Its Own Body

by Terry Wane Benton

Some brethren have gotten caught up in the AD 70 doctrine that the resurrection and only judgment happened in AD 70. They argue that the resurrection of "the body" is just a spiritual resurrection of the collective body of Christ (the church). So, they do some tripping around in I Corinthians 15 to try to get the resurrection to be a collective spiritual renewal of the church rather than individual resurrection from the grave in which your body is planted. There are all kinds of problems with their efforts to make it a collective renewal of the church.

First, the church would have to be dead collectively in AD 70 in order to be raised collectively. Was the church spiritually dead? No! Some members no doubt were already spiritually dead both before and after AD 70, but resurrection is not collective spiritually when only some need renewing from their individual spiritual sleep.

There were plenty of Christians who were already awake spiritually before, during, and after AD 70. There is no point in time when every Christian was part of a collective spiritual sleep. Therefore, the events of AD 70 did not awaken a collectively dead church into a collectively living church (body). Any member could "be renewed in the spirit of your mind" before AD 70 (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:23). I Corinthians 15 is not about a collective church (body) resurrection.

Secondly, Paul is arguing that you plant (sow) in the ground a body that is much different than what you will see come out of that body in the ground (I Corinthians 15:35-47). You sow a seed that is not the same form as what you see come forth. "To each seed its own body" (I Corinthians 15:38). "Each" speaks to the individual, not the collective. Each individual is planted in the ground in one form and comes forth at the resurrection in another form. What you plant in the ground looks nothing like what comes out of the ground. You don't sow the church, you have your personal body planted in the ground, and you have a personal resurrection of an immortal body raised from the ground (I Corinthians 15:52-53). Each thing (body) that is planted comes forth with an immortal body. The church collectively was not planted in association with death in AD 70 and was not collectively raised in AD 70. Do not be deceived. Each person in Christ who dies physically as Jesus did will be raised immortally like Jesus. To each his own body.

Are you getting ready for the resurrection to immortality?

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