Did you know that our resurrected bodies will not only be perfected but also drastically improved? This is not a theory or guess but a revealed, rock-solid, biblical truth.
[This post is part of a series about 6 aspects of the Gospel that overpower our desire to lust]
In fact, it is a truth Paul thought should motivate the sex-crazed Corinthians to keep themselves pure. In our passage in 1 Corinthians, he only briefly alludes to the truth, but later in the same book he goes into great detail:
“What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory. So it is with the resurrection of the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:36-42).
How does this passage motivate anyone to stay sexually pure? In the previous post we saw that Paul is pleading with us like sons who will miss out on great things if we continue to disobey. What is it about resurrected bodies that we will miss out on?
Here are three things sexual idolaters will miss out on:
A true change of self as drastic as the growth from seed to plant
Keep in mind that Paul has seen the only example of a resurrected body–Jesus Christ himself. Paul uses this seed/plant metaphor to describe his experience, not his theory.
Think about the difference between a plant and its seed. Experienced gardeners can tell what kind of plant a seed will become just by looking at it. But that is only because they have seen it happen. There is absolutely no way to know what kind of plant a seed will produce if you have not seen it happen before.
Likewise, there is no way to tell what our resurrected bodies will be like just by studying our current bodies. We have to believe the testimony of those who have seen it.
I don’t know if we will be able to fly or have the eyesight of eagles or run as fast as cheetahs. But what I do know is that my resurrected body will be as much more lively, fruitful, and beautiful as a plant is more than its seed.
If I persist in lust, I will never know this self-actualization that is far beyond what any self-help guru has ever imagined.
A capacity for pleasure far beyond what our current bodies can handle
Paul always views life as something that truly begins after death, not before. With an eternal perspective, our life on earth is more like the underground growth a seed undergoes before it even breaks through the surface. Eternal life for the Christian has barely just begun.
Flesh and blood cannot even inherit the kingdom of God. We cannot be all that God wants us to be with our current bodies. We cannot enjoy all that God wants us to enjoy with our current bodies.
We cannot even imagine what the heavenly pleasures will be like. There is no possible way to put it to words ecxept through mysterious metaphors. That means we have to trust those who have seen it.
Paul saw the pleasures of heaven with his own eyes. And he came back and endured all kinds of suffering to spread the news of what he saw.
He said, “I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us” (Romans 8:18).
And, “This light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
The joy of glorifying God more than we ever could in our current bodies
There is incredible joy when you do something you were made to do. And we were made to glorify God. The whole purpose of God resurrecting us with these remarkable new bodies is to bring glory to himself. It is the reason behind everything he does.
He has intimately united our joy with his glory. That means the more joy he gives us the more glory he receives. And the greatest joy he can give us is giving us himself. Somehow giving us resurrect bodies is all a part of his plan to give us himself.
Our new bodies will be able to see him face-to-face without falling down dead. We will be able to encounter the Source of all Beauty and Love without being fatally overwhelmed.
He will make us into the most marvelous of creatures so that we and all other creatures can see how much more infinitely marvelous he still is.
Let this knowledge motivate you as you seek to kill lust in your heart. This is the joy you are heading for. This is the life you were made for. Don’t miss out on it. Surrender yourself to the wise commands of your maker and keep yourself pure.
Remember, through faith in Christ these promises are already yours. Don’t try to earn them. Just live in a way that is a fitting response to these promises.
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