For In This We Groan #3

Thursday, May 30, 2013

“For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:” (2 Corinthians 5:2 KJV).

Having been stricken with a bacterial infection of the sinuses and eyes for the past week, I can give a hearty “Amen!” to today’s Scripture!

Notice the boldfaced expressions, “For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven: if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life” (2 Corinthians 5:2-4).

According to the Bible, our physical bodies are actually clothing. The “real” us is inside, a member of the invisible (spiritual) realm! Job 14:22 supplements: “But his flesh upon him shall have pain, and his soul within him shall mourn.” These aching, sickly physical bodies are merely vehicles for our soul and spirit inside them (hence, the language of the passage in the previous paragraph about “clothing”).

We who have trusted the Lord Jesus Christ are redeemed spiritually from Satan and sin. However, these bodies of flesh and blood are still connected genetically to Adam and the fallen creation, so they die. Once they die, our souls and spirits no longer have a means of traveling. This is why resurrection is necessary. Our “unclothed” souls and spirits need new garments, and this new wardrobe is the glorified body the Lord Jesus will give every Christian believer at the rapture (1 Corinthians 15:51-55). This is the “redemption of our body” mentioned in Romans 8:23 and Ephesians 4:30.

Our physical bodies are referred to as “tabernacles” in Scripture (2 Corinthians 5:1,4; 2 Peter 1:13,14). When we are conceived in the womb, these frail structures are “pitched,” and our soul and spirit spring up from within them. Unlike a permanent structure, however, they can and do suffer “dilapidation” quite easily. Eventually, they are “taken down.” But, the soul and spirit simply move on (necessitating the need for a new, resurrected and glorified body, a new set of clothes)….

For In This We Groan #2

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

“For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:” (2 Corinthians 5:2 KJV).

Having been stricken with a bacterial infection of the sinuses and eyes for the past week, I can give a hearty “Amen!” to today’s Scripture!

In this world where Satan and sin reign, sickness is a part of life as well. Our “groaning” in today’s Scripture is further explained in Romans 8:22-25: “For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now. And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body. For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for? But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.”

Paul writes in the context of today’s Scripture, “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1). This is the “redemption of our [physical] body” of Romans 8:23, when “the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ… shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body…” (Philippians 3:20,21).

When the apostle pens, “Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit (2 Corinthians 5:5), what he meant was, “[Christ] In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise(Ephesians 1:13). “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption” (Ephesians 4:30).

This sealing by and with the indwelling Holy Spirit is God’s promise that He will one day deliver our (ailing) physical bodies from sin just as He has already delivered our spiritual bodies from sin….

For In This We Groan #1

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

“For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:” (2 Corinthians 5:2 KJV).

Having been stricken with a bacterial infection of the sinuses and eyes for the past week, I can give a hearty “Amen!” to today’s Scripture!

Earlier, in chapter 4, verse 16, the Apostle Paul discussed the issue of the corruptible, dying physical body (“the outward man”), and the spiritual body (“the inward man”) experiencing renewal and maturity: “For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.”

In chapter 5, verse 1, the thought continues: “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” Today’s Scripture follows: “For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven:”

Let us read verses 3-8, which elaborate even more: “If so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. Now he that hath wrought us for the selfsame thing is God, who also hath given unto us the earnest of the Spirit. Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.”

When the Holy Spirit through Paul wrote, “yet the inward man is renewed day by day,” He was referring to this doctrine transforming the way we view sickness. As Christians, we should look at bodily suffering differently than the lost world views it, than our old sin nature would have us think about it.

Let us briefly dissect this passage, to the intent that we can be comforted during times of illness….

Aging Grace-fully

Friday, November 30, 2012

“For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day” (2 Corinthians 4:16 KJV).

As the aging process degrades our physical bodies, let us allow God’s grace to “renew” our minds.

I just heard people share their anxiety about their aging physical bodies. They loathe their gray hairs, sagging skin, and wrinkles, and do whatever they can to “look younger.” They are not focusing on the things of eternal importance, for they probably never have trusted Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. All they think about is the here and now, failing to understand that there is more to life than this physical dimension.

In one recent year, Americans spent $10 billion (!) on cosmetic surgeries. These efforts to slow down and even reverse aging and its effects are futile. Death and elderliness will still come. Beloved, no matter what we do to these physical bodies, they will still age, and short of the Lord’s coming, they will die. “The wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23a). These are “vile bodies” affected by sin, and thus they must die (Philippians 3:21). They cannot enter heaven.

Thankfully, one day (the rapture), these physical bodies will be redeemed from death (Romans 8:23): we Christians will receive new bodies “eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1-5). As a dear brother in Christ always states, “In heaven, there will be no [from head to toe] baldness, bifocals, bridgework, bulges, and bunions!” Yes, we have those here, but be not depressed. We will not be here in this sin-cursed world forever. We are not bound forever in these limited (and weakening) bodies.

Today’s Scripture shows us that this physical body—the “outward man”—will ultimately die, and give way to a new glorified body. What we need to focus on is the “inward man,” our soul and spirit. We will leave these physical bodies behind, but we will take with us our spiritual bodies. When we daily study and believe the King James Bible rightly divided, it will “renew” and strengthen our souls, the bodies that count for eternity. And thus, we will age “grace-fully.” 🙂

Tabernacle

Friday, November 9, 2012

“For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens” (2 Corinthians 5:1 KJV).

This body of flesh and blood will be “dissolved” one day, but the Bible teaches a new, glorified body will replace it.

Genesis 2:7 describes the three-fold division of a human: “And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground [physical body], and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life [spirit]; and man became a living soul [soul].” Our visible, physical body houses our invisible soul and spirit. Originally, that physical body was to last forever. But, when sin entered the world, it became subject to death (when the soul and spirit leave the physical body). Hence, our physical body is a “tabernacle” (tent), a temporary abode that must be resurrected one day.

The oldest Bible book asserts, “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms [maggots] destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God;” (Job 19:25,26). Yes, short of the Lord’s coming, this physical body will die and “sleep in the dust of the earth” (Daniel 12:2). Nevertheless, the Lord will awaken its remains, and return the spiritual body to it (the bodily resurrection of John 5:28,29).

When we stand before the caskets of Christian loved ones, and observe their lifeless bodies, we take comfort that they are not really there, for their soul and spirit are with God in the third heaven. Their “tabernacle” is empty, and for the Christian, “to be absent from the body, [is] to be present with the Lord” (2 Corinthians 5:8). At the rapture, they will receive a new glorified body like unto Jesus Christ’s resurrected body, and then we Christians who are alive and remain will receive our glorified bodies (1 Corinthians 15:49-56; Philippians 3:20,21; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). Finally, all Christians will be caught up in the clouds to meet Christ in the air, to forever be with Him.

This body is not here to stay…. it is a “tabernacle.”