1 CORINTHIANS 15: 37-58 -WE SHALL HAVE THE LIKENESS OF CHRIST Print E-mail

  

1 CORINTHIANS 15: 37-58

Sunday Evening Service May 19, 2013, the Year of Our Lord

Pastor Carolyn Sissom

 

WE SHALL HAVE THE LIKENESS OF CHRIST

 

1 Cor. 15:44: “It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.  There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”

 

When Philip and Andrew told Jesus of certain Greeks who desired to see Him.  It was at the time of the Feast of Passover.  These God-fearing Greeks gathered to observe the Feast of the Jews.  Jesus’ only reply to Phil and Andrew was, “Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abides alone; but if it dies, it brings forth much fruit.”  In other words, in His present position, He had no ministry for them, for He had nothing in common with them.  He must first go down into death before he could mean anything to them.  If and when His death was accomplished, then He would be able to minister life to all men, irrespective of race or nationality.   

 

The principle, obvious in nature, is illustrative of the resurrection body.  Man the seed is sown perishable, inglorious, weak, physical, but is raised a transformed being.  The earthy likeness will be transformed into a heavenly one.

 

This transformation or transfiguration is the body being raised in glory. 

 

When Moses and Elijah had appeared in glory on the mount, the Lord was “transfigured: and Moses and Elijah “appeared in glory” with him (Lk. 9:29-30).  The Glory was Christ’s Glory and He was “transfigured,” but these two men appeared in His Glory.  As he (Jesus) prayed the fashion of his countenance was altered, and his raiment was white and glistening….behold, there talked with him two men, which were Moses and Elias, who appeared in glory…”   And that, in fact, is exactly what is going to happen when Christ is manifested in the saints.   The saints are to appear with Him in Glory!  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall you also appear with him in glory (Col. 3:4). 

 

It is our participation in the transfiguration glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, just as Moses and Elijah appeared in His transfiguration glory

 

 

1 Cor 15: 37-38:  “That which you sow, you sowed not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may be wheat, or of some other grain.  But God gives it a body as it has pleased him and to every seed his own body.

 

This is easily understood in view of nature.  A small acorn grows into a mighty oak tree.  This is a matter of God’s sovereignty.  Man sows the seed, but he does not produce the plant.  Men, not just seeds will be transfigured into Christ’s glory.

 

  A small mustard seed grows into a great plant.

 

Mark 4: 30-32:  Whereunto shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or  with what comparison shall we compare it?  It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when it is sown in the earth, is less than all the seeds that be in the earth; but when it is sown, it grows up and becomes greater than all herbs, and shoots out great branches; so that the fowls of the air may lodge under the shadow of it.”

 

1 Cor. 15:39-44:  “God gives the seed a body as it has pleased him, and to every seed his own body.  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.  There are also celestial bodies, and 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 differs from another star in glory.  So also is the resurrection of the dead.  It is sown in corruption.  It is raised in incorruption.  It is sown in dishonor; it is raise in glory; it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power.  It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.  There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”

 

Col. 3;1:  “If you then are risen with Christ, see, those things which are above, where Christ sits on the right hand of God.  Set your affections on things above, not on things on the earth.”

 

God can bring life out of death and the new body, while identical in essence with the first, is as different from it as the plant from the seed.    Natural signifies that which pertains to the soul or life of man.  Spiritual denotes that which pertains to the spirit, generated and controlled by the Spirit of God.

 

1 Cor. 15: 45-49:  “And so it is written, the first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.  Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.  The first man is of the earth, earthy; the second man is the Lord from heaven.  As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy; and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly.  As we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.”

 

On resurrection day, Jesus breathed on his disciples and said to them, receive ye the Holy Ghost (Jn. 20:22).  Then the Spirit of God entered the disciples.  Just as truly as God in the beginning breathed into Adam’s nostrils the breath of life and man “became a living soul,”---so now the Last Adam (who had now become, by virtue of His death and resurrection, a “life-giving (quickening) Spirit”---1 Cor. 15:45) ---so now the Last Adam breathed into the disciples the breath of spiritual life, and they passed experientially from death unto life.

 

When we receive the Holy Spirit of God, we are being transformed into the likeness of Christs’ glory.  It is only the Spirit that can inherit the Kingdom of God.

 

The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. 

 

Mt. 12:218:  “”If I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the Kingdom of God has come unto you.”

 

1 Cor. 15:50:  “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God; neither does corruption inherit incorruption.”

 

The first man stands at the head of the old creation; the second man at the head of the new.  We have born the image of the earthy, we shall also have the likeness of Christ.

 

The image of Christ’s glory is described by John in Revelation 1:13-16:   John heard a great voice, as a trumpet…John turned to see the voice that spoke.  He saw seven golden candlesticks.  In the midst of the seven candlesticks, one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.

 

His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire.  His feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters.  He had in his right hand seven stars; and out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword; and his countenance was as the sun shines in its strength.”

 

We are told that we shall also have the likeness of Christ.  Our resurrected bodies will be changed into Christ’s glory.  As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive.  But every man in his own order… (Vs22).

 

The perishable:  That is, the physical man (flesh and blood) as he is in this world needs a transformation; without it, he inherits nothing.  It is not this present physical body that will find its possession in the Kingdom, but our Spirit.

 

When we are “born again” into the supernatural family of Jesus (Christian), then we are being transformed from faith to faith and from glory to glory until we bear His likeness:  Till we all come in the unity of the faith of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. (Eph. 4:13).

 

This transfiguration glory to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ is not just beyond the grave, but as we die daily and allow Christ to raise us up into our calling and destiny which is determined by the sovereignty of God.

 

1 Cor. 50:51-52: “Behold, I show you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.  In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and shall be changed.”

 

Paul was prepared for an imminent return of Christ, but equally so for death; we should all be in a constant state of readiness.

 

Let us keep in mind that the human eye cannot capture “the twinkling of an eye.”

 

Here the fact that the living as well as the dead will experience immediate physical transformation at Christ’s Second Advent.

 

1 Cor. 15: 53-56:  For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  So when this corruption shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory”.  O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory?  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.”

 

Isa. 25:8:  He will swallow up death, in victory; and the Lord God will wipe tears from off all  faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth; for the Lord has spoken it.  It shall be said IN THAT DAY, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him; and he will save us; this is the Lord; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

 

The devil tries to use the law to intimidate believers, but since Christ fulfilled the Law for us, we are totally free from the power (Rom. 10:4).  He set us free from the fear of death by giving us His life, a life over which death has no power (Rom. 8:2).  He has redeemed us completely from the curse of the Law (Heb. 2;14; Gal. 3:13). 

 

 

1 Cor. 57-58: “Thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

 

Carolyn Sissom, Pastor

Eastgate Ministries, Inc.

www.eastgateministries.com

Scripture from K.J.V.; I entered into the labors of George Warnock—Feast of Tabernacles; F. F. Bruce Bible Commentary, Paul W. Marsh; Comments and conclusions are my own and not meant to reflect the views of those whom I entered into their labors.

Rom. 12:2:  Be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed “transfigured” by the renewing of your mind.”

 

2 Cor. 3:18:  “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed (transfigured) into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

 
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