Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | November 14, 2016

Your First Car

If You’re Anything like Me You Have Vivid Memories of Your First Car

For several years after my wife and I got married we were very poor and owning a car was completely out of the question. It was not until I was serving in the United States Navy that we finally felt we could afford a new car and selected a 1954 Volkswagen which was black with a red interior and a sunroof; how exciting to finally drive our very own car. At the time our new car cost around $1,800 including all the extra costs like title, tax and license; needless to say that car made a profound difference in our lifestyles even with Virginia license plates. My release from active duty finally came around and it was a happy day to put Texas plates on our car in anticipation of our return to Texas.

Texas License Plates Rev.

Texas Plates on our 1954 Volkswagen (the plates are dated 1956)

We took a lot of pictures of that car as we took advantage of the mobility we enjoyed as car owners. Since then we have owned many cars, most of which were never photographed.

Why would I bring up my memories of our first car you may ask and that is due to the analogies it bears to your first body. That may provoke a question in your mind, “What do I mean by saying your first body?” Although I was proud of my first car it did not establish who I was; my sense of identity was not based on the car and when we sold it I did not feel I was losing a part of myself.

It is however far too easy to associate our identity as human beings with our body; we seem to think that we are our physical bodies and that is a serious misconception.

Temporary Transportation

When we wanted to take a trip we would get into our 1954 Volkswagen and drive to the general location we wanted and then get out of the car and walk to our ultimate destination; we have followed that pattern in every car we’ve owned since then as well and see that pattern as entirely normal. The car was temporary transportation to help us arrive at a predetermined point.

The fact of the matter is our bodies are similar temporary transportation which carries us to a certain point in our lives where we must get out and continue our journey without our body; that too is entirely normal. Our society has chosen to call this journey life and the departure from our temporary transportation is called death. It is only in the Bible that a more precise understanding of our journey and our destination can be found.

It is easy to see how we could get confused about our relationship to our body; from birth we are associated with our temporary transportation and can begin to associate our living essence with our bodies. It requires a big step of faith to disassociate ourselves from our bodies and begin to think of them as temporary transportation.

This is what the Bible teaches us and whether or not it seems reasonable and logical we must accept by faith the fact that our bodies are only temporary transportation that absolutely must be left behind when we reach the end of our journey. The Apostle Paul writes of this in 2 Corinthians 5:1-10 where it is written:

“5 For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, an eternal house in heaven, not built by human hands. Meanwhile we groan, longing to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, because when we are clothed, we will not be found naked. For while we are in this tent, we groan and are burdened, because we do not wish to be unclothed but to be clothed instead with our heavenly dwelling, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life. Now the one who has fashioned us for this very purpose is God, who has given us the Spirit as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.

Therefore we are always confident and know that as long as we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord. For we live by faith, not by sight. We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord. So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.”

Paul, having been a tent maker, thinks in terms of the body as a tent while I use the car as a comparison; in either case the results are the same, it is temporary and must be left behind. I have mentioned before that our bodies are the only part of us that are not redeemed by faith in Jesus Christ as Savior; they must be left behind or transformed as will happen to the terminal generation of Christians at the rapture of the church.

Establishing a Biblical Perspective

It is rather difficult to disassociate ourselves from our bodies; to think of them more accurately as temporary transportation which cannot accompany us into the presence of the Lord and be a part of our future in eternity. This is as much a matter of faith as is salvation by faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior; if one can take that step of faith then life and death is put into a totally new frame of reference.

When our older son was dying of terminal brain cancer I talked to him about death and described it as a doorway which leads us to Christ. He was at peace with the thought of his death and was an inspiration to many as his condition continued to deteriorate. His funeral was a celebration of a life lived unto the Lord and a joyous recognition of the sufficiency of our Lords grace. He had arrived at the destination given to him by the Lord; left his transportation behind and went home to be with the Lord.

At a time known only to the Lord, we who have received Him as Savior will receive our new heavenly transportation or as Paul expresses it, “our heavenly dwelling;” in the meantime we will be doing ourselves and all who know us a big favor by holding, and helping them hold a Biblical perspective on life and death.

16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.                   (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18)


Responses

  1. Very encouraging!

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    • Carol,

      I believe God delights in his children’s encouragement. Thank you for your comment and your subscription.

      David

      Like

  2. Well stated. Thank you. It is a relief to find someone who respects the human body, what God blessed and designed, and who understands mortality. Temporary. Still not an excuse for disrespect toward self or others.

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    • I am in awe of not only the human body but all of God’s creation. God is truly extravagant in His creative processes as we see reflected all around us! Our two cats never fail to remind me of God’s creative powers; each one of them is a unique creation never to be repeated. Thank you for your comment and your subscription.

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  3. I am encouraged by these words. What a glorious day it will be when we all see Jesus face to face.

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    • Perhaps we will be better equipped to deal with such wonder when we have our heavenly bodies; right now it is rather hard to imagine.

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  4. What a wonderful explanation of such a deep biblical truth. Thank you!

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