Resurrection and Creation

There are people who worry that cremating a corpse will prevent God from resurrecting the body, or so I’ve heard. This may be one of those apocryphal issues that no one truly has.

There are other ways to die that would seem to cause a problem then, like people who die in real fires. Or bodies that were eaten by animals, digested, and deposited around the forest. Or bodies thrown into the ocean so their decaying bits are carried around by currents.

You get the idea.

The Bible says that from the dust we came, and to the dust we will return. Genesis tells us that “the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.”

I think this gives us assurance that if your body is dust and spread about, God can put it back together. He made it once; He can do it again.

1 Corinthians 15 says that our bodies will be raised from the dead. Our bodies will be changed. We currently have an earthly body; it will be raised in a heavenly body. We have a corruptible body; it will be raised incorruptible. We have a mortal body; it will be raised immortal.

Paul points to the resurrection of Jesus Christ as proof that resurrection is possible. If God can raise up Christ; He can raise up anyone else. If Christ did not rise and there is no resurrection, then you won’t rise either, and we are of all men most miserable. Amen.

Christ’s resurrection is a model for how resurrection takes place. Christ is the firstfruit from the dead. A “firstfruit” is the early harvest that lets you know the rest is coming. It’s a guarantee of more to come.

Christ’s resurrection and the creation of humanity are both types of our future bodily resurrection.

Genesis says that God made us. We did not evolve. There was a moment when God formed man and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living soul.

Resurrection will happen the same way creation did. Both involve God taking us from the dust of the ground and sticking us together and giving us life.

How was Christ raised from the dead? Did He evolve over time, or did He just get up?

Resurrection is a new creation. It’ll happen the same way the old creation did–there will be a change, in the blink of an eye. A pile of dust will become a living being. The second creation will reflect the first one.

If God is powerful enough to create us the first time; He’s powerful enough to do it again. If God is powerful enough to raise the dead; He’s powerful enough to re-create your pile of dust body, decaying in the ground.

Resurrection of a decayed corpse is no more a problem for God than making you the first time. He’s a pretty big God. He can handle it.

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Old and New Covenant Messed Up Applications

Your Bible is made up of the Old Covenant and the New Covenant. These are different covenants that God made with different people.

As much as there are similarities in general between the covenants, there are also major differences.

Most of the charges Bible-doubters launch at Christians is due to not understanding the differences between the covenants.

But you don’t have to be a Bible-doubter to mess this one up. Many Christians mess up the covenants, particularly in applications.

As simply as I can put it, here is the main difference between the covenants:

The Old Covenant stressed the physical
The Old Covenant was between God and the physical, racial nation of Israel. There were 600+ laws, most of which were about physical actions, summarized in the Ten Commandments written on physical stone. There were physical blessings and physical curses associated with obeying or disobeying those physical laws. There was a physical city with a physical temple where God physically (at least temporarily) met with His physical people. They needed physical priests to go between their physical selves and God. They needed physical sacrifices with physical blood and physical grain offerings to maintain their physical covenant.

The New Covenant stresses the spiritual
The New Covenant is between God and all those who are spiritually reborn and spiritually placed into the spiritual Body of Christ. Members of this new covenant have all spiritual blessings in heavenly places. They don’t serve in the oldness of the letter, but in the newness of the Spirit. The Spirit, along with the exalted Christ, intercedes, not a priest. They live for a spiritual and eternal country. They walk in the Spirit. They bring forth spiritual fruit as they exercise gifts of the Spirit.

If you understand this basic concept, you will be set free from many incorrect applications of Scripture. Allow me to demonstrate:

Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans because of God’s judgment on the sins of Mardi Gras.
Nope, sorry. Hurricane Katrina happened in New Orleans because the city is built on a swamp in a place known as Hurricane Alley. God does not judge in such ways for sin under the New Covenant.

If America returns to God, He will restore our land.
Nope, that was for Israel. God is no longer dealing with physical nations, nor physical blessings and cursings like He was in the Old Covenant. There is no longer Jew nor Gentile in the New Covenant.

If America rejects God, He will judge our land.
Nope, that was for Israel. If God kicks us out, pray tell what godly nation is going to replace us? There are consequences for sin, we reap what we sow, but God is not dealing with cursing nations due to rebellion because He has no such agreement with nations in the New Covenant.

If I skip my quiet time I’ll have a bad day.
You’d probably have a bad day anyway! Again, thinking that a spiritual act will result in a physical blessing is an Old Covenant concept. It’s probably also mostly superstition! Again, there are natural consequences for sin, but God will not purposely nail you for not doing quiet time.

If I obey God I will get money and health.
Nope, no such agreement is in the New Covenant. Health and Wealth doctrine is largely fixated on Old Covenant promises given to Israel. The New Covenant says anyone who desires to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution, in fact.

All my physical stuff is a blessing from God.
Not necessarily. A large amount of physical things is a warning sign in the New Covenant. It might mean you have sold your soul, that you are building bigger barns because you are ensnared with the deceitfulness of riches and the cares of this world. Lay up treasure in heaven. Work for eternity, not for temporal blessing.

All such applications, which are thrown around by the vast majority of evangelical churchdom, are a misunderstanding of the New Covenant and the Old Covenant.

If you are hearing something about judgment or blessing and it’s physical, perk up those ears! If you are hearing something about nations, hold up! If you are told that money means you’re doing it right, watch out!

Is the application primarily physical? Then you’re probably not dealing with the New Covenant correctly. It’s not that the physical is unimportant, it’s just not stressed. It’s not what drives the member of the New Covenant. Physical things are more or less irrelevant–“I have learned in whatsoever state I am in, to be content,” says Paul.

Physical results can be an indicator of performance, but they are not always. Sometimes horrible physical results means you’re doing something wrong–you keep ending up in jail for breaking the law. Sometimes horrible physical results mean you’re doing something right–Christ was physically crucified after all, and He tells us His followers will get persecution.

Old Covenant stresses the physical; the New Covenant stresses the spiritual. If you mess these up, you will get messed up applications.