Drop Down MenusCSS Drop Down MenuPure CSS Dropdown Menu

23 August 2019

Everlasting Glory - Resurrection Hope to Timothy

Dawn over a lake
The resurrection is not a major subject in Paul’s “pastoral” letters, but he does raise the subject in the course of dealing with false teachers.
In his opening comments, the Apostle reminds Timothy that God did not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” The theme of a “sound mind” is common in the pastoral epistles.
The gospel is “sound” teaching and the “power of God, who saved and called us…according to His own purpose and grace given to us in Christ Jesus before the times of the ages.” But this salvation has only been manifested in recent times through the “appearance of our Savior Jesus Christ, who abolished death and enlightened life and immortality through the gospel.” (2 Timothy 1:7-12).
By “abolish death (katargeo)” Paul does not mean that death no longer exists. The actual cessation of death only occurs at the “arrival” or Parousia of Jesus (1 Corinthians 15:24-26The last enemy that shall be destroyed [katargeo] is death”). The Author of Hebrews uses the same verb to argue how through death Jesus “destroyed him that had the dominion of death, that is, the Devil; and to deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14). Death still occurs to believers but is incapable to hold them in the end. Its sentence will be reversed.
Jesus brought life and “immortality” to light (aphtharsia). The Greek noun does not mean “eternal”; it does not denote a sense of timelessness or of being without beginning and end. Instead, it is the opposite of death; “immortality, incorruption, deathlessness.” This is not a state that human souls possess; rather, it is a new condition that Jesus Christ inaugurated for his followers. It is not applicable to all human beings.
In the next chapter, Paul exhorts Timothy to “remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead according to my gospel.” Paul suffered persecution on account of this gospel (2 Timothy 2:8-18).
Paul may suffer for preaching this gospel but does so that the “elect may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with everlasting glory…If we be dead with him, we shall also live with him…If we suffer, we shall also reign with him.” Again, death still occurs but does not have the final word. Death must precede resurrection. “Salvation” and “everlasting glory” are results of resurrection from the dead (“we will also live with him”).
While he could have brought up other aspects of the gospel, Paul reminds Timothy of Christ’s resurrection. Certain false teachers were denying the resurrection or, at least, claiming it was already in the past (cp. 1 Corinthians 15:10-20).
He labels such denials “profane and vain babblings.” Timothy is to avoid such false claims, for “they will proceed further in ungodliness, and their word will eat as does a gangrene: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus, who concerning the truth have swerved, saying that the resurrection is past already, and are overthrowing the faith of some.”
It is not clear what precisely these men claimed, whether they denied the resurrection of Christ or of believers. The clause more accurately reads, “declaring that resurrection already came to pass.” In any case, to deny the resurrection is to turn away from the faith of Jesus Christ.
The claim that the resurrection had already occurred suggests not a denial of Christ’s own resurrection but of any subsequent resurrection of believers; that is, they saw no connection between the resurrection of Jesus and that of believers; the latter did not logically follow from the former. If this was the case, it would have been a rejection of a fundamental tenet of Paul’s gospel.
Base on Paul’s experiences recorded elsewhere, and beliefs common to Greco-Roman society, the false teachers may have rejected the very notion of bodily resurrection in favor of one concept or another of salvation consisting of a disembodied state (cp. Acts 17:32, 1 Corinthians 15:12).

No comments:

Post a Comment