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First Corinthians chapter 15 is the text for our Bible study tonight. And we are looking at the great chapter on resurrection. Bodily resurrection is Paul’s theme in this chapter and we come to a section beginning with verse 35. We have worked our way down through verse 34 and now the next section runs from verse 35 to 49. And I want to read it because I think it’s good to have it in your mind so you know what’s coming.
Beginning at verse 35, “But someone will say, ‘How are the dead raised? And with what kind of body do they come?’ You fool! That which you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And that which you sow, you do not sow the body which is to be but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or of something else. But God gives it a body just as He wished and to each of the seeds, a body of its own. All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one flesh of men and another of beasts, and another flesh of birds, and another of fish. There are also heavenly bodies and earthly bodies. But the glory of the heavenly is one and the glory of the earthly is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars, for star differs from star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown a perishable body, it is raised an imperishable body. It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So also it is written, the first man, Adam, became a living soul; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first but the natural then the spiritual. The first man is from the earth, earthy. The second man is from heaven. As is the earthy, so also are those who are earthy, and as is the heavenly, so also are those who are heavenly. Just as we have borne the image of the earthy, we will also bear the image of the heavenly.”
Now in this section, the Apostle Paul is answering two questions that are posed in verse 35. How are the dead raised, and with what kind of body do they come? We now have been given a series of logical explanations as to the reality of resurrection, starting with the resurrection of Christ. So we now, in the point of Paul’s reason and logic, have come to the place where we acknowledge the validity and the truth of a bodily resurrection. Now the question is…how does that happen and with what kind of body?
Now let me just begin by giving you a general perspective. The Bible promises a redemption of the body. Romans 8:23 says we are waiting for the redemption of the body. We have already been spiritually redeemed but there is yet a future redemption of the body.
In 2 Corinthians chapter 5, the Apostle Paul indicates that a spirit without a body would be naked. He says in verse 4 of that chapter, “While we are in this tent, we groan, being burdened, because we do not want to be naked but to be clothed so that what is mortal will be swallowed up of life.” And what he’s referring to here? He is referring to a house, a body, a building from God not made with hands, eternal in the heavens, without which we would be naked spirits. And that is not God’s purpose for us. We will have a building from God, a house not made with hands, a house for our spirit, a heavenly body.
Our Lord’s words to Mary and Martha at the grave of Lazarus also come into play in this particular discussion. In John 11:21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. Even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give you.” Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” To which Martha replied, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection on the last day.” She knew that. A student of Scripture and a student of Jesus, she knew and believed in the resurrection. And Jesus responded by saying, “I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in Me will live even if he dies.”
The Bible, then, affirms in a number of ways the reality of the resurrection. John 6:44, “No one can come to Me except the Father draws him and I will raise him up on the last day.” In fact, in John 5:28 our Lord said, “The hour is coming when all who are in the graves shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and come forth.” So we’re not talking about some kind of an isolated idea, we’re talking about a physical bodily resurrection that is repeatedly referred to on the pages of Scripture, and I have only given you just a few samples.
Now the question is, if there is a resurrection and there is, how are we to understand the actual spiritual physiology, if there is such a thing? The makeup of that resurrection body. Now Paul was dealing with some issues here, Greek dualism denied a resurrection because it saw the body as something evil and corrupt and to the Greeks, you just wanted to get rid of your body and become a floating spirit forever. So they denied the resurrection all together.
On the other hand, there were some rabbis who went so far as to say, the body that is raised will be identical to the body that dies. I’m not going to take the time to drag out all those quotes from the rabbis, but here would be a sample from the writer of something called The Apocalypse of Baruk, and he asks whether there…he’s asked whether there will be any change in the body when men rise? And his answer is, quote: “The earth shall then assuredly restore the dead, it shall make no change in form but as it has received, so shall it restore.” So this is a rabbinical idea that the body that comes back will be identical to the body that died. So you have those two extremes. The Greeks denying resurrection, and the Jews affirming a resurrection that denies a difference in the resurrection body.
Well this kind of attitude would have certainly fed the Greek skeptics, wouldn’t it? Something as silly as saying you’re going to come back exactly who you were in the same, very same body that you left when you died, that would feed their scorn because it is such a ridiculous idea that the same body could decay and then be brought back the way it was before decay began. It was Celsius who said that bodily resurrection was the hope of worms, or quote, “What soul of a man would any longer wish for the body that had rotted?” end quote.
