Paul says we Christians are running a race. Here's what I'm looking at on my run toward Christ.

Monday, January 27, 2014

From Acorn to Oak

1 Corinthians 15 is perhaps my favorite chapter of Paul's letter.  Please read it as it talks about the resurrection of Christ, the dead and the body.

Paul gives this as the bare bones definition of the Gospel:

"... that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to Scriptures..." 1 Corinthians 15:3-4

I am going to assume that you believe that Jesus was raised from the dead.  I'm also going to assume that you know that believers will be raised from the dead and given eternal life.  This is the promise of the Gospel.  This is the truth we are told to stand firmly upon.  Without this our faith is useless and should be abandoned.

But what about our heavenly bodies?  Paul says we we rise again with heavenly bodies.  What will these be like?  Why do we need new bodies?  Is my current body ugly?

Paul writes that we currently have bodies with splendor.

"... the splendor of the heavenly bodies is one kind, and the splendor of the earthly bodies is another." 1 Corinthians 15:40

Our bodies have splendor.  We are made in the image of God by a skillful, artistic creator God.  Don't ever say that you aren't beautiful and wonderfully made because the Bible says you are.

So, why then will we need heavenly bodies if our earthly bodies have splendor?  Paul says that our heavenly bodies will have a different kind or different level of splendor.  We are made in the image of God now, but that image is cloudy.  Remember that in those days they didn't have mirrors like we do. To see one's image one might look in the water or in the reflection on metal.  The image is a reflection but not a perfect reflection.  So, our heavenly bodies will be a splendorous reflection of the glory of God.

"Just as we have born the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven (Jesus)."  1 Corinthians 15:49

What will our heavenly bodies be like other than that?  Will we all be little Jesus clones?  Absolutely not.  We will reflect His character but retain the essence of who He created us to be as individuals.

Think of it this way.  An acorn is a beautiful part of nature.  But put the acorn in the ground and it will grow into a towering, beautiful, majestic oak tree.  The acorn will never turn into a pine tree or a palm tree.  The acorn of an oak will only turn into an oak.  And we can always look at an oak tree and know what it used to be.  The oak tree has the same essence as the acorn, the same genetic makeup but a different type of splendor and there is no arguing which splendor is better.

We are like that.  In heaven we will keep our essence while enhancing our splendor.  In fact, in heavenly we won't be less like ourselves we will be ourselves as we were designed to be.  In the end of time our friends and family that we will meet in heaven will be recognizable yet completely morphed into their splendid heavenly form.

We will be changed like an acorn into an oak.  We will be raised from death to eternal life because of the death and resurrection of Jesus!  This is our hope.

"'Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?'

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God!  He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm.  Let nothing move you.  Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."  1 Corinthians 15:55-58

We have immense hope. We will rise again.  We can laugh at death.  We will receive heavenly bodies that will not have aches and pains.  Because of our hope we can and must stand firmly on the Gospel. We can and must be fully devoted to the work of the Lord because if God can give us this hope how much more can He ensure that our work in Him is not in vain?

Stand firm on the Gospel.  Be devoted to work of the Lord because your labor will not be in vain today.


  1. Soooo encouraging!! I'm so grateful to have you as a big brother in Christ - and best-friend-in-law! :)

  2. Thanks. It was nice Skyping with you last night.