If I lay in the sun too long I’ll get burned.If I eat too many Dunkin’ Donuts my waist will expand. If I lift weights my muscles will grow. If I run every day I’ll be in better shape. Life is full of “IF’s” and “THEN’s”. It’s the natural created law of Cause and Effect. It is also the formation of truth and consequence, reality and fiction. For instance, if my shirt is all black, it can’t also be all red. The ‘if’ is always the set-up. It’s always the gateway to the passage to a revelation. The If is conditional, but also preparatory. It’s truth, but can be contradicted – for someone else laying in the sun too long just promotes them to a more brilliant shade of brown.
The ‘IF’ is sometimes defined or proven by the ‘THEN’, and occasionally it is proven by the reality of the “THEN”.
1 Corinthians 15:44b says, “(IF) there is a natural body, (THEN) there is also a spiritual body.” (emphasis added).
We are currently in Los Angeles at the Dream Center on a missions trip. Our young adults were talking last night about the days work in the streets and how we felt about what we did. We were feeding the homeless and praying for the needy. We saw one man get healed and were even able to take a homeless woman off of the streets back to the Dream Center to be housed, fed, and discipled.
The feeding and serving was all done through the natural body. We stood in the warm sun with beads of sweat running down our natural bodies with the only one desire – the desire to show compassion to the natural body of others. To put food in their stomachs and to wet their mouths with water was a satisfaction to us as well. But not to our natural body. It satisfied our spiritual body. Satisfaction to the natural body also brings satisfaction to the spiritual body.
But it also works in the reflective opposite. We also saw someone get healed from leg and back pain in Santa Monica on Wednesday night. They came to nourish their natural bodies and through the spiritual bodies of the believers they were miraculously changed. Preparation of our spiritual bodies prepares us for supernatural acts in the natural bodies.
Verse 44b is all about the ‘IF’ and “THEN”. One impacts the other. The natural and spiritual bodies are forever linked and they prove the existence, desires, and tendencies of the other. The exercise of one leads to a positive result in the other. Paul does not dispute the existence of a natural body, and neither should we – it’s not subject to debate in any scientific field where truth is the desired finale.
And according to Paul, because the natural body is not disputed, neither should the spiritual. They are one in the same, connected by the very essence of our existence. They cannot be separated, even if desired. It is how we are made and how we find fulfillment in what we do, and it’s how we develop from what we want to leave behind.
If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.
If that is the case then the following scenarios MUST be true:
Picking up trash is a spiritual act.
Feeding the homeless is a spiritual act.
Caring for the sick is a spiritual act.
Providing transportation is a spiritual act.
These are the message and the actions of the Church. Doing in the physical so that the spiritual may be celebrated among men.