Summary: Our resurrection

I believe in… the resurrection of the body WBC 25/11/01 pm

I Cor 15:35-57

This is a fascinating part of the creed

= not talking about the resurrection of Jesus’ body

- we’ve already conveyed belief in that

- sure, His resurrection is/was the prototype for ours (so linked in that way)

= talking about US being raised. Physically. John Brown’s body no longer lying a mouldering in the grave

- his body beings raised

- his FLESH (lit in earliest versions) being raised

This impacts us in 3 areas:

1- I wonder whether we REALLY believe this. Really

2- It’s something that’s gonna happen to ME. Has impact on ME

- v early church led by a church father called Rufus said “I believe in the resurrection of THIS body”. Just to drive that home!

3- it affects how I see… use… treat my body now.

- in one way or another THJIS is gonna be with me some time!

Facing these issues head on is a bit of a shock, really… as you don’t hear much on OUR resurrection, nowadays.

- maybe we need it included in OUR basics, as much as the early church did

- because we’ve slipped a bit from orthodoxy on it…or into ignorance

Maybe we need to study something like the creed (!) because the issues addressed in it are either

-foundational AND/OR

- contra-heresy, ignorance

That’s certainly the case, here. All kinds of heresies had sprung up


1) Greek thought (around since 3C BC, but grew and developed)

Elevated the soul… downgraded the body

Soul = immortal. Body = mortal… the big failing/mistake… thing they couldn’t wait to get rid of

- body = immaterial, even. Didn’t really matter. Elevating the soul and the mind… that’s what matters as that’s what lives on

- result = do what you like with the body. Worship it. Abuse it. Despise it. Neglect it. Look down on it

Christian thought and creed countered this. But, interestingly enough, many of US are more influenced by Gk thought/philosophy than by Xian thought

- WE often believe more in the immortality of the soul than the resurrection of the body

- (so, we need to study the creed!)

2) Gnosticism

A 1C AD heresy that grew and became a cult by end of that century

Believed in pre-eminence of knowledge (like Gks)… but went beyond that in believing secret knowledge and wisdom could give you eternal life… an eternal life that as spiritual and transcended matter

- in fact MATTER… flesh… was bad… evil. God wouldn’t touch it (and only did through layers of intermediaries).

- The flesh/body certainly wouldn’t be used, touched, saved, redeemed… have a future

- You would not be saved as a whole. Part would be. Part discarded.

3) resurrection had already happened

= a dangerous cult, obviously there in early church life

2 tim 2:17 Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.

They taught the resurrection happened

- at baptism OR

- at conversion… as it’s all symbolic.

- = a half truth… & distortion of Paul’s teaching on baptism

- (I believe there’s plenty of symbolic stuff in scripture (Revn, particularly). But not in THIS case

- or through THEIR ministry. As a bloke called Menander taught, ‘when you’re baptised into MY name- then you are resurrected)

- there is no literal resurrection.

4) It happens through your children

Illustr: Doug Webdell- “ I live on through my children , Ewen)

- genetically there’s some truth in it. But not true spiritually or physically

In those days there were people who thought these same things as folks today do- and the early church was intent on putting the record straight

JEWISH THOUGHT- our creation

Was different to all this. It believed:

God created us humans- body, soul, spirit. Inseparable. Complex

- each part valued. Not one more than another

- each part good. “behold it was v good” – included the body and physical world

- the physical realm was NOT a mistake

- each part marred by the fall

CHRISTIAN THOUGHT- total salvation

… and Christian thought was that each part was to be redeemed/saved. The whole person. The whole creation, even

God’s final/best plans was not just to save our souls, but to somehow recreate our bodies as well as

- an integral part of us

- part of our personalities

- part of His initial plan

The picture of us living without our bodies (‘unclothed’ as Paul puts it)… or in a physical realm is not God’s BEST or final picture for us

- we may have to do so for a while (in between death and His return)… and all others (except Jesus) so far HAVE

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