“If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritua l body. So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being” ; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. The first man was of the dust of the earth, the second man from heaven. As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the man from heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. And just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven.”
1 Corinthians 15:44-49 NIV
This short and amazing passage, speaks of two bodies- A natural body and a spiritual body. They are very different from each other and are presented here in a polarised fashion. The first Adam was made from the dust of the ground, and his body was of the earth- earth born and bound. He was made by the Creator and was a living being. His earthly body had a life bound up in this earth- in time and space. All the descendants of Adam, bear his earthly outlook and natural, world-orientated desires.
But another Adam came. He also had an earthly body, but in His person was very different. He is the life-giving Spirit of God- God himself come in the flesh. All spiritual life comes from Him, and flows from Him to the natural man, dead in sins and earth-bound, and He brings spiritual resurrection.
The natural man appeared on the earth first, and the Spiritual man, that is Christ came after. The man from heaven, was heavenly and spiritual, unlike the natural man, born, all of us from Adam, and with a dead inner life. We are earthly creatures as Adam was, but Christ is the forerunner of all those who will possess His spiritual life. They will be as He is.
These heavenly people, will bear the likeness of their spiritual Saviour, just as they once carried the image of Adam. Those who love Him, will bear His glorious image and will long to be like Him. The spiritual life within will resonate with that glorious place and become less fixed on earthly things. The heavenly man will bring all His resurrected sons and daughters to that eternal place, where they will reign with Him in light. The natural body will then be glorified and made fit for that spiritual self within,.
This is for the future, but also for now. A Christian bears that likeness even now, though often clouded by the cloying sins that still linger. The great hope-
1 John 3:2-3 NIV
“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.”