SPOKEN PRAYER: Out loud, pray for God to speak to you through your reading. Praise God for giving us His word. Ask the Spirit to help you read with faith, and to live out what you hear from God through the passage.
A Guarantee of a New Body
by Dave Mann
What a rich passage this is! Other parallel passages are 1 Corinthians 15:42-58 and Romans 8:18-25. These provide us with the sure and certain promise that all believers in Christ will be given new, immortal, imperishable, spiritual bodies in order to live with God forever. That is quite a promise. It is hard to imagine what this will be like, especially when we have so many problems with our bodies. It seems like our physical bodies are the center of who we are. But the promise of a new body shifts the centrality of our being elsewhere.
C.S. Lewis wrote, “You don’t have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.” Lewis in his later years was known to refer to his aging body as “a bag of bones.” He was likely experiencing the aches and pains that become increasingly common. But believers can look forward to the day when the problems of a physical body are no longer part of our daily lives. We take care of our bodies, a gift from the Lord, in the best way we can. However, these bags of bones will eventually wear out and believers will receive new bodies.
What assurance do we have that this transformation will happen? Of course, we have the faithful character of God that all his promises are certain. His word does not return void – Isaiah 55:11. But in addition to this, as though it were not already enough, God provides us with a guarantee -- the Spirit dwelling in you. When you sense the presence of the Spirit, it is a foretaste, a deposit, a show of good faith, an earnest demonstration by God that an imperishable body will be a reality for you and all baptized believers in Christ.
When God fashioned us with a physical body, it was a gift, but not the final gift. The future goal of our life, our eternal life, is to have a body that will live forever in the presence of the Lord.
Lord Jesus, thank you for the gift of this temporary, physical body. Please help me take care of it as long as it can last. But I also thank you for the spiritual body that will be mine forever in your presence. Most of all, thank you for the Holy Spirit dwelling inside of mine – that earnest demonstration of the faithfulness of all your good gifts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.