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Does our body of flesh and blood really enter the kingdom of God or are we to become spirit?

1 Corinthians15:50-54: “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. 51 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-- 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. 54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.”

The word flesh and blood is synonymous with the natural man, mortal man (in most cases the old man, the man of sin.) When we have our resurrected bodies we will no longer have sin but be transformed. But this resurrection does not leave the body we had behind but takes it and transforms it into a completely new man. The new man is no loner dependent upon the life that is found in his blood but is made of flesh and bones (just like Jesus’ resurrection), without blood for its life support.

1 Cor 15:42-44 ‘So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, 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. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”

This does not mean that our resurrected bodies will be a spirit. The resurrection means the same body that died is raised back to life (Gr. anastasis soma) to rise up the same physical body. (Job 19:25-27; Jonah 2:2-6; Ps. 16:9-11; I King 17:17; II King 4:31-35; 13:21; Isa. 26:19; Hosea 13:14; John 5:28-29; 1 Cor. 15:20-23; Acts 26:22-23; Col 1:18-20). A spiritual body- in Greek is soóma pneumatikón- Soma is for a physical body, but when combined it means a spirit dominated or controlled body. The statement characterizes the resurrection body as one completely filled and governed by the Holy Spirit ....

Vv.47 -49 ‘The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.

The expression 'flesh and blood' never denotes the substance of the body, but man in his totality as a frail and perishable creature (Matt 16:17; Gal 1:16; Eph 6:12; Heb 2:14), mortal. The meaning in I Corinthians 15:50 is shown by the comparison words- the word corruption, mortal which denotes the whole man in his corruptibility of his present body. The entire context shows that man, as a frail perishable creature, cannot enter God's glorious kingdom without a change. He first must be made immortal, without the body of sin.

The use of this term ‘flesh and blood’ is seen in a number of passages in Hebrews 2:14: ‘Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same’

Explaining that Jesus was indeed made human (as well as God within), and he is described in the gospels as becoming hungry, weak and was able to die.

In Matt 16:16-17, when Peter responds to Jesus’ asking who He is. ‘“You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’ 17 Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” Also Paul in Gal 1:16 “I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood’ explaining where his revelation came from. Both cases showing it is not from man.

The ONLY example we have of the new body (or new man) is the body of Jesus. When the disciples saw Jesus they though they saw a ghost of which he replied

Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself. Handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see I have.’ (Luke 24:39-40).

Jesus was able to be seen and he ate with his disciples even though his now glorified body did not need food for its sustenance.

When john saw Jesus in heaven glorified he described him as “His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. (Rev 1:16) much the same way he saw Jesus with Peter and James on the mount of Transfiguration. Jesus then tells him he was dead in Rev 1:18 and “I am alive forevermore” (never to die again).

1 John 3:2 “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.

One day at the resurrection and rapture we too will be conformed to the image of His Son, (Rom 8:29) and on that day Eph 5:27 “He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”

Our bodies will no longer be powered with the life in the blood but the eternal spirit; we will never die again and most importantly will be our everlasting relationship with God.

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