So you had the Greeks who mocked the idea and if they were exposed to these kinds of rabbinical teachings which are floating around, it would increase their scorn. Paul then, having demonstrated to the Corinthian church, that they can’t buy into that Greek notion of no resurrection, because the whole of the gospel will collapse, because if there is no resurrection, then Christ is not raised. And if Christ is not raised, nobody is raised and everybody who has preached the resurrection is a liar. But Christ has been raised, they affirm that, that’s how they became believers by confessing the truth of the resurrection. And if Christ is raised, then there is a resurrection for all who are Christ’s and the gospel of resurrection being preached is the truth.
Well we’ve now been brought through that logic to the point where we affirm the resurrection, but we ask this very important question…how does it happen? Verse 35, “How are the dead raised?” And a follow-up question, “And with what kind of body do they come?”
Now it would be my guess that these questions have been the typical questions raised by the skeptics. Those who would mock the notion of a resurrection in the Greek world in which, of course, the Corinthians believers had been immersed, before their conversion and even still under the influence of those prevailing philosophies in their society and their culture, they mocked the idea of a resurrection with these questions, meaning how could a decayed, rotted body rise? How can that be?: What about a body that was drowned at sea in a shipwreck? And eaten by sharks? What about bodies that were dismembered in accidents causing death? What about bodies that were burned to a crisp in the frequent fires? What about those bodies that were maimed or beheaded in war or some kind of criminal punishment? What about bodies that were crucified, as was common in the Roman world?
How do they come back? How are they raised? This is the oversimplification that the scorners would heap on the believers and push them into the corner and even make them think about denying a resurrection because they weren’t sure what the answer was to those kinds of questions. Paul himself asked King Agrippa in Acts 26:8, “Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you that God should raise the dead?” But that’s a good illustration of the fact that the whole idea was just flatly incredible…incredible. And you have to understand, this is unique to Christianity, this bodily resurrection is unique to Christianity. How can this body reassemble itself, buried in the ground, ashes thrown to the wind, bones scattered on the ocean floor, flesh returned to dust? How are the dead raised up? And if they are raised up, what kind of body are they given?
Well, Paul’s initial answer in verse 36 is very heart warming. “You fool! You fool! If you’re asking those questions, you are a senseless person. Your intelligence is in question.”
This is a severe rebuke, by the way, which assumes that the objector prided himself on the accomplishment of his question, the wisdom of these questions, the profound nature, the unanswerable quality of thee questions was evidence of this surpassing intellect. On the other hand, it was simply evidence that this is a senseless one. This is, sad to say, often the case with objectors, they think they have found a flaw in Christian doctrine, they think they have found a flaw in gospel truth. They think they have found something laughable in Scripture and they pounce on it only to reveal themselves as fools. There are peop9le who laughed at the idea of bodily resurrection, who mocked that idea. They were the people who would say in verse 32, “The dead aren’t raised, so let’s eat and drink and tomorrow we can die.”
Paul, however, in all his brilliance and in his Holy Spirit-inspired understanding of the Scripture and the issues of eternal destiny, has no problem in his mind with the idea of resurrection. In order to answer these questions that had found their way into the Corinthian church and to some degree confounded the members of the church, he approaches the questions and gives answers on four fronts. Okay? The resurrection of the body can be described as to its manner by looking at it from four perspectives.
The first is an analogy…an analogy of the resurrection. And that’s in verses 36 to 38, okay? Let’s look at it. By the way, this is a good indication that there is a time and a place for clarifying analogies in teaching theological truth. The New Testament teaches the resurrection. The Apostles preach the resurrection. But the people were having a hard time processing the way it could happen, how it could happen. And so, an analogy is an appropriate way to describe a scriptural truth and Paul uses the analogy of seed in verses 36 to 38. “That which you sow doesn’t come to life unless it dies, and that which you sow…you do not sow the body which is to be, but a bare grain, perhaps of wheat or something else, but God gives it a body just as He wished and to each of the seeds, a body of its own.” That’s his first argument. The seed is the analogy. The seed is put into the ground and it dies. A seed, every seed planted in the ground disintegrates, it dies. In fact, it appears to be dead when you hold it in your hand, doesn’t it? It is lifeless. It is not growing. It is static. And when it goes into the ground, it dies and it rises again and when it rises, it rises in a form, in a body, if you will, that is very, very different than the form of the seed that died.
