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  • Matt Beaney

#702. THE TRUMPET WILL SOUND (1/12/22)

On Sunday, we continued with our series in 1 Corinthians. This week's devotionals are based upon Paul’s teaching on the resurrection body from 1 Corinthians 15:35-58.




Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed— in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ (1 Corinthians 15:51-57)

Summary: Christ’s return will be heralded with a great trumpet blast at which Christians - both ’asleep’ and still alive - will rise with resurrection bodies.


I don’t know if you’ve ever been on a rollercoaster; that experience of slowly ascending to the top with the tap, tap, tap of the mechanism as you are pulled higher and higher from the ground. Then, suddenly, you ‘fall’ over the top and into the terrifying and fun experience. Our lives are a waiting for Christ to come. Each day is closer and closer to His coming. But, suddenly, we will hear the trumpet of God and we will ‘be changed in a twinkling of an eye’. All that we’ve been waiting for will be a reality as we enter into the age when ‘death has been swallowed up in victory’.


WE WILL NOT ALL SLEEP

As mentioned also in verses 6 & 18, Christians do not die, they sleep in Christ. Sleep is not meant to convey the idea that Christians are unconscious after death. Rather, ‘Sleep’ is an appropriate term because it speaks of ongoing life and of rising - we will rise from death. However, some Christians will be on the earth when Christ comes again. . Paul says pretty much the same thing in 1 Thessalonians 4:

‘Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words.’ (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18)

WE WILL ALL BE CHANGED

Both those who have ‘fallen asleep’ and those left on the earth will be given resurrection bodies at the return of Christ. Here in 1 Corinthians 15, we are told 4 things about this new body:


i. Perishable to imperishable - This, in essence, means that our bodies will become immortal. Our current existence involves birth, ageing and death; in our future existence we will never decline. (See also 15:53–55).


ii. Dishonour to glory - Our bodies lack honour in that they are fallen. Sin has corrupted them. The glory of God is defiled in us. Then, our whole being, including our bodies, will be restored to the image of God. Our bodies will bring glory to Jesus.


iii. Weakness to power - ‘Weakness’ (astheneia) refers to frailty, illness and suffering. In this age, our bodies are weak and subject to illness. Paul likens our bodies to ‘jars of clay’ that are ‘outwardly wasting away (2 Corinthians 4:7, 16). In that day - When Jesus comes - we will be ‘raised in power’. Our bodies will have new strength and capability. No longer will we be subject to sickness or weakness.


iv. Natural to spiritual - ‘Natural’ means that which is natural to all people. The term ‘natural body’ is a summation of the previous terms; the natural body is fallen and so is perishable, dishonoured and weak. All of us are in this condition by nature. However, when Christ comes and we are raised up, our bodies will be ‘spiritual’. This is not about our being ghostly our lacking substance. Rather, this is a summary of our being perfected by the Spirit at our resurrection (See Romans 8:11).


RESPONSE

An appropriate response is meditation, thanksgiving and prayer. Why not spend some time meditating, thanking God and praying out of 1 Corinthians 15:51-57.


YOU MIGHT FIND THIS SONG INSPIRING ON THIS WEEK'S SUBJECT:


 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

 

2. Icebreaker

What has God been speaking to you about from His word recently? How would you like prayer?

 

3. Recap of Sunday's message - please share in your group


TRUE HOPE LEADS TO WORTHY LIVING

On Sunday, we continued with our series in 1 Corinthians, looking at Paul’s teaching on the resurrection body from 1 Corinthians 15:35-58. In this study, we only have time to consider a few ideas.


Please read the whole of 1 Corinthians 15:35-58


1. THE RESURRECTION BODY

‘So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; 43 it is sown in dishonour, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; 44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.’ (1 Corinthians 15:42-44)

What will our bodies be like when they are raised? In summary, we can simply say that they will be like Jesus’ body after His resurrection. Paul uses three contrasts here which tell us a great deal:


i. Perishable to imperishable - This, in essence, means that our bodies will become immortal. Our current existents involves birth, ageing and death; in our future existence, we will never decline. (See also 15:53–55).


ii. Dishonour to glory - Our bodies lack honour in that they are fallen. Sin has corrupted them. The glory of God is defiled in us. Our bodies have appetites that are against the Spirit. We were made in God’s image but we now ‘fall short of the glory of God’ (Romans 3:23) in our all aspects of our lives including our bodies. When we are raise, we will be glorious. Our whole being, including our bodies, will be restored to the image of God. Our bodies will bring glory to Jesus.


iii. Weakness to power - ‘Weakness’ (astheneia) refers to frailty, illness and suffering. In this age, our bodies are weak and subject to illness. Paul likens our bodies to ‘jars of clay’ that are ‘outwardly wasting away (2 Corinthians 4:7, 16). In that day - When Jesus comes - we will be ‘raised in power’. Our bodies will have new strength and capability. No longer will we be subject to sickness or weakness.


iv. Natural to spiritual - ‘Natural’ means that which is natural to all people. the term ‘natural body’ is a summation of the previous terms; the natural body is fallen and so is perishable, dishonoured and weak. All of us are in this condition by nature. However, when Christ comes and we are raised up, our bodies will be ‘spiritual’. This is not about our being ghostly our lacking substance. Rather, this is a summary of our being perfected by the Spirit at our resurrection (See Romans 8:11).


2. GIVE YOURSELVES FULLY TO THE WORK OF THE LORD

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.’ (1 Corinthians 15:58)

The title of Sunday’s message was: ‘TRUE HOPE LEADS TO WORTHY LIVING’. Paul finishes this section with application. A true grasp of our future hope will lead to 'giving ourselves fully to the work of the Lord'. The work of building the local church, sharing the gospel and being ‘salt and light’ in our communities will flow out of true hope. Hope of future resurrection causes us to live for things of eternal worth rather than for the things of this passing era.


DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

i. Did you feel that God spoke to you from any particular aspect of Sunday's message?

ii. What about our future resurrection do you feel most excited about?

iii. Read 1 Corinthians 15:58. Why does true hope lead to worthy living?

iv. What is the ‘work of the Lord’ that we should give ourselves to?


SIV - Let's keep praying and planning for how we can invite people to our carol service on 11th December (4 pm).

SIV - Do you have any encouraging stories of sharing your faith with your friends?

SIV - How do you plan to 'serve, invest and invite' into your friendships?

SIV - Let's pray for the Spirit to lead us in reaching our community.





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