Longing For That New Body
By Dr. Joseph Chambers
One of the strongest passions in a godly saint is their desire for their glorified body. A true saint has their feet on this earth but their head is in the sky. When you get a taste of the resurrection life of Jesus Christ, you will hunger for more and more. It will be complete only when we receive our glorified bodies that are made in His likeness. When Apostle Paul wrote his Holy Ghost directed letter to the Philippians, he included these words, “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).
Someone may ask, “Where is this level of spiritual living in today’s church?” It has been lost in our failure to have an altar in our lives. The word altar means “a place of slaughter or death.” There is no Biblical altar until something or someone dies. In the First Testament a sacrificial animal died. In the New Testament a surrendered believer dies. Through the pen of the writer the Spirit said, “I am crucified (There is not any person who is crucified without death to the old man.) with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). That’s the resurrection life we are missing and why we are spiritually empty in the process.
The majority of religious life in our present churches is “letter religion” instead of “spiritual life.” Much of the preaching in our churches, on radio, and on television warns people not to seek experiences because of the great amount of false emotions and false experiences. I understand the need to be biblically discerning because of the false, but Satan never produces a false that does not imitate the genuine. The “false anointing” that grips so much of the Church World is nothing but an attack on the spiritual reality with which the Lord Jesus wants to flood your life.
I will not allow Satan’s esoteric and paranormal spiritism to rob my soul of the mighty works of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God speaks expressly to all of us, “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you. Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” (Romans 8:11-14).
There is nothing any deader than an unspiritual believer. The life of a crucified saint is beautiful and powerful. Saul of Tarsus saw the face of Stephen and later found himself transformed by the same Christ. “And all that sat in the council, looking stedfastly on him, saw his face as it had been the face of an angel” (Acts 6:15). The resurrection life of Jesus Christ is not only an idea to fill poetry or a stanza for a song; it is a supernatural life to turn a repentant sinner into a vibrant saint. One man in Acts chapter three, who had never been in a sanctuary, went into the temple walking and leaping and praising God after encountering resurrection life. That would mess up Sunday morning services at most churches.
All of this resurrection life is just a small taste of what awaits the real saints of God. The Holy Ghost said, “For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope, Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God” (Romans 8:18-21). As great as it is to be a saint of God, it is only the down payment on our future. No wonder Paul said, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21).
The great lesson of I Corinthians chapter fifteen should be fixed in the memory bank of our mind. Let’s read it slowly, “So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption.” “Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.” “And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly.” “Behold, I shew 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 trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (I Corinthians 15:42, 46, 49, 51-52). What a picture of the ending/beginning of a godly life!
Occasionally, I meditate on that which is right before us. What glory it will be to quickly be transformed and glorified with a resurrected body and – at the same moment – caught up to the presence of the Father and the Son. To climb the steppe of the sky and see the city of Heavenly Jerusalem gleaming in the distance will be majestic in itself. But, to enter into the city that Apostle Paul dared not to describe is beyond words. The city will already be primed for the wedding celebration. Saints of old, whom we have celebrated in our singing and preaching, will be milling about in a grand homecoming fashion. Loved ones that have already arrived will be running to meet us. Angels will be singing our welcome chorus. In some indescribable fashion, the Lord of Lords will be welcoming every one of us.
The Bible has promised if we confess Him to a hostile world, He will confess us to His Father. How all of this can be I will not try to figure out, but it will be as He promised. The future of God’s saints is so grand that our words almost sound like daydreaming. The half has never been told, but what I know has me so excited that I’m longing to go home.