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Resurrection, Renewal, Mission

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ÜThe Resurrection of Jesus as Proto-Type:

A Guide to Eschatological Hope & Present Mission

How the Resurrection of Jesus Informs our Understanding and Vision of God's Grand Purpose for the Earth & the Human Race, and thus our Present Mission

Indebtedness: Rick Watts, Charles Ringma, J.I. Packer, John Stackhouse, N.T. Wright, Irenaeus

Disclaimer: Not representative of the official teaching of this church or of its leadership

Advice: Be stimulated & provoked to further study by what you understand in today’s message.

ÜLk 24:36-43 (TNIV) While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost [spirit]. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost [spirit] does not have flesh and bones, Üas you see I have.” When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.

ÜPhp 3:20-21 ...our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies [the body of our humble state] so that they will be like his glorious body.

ÜRo 8:18-25 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that Üthe creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption, Üthe redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

ÜEph 1:8-10 ...With all wisdom and understanding, he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

Thematic Outline

I.        ÜThe Resurrection of Jesus

A.     Central to the Gospel (1 Co 15)

B.     The Basis of our Hope

C.     The Resurrection, not Heaven, as our Hope

1.       The Primary Emphasis of the NT

2.       Heaven, a Place of Rest, Blessing & Eager Expectation

a.       Better than Present Earth, Not as Good as Renewed Earth

D.     ÜThe Nature of the Resurrected Body

1.       The Transformation of Corporeality

a.       Not the Annihilation of Corporeality

b.       Physicality with Different Properties

1)      Flesh & Bones

2)      Scarred Hands, Feet & Side

3)      Eating (Lk 24:36-43; Ac 1:4; cf. Lk 24: 30; Jn 21:9-13)

4)      Spontaneous Appearance & Disappearance

c.       A Spiritual Body

1)      Not a Non-Physical Body

2)      Rather, a Supra-Physical Body Conditioned for the Fullness of the Glory of God’s Spirit

3)      An Advance upon Adam’s Corporeality; (Super-Man)

2.       Paul’s Description (1 Co 15:42-55)

a.       ἀφθαρσίᾳ = Incorruptibility, Imperishability

b.       δόξῃ = Splendor, Glory; Radiance

c.       δυνάμει = Power, Might, Strength

d.       πνευματικόν = Of the Spirit (of God)

1)      Not ψυχικόν = Of the (Human) Soul

e.       ἐπουρανίου = Heavenly

f.        ἀθανασίαν = Immortality, Deathlessness

E.      ÜThe Ascension of Jesus

1.       His Transformed Body taken “Up” into Heaven

2.       Heaven as a “Created” Place

a.       OT: God Made Heaven and Earth

b.       Not Another Place in This Universe

3.       Heaven as Another Dimension

a.       A “Parallel” Universe (Scientific Hypothesis: Multi-Verses)

b.       C.S. Lewis’s Allegory: Chronicles of Narnia

4.       Heaven is Not Non-Material

a.       Space, Matter, Time with Different Properties

1)      “things upon heaven”; cf. Eph 1:10

b.       God’s Presence, Rule, Glory in Fullness

II.     ÜGeneral Themes of the First Century Jewish Hope (Non-Uniform)

A.     A One-Stage Earthly Kingdom

1.       A Messiah King

2.       General Resurrection

3.       Outpouring of God’s Spirit

4.       A Judgment on Evil

5.       A Subduing & Judgment of the Nations

6.       A Blessing of the Nations

7.       A Renewal of the Present Creation

III.   ÜThe Hope of the Early Church: Witness of the NT & Church Fathers

A.     A Two-Stage Development of the Jewish Hope

1.       The Resurrection of Jesus & A Measured Outpouring of the Spirit

2.       ÜThe General Resurrection, Final Judgment, Renewal of Creation, Earthly Reign of Christ

B.     ÜOR, a Three-Stage Development

1.       The Resurrection of Jesus & Measured Outpouring of the Spirit

2.       ÜThe Resurrection of the Righteous, Renewal of Creation, Earthly Reign

3.       ÜThe General Resurrection, Final Judgment, Brand New Creation

C.     ÜThe Interim: The “Last Days”

1.       Heaven as a Place of Blessing and Eager Expectation in the Full Reign of God

2.       Earth as a Place of Mission

D.     ÜConfusion Over the Future of the Earth

1.       The Elements Melt, The Heavens Destroyed (2 Pet 3:7-13)

a.       Note: Comparison to the Flood; yet “Destroyed” does NOT mean Annihilated, for the Earth Endured the Flood (2 Pet 3:5-6)

b.       ÜOption One: the Renewal-Transformation of Creation upon Christ’s Return; Non-Literal Apocalyptic Language: Judgment & Purification

c.       ÜOption Two: The End of the Millenial Reign

1)      Scientific Theory:

a)      The Accelerated Expansion & Death of the Universe

b)      The Collapse of the Universe (into Another Big Bang?)

2.       ÜHeaven & Earth Passing Away (Mt 5:18; 24:35; Mk 13:31; Lk 21:33; Rv 21:1)

a.       Option One: the Renewal-Transformation of Creation at Christ’s Return

b.       Option Two: the End of the Millenial Reign

IV.  ÜSome Implications for Mission

A.     Creation is Good.

1.       Earth-tending and -keeping is important.

B.     ÜCorporeality is Good.

1.       To be Human is to Consist of Body & Soul.

a.       Care of the whole person is important.

2.       To be Fully Human is to Consist of Body & Soul & God’s Spirit.

a.       Conversion & indwelling by God’s Spirit is paramount.

3.       Sexuality is fundamentally good.

a.       Its non-covenantal, misdirection must be subdued and sanctified.

b.       Theological teaching on sexuality is desperately needed in the church.

4.       Redemption involves the Entire Human, Body and Soul

a.       Holiness of heart, mind & body is important.

b.       Discipleship must involve the whole person.

C.     ÜThere is Continuity & Discontinuity between the Present Age & the Age to Come.

1.       NOT Radical, Complete Disjunction.

a.       History Continues; it is NOT Terminated.

b.       Cultures and Nations are Redeemed, NOT Annihilated.

1)      The Nations will be Governed by Christ.

a)      Christ delegates responsibility over cities to his servants.

b)      Those who overcome will rule and reign with him.

2.       Cultural development is worthwhile.

3.       Political involvement is important.

4.       Personal development is important.

a.       Sinlessness is not the end of development.

1)      Cf., Adam & Eve in the Garden; Jesus as a child

b.       Growth in knowledge, wisdom & ability is important.

5.       Relationships are important: potentially eternal, not temporary.

D.     ÜAll of Life is Holy and is Preparatory for the Life to Come.

V.     ÜConclusion: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” (Mt 5:5) “Our Father in heaven, your name be hallowed, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is heaven.” (Mt 6:9-10)

VI.  ÜFurther Interest: N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church; Online Sermons:

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