Paul is showing us that there can be dissolution and difference and still continuity. The seed is dissolved, but it rises again. And when it rises again, there is a vast difference in its form, though it is the same seed containing the same life. Who would think that you could hold an acorn in your hand, plant it in the ground and 50 years later see a massive oak coming out of that seed’s dissolution and death.
So, our bodies, Paul is saying, are buried and disintegrate and dissolve and rise again in a different form. Why is that so hard to understand, you fool? The fact remains that it will be the same life, the same person, but in a different form…in a different form. Jesus even refers to this when in John chapter 12 He’s talking about His own death and in verse 23 He says, “The hour is come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone. But if it dies, it bears much fruit.” That same analogy applies to Him. Because of His death, He will bring forth life that will bear massive fruit. It’s the same principle exactly. The mystery of the resurrection body then conceptually is no greater than that analogy. If you say you don’t believe because you don’t understand, then you might also want to say I don’t believe in harvest either, because I don’t think some form of life can die, decompose and come back the same life and yet in a different form. And we know that happens all the time.
In the parable in Mark, Jesus said, “The farmer plants and goes to sleep and doesn’t understand how the crop grows.” We can’t understand it. But it happens. And so will resurrection. Out of the old grain comes a new plant. Out of the old body, the old form comes a new form. We will be who we are, it will be the same life, but in a new form. Different substance, different form, different capacities, but the same life.
You know, if that’s hard for you to handle, just take out a picture of yourself when you were 16 and then go look in a mirror. You must understand that the same person will go through many, many forms and changes. In fact, they saw we replace our entire physical form every seven years. And I keep asking the question…if that is true, why do I always look like I’m older than seven? Something isn’t right about that idea. Change happens all the time. That’s not hard to understand. Paul is showing that far from the decomposition of the body being an obstacle to the resurrection, it simply is a clear way to describe when compared to the analogy of seed, how the resurrection body will be far more wonderful than the prior human form that went into the grave.
Now how are we to know the form that that body takes? Who designs that? Where does it come from? Verse 38, “God gives it a body, just as He wished and to each of the seeds, a body of its own.” If you took a hundred different seeds of plants and held them in your hand, you could look at those seeds and unless you were really involved in horticulture and familiar with them, you would have no idea what those seeds would produce. You wouldn’t know a seed that would produce a tree from a seed that would produce a short-lived flower. You wouldn’t know.
Why do some seeds produce trees, and some bushes, and some flowers? Because, verse 3, “God wished it to be that way. He gave to each of the seeds a body of its own.” It is God who designed the body that is built in to the decomposing life, DNA of that seed. This is a sovereign work of God.
And we don’t have a problem with that. We understand that every seed has its own form when it comes to life. And we understand that God designed all of those, every single one of those seeds and its subsequent form is designed by God. Man, that’s a staggering thought, isn’t it?..staggering thought. And you will never be able to infer by purely looking at the seed what it will become because it is hidden in the seed in the outstanding reality of God’s minute structure of life.
So Paul’s first answer to the dilemma, or the supposed dilemma, that only a fool would make is that you are familiar with this very same process, seeds die and they come forth with a body that is the same organism, but a completely different substance and a completely different form. Have you ever wondered how you can take a seed that is hard, so hard you couldn’t crush it in your finger, and out of that seed can come the petal of a flower that is so fragile that if you touch it, you might bruise it? This is a wonder. This is a staggering wonder. And if God gives to all the products of the earth their own forms, why can’t He determine the form of the resurrection body?
So, first of all, the analogy, then he comes to what we could call the form itself, verses 39 to 42a. “Every seed produces its own plant by the will of God.” Now he moves away from that analogy to talk about the form of flesh itself. Verse 39, “All flesh is not the same flesh.” This is a simple statement, isn’t it? Look, why would you have a problem with resurrection and a different kind of life, different kind of flesh, if you will? Look around. Look around. There is one flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another flesh of birds, and another of fish. Those are pretty good categories, right? Men have a certain kind of epidermis, certain kind of skin. Beasts have a different kind of skin. Fish have a different kind. And birds have a different kind. It’s amazing…amazing. Amino acids, I understand, have to do with that. I read one time there are 600 octodecillion combinations of amino acids. And they combine together to produce what is scripted in you.
