Becoming Like God Our spirits currently dwell in broken down, sin-riddled bodies. The human mind deteriorates with age, the muscles and bones weaken and our skin loses elastin which causes wrinkles and skin to droop. Our hearing declines, our eye-sight blurs. If we're lucky, we'll live to see 80; though the average life-span is just above 70. This was never Gods intention. The reason for mans declining health begins in the garden of Eden. Adam and Eve disobeyed Gods command, the punishment of which was death. Death of the body and the spirit. Although their bodies did not die in that moment, their spirits did and their bodies immediately began the dying process. This death from sin also caused separation between us and God. This was not the end however. Because God is love, He had a plan to deal with the situation and redeem us. This plan came to earth and was fulfilled through Jesus Christ on the cross. God through Jesus took the punishment of every sin, past, present, future on Himself, bearing the pain of sin, the pain of separation from God and the pain of death in our place. He then came back to life 3 days later, rising out of the grave in a glorified, renewed body proving that the sacrifice has been accepted by God. Jesus said He was the first fruits of resurrection and offered two promises to all who trust in Him. The first was a promise of a resurrected spirit, through the Holy Spirit who dwells inside us. The second was a promise of a resurrected body just like His. 1 Corinthians 15:20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. Now with the Messiah's sacrifice, we are offered redemption and resurrection of both body and spirit. Although our old spirit was dead in sin, when we trust in Jesus Christ as Savior, we receive a new spirit, the Holy Spirit which gives us eternal life. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. The gift of the Holy Spirit is immediate. The moment we accept Jesus Christ as Savior, His spirit enters us and our relationship with father God is restored. But the promise of a new body is not immediate. We become an eternal spirit dwelling inside a sinful, mortal body. (Which as Paul discusses in the book of Romans, causes great internal conflicts.) The promise of a new body is one of the great Hopes that Christians have. (If it's not, it certainly should be.) But the mystery of the promise leads many people to confusion and even causes some to deify themselves. This leads me to the heart of my article, where I want to deal with some well known errors in the ideology of many Christians. There is an enormous difference between "becoming like God" and "becoming God." "Becoming like God" implies taking on characteristics of God. We read our Bibles daily, we pray daily and we grow in the knowledge of God which allows us to make decisions in daily life which would resemble decisions God would want us to make. God is love, so we practice loving others to become like Him. God is forgiving, so we practice forgiving others to become more like Him. Though, no matter how good we are at loving people, or how easy it is for us to forgive others, we will never become God. I clarify this because I have heard many people/pastors/authors teach about the new bodies we are promised, and their descriptions would more accurately fall under the "becoming God" category. Whether this comes from misunderstanding of Gods word or from sinful desires that drive us to want to be equal with God, I do not know, but let me list a few of the common misconceptions. Some of the claims for our new bodies: We will no longer eat or drink We will be able to travel by thinking of a destination We will know each others thoughts Our bodies will no longer be restricted to time We'll be able to appear and disappear (or walk through walls) We will know everything Some contend that because flesh is sinful, our new bodies will be made of some ethereal, ghost like substance which will be better suited for a spirit world because after all, heaven is a cloudy, spiritual place. None of these ideas have any Biblical basis. I would guess their origins stem from satanic lies that are used to deceive us into thinking that our bodies are sinful in and of there own and we need to transcend them to some higher plane of existence. Simply non-sense! Sin stems from our disobedience to God. Our bodies are cursed with sin as a result of our rebellion. Gods idea of resurrection and redemption are based on restoring us to His original plan for us in the garden. Will we eat or drink in our new bodies? Of course we will! God designed us to eat and drink Genesis 2:9 And the LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. Genesis 2:16 And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;... Additional proof that we will eat and drink is found in the book of Revelation. In it we find out that God is preparing a feast, the wedding supper, which will take place when the church is finally raptured and joined with Jesus permanently. Revelation 19:7-9 Then the angel said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!' " And he added, "These are the true words of God." When God told Adam he could eat from the trees in the garden (Except for the tree of knowledge of good and evil) sin had not entered the world. Therefore everything was still good. This means God designed us to eat and drink. He designed our bodies to digest food and take in nutrients for fuel and energy. The need for food did not arise as a punishment from sin. Although it is quite possible that our bodies ability to process food has diminished due to sin. I expect that our new bodies will be fully capable of eating and drinking and probably much better at extracting all the nutrients we need. Two of the ideas on my list are closely related. Traveling by thought, appearing and disappearing at will and walking through walls. These ideas were probably started by a single event. Luke 24:36-37 While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. John 20:26 Eight days later, his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. The doors were shut, but Jesus came and stood among them, and said, "Peace be with you." Here in these verses, Jesus apparently walks through a locked door and immediately appears right in the midst of the disciples. Now some would use this as proof that we will be able to do the same. I however do not expect us to have this ability. Remember, Jesus is God. We must keep this instance in that frame of reference. This event, in all likelihood is an example of God exercising his deity and omnipresence. Would it be impossible for God to give us this ability? Certainly not, just highly unlikely. What about the notion that we will know each others thoughts? My answer to this is simple. 