Paul’s Footsteps #165

Footsteps #165

What does Paul mean in 1Cor.5:8? In its context, Paul had written about the temporary nature of physical life (v1). To illustrate his point, he drew an analogy between a tent (illustrating our physical existence – he was a tentmaker remember) and a permanent building (illustrating the immortality that God will grant us in the resurrection). 

In v4, he describes our present existence as “mortal,” saying it needs to be “swallowed up by life”—a reference to the change that will take place at our resurrection, which he had written about in 1Thess.4:16 and 1Cor.15:50-54. These references give us a glimpse into how the subject of mortality is explained in the broader context of the rest of the Bible. Comparing the nature of a human being with the nature of a spirit being, Paul wrote, “This mortal must put on immortality” (1Cor.15:53). 

V6 says that “while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord.” This continues the analogy of a temporary dwelling (“at home”). It means that while we are still flesh and blood, we are not with Christ in the way we will be when He establishes His eternal kingdom. 

When will the dead be “present with the Lord”? The answer is clear from 1Cor.15:23 – at the resurrection when Jesus Christ returns with the sound of the angel’s heralding trumpet blast. “Absent from the body” (v8) refers to being changed from physical to spirit. As 1Cor.15:50-53NLT says: “These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever… we will all be transformed!… in a moment, … when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed.  For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.”  

From Paul’s own testimony it is clear that we will be “present with the Lord” at the second coming when the resurrection occurs following the angels heralding blast. “Then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’” (V54). 

No Comments

Post A Comment