Spiritual Body Christ
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15. Spiritual Body of Christ

Christ Lives in You

Over a Christian's lifespan, we see a new way emerging. Human beings are tinged by the Fall. In Genesis 3.23 we read, "So the Lord God banished him (Adam) from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life." The phrase, "on the east side" may also be translated "placed in front." Humankind is born tinged by the sin of Adam but can move forward to a spiritual decision point when Jesus is invited in to fill that person! A Christian's supernatural nature unfolds beginning with their commitment. Saint Paul wrote of the Mystical Body of Christ within himself in Galatians 2.20, "I have been crucified with Christ, and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me." As the physical body deteriorated, so the inner spiritual nature blossoms. In 2 Corinthians 4.16, Saint Paul further explains, "Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. Jesus' indwelling automatically transplants a Christian into the Mystical Body of Christ. Transplantation is one piece of the radical definition of "Christian." "Christian" is an essential part of the meaning of the "Body of Christ." Paul interprets this for us in 2 Corinthians 5.17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come!"

Spiritual Body Likeness

Technician and Purified WaterThe spiritual body likeness of the committed Christian in the Household of Faith is similar to that of the Lord Jesus Christ himself. In the Christian era, men and women are restored to true equality in their spiritual bodies which are like the Lord's. This is prophesied by Joel, a prophet of ancient Israel and second of the twelve minor prophets and whose name translates as "one to whom Yahweh is God." Many centuries ago in Joel 2.28-29, he wrote, "I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days." In the new spiritual body, explained in Acts 15.9, there is no difference between men and women. Like Gentile and Jewish Christians "he made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith."

True Equality

Like Father Like SonBoth males and females who become a part of the Body of Christ are transfigured into the spiritual likeness of Jesus. In the biological family, father and son, mother and daughter often bear physical likenesses to one another. In the spiritual Body of Christ, disciples also develop a spiritual likeness to their Lord as they mature in his image. Saint Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 3.18, "And we, who with unveiled faces, all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit." Henri Nouwen (1932-1996 AD) a Dutch pastor and theologian writes, "In the resurrection, we will have spiritual bodies. Our natural bodies came from Adam, our spiritual bodies come from Christ. Christ is the second Adam, offering us new bodies not subject to destruction." As Saint Paul explains in I Corinthians 15:49, "as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man [Adam], so we shall bear the likeness of the heavenly one [Christ]." Jesus came to dress our perishable nature with imperishability and our mortal nature with immortality. Christian spiritual maturity develops in the human being like a newborn baby growing in a family. This glorious image of Christian spiritual maturity grows in us according to Romans 8.29, "for those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son." Saint Athanasius of Alexandria (269-373 AD) of the Coptic Orthodox Church wrote, "God became a man so that man might become God." Though human sin results in death, being conformed to the image of God's son propels Christians into spiritual maturity. When a person becomes a Christian, the Holy Spirit injects that person with the divine element to complement the human one. Saint Paul writes in Colossians 1.27 that God's glorious mystery is "Christ in you, the hope of glory." God reformulates a person by changing him or her into something more than a biological child. God is not just a super-human, but a divine being. The Jesus element transforms the human into superhumanity. Maturity and spirituality flower from the divine component within the mortal frame.

Newly Born to Death

Newly Born BabyOn this basis, the life pattern of the average human being can now be charted. The physical begins at conception through birth and matures in the early twenties. From that point on, beauty begins to fade, muscles weaken, skin starts to wrinkle and sag, hair falls out and brain cells diminish into old age, death then dust. For those who have not received Christ, the spiritual line drops to the base and tumbles through death into agonizing eternity. For the Christian, death is merely a seamless extension of the Christian life, a doorway into a new and wonderful life with God.

"Spiritual Body Christ"
by Ron Meacock © 2019

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