II Corinthians 4:16-5:1 offers the reason Christians must live for TOMORROW. That’s where HOPE in Christ reaches fruition. 4:16-18 describes our present condition as “wasting away,” buoyed by the “hope” of renewal in 5:1.
“Yet inwardly” are the words of 4:16 that specify the source of our hope. By fixing our life on what’s to COME, not on what’s HERE and NOW, the ETERNAL encourages us. A building from God, a new, glorified body awaits in the future, a body like Jesus Christ’s own in Revelation 1:12-18.
The ETERNAL must include that new building. If the future produced only a vague hope of “somehow, something” beyond death exists—what we don’t know for sure but could, possibly be, Christianity would be like another Greek religion; and Christians, like most mortals, would be far more Greek than Christian in hope. Who only know they enter some kind of finality at death—a darkened somewhere in which their souls, not bodies—coast and drift, dart and flit, aimlessly, undirected, seeking without finding a resting place.
That’s why 5:1 is essential to Christian truth. A building awaits us, replacing the tent we now inhabit. Something solid instead of temporary. And…better still, a body that never needs repair or recovery or reinforcement.
God’s promise in Christ distanced Christianity from all other religious faiths. A NEW BODY awaits believers. Raised from the dead, whatever stage its decay. Energized by the Holy Spirit, not blood. Perfect, not faulty. Capable of knowing everything to be learned while forgetting nothing. In a world where JOY begins and never ends. Where beauty GROWS and never dims.
That body won’t ever be LESS, and will always be MORE in strength than God’s sentence of weakness on our present frame. If his wrath on our mortal body harms us almost beyond endurance, his grace beatifies our new body beyond comprehension but well within delight and contentment. If now, in this old, depraved, dying world he empowers our body to live 70-80 years on average, he promises to create each New Body after Christ’s own glorified body to live eternally when God makes everything new.
Many of us have had the pleasure of growing mature in the Christian faith while we’ve advanced in years. While growing old physically hasn’t always been easy, growing mature in Christ continues to be exhilarating! Even as we’re conscious of bodily infirmities and limitations, we’re more aware of spiritual renewal. Ahead to infinite pleasure we look at the person we’re going to be, not with regret at what we have presently become. – Finis –
Books at: www.createspace.com. (Go to search, dropdown to store, Virg Hurley.)
New Apologetics book: Their Own Best Defense, Volume 2, Part 1
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