THE HEAVENLY MAN
"As we have worn the likeness of the man made of dust, so we shall wear the likeness of the heavenly man" (1 Corinthians 15:49, NEB).
The apostle Paul presents Christ as the "heavenly man" in contrast with Adam, the earthly man.
The heavenly man, Paul points out, arose from the grave and ascended to heaven possessing a glorified, immortal body (see Philippians 3:21). This glorified body is comparable to the spiritual body He will bestow on all the saints at the first resurrection (see Luke 24:39; 1 Corinthians 15:42-49). As the heavenly man, Jesus will retain His humanity forever in the glorified body He acquired at His resurrection.
In character and in body, the heavenly man is the perfect model of the citizens of that new world which Christians eagerly await (see Philippians 3:20, 21). His power to create and to redeem is the guarantee of Christ's ability to transform us into the likeness of His glorious body (see Philippians 3:21). The whole focus of redemption is that one day all the sons and daughters of Adam, who are saved by grace through faith in Christ, will experience a transformation from mortality to immortality (see 1 Corinthians 15:52-53). The redeemed will not only possess Christ's character, they will be like Him for they shall see Him as He is (see 1 John 3:2). This ultimate transformation completes God's redemptive work for humanity.
This counsel is apropos as we prepare for the ultimate transformation: "When Christ shall come, our vile bodies are to be changed, and made like his glorious body; but the vile character will not be made holy then. The transformation of character must take place before his coming."--Signs of the Times, November 11, 1886.
My Prayer Today: Lord, becoming transformed into the likeness of the heavenly man fascinates me. Please transform me into His likeness I pray. Amen.