For example, if you…I have a friend who does this…who eats only fried chicken and I keep waiting for him to cluck, but he never clucks. In fact, he sings beautifully and I never heard a chicken sing. Why doesn’t he turn into a chicken? Because no matter what you put in, isn’t that an amazing reality?, the substance of that life that you take in is combined with the amino acids that God has programmed in him to just make more of him. And I will tell you, he eats enough chicken to make a whole lot of him, but it’s only him.
It’s only him. Some of you say, “Personally that’s very offensive to me, I’m a vegetarian.” Well, it’s a good thing you have amino acids operating or you would be a living vege-tale and we’d be picking you up off the ground because you were limp. This is all by God’s massive mind, creative power. In Creation, God is not restricted to one kind of flesh. Different animals have different kinds of flesh. Different birds have different kinds of flesh. Different fish have different kinds. There’s just no limit. Every specific species and within those species every specific kind have unique flesh. Why would we be surprised about the possibility there could be another kind of body? The variety with which God has created is staggering.
And then getting beyond the animal world, in verse 40, “There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies.” The glory of the heavenly is one, and the glory of the earthly is another. When we talk about earthly bodies, we’re talking about things that are on this earth. There are seashores and there are oceans and there are meadows, there are massive rock mountains. There are all different kinds of shapes and sizes and textures of things that exist on this planet. And then there are those heavenly bodies…the sun, the moon, the stars, and the other planets and they’re basically limitless. The space that we look into is virtually infinite, it has no outer edge and it is filled with uncountable bodies in motion. And each of them, he says, has a kind of glory.
Now glory means manifestation...manifestation. When God showed His glory, He revealed Himself as light. That’s what He’s saying. For example, in verse 41, the sun has a certain glory. The moon has a certain glory. The stars have a certain glory and we’re looking at it from our perspective. And even star differs from star in glory. When you look into the sky, you see the glory of the sun. It’s a blazing ball of fire. You see the glory of the moon, the manifestation of the moon, it’s reflected light. And you see the stars, sparkling diamond dots. They each have their own body. They each have their own form. And if you ever look through a telescope and look at the stars, you’re going to find that the stars differ from each other in glory. One scientist wrote, “Like flowers, the stars have their own colors.” When you look upward and you glance, all of them gleam white, he says, like frost crystals. But single out this one and that one for observation and you will find a subtle spectrum of color in the stars. The quality of their lights is determined by their temperatures and their temperatures all vary. In the December sky you will see Aldebaran, it will appear as pale rose; Regal, bluish white; Betelgeuse, orange to Topaz yellow, and he goes on.
All the heavenly bodies vary in intensity and size and color. And this, Paul says, tells us that God can make any kind of body He wants. Why would you not think He could create a resurrection body? And again, the fundamental body of glory here is manifestation. The point is that everybody, every unit of creation, every item floating around in space has a peculiar way of manifesting itself, according to the sphere in which it exists and according to the design by which it was made.
Verse 42, “So also is the resurrection of the dead.” That’s not a stretch, is it? Not at all. You borrow from nature and you borrow from astronomy, analogies and illustrations that tell us there are literally countless forms that God has created. Why would we think that He would be restricted from putting together a resurrection body that would bear the same life and yet be distinct.
So verse 42, that opening statement, “So also is the resurrection of the dead,” summarizes everything he said from verse 35 on. It is really incredible to think of the creative power of God. In fact, I’ll go further than that. No two people are alike, not even identical twins. No two people are alike. No two stars are alike. No two flowers are alike. No two blades of grass are alike. So, this is not a problem for God, to make something that’s not like anything else.
And by the way, I think the essence and the nature of our resurrection bodies will be the same, but we will each be unique. So we not only have to accept the fact that God could make a resurrection body, but that He can make a unique resurrection body for everybody that’s resurrected. As one body differs from another, now among us, so we will each differ in the resurrection. We will be unique. We will be who we are, the persons we are.
