The Permanence of Our Physical Bodies

Are our physical bodies an important and permanent part of us?

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How important is our physical body throughout eternity? And the answer to that is completely important, despite the fact a lot of our hymns and much of our preaching puts emphasis upon the immortality of the soul. What we find in the Bible, though, is not the emphasis or the stress on the immortality of the soul but the resurrection of the body. Of course, this raises the question, what happens to the immaterial part of our being during the intermediate state, from the time that we die until the time that we're resurrected. And the Bible just doesn't say a whole lot. And I think there's a very good reason for that, and that is, it's merely an intermediate state. It is not the way we're going to be for all eternity. The stress of Scripture over and over again, some in the Old Testament but a lot in the Old in the New Testament, is the stress upon that there is a resurrection in which you and I as believers in Christ, we will be resurrected like him, and we will enjoy our resurrected bodies for all eternity. The relationship of this body to the resurrection body is one difficult to understand. Paul talks to us about it in 1 Corinthians 15, and he says, he uses the analogy, it's like a seed being planted that gives way to something much more glorious. In a similar way, the body we have now will be like the one we'll have then.

Answer by Dr. Ken Keathley

Dr. Ken Keathley is Professor of Theology at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and the Director of the L. Russ Bush Center for Faith and Culture.