1 Corinthians 2:11 For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Psalm 139:1-3 O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Only God knows our thoughts and our heart. This is an ability specific to God alone. We were never designed to read each others minds and I am doubtful we will ever be given this ability. We were however given many creative outlets to communicate with each other. Through body language, facial expressions, physical contact, speech, writing, drawing, painting. Imagine how dull these abilities would be if everyone knew every bodies thoughts or could read everybody else's mind. Will we know everything? There are two things we need to take into account to answer this question. 1. God is an infinite being. 2. Humans are finite beings. It is simply impossible for a finite being to know everything. It would be like trying to cram all the worlds oceans into a 10 gallon fish aquarium. Will we know more than we do now? Most likely. 1 Corinthians 13:12 Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. God has designed us to learn and grow. Our capacity for knowledge will always have a cap, we have finite minds and are incapable of knowing an infinite amount of knowledge. This is a character trait unique to God that we refer to as being Omniscient. We will never know everything but put into perspective, who would want to? For man to possess one deity quality of God, would require him to possess all deity qualities of God. That's a burden no one but God can carry. Will our bodies always be restricted to time? I believe this theory comes from a King James Version translation of a verse in revelation. Revelation 10:6 And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: The end of this verse reads "There should be time no longer." Some read this and assume it means God is going to do away with time. A proper translation of this verse however would actually say: And he swore by him who lives for ever and ever, who created the heavens and all that is in them, the earth and all that is in it, and the sea and all that is in it, and said, "There will be no more delay! There shall be no more delay! If one stops to consider what time is, you would realize that we cannot live outside of time. Again that is an attribute of God that is unique to Him, Omnipresence. It's a tough concept for us to grasp with our finite minds, but God is not chained in the present. He exists in the past, present and future, not only that but also completely outside of time. That is something that perhaps we will never understand but we know this: Revelation 22:13 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Time is simply the measurement of cause and effect. To make a decision requires time. To act requires time. To breathe requires time. To remove time would be to remove cause and effect. There is no Biblical evidence that God ever plans to remove cause and effect. Time is not a curse. It only seems like one because it's not currently on our side. But when we enter Eternity with our new glorified bodies, we will no longer have to worry about death and we will have an abundance of time. So we will always exist in time, but one day we will realize what a blessing it is. Lastly I have heard people contend that one day we will shed these human suits. They claim that the flesh is sinful and our new bodies will be purely spirit bodies. But consider the creation account. How did God design us? Genesis 2:7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. God created us as a combined physical-spiritual being. He took the dust from the ground, which represents our physical body and he breathed into it His breath, which represents our spirit. After He was done creating He saw that everything was good. If the flesh is sinful then God certainly could not have truthfully declared everything to be good. No, it is not our flesh that is sinful, but our disobedience. Some may contend "but we are born with a sin nature, so it is our flesh!" However it was not Adams flesh that made him sin, but it was his disobedience that gave him (and all his children) a sin nature. My second arguement against a purely spiritual body comes from Jesus' resurrection. He was the first fruits; the model body for all our future glorified bodies. This is what Jesus said about His new body. Luke 24:39 Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have." Jesus resurrected with flesh and bones just like we will. Now that I have hopefully dispelled some of the common myths about our promised resurrected bodies, lets take a brief look at what the Bible does say about our future glorified selves. 1 Corinthians 15:52 in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. We will be raised imperishable. Definition: Not subject to decay; Enduring forever. We will be raised no longer subject to decay, and we will endure forever. 1 John 3:2-3 Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. Although there are certainly some things we can know now about our future by examining Gods pre-fall design for us, there is still a mystery about what we will become. We know that when we see Him appear, we will become like Him. (We will not become Him.) How will we be like Him? We will be perfect in His character. Perfect Love, Perfect Justice, Perfect Mercy, Perfect Forgiveness, Perfect Purity. We will all maintain our own uniqueness. We will all be united. Best of all, sin will abound no more, while death and hell will be cast into the lake of fire. So purify yourself, just as He is pure. I certainly look forward to eternity with God in my new body.