Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
THE CHURCH THAT HAS TO BEAR WITNESS TO THE RESURRECTION
Vs 4: While we live in this earthly tent, we groan with a feeling of oppression; it is not that we want to get rid of our earthly body, but that we want to have the heavenly one put on over us so that what is mortal will be transformed by life
Paul brings up this topic is in 2 Corinthians 5:1-10. Here Paul compares life on this earth to living in a tent. Then, he speaks of looking forward to a better dwelling for Christ-followers in the life to come.
Paul begins the chapter by saying: “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed…” (2 Corinthians 5:1). Our earthly bodies are like tents. Tents are functional but not permanent. We are not going to live in this body forever. Tents can handle some wind and rain but cannot stand up to the ferocious storms. Our heavenly body will not be a tent. To carry out the illustration, Paul calls that body a “building.” Tents are temporary; buildings are permanent. Our heavenly body will be “an eternal house in heaven.”
According to 1 Corinthians 15:35-57, however, the resurrected person is not “away from the body,” but rather transformed into a new body that is free from its mortality. The perishable body will be changed into an imperishable body. Paul does not believe in the immortality of the soul. Bodily resurrection is central to Paul’s message. The apostle believes that God will ultimately defeat death, and when that occurs mortality will no longer have dominion over the body. Just as God raised Jesus from the dead, so also God will give us victory over death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
In this passage, Paul expresses the hope of being with the Lord immediately after death. He leaves the Corinthians with the certainty that God is in the business of reconciliation, and this God, who is powerful enough to raise Jesus from the dead, can rescue them from death’s grips. As Paul says in Romans 8, nothing can “separate us from the love of God” — including death! (Romans 8:38-39).
God is committed to physical creation. It was that way before the fall into sin. And it will be that way when Christ comes again, and all creation is wonderfully restored, better than ever–including our bodies. “He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.” This is the Christian’s hope, based on the sure promises of God and the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
There isn’t much that Scripture tells us about the so-called intermediate state, that is, our status between our death and the day of the resurrection. But we do know that we will be with the Lord, and it will be good, better than our life now. Paul says in our text: “We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight. Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.” So we do know that when we die and our body is laid in the grave, we will be with the Lord. By his death and resurrection, by the forgiveness he won and the righteousness he bestows, we will be able to stand at the judgment seat of Christ. He will welcome us into our heavenly home and clothe us with our new heavenly garment, a body new and glorious.
Lord Jesus Thank You that I am not without hope, because you are my Savior, Redeemer, and Rescuer. Amen.
Thought for the day:
Christ our Savior will lead us safely on our journey “From Earthly Tent to Heavenly Home”
Marthoma Church of Greater WashingtonYea