Sunday, 12 April 2015
And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. 1 Corinthians 15:49
This verse further explains verse 46 which said, “However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.” Adam is the “natural” whom Paul is referring to. He was created from the dust and was earthly. As we are descendants of Adam, we bear his image. This means that we are also of the dust. It is an obvious truth that all people know and understand. When our lives end, we quickly decay and return to the earth from which we came. But there is good news for the believer in Christ!
Just “as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.” This does not mean all humans, but rather only those who have called on Christ. We are now “positionally” in Christ even though we don’t yet actually bear His image. Eventually, we will bear His image; a reality which means that we will never again see decay or corruption. What He is like, we shall also be like. As our current body is suited to the earth and is tied to our relationship to Adam, our future body will be suited to heaven and will be tied to our relationship to Christ.
It should be noted that some translations say “let us also bear” rather than “we shall also bear.” This comes from a variant reading in some manuscripts, but this does not flow with the rest of Paul’s words in the surrounding verses. He is not exhorting us, but rather teaching us. His words in this chapter are an explanation of the issue. It is true that because we are “in Christ” we should act in that manner, but regardless of whether we do or to what level we do, we shall in fact bear the image of Christ, the heavenly Man.
Life application: Christ rose from the dead, never to see corruption. He possesses a resurrection body which is glorious and suited for eternity. We shall be changed to be like this as well. What occurs here is temporary and will pass. What is coming will be eternal and it will be glorious. Don’t lose hope, but rather cling to the truth that is presented in the Bible concerning our future state.
Heavenly Father, I am grateful for every good blessing that You send my way, but I often fail to acknowledge them as they come. Forgive me for taking for granted the many wonderful things that You have graced me with in this life. Help me to acknowledge them openly so that others will see and learn to do so as well. May the praises You deserve rise in abundance from Your undeserving creatures. How great You are and You are greatly to be praised! Amen.