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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A Glorified Body; the Gravity of Christ In Us

There is much focus of late, both the religious and so-called secular camps, on 'Heaven' & the 'After Life'!  'Is there life after death?' and what is 'Heaven really like?'; 'is there a 'heaven'?' are just of few of the questions being considered. The real question is, though, should we consider them at all!?

With so much of a focus on what happens to us when this physical body perishes, is it any wonder that the mission of the evangelical church seems to have simply become 'saving souls for the after-life', so that they can go to 'Heaven' instead of 'Hell' when they die!? If we are simply to save souls for some utopian after-life, why then does the apostle John, in the Revelation ( 22:2 ) say that 'The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.' If Salvation & Heaven are about some sort of neo-physical after-life, then why would God even worry about healing the nations? Isn't He going to just destroy everything anyway, like Peter warns in II Peter 3?

In a previous article on the subject of 'the Glorified Body'; we discussed what for the Church has become a stanchion for the doctrine of Resurrection. Because Jesus was raised up in His biological Body, so must we. The Son of God returned to biological existence ( for a while ) in the selfsame Body that was placed in the tomb, three significant days earlier!

Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.
Romans 8:30

The same Greek verb, 'doxazō' that Jesus uses in His prayer, 'And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.' ( John 17:5 ) is the same word that Paul used above to describe our Glorified Body! As we discussed in short previously, we would like to speculate that our individual human bodies will become super-human in their glorified state, but Scripture doesn't give us any such picture! I must admit, though, since our Heavenly Father dwells in His People, we have, in a sense, become supermen ( and women ), able to metaphorically leap tall buildings in a single bound!

We've explored previously, as well, and to some extent, what it really means when we say that Christ is 'in us'. We read, with our individualistic mindset, phrases like 'I can do all things through Christ[b] who strengthens me' ( Philippians 4:13 ) and turn them into political catchphrases, with God promising anything from what can be clearly gleaned from the immediate context to superhuman feats 'if you just believe'!

To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which[d] is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Colossians 1:27

I would seem that the apostle Paul taught that 'the Glorified Body' was one in which Christ dwelt! We know that Paul, as a good Jew, was a student of Scripture, and as the Hebrew Scriptures ( AKA, Old Testament ) were what he studied, he undoubtedly drew upon these Scriptures for ALL of his doctrine! The Tabernacle & Temple that were prevalent throughout these Scriptures were significant of the Presence of God, His Dwelling among His People. the Promise of the New Covenant, of course, was that 'I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.' ( Jeremiah 31:33 ) From of old, the Promise had always been 'I will dwell among the children of Israel and will be their God.' ( Exodus 29:45 - compare John 14:23 ).

As we live in 'The Truth of the Resurrection', as 'sons of the resurrection' ( Luke 20:27-38 ), let us determine to Live Gloriously, being members individually of the Body of Christ, the New Temple in which our Heavenly Father now dwells for Eternity! Let us give up vain imaginings of what glories we may see once we are free of this biological body, and focus rather on the Glory which has been set before us, that of our Heavenly Father and the continuous expansion of His Glorious Kingdom, which has come 'On Earth as it is in Heaven'!

Gloriously,
Charles Haddon Shank

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