New Bodies (Day 36)

Read 2 Corinthians 5:1-10
   Paul contrasts our earthly body and our future resurrection body. Paul clearly states that our present body makes us groan, but when we die we will not be spirits without bodies. We will have new bodies that will be perfect for our everlasting life. 
   Paul wrote as he did because the church at Corinth was surrounded by Greek culture, and many believers had difficulty with the concept of bodily resurrection because the Greeks did not believe in it. Most saw the afterlife as something that happened only to the soul, with the real person imprisoned in a physical body. They believed that at death the soul was released; there was no immortality for the body, and the soul enters an eternal state. But the Bible teaches that the body and soul are not permanently separated. 
   Paul describes our resurrected body in 1 Corinthians 15:46-58. We will still have personalities and recognizable characteristics in our resurrected body, but through Christ’s work, our body will be better than we can imagine. The Bible does not tell us everything about our resurrected body, but we know that it will be perfect, without sickness, disease, or pain (Philippians 3; Revelation 21). 
    The Holy Spirit within us is our guarantee that God will give us an everlasting body at the resurrection. We have eternity in us now. This truth should give us great courage and patience to endure anything we might have to experience. 
For those who believe in Christ, death is only a prelude to eternal life with God. We will continue to live. Let this hope give you confidence and inspire you to faithful service. 
   Paul was not afraid to die because he was confident of spending eternity with Christ. Of course, facing the unknown may cause us anxiety, and leaving loved ones hurt deeply, but if we believe in Jesus Christ, we can share Paul’s hope and confidence of eternal life with Christ. 
   While eternal life is a free gift given on the basis of God’s grace (Ephesians 2), each of us will still be judged by Christ. He will reward us for how we have lived and what we have done for Him. God’s gracious gift of salvation does not free us from the requirement of faithful obedience. All Christians must give account on the day of judgment of how they have lived (Matthew 16; Romans 14; 1 Corinthians 3).