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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 Jesus Christ.

God promises the Christian believer the resurrection of the body, the adoption of God’s children, and gathering of God’s harvest at the end of time. The Christian’s 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 God—begun by the atoning death of Jesus Christ, and continued by the work of the Holy Spirit in joining us to Christ and sanctifying us—will 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.

Selah!

Message by Wil Pounds (c) 2006

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(c) 2006  Message by Wil Pounds. Anyone is free to use this material and distribute it, but it may not be sold under any circumstances whatsoever without the author's written consent.

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