You say, “Well, will we look the way we look?” No, not entirely because we bear the marks of sin and fallenness and a degenerating life principle. We’ll all be perfect looking, flawless. I don’t think there will be any mirrors in heaven cause you only go there to fix what is. You won’t need to fix anything. And yet we will be unique, we will be so unique that we’ll know each other in heaven, we’ll know as we are known.
Erich Sauer, one of my favorite writers, says, “So the graveyards of man become the seed plots of resurrection. And the cemeteries of the people of God become, through the heavenly dew, the resurrection fields of the promised perfection.”
So we see the analogy and the form. Then right there in verse 42 he moves to the contrasts…the contrasts.This is a 3rd perspective on this dilemma on how the dead are raised and with what kind of body do they come. And look at these contrasts. It is sown a perishable body, raised an imperishable. Sown in dishonor, raised in glory. Sown in weakness, raised in power. Sown a natural body, raised a spiritual body. Just a series of contrasts. If there is, the end of verse 44, a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
The chief objection, of course, that the typical Greek had to resurrection was that the body was corruptible, the body was subject to decay, so why bring it back? Would that mean you recycle through the same decay, the same corruption? And Paul’s answer is no…no, this new body will not be like the one we have now. This one is perishable, it is sown in dishonor, it is natural, it is weak and the one that we receive in resurrection is imperishable, glorious, powerful, spiritual.
Now we could talk about the descriptions of the body in this life, it is perishable. From the day you are born, you start dying, right? Every day you’re one day closer to the inevitable death. Dust you are and to dust you return. The whole life of man starting at the cradle leads inexorably to the grave and he passes through series of corrupting stages. In fact, you would say that the common property we all share is liability to decay. We live in a sphere of corruption.
In a sense, our bodies are sown in our life, not just in the grave. We’re starting to die now. We’re starting to die now. We have a perishable body. We have a dishonored body. We have a weak body. We have a natural body. But notice, there’s a verb usage here that is good where it says, “It is sown,” and then it says, “It is raised,” it literally says there is a raising. It is sown, there is a raising, verse 43 again. Verse 44, it is sown, there is a raising to a body that is imperishable that is glorious, powerful, spiritual. There is a sowing and there is a raising.
The sowing starts when you are born. You start dying when you’re born. The seed starts to disintegrate. As life comes day by day, hour by hour, year by year, is a sequence of corruption, till finally we end up in the grave, the final resting place of these corrupting bodies.
And we do all we can to mask it. Always kind of makes me smile when I go to a funeral with an open casket and the person lying in there looks like…like he’s dressed for a wedding, makeup all over the face. Give them a fine casket, but we all know the reality of corruption. Finally the body which is perishable, dishonorable, weak and natural surrenders itself to death. But it is raised, there is a raising and the raising is completely different. The new body is imperishable, like our inheritance, imperishable, undefiled, fading not away, as Peter put it. It is glorious. It is powerful and it is spiritual. Such wonderful promises for what is to come.
The grave, simply the final stop in the decaying process. The resurrection changes absolutely everything. Now what do we mean…we understand the imperishable, doesn’t die, doesn’t decay, there’s promises when we get to heaven there’s no death, there’s no sickness, all of those things, we understand that it is raised in glory, that it has a new manifestation, it is eternal. We understand that it is powerful. This new body will allow us to traverse the new heavens and the new earth and to go and do whatever we are commanded to do and delighted to do without any dissipation of energy. We can even eat, but don’t need to.
But what does it mean in verse 44 when it says, “It’s raised a spiritual body?” What is pneumatikon soma body? It is a body that can accommodate the spiritual realm. You know, we’re locked down, aren’t we? I don’t know where you’re thinking about now, you might be thinking of a cruise ship somewhere, but you aren’t going to get there by thinking about it. But we’re going to have a body in which our thoughts and the projections of our thoughts are accommodated by our capacities. Psew....psew...psew...moving wherever through the infinite dwelling place that God has prepared for those that love Him. It’s a body that accommodates the capacities of the spirit. Amazing...that my wife is in Washington, she was at a woman’s conference and I talked to her on the phone and I think about her a lot and I’m here. I think about the fact that in glory one day wherever my mind is, I will be in some amazing sense. We’re going to have a body not like this one.
