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but contrary to fact that the Athenian worship of local but unknown deities might be regarded as addressed to the true God, whom Paul would now declare to them, the Creator of all things, who dwells not in temples, nor can be served by men's hands, himself being the giver of life and all things. He made of one all nations of men, and appointed their bounds and seasons, "that they should seek God, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he is not far from each one of us; for in him we live and move and have our being." Here, in setting forth God's purpose in creating men-"that they should seek God," the apostle is in correspondence with the thought of John's Gospel, "And this is life eternal that they should know thee, the only true God." And his next words express God's immanence in terms of that life which Christ sets forth as absolute and unconditioned.' The speaker then continues: Since, as your own poet says, we are God's offspring, we cannot think him like anything carved by man's hand. God overlooked times of ignorance, but now commands men to repent, for he will judge the world by the man he has ordained; whereof he has given visible assurance in raising him from the dead. Thus the apostle suggests eternal life in terms of resurrection from the dead; at which his audience mocks, for Greek thoughts of immortality ran in other grooves.
Elsewhere in the Acts Paul states the resurrection in a
substantially correct account of Paul's speech, for the following reasons: 1. The writer believes the Acts to be in general a faithful record in matters pertaining to Paul. 2. This speech is a very great speech and marvellously adapted to the audience, showing that knowledge of the Greek character which Paul evinces, e. g., in 1 Cor. i, 22. 3. The structure of the speech corresponds to Paul's way of stating things. One could not, for instance, break it up into short successive statements, each complete in itself, yet developing the preceding thought, as is possible to do with John xv. is no valid reason to think Paul did not make it.
1 Cf. Jno. xvii, 21, 23, and ante, chap. xxiii.
2 Cf. I Peter i, 3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy begat us again unto living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
way comprehensible to Jewish thought, and speaks of it as constituting Israel's national hope.' In his own epistles, however, wherever Paul states the eternal life of man in terms of resurrection from the dead, he not only removes the element of flesh and spiritualizes the risen life, but unites the resurrection conception to the more absolute conception of life enunciated by Jesus in the Gospel of John.'
With Paul the supreme fact, the type as well as proof of the believer's life after death, was the manifestation of the living Christ after he had been raised from the dead. He was the "first fruits" (anαpx") of them who slept, a word, in this connection, meaning that believers also shall rise to a life like his, and implying the workings of God, that husbandman of whose vine those who live and die in Christ are branches. Paul expounds this in the fifteenth chapter of the first epistle to the Corinthians. He opens with a succinct statement of the appearances of the risen Christ; and then shows that as surely as Christ was raised we shall rise. Then he proceeds to set forth the nature of resurrection. "For since by man came death, by man came also resurrection of the dead; for as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive." These antitheses were shaped by Paul's Jewish reasoning; but the clause "in Christ shall all be made alive" is in full correspondence with Christ's teachings in John's Gospel, and implies the spiritual nature of that life and its imparting. Paul then outlines the increase 1 Acts xxvi, 6–8; xxiv, 15.
2 It is only by a supreme effort of the metaphysical imagination that we can conceive existence except in time, i. e., in modes of temporal continuance which is succession. Though believing that we have even now eternal life, we must think it as continuing after the change called death. Moreover, death is palpably an ending of the individual's life under conditions of the flesh. This palpable ending of mortal existence calls for a “resurrection" which human thought must regard as the beginning in time of the existence which is freed from conditions of the flesh. It is also natural to think it as resurrection "from the grave," for we must think it the beginning of a life freed from conditions of place.
and progress of this spiritual life, the passing away of all power save Christ's, the destruction of death, the universal realization of the Father's will which is the final consummation, that God may be all in all;' that is to say, opposition, sin, and death ceasing, the will, the power, the life of God and from God, constitute all elements of every being; all are filled with life absolute and eternal which is God's;-" perfected into one," says Jesus.'
The apostle now considers objections to the conception of a resurrection. In his analogy of the seed which is not quickened into an enlarged life except it die, there is no apparent fallacy, if the seed be regarded, as the apostle was thinking of it, by itself, apart from its parent plant.' So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body (6μa &vxınóv), it is raised a spiritual body (σῶμα πνευματικόν).
