The Berean Expositor
Volume 47 - Page 32 of 185
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The Apostle turns now to the analogy of the sown seed. Life can only come from seed
if it dies. The Lord Jesus had already spoken the same truth ". . . . . except a corn of
wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much
fruit" (John 12: 24). One does not sow the mature crop, but just the bare grain at the
beginning and from this God gives it a `body' as He has chosen. So with the believer,
death is not the end. At the time God wills an unending life with a resurrection body is
provided by Him, but this does not mean that these bodies are identical.
Paul now changes his word from body to flesh in order to emphasize this:
"All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one flesh of men, another flesh of beasts,
and another flesh of birds, and another of fishes. There are also celestial bodies, and
bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is
another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory
of the stars; for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection
of the dead" (15: 39-42 R.V.).
In nature God has provided variety; in the future life enjoyed in resurrection this is
also true. There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, each having their particular
`glory'. These do not refer to stars, but to the resurrection bodies of believers. It is
God's purpose that some shall occupy a position in the heavenlies, `far above all', while
others will be blessed on the new earth. These differing spheres of glory will demand
bodies that are suited to the sphere.
Paul now does turn to astronomy and comments on the variation in brightness of each
star. Like this, he declares, is the resurrection of the dead. The contrast is now made
with the entry into this life where sin and death dominate, and the entry into the next
where these great enemies are abolished for ever. The `sowing' must not be made to
refer to burial, but birth, for seed must be alive when it is sown, or nothing will come
from it. The sowing is in corruption; the raising in incorruption. The sowing likewise
takes place in dishonour and weakness; the raising up in power and glory.
The present body is `natural'; the future body is `spiritual'. The word `natural' is
psuchikos, allied to psuche `soul'. It is the `flesh and blood' body that is dominated by
the five senses and as such, cannot inherit the kingdom of God (see verse 50). It could
not exist in the future spheres of glory, being totally inadequate and imperfect for such
conditions. But the resurrection body, animated by the Spirit of God, will give complete
equipment and be all-sufficient. Thus resurrection is not just the re-animation of corpses.
It is however completely dependent on Christ's resurrection but even so each retains its
own individuality and receives a spiritual body suited to the sphere of glory that God
has willed each to have in His redemptive purpose. This partly answers the query of
verse 35.
The Apostle now goes back to the creation of man:
"So also it is written, the first man Adam became a living soul. The last Adam
became a life-giving spirit. Howbeit that is not first which is spiritual, but that which is
natural; then that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second
Man is of heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the