In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul contrasts our present, mortal “natural bodies” with our future resurrected “spiritual bodies.” What exactly is a spiritual body? Why does Paul devote so much discussion to this point? And what practical relevance can this possibly have for our lives today?
In the sermon below, Alan Gomes unpacks Paul’s meaning about these two kinds of bodies and illuminates for us what knowing this means for our lives today. After delving into some foundational concepts on the kind of life Adam had before he fell, our present bodies as corrupted by sin, and our future resurrection bodies, he turns to three important ways in which knowing this can transform our lives in practical ways. He shows why a correct view of the nature of the resurrection keeps us from an unhealthy attachment to this world, how a proper understanding of the resurrection body will energize our devotion to God’s kingdom work, and why our belief in a physical body on a stunningly majestic and physical new earth will help us to face death with serene confidence and hopeful anticipation.
In the sermon above, Gomes talks about the life-changing effects he experienced by his “deep dive” into the Bible on the subject of the afterlife. He has expressed the mature fruits of this reflection in his 40 Questions About Heaven and Hell. For him this reflection was no mere academic exercise but was intensely personal.
Gomes states, “I know that many consider it a waste of time to think about the afterlife. After all, this present life has more than enough trouble. So why bother with it? However, I am firmly convinced that thinking about death and what comes after it is the single most practical activity we can do. And yes, it affects everything else we do! What you truly believe about the life beyond determines your loves, motivations, goals, and how you direct all of your energies in this one.” (p. 17)
After considering his own grief over the state of the world, Gomes overturns his grief with the hope we find in Jesus Christ; the hope of resurrection life in the age to come. “Though I grieve over the state of our world and of the pain of personal loss, though I mourn over the depravity that lies within the secret places of my own heart, I do so as one who looks to an ultimate victory—to a day when every tear will be wiped away from my eyes and from the eyes of those I deeply love (Rev. 21:4). Someday the world will be ruled in righteousness by the man whom God has appointed heir of all things, the Lord Jesus Christ, “the root and the descendant of David, the bright morning star (Heb. 1:2; Rev. 22:16).” (p. 23)
To read more from Alan Gomes, consider his response to questions of our eternal state. Additionally, Dr. Gomes has written a two-part post on heaven and hell for The Good Book Blog, which can be found here and here.
“A lot of us, even Christians, have non-Christian views of heaven and hell. Drawing on many years of teaching theology, Alan Gomes grounds his answers in Scripture. This is a superb resource!”
—Michael Horton, J. Gresham Machen Professor of Systematic Theology and Apologetics, Westminster Seminary California