In Paul’s first letter to the believers in Corinth he writes,
“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (I Corinthians 15:53 – NKJV)
A bit of insight is given to us in this short text, one within a context of things to come, that we currently inhabit a “mortal” body. The dictionary that I referenced in respect to the word “mortal” defines it as, “subject to death.” In one instance it is defined as, “belonging to this world.” I guess we know that that which is of “this world” is passing away (I John 2:17). Note that the Greek word means, “liable to die” (Strong).
As I grow older I become more acutely aware of this “mortal” body I inhabit. And as I grow older I realize more so that it is “subject to death, liable to die.” It is a reality of our existence. You know that old adage about our time on this earth in these bodies that we have; that when we are born we are born to die? God made it clear in the garden that death was inevitable for Adam and Eve and would be inevitable for every living being after them. The fall brought about this “mortal” state, this state of being that was “subject to death.”
Of course, death is that which lingers out there before everyone of us and the apostle Paul confirms that to each of us in this text, for he speaks not just of himself but, in this case, to those who, in Corinth, profess Jesus as Lord and Savior. He makes sure they know that they are “mortal,” they are “liable to die.”
That said, in addition to addressing our “mortal” state, Paul says that it is “corruptible.” Yes, we exist, this side of heaven, in a “corruptible . . . mortal” body. I must say that I marvel that we Christians struggle so much with the breakdown of the body, whether it be our own or that of a family member or friend, as if it is some strange phenomena. It certainly should not be, if we know the Scriptures.
It should be no wonder to us that so many ailments afflict us. We are inhabitants of bodies that are “subject to death” . . . and they are “corrupted.” This word “corrupt” in our English dictionaries is also a very sobering word; note, “infected, tainted, decayed, putrid.” Strong writes of the Greek word that it means, “decayed, i.e. (by implication) perishable.” So . . . our bodies, they are “decaying,” they are, in terms we are familiar with, aging. And the aging process bears witness of the “decay” which becomes more and more prominent. Not exactly an uplifting message, is it? But wait . . .
Within this description of our “corruptible . . . mortal” state of existence, note as God’s Word speaks of things to come for believers, for the Holy Spirit speaks to us and comforts us right within our text . . .
“For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”
Yes! This that is “subject to death,” subject to “decay,” because of the promise we have in Christ, “must put on incorruption” and “must put on Immortality.” However the make-up of our spiritual bodies will finally be, they will no longer be “subject to death,” no longer subject to “decay.” Paul makes it known to us that . . .
“. . . flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God” (I Corinthians 15:50 – NKJV)
The “mortal,” the “corruptible” cannot continue to exist, and so he writes further, in words of great hope and expectation . . .
“. . . we shall all be changed” (I Corinthians 15:51 – NKJV)
And this will happen when?
“. . . at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (I Corinthians 15:52 – NKJV)
What a turnaround it will be as that which is “corruptible,” that which is “mortal,” is “changed!” It will be a “change” that makes us suitable for “the kingdom of God” (V-50), and no longer will we be as we are but as God would have us be . . . by His very power fitted “incorruptible” for His “kingdom.”
Brothers and sisters in Christ be informed and then be encouraged . . . somethings just need to change! And . . . they will! It is guaranteed!
All glory and honor to Him who not only promises this change but we know is able to bring it about!
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