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Paul's Mystery

John Collins11/13/2012In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul tells a mystery to the Church.

Speaking of the resurrection, Paul said that the the seed that is sown is perishable.  What is raised is imperishable.  The seed is sown in dishonor, but raised in beautiful glory.  The seed is weak when it is sown, but it is raised in power.

Our bodies are like the natural planting of seed.  As we scatter seed for Christ, we sew the seed in natural bodies.  But they are raised in a spiritual body.  

Paul said, "It is written, 'The first man Adam became a living being'; the last man Adam became a life-giving spirit."  The first man was from the dust of the earth, but the second Man is from heaven.  We are now like the first man of the dust, and our bodies of this earth are from the dust of the earth.  But our spiritual bodies are like the second man who is from heaven.  Just as we have borne the image of the first man from the dust of the earth, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven!

Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God.  The perishable does not inherit the imperishable.

Paul gave the mystery:  "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet.  For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall all be changed."  

Paul said that this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.  Then the words written will come to pass: "Death is swallowed up in victory.  O death, where is your victory?  O death, where is your sting?"

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the Law.  Thanks be to God!

As Christians, we should ask ourselves:  Are we still bound by the Law?  Do we try to put the "sting" back into death by preaching the Law?  Or do we teach Grace like Paul taught?  Have we learned Paul's mystery?