The apostle could hardly have used fitter language to suggest this spiritual life, which cannot be expressed in figures drawn from earthly experience. His words lead up to the statement that as there is a natural or physical body, whose sustenance and individuality are subject to conditions of the flesh, so there is a spiritual body, or individual existence, which is freed from those conditions.
He now restates his thought in negative form: "Flesh
1 1 Cor. xv, 28 ; ἵνα ᾖ ὁ θεὸς πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν. This expression is not meant pantheistically. That is plain from Paul's doctrines in general, and also from the fact of his using a like phrase with no pantheistic meaning: "And there are diversities of working, but the same God,—¿ ¿vɛpy ov τὰ πάντα ἐν πᾶσιν (1 Cor. xii, 6).
2 John xvii, 23; see ante, p. 306.
3 Cf. John xii, 24. The analogy here is not to be pressed beyond its intent, any more than one of Jesus' parables should be pressed beyond its application.
4 1 Cor. xv, 42–44.
and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption." The thought is twofold. First the simple thought, our earthly bodies are not for life eternal; then the ethical consideration implied in the term "inherit" and the word "flesh" (ap) which connotes all the sinful proclivities of earthly life,' and is the term Paul uses to express thoughts which in John's Gospel and John's epistle appear under terms of the opposition between Christ and the world. The "flesh" is no heir to the promise which is in Christ. As the apostle says in the epistle to the Romans: "For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the spirit the things of the spirit. For the mind of the flesh (φρόνημα τῆς σαρκὸς—that which the flesh considers, takes thought of) is death; but the mind of the spirit is life and peace, because the mind of the flesh is enmity against God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the spirit of God dwelleth in you. But if any man hath not the spirit of Christ, he is none of his. But if the spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwelleth in you, he that raised up Christ Jesus from the dead shall endue with life your mortal natures through his spirit that dwelleth in you. For as many as are led by the spirit of God, these are sons of God. For ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear; but ye received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry Abba, Father. The spirit himself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are
Cf. Gal. v, 19, etc.
* Here the Greek is ζωοποιήσει τὰ θνητὰ σώματα ὑμῶν, shall quicken or make alive your mortal bodies. Well known are the difficulties of getting clear thought of what Paul means by 6áp, a term which he does not always use with the same shade of meaning. So in translating as above I have endeavored to suggest the apostle's thought and avoid a possible contradiction which he did not intend. Body, 6ua, is with Paul here an organism and a substratum to personality, a something necessary to individuality. There may be flesh and blood in the 6ua, but that is not the chief part of the conception in the apostle's mind.
the children of God; and if children, then heirs, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him that we may be also glorified with him."''
Thus Paul's conception of the resurrection joins with the thought of life absolute, eternal. The union of conceptions is made in such way as to relate eternal life to righteous and believing acceptance of the spirit of God in Christ. When Paul says, “if any man hath not the spirit of Christ," he is not speaking figuratively, but means real possession of the divine spirit of Christ; he speaks in terms of spiritual life. "Ye received not the spirit of bondage again unto fear," but ye received the spirit of adoption, the spirit of sonship, the spirit of love meeting love. Says John in his epistle, Perfect love casteth out fear." So are ye children of God and joint heirs with Christ, participants in the eternal life which is in Christ, if so be that ye suffer with him in order that, as all suffering in Christ brings its eternal blessing, ye may be also glorified with him.*
tion of Faith.
Paul had a strong conception of this absolute and eternal divine life which was from God in Christ, and through Christ in believers. Its imparting was condiThe Functioned on faith, that initiative strong appreciation of God and man's relationship to him through Christ, by which the grace of God opens to man the fellowship of love. The Gospel preached by Paul was Christ's Gospel, Christ's message of salvation, to be appropriated through believing acceptance working itself out in love. This Gospel was an expression of God's will, his commandment, which we know to be eter
1 Rom. viii, 5-17.
2 Cf. Rom. vi, 12-23; Gal. v, 16-24; vi, 7-10.
3 The reference here is to the "law."
4 Cf. Rom. vi, 4-11, 23; 2 Cor. iv, 10, 11. It is clear that Paul's conception of life eternal, like Christ's in John's Gospel, was not negative, nor reached by a process of removal of positive qualities. He regards it as a new life added, nothing real taken away; we shall not be "unclothed" but clothed upon." See 2 Cor. v, 2−4.