The Meaning of the Resurrection - RR274N25A
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|This transcript is unedited. It was:|
|Archived by the Mt. Olive Tape Library|
|Digitized, transcribed, and published by Christ Rules|
|Posted by with permission.|
[Man speaking] Our most good and gracious God and heavenly Father, we thank You for the privilege we have of gathering together in your name. We thank You that on this Lord’s Day that we can have rest in the assurance of Your care for us and Your provision for our every need. We thank You that we can gather together confident that Thy word is truth, that you determine the fate of men and of nations and that our very days are in Your hands. We pray that You give us strength and assurance, confident in Your lordship over area of life. We pray that You would renew us in that strength this coming week. We pray that You would give us a confidence to do what is right because we know it is right, to stand upon Your truth because we know that it is truth. Help us in Your word in our faith to have increasing meaning and purpose in our life. Help us to shape our thinking, our families and our lives. Bless now this time we have together in Your word, we ask this in Christ our Savior’s name, Amen.
[Rushdoony] Our scripture this morning is First Corinthians 15:29-44. Our subject: The Meaning of the Resurrection. 29-44, First Corinthians 15. The Meaning of the Resurrection.
“Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? why are they then baptized for the dead?
30 And why stand we in jeopardy every hour?
31 I protest by your rejoicing which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.
32 If after the manner of men I have fought with beasts at Ephesus, what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die.
33 Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners.
34 Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.
35 But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come?
36 Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die:
37 And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain:
38 But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
39 All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
40 There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.
41 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.
42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption:
43 It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power:
44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.” [00:04:27]
As Paul develops the meaning of the resurrection he...
As Paul develops the meaning of the resurrection he stresses in the rest of this section two things. First, the resurrection and the resurrection body are normative. Our bodies now reflect the world of the fall, the descriptive word for them is corruption. They belong to the world of sin and death. Our bodies are raised to in-corruption, to power and are from heaven and are spiritual. Second what is normative for us is more than a new condition, more than a resurrection body and eternal life. It is the last Adam, Jesus Christ. We are therefore not to see this life, our present body and our present potentialities as normative. The man Jesus Christ, not God who is incarnate in him is our norm. He is the second or last Adam. He is the one from heaven whose victory over sin and death becomes our victory and His eternal life, our eternal life. Paul bars us from viewing ourselves and eternity in terms of either the first Adam or ourselves. Paul begins his discussion of this aspect of the resurrection to turning our attention to baptism as essentially related. His expression in verse twenty nine ‘baptized for the dead’ is confusing. No such rite existed in the early church. It has become a Mormon practice whereby dead ancestors are saved by a proxy present day baptism. If the dead do not rise, Paul says, this baptism is in vain. [00:07:13]
Now what does he mean? Obviously no such practice as...
Now what does he mean? Obviously no such practice as that created by the Mormons existed. Clearly the early church saw no mandate to save the dead by such a rite. It was not until eighteen hundred years later that the Mormons created it. Paul apparently saw baptism as preparation for death and resurrection. Baptism signified one’s entrance into the new life in Christ. It meant a cleansing and a renewal, whereby the old man was put off, and the new man was put on. Baptism sets forth regeneration in Jesus Christ, our new man. Now. Baptism means our death and resurrection are set forth in this rite. Else Paul asks ‘why stand we in jeopardy every hour?’ by professing Christ the believer joined the army of God and its planned conquest of all men and all nations. This is the essence of the meaning of the rite. It is a preparation, it is a witness that we belong to a different order that is born just to sin and die. In this sense Baptism for the dead means not only preparation for death and resurrection, but sets froth also that we separate ourselves from the fallen world of Adam, the realm of sin and death and are ready to die for our Savior King Jesus Christ. Paul assures the Corinthians that he dies daily for Christ Jesus our Lord, that is, he is in constant readiness to make his faithfulness stand the test of persecution. He reminds them of something known to them all, perhaps witnessed by some. That in the arena of the Roman circus at Ephesus he had fought with wild beasts and survived. He adds, what advantages it me if the dead rise not? Let us eat and drink for tomorrow we die. The choice is stated bluntly. If Jesus Christ is not our risen Lord and King why be ready to die for Him? If the first Adam and the world of sin and death is our only real world we might as well follow a course of hedonism because all then is meaningless. [00:10:45]
Be not deceived, evil communications corrupt good manners...
