Redemption of Our Bodies
True Christianity "sets its affection on things
which are above, not on things which are on the earth."
True Christianity is filled with hope. The second coming is our
blessed hope (Titus 2:13), and the hope of glory (Col. 1:27). It is a
sure and certain hope because of its specific content concerns the return of
God promises the Christian believer the resurrection of the body, the
adoption of Gods children, and gathering of Gods harvest at the end of time.
The Christians hope is confidence and security grounded on the sure Word of God, the
Bible. Since God says this is coming about we can rest secure and confidently on His Word.
We wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our
bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes
for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it
patiently (Romans 8:23-25).
With eager expectation the apostle Paul awaits the redemption
of our body (v. 23). Paul has in mind the resurrection of our bodies, when the work
of Godbegun by the atoning death of Jesus Christ, and continued by the work of the
Holy Spirit in joining us to Christ and sanctifying uswill be completed.
He has in mind the great day of consummation when Christ returns. It
will be the complete deliverance of the believer. The Creator who holds life and death in
His hands will dispel all darkness from the tomb and we will be free at last.
Robert Haldane wrote, His light alone can dispel the darkness
of the tomb. It is only His hand that can break its seal and its silence.
It is because Christ has risen form the dead that we have this
blessed hope of the exceeding greatness of the power of God to us who believe, according
to the working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ Jesus when He raised Him
from the dead (Eph. 1:19, 20).
Redemption of the body speaks of the bodily
resurrection of the believer. The apostle Paul speaks of our being clothed with the immortal and incorruptible
body (Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 15:43-55; 2 Cor. 5:2, 3; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Phil. 3:21).
It will be a body prepared and equipped for dwelling in heaven. This
body of humiliation will be conformed to the likeness of the body of
Christ in glory (Phil. 3:20-21). The child of God anxiously awaits that
blessed hope and glorious appear of our Savior (1 John 3:1-3).
Salvation includes our bodies. We will have complete redemption of
the body and soul. These weak and sinful bodies we now possess will one day be transformed
into bodies that are sinless, strong, beautiful and glorious. They will be like the
resurrected body of our glorious Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The English word hope in its modern usage does not
communicate the deep assurance Paul stresses in the original. It is not a vague weak
desire, but firm assurance in the power and eternal purposes of God. In the context (v.
18) Paul has already stated that he considers, reckons in a
calculated, mental weighing of the evidence and has come to the reasoned conclusion. The
word hope expresses strong assurance and not doubt that nothing in this life
can be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us when Christ
returns. The glory will be revealed in us. In the coming age all that is
involved in our being sons of God will become apparent and that this will be a
revelation in us as well as to us.
It is an eager, anxious, waiting, stretching out our necks searching
for that glorious day. Even the inanimate creation, not men, angels or demons (v. 22),
waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God (v. 19).
How tragic that the fall of Adam affected also the entire nonhuman
creation. When God created the world He saw that it saw good, very good.
The entire creation sighs and throbs with pain, but it is
not undergoing death pangs, but birth pangs. That is why the whole
creation groans and suffers the pain of childbirth together until now (v. 22). There
is hope, expectancy. God is going to produce something completely new, and all of creation
awaits that glorious event (Isa. 11:6-9; Rev. 21-22).
We will rise from the dead. Our salvation is a foretaste of the
greater things He wil do later. What we have now in Christ is real, but it is not the
whole thing yet (1 John 3:2; 1 Cor. 15:44, 51; Phil. 3:21).
With hushed expectancy the whole creation awaits eagerly for the day
of our complete redemption in glory. We look forward to the full restoration of all that
God has done for us in Christ Jesus. The full extent of our salvation is yet to appear in
glory. Even so, come Lord Jesus.
Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006
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