The body of sin exists only in the dead man, for this reason Paul said concerning the work of Christ: “You were made alive when you were dead in transgressions and sins” (Eph. 2:1). And Paul continues: “Who gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us out of this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Gal. 1:4). And Paul reveals the result of the work of Christ, saying: “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be in bondage to sin” (Rom. 6:6). Now, John said: “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. To this end the Son of God was revealed, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). It is very clear that the one who sins forms and strengthens the body of the devil, that is, Satan. This evil spiritual body of the devil is unmade by Jesus Christ in us, and is created the spiritual body of Christ. Jesus himself explains how this holy spiritual body arises: “Jesus answered him, ‘Most certainly, I tell you, unless one is born anew, he can’t see the Kingdom of God.’ Nicodemus said to him, ‘How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?’ Jesus answered, ‘Most certainly I tell you, unless one is born of water and spirit, he can’t enter into the Kingdom of God! That which is born of the flesh is flesh. That which is born of the Spirit is spirit’” (John 3:3-6).
What are the characteristics of the spiritual body that Jesus Christ forms in man? The born again man, who has a spiritual body, does not adapt to this world any longer. Jesus, praying to the Father, said: “But now I come to you, and I say these things in the world, that they may have my joy made full in themselves. I have given them your word. The world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. I pray not that you would take them from the world, but that you would keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world even as I am not of the world” (John 17:13-16). With the new body, only the celestial things appeal to the Christians, which are foolishness to those of this world. “Now the natural man doesn’t receive the things of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to him, and he can’t know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual discerns all things, and he himself is judged by no one (1 Cor. 214-15). Jesus said to the disciples: “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. But because you are not of the world, since I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 15:18-19).
The spiritual body is something glorious and sublime; the Christian is so full of the Holy Spirit and virtue, that Paul refers to the Christians of his time with the following words: “If then you were raised together with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated on the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things that are above, not on the things that are on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, our life, is revealed, then you will also be revealed with him in glory” (Col. 3:1-4). Paul tells one of his glorious experiences: “It is doubtless not profitable for me to boast. For I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord. I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I don’t know, or whether out of the body, I don’t know; God knows), such a one caught up into the third heaven. I know such a man (whether in the body, or outside of the body, I don’t know; God knows), how he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter” (2 Cor. 12:1-4). These wonders that Paul mentions only those who have an active spiritual body can enjoy, for they are not on the earth. Incidentally, on the earth are the blessings of the abyss. The patriarch Jacob revealed this when he blessed Joseph: “Even by the God of your father, who will help you; by the Almighty, who will bless you, with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb” (Gen. 49:25). We know that the abyss is the place of the dead (Rom. 10:7). The blessings of the abyss that Joseph received were Pharaoh’s favors. But as we have said, the blessings of God the Father to the saints are in heavenly places: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). The men of this world, who are of the abyss, hate and persecute, and seek to bring down those who have a spiritual body, for they feel inferior. When I became a Christian by conversion to Christ, the first fruits of the Holy Spirit in my life were: I quit smoking, drinking, foul language. My coworkers began to offer me cigarettes all day long, saying: If you are really a Christian, you will smoke one and stop, because you are now a different person. Another, to make me angry and so use curse words, would say: Mary Magdalene was Jesus’ lover. At holiday parties they would offer me wine. I did not drink. Within an hour they had set before me six cups of wine. It was truly a ceaseless provocation. I spoke to them about Christ and salvation, and they tried their best to make me fall.
The 15 year-old daughter of an authentic Christian I knew attended one of the best high schools in São Paulo. The teenager was brought up within the purest principles of the Gospel. The father, in all love and prudence, instructed the daughter concerning what she would face in school. The teenager, a good friend of her father, told him that her classmates were trying to convince her that she had rigid ideas, and that she was not free to go with them to the eateries near the school. They invited her to parties saying that she did not know what she was missing. The girl, though, well instructed and respecting her father’s and her mother’s standards, did not conceal anything from them and, therefore, she was not seduced.
The majority of the converted Christians has had a wicked past, and this past has formed the body of sin, and constitute a precious stuff in the hands of their old friends to try and make them fall. This body of sin is only done away in the cross of Christ. Let us read: “Knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be in bondage to sin” (Rom. 6:6). But to do away with the body of sin is not enough, for Jesus said: “The unclean spirit, when he has gone out of the man, passes through dry places, seeking rest, and finding none, he says, ‘I will turn back to my house from which I came out.’ When he returns, he finds it swept and put in order. Then he goes, and takes seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter in and dwell there’ (Luke 11:24-26).
There is an urgent need to form the spiritual body. This spiritual body does not yield to the temptations of Satan; does not yield to the desires of the flesh, so Paul says: “That you put away, as concerning your former way of life, the old man, that grows corrupt after the lusts of deceit; and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new man, who in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of truth” (Eph. 4:22-24).