What is a person? The Jewish understanding of a person is the person is created both physical and spiritual. This is contrasted with the Greek understanding (dualism) that a person is fully spiritual and this physical world is a cage that the spiritual needs to be released from (Plato’s philosophy). God created the world perfectly physical and spiritual and called it good. Plato, and other Greek thinkers, understood the physical world as inherently bad. The true being of something is within it and needs to be released from its physical bondage. This Greek mindset crept its way into Christianity in the first century through what we call Gnosticism (another post for another time). To better understand the glory of Christ’s resurrection, we need to reclaim the Jewish mindset about the person. This is the mindset the Bible was written in. Here’s a video that will help further sort it out. Click Here
With all of this in mind. Read chapter 8 of Romans. You can read it here.
You were made in the Image of God as a fully physical and spiritual being. When sin entered the world, the Image of God was tarnished in us and the Spirit was removed. When we choose the flesh, we reject God giving the Spirit back to us in the Resurrection. Jesus’s death on the cross conquered the death that binds us (1 Corinthians 15…later this week). It is the Spirit that sets us free from the laws of sin and death. Receiving the Spirit begins to move us back to the humanity that God intended for us in the Garden. We were created to be human. Fully human. Physical and Spiritual. When we live in the flesh, we dismiss our sins saying, “I’m only human” but the reality is, “you aren’t human enough.” Strive to be filled with the Spirit in every aspect of your life!
The suffering you feel in this life is only temporary. God has redeemed this creation and has called us to take part in this redemption. Romans 8:22 says that the entire creation is groaning for redemption. The sin that broke our relationship with God also broke the rest of creation. As beautiful as the world is, it is only a glimpse of the beauty God originally created. We too groan inwardly for redemption. Every time I pray with someone who is struggling with cancer, who is dying, who is in severe pain, etc. I long inwardly for the redemption of our bodies, our adoption as Children of God. What is the redemption of our bodies? Is it a disembodies spirit that floats upward to sit on a cloud? Paul, in verse 24, says that it is in this hope we are saved. Our bodies have not been redeemed yet, but we have received the Spirit and we wait for our redemption patiently.
Romans 8 is one of the most powerful chapters in the Bible. It reminds us of God’s intention for us, how we should live, the hope that we have, and eradicates all fears we have as we realize we are more than conquerors when we are in Christ Jesus. You have received the Spirit. You are saved! Now, go live out the Resurrection, a life filled with the Spirit, and show the world what God intended for His creation to look like!