How’s this for an ending?

And as the Christian hope of resurrection is fundamentally social, so it is inescapably historical. It is a resurrection, not from the body, but of the body. The new creation is not a fresh start, but the old made new – not a νέα but a  καινὴ κτίσις (2 Cor. 5.17). It is this very body of sin and death which, transformed, ‘must put on incorruption’ (1 Cor. 15.54). The building up of the Church is not the gathering of an elect group out of the body of history, which is itself signed simply for destruction. It is the resurrection body of history itself, the world as its redemption has so far been made effective. ‘The open consecration of a part marks the destiny of the whole’… The mass of human existence, for all its sin, its destructiveness, its determinisms, is still  σῶμα: it is made for God. Though it may have become conformed to the σάρξ and its end, that is not its true constitution as it has been created and redeemed in Christ. The Church is at once the witness to the world of its true nature and the pledge and instrument of its destiny. Those incorporated by God into the Body of His Son are to be ‘a kind of firstfruits of his creatures’ (James 1.18). So Paul sees the redemption of the body begun in the eschatological community of the Spirit (Rom. 8.11) as the hope ultimately, not only of all men, but of ‘the creation itself’ (Rom. 8.21). It is ‘into the liberty of the glory of the Children of God’, into the resurrection mode of existence of those who even now can be described as ‘glorified’ (Rom. 8.30), that all things are finally to be brought. This day has not yet dawned. It waits upon ‘the revealing’, or unveiling, ‘of the sons the Lord Jesus’, ‘when he shall come to be glorified in his saints’ (2 Thess. 1.7, 10). But then the Body of Christ will stand forth, not, as it is now, a world within a world, but as the one solidarity, the restoration of the original image of creation, ‘where there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondman, freeman: but Christ is all, and in all’ (Cor. 3.10f).

~ Robinson, The Body: A Study in Pauline Theology, 82-3

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