Who will rise to shine like the brightness of the firmament? Those who are wise! There are good men by the standards of this world who will rise to shame and everlasting contempt simply because they refused to believe God tells the truth. Men who lived good lives and did good things but are too ignorant to look in their own backyard and see a reason to believe God can give life to the dead. Foolish one!
If you are wise you can overcome all the bad you have done. SO BE WISE! Let Jesus make you alive in him and you will arise with time on your side!