Guest post today from Rev. David W. Davis pastor of Sunshine Advent Christian Church. He is sharing with us a devotion for next fall’s edition of the Maranatha Devotions which celebrates 150 years of the Advent Christian denomination.
1 Corinthians 15:35-49
Late in winter avid gardeners prepare potting mix, trays, fertilizer and choose a selection of seeds. Each seed chosen by the gardener is unique, carrying with it the DNA to make its kind–whether a tomato plant, bean bush or cucumber vine. Paul used this analogy from creation to describe what God’s children are going to be—along with other examples: types of flesh (human, animals, birds, fish); celestial bodies (sun, moon, stars, earth); and finally Jesus’ body and our own.
Paul used these arguments because the Corinthians had serious questions for him about the final state of man. These Greeks were uncertain because of the paradox that their philosophy taught them (matter was evil and to be escaped from, the spirit is what really mattered) as contrasted with Paul’s message (God will redeem body and spirit). Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul showed the Corinthians that what we are now in the flesh is not what we are going to be, no more than the seeds a gardener plants remain seeds when planted.
Paul knew that Jesus has “abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1:10, NRSV). Therefore, though we (unless Jesus returns before we die) are planted into the sleep of death (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18) with a body that will return to dust (Genesis 3:19)—perishable, dishonored, weak and physical—the Holy Spirit within us has the spiritual DNA to transform our body at the time of resurrection to one that is imperishable, glorious, powerful and spiritual. Paul says that in the end we will “bear the image of the man of heaven [Jesus]”. The Apostle John agrees as he states, “Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is” (1 John 3:2, NRSV)!
Heavenly Father, please continue your Spirit’s transforming work in me, so that I will be like Jesus (Philippians 1:6).