Finally, just quickly, I’ll leave out all the good stuff here, time is up. Finally, we’ve talked about the analogy, we’ve talked about the form, we’ve talked about the contrasts and there’s a fourth element to Paul’s answer, let’s just say the prototype…the prototype. Verse 45 to 49, you want a model? You want a prototype for this body? Here comes the model. “So also it is written, the first man, Adam, became a living soul,” right? Genesis, God breathed into man and he became a living soul, Genesis 2:7. So Adam was made a living soul. He’s the first man. The last Adam becomes a life-giving spirit. Who is the last Adam? Christ. Paul uses this comparison frequently. The spiritual is not first, the natural, that’s Adam. First, Adam, then the spiritual. The first man, Adam, is from the earth, earthy. The second man, Christ, is from heaven. As is the earthy, so are those who are earthy, we are all earthy because we all come from Adam. And as is the heavenly, so also those who are heavenly because we are now in Christ, we will bear His nature. We bear Adam’s nature because we’re born in Adam. We were born in Christ, born again, will bear the nature of Christ…and I love that forty-ninth, we have born the image of the earthy, we will bear the image of the heavenly.
The physical world, we all show our likeness to Adam. In the heavenly world, we will be like Christ. And this is the right place to wrap our thoughts up. Turn to Philippians 3:20. If you’re wondering what our body is going to be like, 3:20, “Our citizenship is in heaven from which we also eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform the body of our humble state.” That’s the body we inherent from Adam, it is earthy, natural. “He will transform it into conformity with the body of His glory.” The body of His glory is the body that He received when He came out of the grave. So the model, the prototype, is the last Adam, the body of Christ incorruptible, glorious, powerful. He was visible, right? He was recognizable. He was touchable. He could eat and yet He could walk through a door and He could go into heaven like a rocket blast and leave people watching Him as He went out of sight, accompanied by angels.
Acts 1:11, after He went, those who stood and watched heard the message from heaven, “This same Jesus shall so come as you have seen Him go into heaven.” The Jesus in heaven, the Jesus who will return, is the same Jesus who left and that’s the Jesus who was raised from the dead. So just read all the passages about our Lord after His resurrection, and you will see the properties of His glorified body and that’s the kind of body we are going to have. We’re going to be copies, eikon, we will be the copies of the heavenly. God will reproduce the prototype millions of times. I won’t be Christ, but I will be like His body. I will have a body like His body with the capacities that He has. I won’t have…I won’t be God, I won’t possess fully His nature, but I will have a body like His body, accommodating glory.
1st John 3:2 says, “We will be like Him when we see Him as He is.” This is the promise, a body fit for the full life and glory of heaven, a body like Jesus that can eat but doesn’t need to, a body that can fly through space and appear here and there and go through walls, a body that has no time limits, no age, a body exalted to all that God had in mind in creation originally.
Would that be a body like Adam’s body before the Fall? No. No, that would be a body like Adam’s body would have been if instead of eating the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, he had only eaten from the tree of life. Then I believe that tree of life would have transformed him into that eternally glorious body because we find that the New Jerusalem has the tree of life there, a body of splendor, a body full of joy without pain, without tears, without sorrow, a body that is dazzling white, a body that shines, Daniel says like the moon and the stars, or the brightness of the sky, a body that shines like the sun. This is the body prepared for us.
Will you rise to receive that body? Only if you are in Christ, otherwise there is a body prepared for destruction, the resurrection unto judgment of John 5. What an amazing hope, huh? So limp along, folks, with what you’ve got, much better things to come. Let’s pray.
Father, we thank You for the richness of Your truth, there’s so many inexhaustible, magnificent themes that we can’t even get pass the surface of these things. Time is forbidding. Make us relentless students of Your truth, may we mine the treasures out on our own. I pray that in the teaching and preaching that we do here, this would be but a stimulus that these folks would be like the noble Bereans who would dive deep and search the scriptures to discover the greatness of these things. We thank You for the work of the Word in us, how much it fires our hope, gives us joy in the face of sorrow and difficulty. We know You have prepared for us things that are too wonderful for us to know and certainly this is part of it. What a promise. And we remember the words of our Savior again, “All that the Father gives to Me will come to Me and I will lose none, but raise him up at the last day.” We’ll all be there because You keep us to that day. We look forward to that. May we be ever faithful and living in hope may we also live in obedience out of gratitude and love to You, we pray in Christ’s name. Amen. Amen.