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Resurrected Life in the Already But Not Yet


The brilliance of the sunrise reflects the glory of the resurrection.
Photo Credit: Andrey Tlyk

(By Heather Marshall)


Eschatology. 


An intimidating sounding word and one that I first encountered when doing a women’s Bible study. Although this word can sound intimidating, it contains some beautiful truths that impact our day-to-day lives as we live in this world in the bodies God has given us.


Eschatology means “the study of the last things.” But in the New Testament, eschatology refers not chiefly to millennial views or the timing of the tribulation. Eschatology is more of a mindset on how the future relates to the present. Some have termed it “the already but not yet” way of thinking. 


As Christians, we already have all spiritual blessings promised to us in Christ. “All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). But we do not yet experience the fullness of all these blessings. This will be realized at Christ’s second coming. So, we live in this already but not yet age, between the first and second coming of Christ.


The spiritual blessing of resurrection is one of those already but not yet blessings that we enjoy as believers in Christ. Before we were saved, we were dead in trespasses and in sins (Ephesians 2:1), but the moment we trusted Christ, we received a spiritual resurrection. “For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6). 


This is a beautiful aspect of resurrection that we delight in now, but there is also a “not yet” aspect to resurrection. When Christ returns, our physical bodies will be resurrected into transformed and glorious bodies. 


‘It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies” (1 Corinthians 15: 52-53). 


Because of Christ’s own bodily resurrection, our current spiritual and future physical resurrection are guaranteed, praise God! 


This truth of our future physical resurrection helps to bring us comfort and perseverance as we navigate this world. We have all had moments of pain and sickness in our physical bodies, and the knowledge that this is only temporary strengthens us because we know that one day these bodies will be glorious and pain free.


But there is a practical tension here: we do not currently have new and glorified bodies, so what does that mean for the physical body we currently reside in? Do we disregard this current body because, well, it’s going to be made new again one day anyway?


I don’t believe that God’s Word supports this attitude. The Scriptures reinforce the thought of being good stewards of our current bodies. In 1 Corinthians 6:19, we read that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and because He indwells us, we need to take care of His dwelling place.


God made our bodies, and although they are marred by sin, He still calls them good. 


If our bodies are good and are His dwelling place, then we need to care for them. We do this by listening to our bodies' needs for movement, hydration, nourishment, and rest. 


There are some examples given in the New Testament of what caring for our bodies looks like. The apostle Paul tells Timothy that physical exercise is good (1 Timothy 4:8). He also advises Timothy to use the available remedy of that time for his sickness, taking a little wine for his stomach, to feel better in his body (1 Timothy 5:23). 


Friends, let's be encouraged to take care of our bodies while simultaneously taking hope in the certainty that the failings of our current bodies will most definitely give way to a future glorious resurrected body like His own. As we seek to live for Him in the now, He is transforming us more into the image of His Son (2 Corinthians 3:18).


May the words of this song “I Will Rise” by Chris Tomlin encourage you as you live a resurrected life in the already but not yet age. 




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