Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The relationship between physical and spiritual life

Something to share with...accidentally stumbled on this...have a look....

Cartesian graph - physical and spiritual life explained

Here is a graphical way to illustrate life-death / physical-spiritual concepts. Remember your good old Cartesian graph. Set the X (real) axis to represent physical life. Set the Y (imaginary) axis to represent spiritual life.

The current "age" we now live in is on the negative X axis. The life to come (resurrection) is on the positive X axis. The positive Y axis represents spiritual life with God. The negative Y axis represents spiritual death and separation from God.

Human beings are both physical and spiritual beings. Our bodies are made out of material that is common to other life forms on earth. What differentiates us from a rock, an ape, or a banana, is our spiritual aspect; we have God's breath in us and made in His Image.

Physically alive, spiritually dead

Adam's original sin plagued the rest of humanity. When we are born, we are physically alive but spiritually dead.

Physically dead, spiritually dead

When such a person dies unsaved, the physical cease to exist. All that remains is spiritual death, hence the person is destined for Hell.

Resurrection, spiritually dead

On resurrection day, everyone will be raised. Everyone will get new physical immortal bodies. The fate of the spiritually dead is the lake of fire. This is the second death.

Thank God that He made a way for us to escape this eternal damnation. God Himself became flesh in the form of Jesus Christ. He died on the cross to wash away our sins, and reconcile us back to God. Anyone who accepts Him becomes spiritually alive and their eternal life is secured.

Physically alive, spiritually alive

If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old is gone, the new has come.

Physically dead, spiritually alive

When a Christian dies, the physical cease to exist and all that remains is the spirit which finds rest in Heaven, awaiting the resurrection.

Resurrection, spiritually alive

When Christ returns the second time, He will usher in the fullness of God's Kingdom. Everyone will be resurrected, gaining new incorruptible bodies, much like Jesus' glorified body when He rose 2000 years ago. The distinction between heaven and earth will cease, because God Himself will be on earth with us like it was in Eden in the beginning before sin entered the world.

How is it possible that a person can be resurrected, even after the body has decayed away? We believe that God, who formed the entire universe with a mere command, is able. But there is more to it as I pondered on this.

A human being is both physical and spiritual. Think of it as existing on the Cartesian graph with both X and Y components. Now when a person dies (X component cease to exist), the spiritual remains (Y component remains). As far as the world is concerned, that person cease to exist physically. There is no way something can come back out from nothing, physically speaking.

But because the spirit survives (Y component), the information / mind / consciousness of that person survives. Using trigonometry analogy, say a person called "Bob":

Physical life of Bob = Bob Cosine theta
Spiritual life of Bob = Bob Sine theta

Mathematically, it is possible to reconstruct the entirety of that person from just one component. When Bob dies, all that remains of Bob is Bob Sine theta. On resurrection day, all God needs to do is divide Bob Sine theta by Sine theta, and shift Bob by a angle theta, and suddenly Bob has an X component (physical) again (resurrected)! The phase information (angle theta) is stored by God, ready to be used on resurrection day.

The life to come is going to be different yet recognisable. For example, when Jesus resurrected, his appearance was different so his disciples did not initially know it was him, but after revealing himself more to them, they finally recognised him. How it is going to be like, is anyone's guess.

Just like a caterpillar cannot fathom how it is like to be a butterfly, so we can't fully fathom how the resurrected body is going to be like, or even imagine the splendour of heaven. The Bible only gives us small glimpses of it, not to be exhaustive in description but as a source of hope and assurance.

From Grace Methodist Church Youth Group