Items posted on 3 October 2014
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1 Corinthians 15.3-5, 12-15 – Our resurrection in Christ.
Posted: 3 October 2014 in 1 Corinthians

For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve….. 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.

It would seem that an inability to believe in the power of God is no new thing. The reason for the Corinthians’ disbelief is not explicitly stated, but it can easily be surmised that it was because “everybody knows you don’t come back from the grave.” Like the present day John Selby Spong, they valued their own understanding over the words spoken by the Eternal Son, and, even though nominally believers, they didn’t want to be thought fools by their more “enlightened” contemporaries. There is nothing new under the Sun.

Speaking of our resurrection, little further down Paul says:

It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.

Which verse has been used to argue that the Bible knows nothing of an immortal soul, but only of a bodily resurrection, and that the soul is a concept which the later church borrowed from Plato. But it seems to me that, if we are to be raised with a spiritual body, something must be supposed to survive the disintegration of the natural body, so that it can be equipped with a spiritual body, and that something might as well be called the soul.

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Sometimes it is heard from atheists that “nobody wants to live forever.” One wonders at what age they would joyfully sign their own death certificate. But leaving that aside, servants are not well advised to rebel against their master, and oblivion for all eternity is not an alternative on offer from God. It is the Lord’s will that all his creatures glorify him (without exception), and if we refuse to do that voluntarily in this life, and the life to come, we will do it involuntarily, and for all eternity, in hell.

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