Verse 2: Our Resurrected Bodies
Dear friends, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when he appears, we will be like him because we will see him as he is.
The joy of being God’s children raises the question about both our nature and our resurrected form; we know that our nature is being conformed to the love of Christ by the mighty regenerative work of the Holy Spirit, but we do not yet know what our precise form will be in the resurrection.
“We are God’s children now”: the exciting reality of our adoption as God’s children can lead many into sheer speculations about many things regarding our nature in the resurrection, but where John reassures our hearts that we are certainly God’s children, he also defines the boundaries of God’s revelation about our resurrected natures.
“What we will be has not yet been revealed”: the Holy Spirit has not revealed to the human mind the nature of our resurrected bodies.
Speculation beyond God’s revelation only ever leads to pride, contention, and division. Therefore, we must learn the wisdom of the apostle Paul:
1 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV) — Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other.
The apostolic revelation that we have been given has been given to us to make us mature in Christ:
Colossians 1:25–28 (CSB) —I have become its servant, according to God’s commission that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, 26 the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 27 God wanted to make known among the Gentiles the glorious wealth of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. 28 We proclaim him, warning and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone mature in Christ.
Therefore, we should not unleash our vain imaginations to the point that we think beyond the apostolic revelation that has been given to us by the Holy Spirit and create new doctrines by which we become puffed up against one another.
“We know that when he appears, we will be like him”: the great hope that we have in Christ as the children of God is that when Christ returns, we know that we will be just like him in our resurrected bodies. This hope that our resurrected bodies will be like Christ’s glorious body is our great hope and the ground we stand upon for our eternal future!