Yesterday, we learned from 1 Corinthians 15 that there is going to be a certain continuity between our present physical bodies and our future resurrection bodies. However, 1 Corinthians 15 also suggests a certain discontinuity. What we see here is continuity in one way, discontinuity in another. The discontinuity will simply be this: our future resurrection bodies will have greater splendour, power, glory, and durability than our present physical bodies. Paul talks about this in verses 39 to 44.
The point at which Paul's argument can get confusing is when he begins to talk about the natural and the spiritual body. It almost sounds like Paul is saying that the resurrection body will be immaterial. But I think this would be a misunderstanding of Paul's use of the word "spiritual" in this context. Here, I believe, spiritual means "created and sustained by the Holy Spirit," as in 1 Corinthians 2:13 where Paul says, "This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words." Our present physical bodies are given to us by natural human generation through our parents. Our resurrection bodies will be given to us directly by the work of the Spirit, the same Spirit who raised Jesus' body from the grave.
Someone once wrote to Ann Landers:
A recent column of yours about a minister who mispronounced the name of the deceased three times during the service brought back some memories. Our preacher got this one off a few weeks ago while extolling the virtues of a leading citizen during the eulogy: "We have here only the shell--the nut is gone."I have known a few "nuts" in various congregations I have served, and I have participated in burying their "shells". But the greater truth is that all of our bodies are like a shell in which and through which we relate to this present world. In God's new world he is going to give believers new and better shells to hold our nutty souls, in which we will be able to relate to that glorious new creation that God has planned for us.