Be not deceived, evil communications corrupt good manners. We cannot live in a world of a community of doubt without sharing its corruption. We must therefore awake to righteousness to avoid sin. Too many in the church do not truly know God and therefore they know sin and doubt too readily. Some of these [unknown] how are the dead raised up and with what body do they come? Unless they are given a set of instructions about the nature of the resurrection they will not believe. They want to know everything that happens and does it meet their tests. These doubters also raise the question ‘with what body do they come?’. Their frame of reference is this world. It is assumed that they will come back to the present context. Paul is blunt in his response, thou fool he calls these questioners because they insist on seeing this present world as normative. When we sow seed it cannot come to life unless it die. The natural order all around us sees death as the prelude to life. The sum seed must die before it comes to life as a plant or as a tree. That which is, that which we plant is part of a world that perishes, a world that does not rule, a world that is to come so what we sow is like a barren grain. So we can say of wheat or some other grain that it does not represent the future, it is created for the future but there is a difference between a grain of wheat and a wheat plant that is ordained by the creator. In any case God giveth it a body as it has pleased Him and to every seed his own body. It is God who determines our being, our future, both in this world and the world to come. Bodies can be terrestrial, of this world and also celestial, of the heavenly realm. Each has its own glory but that of the celestial differs and by implication is far superior. The glory of God is reflected in all his creation but in this world and the world to come we see the shadow only. [00:14:52]
In creation as we know it, the sun and moon and individual...
In creation as we know it, the sun and moon and individual stars all differ in glory but all set forth the glory of the Lord. As David expresses it ‘the heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament showeth His handiwork’. We are summoned to see His glory in all things, so also is the resurrection of the dead. We must see its glory, even though now we see all things in this world as part of the fallen world of sin and death. Although the body is part of a world of corruption it is raised in incorruption. It is sown in dishonor as part of a realm of sin and death but it is raised in incorruption. Sin and death dishonor us, so that the death concludes the dishonor but the body is raised in power and glory. The body that dies in dishonor and weakness is raised in glory and honor so that the world of the old Adam is negated and set aside. The natural body is replaced by a spiritual body, the fallen body by the resurrection body that ends the dominion of sin and death. The focus of the resurrection is thus the new creation overall which Christ the redeemer shall reign eternally. Our thinking is geared and conditioned by a world of sin and geared in conditioned by a world of death whereas the new creation is marked by righteousness and eternal life. As a result to believe in the resurrection as Paul declares it is to work to obey God’s law word as His redeemed people and to become citizens of God’s new creation. The conclusion will be a new creation of sin and death, free of corruption in which we, Christ’s new humanity will serve and glorify him eternally. Let us pray. [00:17:39]
Our Lord and our God, we give thanks unto Thee for...
Our Lord and our God, we give thanks unto Thee for this Thy word. We thank Thee that Jesus Christ our King has destroyed the power of sin and death, has made us a new creation for time and eternity. Give us grace therefore to walk day by day that all may see that we are children of the King, that as His people we are more than conquerors of all things. Bless us by Thy sovereign grace, for Thy holy purpose, In Christ’s name, Amen.
Are there any questions now about our lesson? Yes?
[Question] In verses thirty eight and thirty nine would you comment on the current trend toward using animal parts for implantation in humans and genetic alterations?
[Rushdoony] Yes, I think it’s wrong. It refuses to see a clear cut line between men and animals. The result is a rejection factor sets in and the rejection factor sets in even when another person’s parts are used. As a result of that they have to use all kinds of medication to prevent the rejection. So what they are systematically saying is we are not bound by the terms of creation. And they create an artificial world and it has been said by one or two fo the people who have been the objects of such surgery that there are very unpleasant side effects. How universal that is, I don’t know. Are there any other questions? [00:20:51]
Men are determined nowadays to prove that it is not...
Men are determined nowadays to prove that it is not God’s world and they can do as they please with it. And this is why they work systemically to set aside those conditions that God has imposed in nature. They are going to create a totally different world order. If there are no further questions let us conclude with prayer.
Bless us our Father in faithfulness to thee. Watch over us day by day, heal us, strengthen us and bless us. And now go in peace, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost, bless you and keep you, guide and protect you, this day and always, Amen.