Today's Foundations Devotional: Five distinctive changes
So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption,
it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonour, 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. There is a natural body, and there is a
(1 Corinthians 15:42-44)
In his analysis of the nature of the believer’s resurrection body, Paul closes by listing a series of specific changes that will take place.
1. The present body is corruptible, subject to corruption – to sickness, decay and old age. The new body will be incorruptible – free from all these evils.
2. The present body is mortal – subject to death. The new body will be immortal – incapable of death.
3. The present body is a body of dishonour. In Philippians 3:21 it is called “our lowly body.” But a more literal translation of this would be “the body of our humiliation.” Man’s present body is the outcome of his sin and disobedience to God. It is a continual source of humiliation – a continual reminder of the fall and of the resultant physical frailty and insufficiency. No matter how great man’s achievements may be in the realms of art or science, he is continually humbled and brought low by the physical needs and limitations of his body. However, the new resurrection body will be a body of beauty and glory, free from all of man’s present limitations.
4. The present body is committed to the grave in weakness.
The act of burial is the final acknowledgement of man’s debt to death; it is the supreme confession of man’s weakness. But the new body will be raised up from the grave by the power of almighty God, and the resurrection will thus be a testimony of God’s omnipotence, swallowing up the power of death and the grave.
5. The present body is a natural body – literally, a “soulish” body. (The Greek word translated natural ispsuchikos, directly derived from psuche, the word for “soul.” It is a pity that English does not use the corresponding adjective, soulish.)
According to God’s original pattern in creation, man was to be a triune being consisting of spirit, soul and body. Of these three elements, man’s spirit was capable of direct communication and fellowship with God and was intended to control the lower elements of man’s nature – the soul and the body. However, as a result of man’s yielding to temptation at the fall, these lower elements of his nature – the soul and the body – gained control. This produced far-reaching changes both in man’s inner personality and in his physical body. His body became “soulish.” Henceforth, its organs and functions were given over to the expression and satisfaction of the lower desires of his soul but were incapable of fully expressing the higher aspirations of his spirit.
In some sense this “soulish” body is a prison – a place of confinement and restriction for man’s spirit. However, the new resurrection body will be “spiritual.” It will be perfectly adapted to express and fulfil the highest aspirations of man’s spirit. Clothed in this new body, the spirit will once again be the controlling element, and the whole personality of the resurrected believer will function in harmony and perfection under the spirit’s control.
Holy, exalted Lord, reading how much our perishable body is indeed
"soulish" and tends to live, together with the world around us, primarily
for and from the soul, I ask You to protect me from this and make me
vigilant to be busy with the things of You, from above. Amen.