CONFIDENT IN GOD: The Basis of Real Ministry
Whether in my Body of in Heaven my Aim is to Please Jesus
1 Corinthians 5:1-10
Jerry A Collins
v Is there a difference between our earthly and heavenly body?
v What does it mean to be found naked?
v Is the bema seat a motivation to live a godly life?
A headline describing yesterday’s earthquake in Chile said “It was like the end of the world.” I do not know how they figured that since we have never experienced an end of the world before. Jesus said ‘in various places there will be famines and earthquakes. But all these things are merely the beginning of birth pangs’ Matt 24:7-8. From 1863-1976 approximately 136 6.99 earthquakes in the world (113 yrs 1.2 per yr). From 1977-2014 predict 180--136 already by Jan 2009—(almost 5 per yr). But lets look at trends. From 1986 and 1996 there were just 15 7.0 earthquakes. But between 1997 and 2007 there were 99 earthquakes of 7.0 or greater. This is a six-fold increase on the previous similar period. We are currently in uncharted human history. So what does this have to do with our passage?
LIFE IS TEMPORARY vs 1
For we know: Not new information but they are already aware of.
That if the earthly tent: Our human body is a temporary dwelling.
Which is our house: who we are spirit and soul dwelling in temporary human body.
Is torn down: dismantled—our human body ceases to exist—either by death of translation. This must happen before we can receive our new eternal body.
We have a building from God: In contrast to temporary tent—our current body—our eternal body is
described as a building—permanent.
A house: the dwelling place of our spirit and soul—who we are our personality, identity.
Not made with hands: it is wholly made from God no human eggs or sperm.
Eternal in the heavens: our new bodies will be eternal not temporary they are in the heavens not earth.
DECAY PROMPTS LONGING vs 2
For indeed in this house we groan: while alive in our body we groan under weight of suffering, pain, age.
Longing to be clothed: to put on over what is already on—like an overcoat. Changes metaphor form tent to house to clothing. What is desired is to be translated at the Rapture, to
skip dying—don’t we all want this?
With our dwelling from heaven: Our
immortal eternal body prepared.
NOT FOUND NAKED vs 3
There are 2 bodies—our temporary earthly body and our eternal immortal heavenly body. But if you die there is a time when you have neither body. He wants to be clothed in his eternal body and does not want to die and be naked—without the eternal body, which we receive at the rapture. He wants to be raptured and not die. Our spirit and soul belong with a body forever. But there is no despair—he will be with the Lord at death.
WAITING FOR OUR NEW BODY 4
For indeed while…being burdened: a
very strong desire, beyond groaning.
Because we do not want---swallowed
up by life: Similar to 1 Cor 15:54 where death is swallowed in victory. Paul’s desire is to be at the Rapture where his earthly body is swallowed up with the eternal body. If you die instead, you are in heaven with a spiritual body.
NB: So we are in a state of waiting for the Rapture and the resurrection when we receive our eternal bodies. So Paul sees that interim time as being ‘naked’ as we anticipate our eternal bodies. This is the hope—whether dead or alive—that we will be changed into an immortal eternal body. The same thing he talks about when he says of the rapture—‘behold I tell you a 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 be changed’ 1 Cor 15:50-52. I wonder if we will be alive at that moment. Ruth’s father lived by the phrase ‘Perhaps Today!’
A PLEDGE FROM GOD vs 5
Now He who prepared us for this very purpose is God: He created us to inhabit our eternal bodies in eternity with God. This is our destiny. We are aliens here in this world but belong to the Kingdom of God not part of this world.
Who gave to us the Spirit as a pledge: a down payment with assurance the rest is coming. God has prepared us for our eternal life it is our purpose not this life on earth. Earth is temporary until we get to eternity. Jesus said don’t lay stuff here but in heaven! Learn to do that!
ABSENT FROM GOD vs 6
Therefore being always of good courage: we are confident—make sure there is no misunderstanding. He prefers to be raptured so his eternal body overcomes his earthly body like an overcoat overcomes clothing. Don’t worry about the ‘naked’ time when you have neither an earthly body or eternal body.
And knowing that while we are at home in the body: we are alive on earth in our physical bodies which are fragile and temporary yet not to despair because of the pledge of the Spirit God has given us—so we live in hope for life eternal.
We are absent form the Lord: we are absent from God only in our ‘body’ sense. We are still in communion with God (I said last nite I must pray) while in our human bodies but we are not face-to-face. Like when on a business or ministry trip you phone home, email, txt, but you long for the time when you are face to face with your loved one.
WALK BY FAITH vs 7
For we walk—live presently—by—by means of—faith, not by sight: Christ and the HS are invisible, they are not absent. We have confidence that Christ is real but not seen. Faith is only good on this side of the grave. Once we see then faith is unnecessary. God requires faith—a commitment before knowledge. None of us has seen the heavenly body.
HOME WITH THE LORD vs 8
We are of good courage: he repeats this idea that we are confident whether in our human body—we have the pledge of the HS—or out of this body—we are at home with the Lord. So we cannot lose but we can only win.
And prefer rather to be absent…with the Lord: After making a case not to die and be in that ‘naked’ state of not having a physical or eternal body he now seems to say he prefers to be in that ‘naked’ state. The point seems that in several situations he has almost died and he thinks he may die rather than be raptured after all. So if he can choose rapture, yes—but if here on earth or being with God—he chooses God. NB: shows moment your soul/spirit leaves body immediately with Lord—no soul sleep, purgatory, interim existence.
PLEASE GOD vs 9
Therefore we have as our ambition: to aspire to devote zealously
Whether at home or absent: in heaven with God in spiritual body not yet eternal, or in our physical bodies—absent. So regardless of how the ‘end’ comes whether thru death or translation we are responsible for moral conduct rite up to that end.
To be pleasing to Him: it is Christ who will be the judge of what you do—what you think. Not what would Jesus do—can’t know that! But ‘would Jesus be pleased with what I am thinking rite now, doing rite now, saying rite now, seeing rite now, deciding rite now?’ Aim please Jesus.
YOU ARE ACCOUNTABLE vs 10
For we must all appear: this age no way around it—everyone of us. Not simply ‘show up’ but ‘laid bare’ to see true nature of things.
Before the judgment seat of Christ: this is our motivation for being pleasing to Christ. You will not regret your circumstances then but only your sin and unbelief.
So that each one: not en masse but in each individual case. No church, study group stands in judgment only individuals. “Let him hear…’
May be recompensed for his deeds in the body: to receive one’s own in proportion to his deeds words, deeds, and motives.
According to what he has done whether good or bad: it is all about rewards and you will still be in heaven—a gift—but no reward—suffer loss. This can never be changed. It will be very costly for many.
1. Hope of rapture at resurrection should make us fearless.
2. Our presence in heaven guarantee of a resurrection and rapture.
3. Aim of life not worldly success but well pleasing life to Christ.
4. Our day of accountability motive to holy.