Monday, August 25, 2014
Creation: A Christian's Bedrock Part 8
The same hopeless labyrinth of error arrives if one carries this conclusion into 1st Corinthians chapter 15. Here is the “nutshell gospel” as I like to call it. This is how Paul began this chapter in his systematic defense of the reality of bodily resurrection, ultimately linking his argument again to the contrast between the first and second Adam. The resurrection was necessary, Paul argues that the natural body of a man with the sin nature is sown and the spiritual body is raised from it.
The apostle likens the two differing bodies with contrasting terms such as “corruption and incorruption,” “dishonor and glory,” “weakness and power,” “natural and spiritual.” He finishes this part of his discourse by confirming without doubt there is a natural body and there is a spiritual body, 1st Corinthians 15:44. “And so it is written, ‘The first man Adam became a living being.’ The last Adam became a life giving spirit,” verse 45. Paul assures us that “as was the man of dust (Adam), so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man (Jesus), so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man,” 1st Corinthians 15:48-49.
We have borne Adam’s image; that is we are born with a nature like Adam’s own. We are subject to the judgment of death God passed on this creation. “For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive,” 1st Corinthians 15:21-22. Again we have the double affirmation that it was man’s doing that death entered the universe, and that if we are not born again but remain represented by Adam our father death is our certain end, spiritual and physical. But if we are in Christ, the second Adam, we are re-made in His image and receive eternal life and finally when our bodies are raised in the resurrection, immortality. Again this immense insight and wisdom about the condition of man’s spirit, the presence of death in the world and what becomes of us at death and thereafter becomes meaningless if we cast out the foundation of creation. For the Holy Spirit lays the groundwork of Christ’s offering for sin once for all on the reality that death is not a natural process but its presence is a tacit reminder of man’s rebellion. The whole creation suffers from the corruption of bondage death brings as it waits to be delivered into the liberty of the children of God, Romans 8:21.
The gospel suffers violence at the hands of professing Christians who have no faith in the revelation vouchsafed for us in the pages of Scripture. Jude urges Christians to earnestly contend for the faith once for all delivered to the saints, Jude 1:3. We are not counseled to pick and choose what portions of Scripture we believe and jettison or remake the rest by means of our own corrupted reasoning. This appalling and groundless lack of faith on our part in modern Christendom is surely a sign that Christ’s return is near, for our Lord said “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?” Luke 18:8. As Christianity at large seeks to replace revelation with faulty rationale we must hold fast and contend for the faith as we are commanded, and this includes the truth regarding man’s origin and God’s direct influence in creation. Why question what is said when so clear of an account is given?
“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing, which he will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords,” 1st timothy 6:12-15.