1 Corinthians 15:40-46 (ESV) reveals the mystery of the natural and heavenly/spiritual bodies, and that human beings will be granted the latter at the resurrection:

40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body.

45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual.

Matthew 22:30 (ESV) sheds more light on this, revealing that this is the same nature of the angelic beings:

30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven.

However, when God created man with a natural/earthly body, He claimed that it was very good (i.e. perfect):

31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. [Genesis 1:31 ESV]

If everything was made perfect in the beginning, then why do human beings need to change their earthly bodies into spiritual/heavenly/angelic bodies? Why weren't human beings created with spiritual/angelic bodies from the very beginning?


5 Answers 5


Why do we need to be changed into heavenly bodies?

Gen. 3:2-4 NKJV

"And the woman said to the serpent, 'We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, 'You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die.'' Then the serpent said to the woman, 'You will not surely die."

What would be the consequence from eating the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil? Eve said, "lest you die". What did the Devil say to Eve to sow doubt in her mind? The serpent said, "You will not surely die".

Despite the Devil's claim to the contrary, what in fact was God's decision when Adam and Eve violated His command?

Gen. 3:17 & 19 NKJV

"Then to Adam He said, 'Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it': 'Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life."

"In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return.'"

What did God decide because of their sin? God declared, "to dust you shall return". Hence, mankind was now destined to die.

How come?

Rom 6:23 NKJV

"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

What is the payment for sin? Paul explained, "death". Hence, mankind's mortality is a product of sin.

However, what will be restored to us when we put on heavenly bodies?

I Cor. 15:51-53 NKJV

"Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality."

What will we put on through heavenly bodies? Paul said, "immortality". Hence, what was lost through sin will finally be restored to us.

Who will we be like?

I John 3:2 CEV

"My dear friends, we are already God's children, though what we will be hasn't yet been seen. But we do know that when Christ returns, we will be like him, because we will see him as he truly is."

When Christ returns, who will we be like? John said, "when Christ returns, we will be like him". Hence, the body that we will put on is the same kind of body that Christ presently has.


human beings were created perfect in Genesis

Genesis does not say that.

Genesis 1:31

God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning--the sixth day.

If everything was made perfect in the beginning, then why do human beings need to change their earthly bodies into spiritual/heavenly/angelic bodies?

Because everything was NOT made perfect in the beginning. Only God is perfect, meaning immutable. Humans are mutable.

  • Are you saying that God deliberately created an imperfect creation?
    – user38524
    Mar 11, 2021 at 14:13
  • 1
    What imperfections were there in the creation? Explain in detail.
    – curiousdannii
    Mar 11, 2021 at 14:22
  • Good questions. Only God is perfect, meaning immutable.
    – user35953
    Mar 11, 2021 at 14:31
  • @TonyChan - if only God is perfect, then does it follow that the angelic bodies are imperfect too? Then why to change from natural to angelic bodies if everything will still be imperfect anyway?
    – user38524
    Mar 11, 2021 at 14:40
  • Are you using my definition for "perfect"?
    – user35953
    Mar 11, 2021 at 14:43

Taking the references in the OP we learn that:

  • In Genesis, God created man with perfect human bodies. [God does not create anything other than perfect for its intended purpose.]
  • At the resurrection, the righteous will be raised with perfect heavenly bodies.

Both types can be perfect - the earthly body for the living life as it was intended on earth. The heavenly body for living life as it is intended after the resurrection.

There is no problem here.

Just as animals were created with perfect animal bodies for their intended purpose, so humans were created with perfect earthly bodies for their intended purpose. At the resurrection we will be given perfect "heavenly" bodies for their intended purpose.

  • 1
    Please show me where you are founding your assertion that God created man with perfect bodies?
    – Dave
    Mar 11, 2021 at 21:47
  • 3
    @Dave - God does not make anything except perfect for the purpose intended, else we have God making imperfect things that need improvement, which would make God an imperfect creator. God created a perfect world that is why it was pronounced "Very Good".
    – Dottard
    Mar 11, 2021 at 21:52
  • So, an assumption. But, a not so defendable one, because, if all was perfect, then why are we were we are?
    – Dave
    Mar 11, 2021 at 21:56
  • 1
    @Dave - we are the way we are are because of the ravages of sin!!! Sin has caused untold damage to the creation - see Rom 8:22
    – Dottard
    Mar 11, 2021 at 21:59
  • 1
    @Dave - now that I think of it, having spiritual bodies does not guarantee not falling into sin per se. Lucifer and a third of the angels had spiritual bodies, but that didn't prevent them from messing up too.
    – user38524
    Mar 11, 2021 at 22:04

Man was created for the earth, so had a ‘body’ made from that earth - ‘ʿāp̄ār’, ‘dry loose earth, dust,’. But, through Adam, through the ‘fall’, the ground was cursed, the ‘dust’ (and everything to do with the earth) ‘fell’ (into death).

So man’s body became mortal. And, as well, prior to being put out of the garden, Man’s body gained ‘immunity’ from the tree of Life. We see this in Revelation 22:1-4. And again, as a result of the ‘fall’ man lost access to it.

If the tree of Life gave man immortality (Gen3:24), and if man had of been in a perfect ‘body’, why the tree?

We also know from Revelation that there will be a new earth. So, understandably, if man will live in/on a new earth, he will need a body made out from, or for that ‘new’ earth.

[addition] I’d better address the aspect of ‘perfect’. This is the wrong term, as a ‘body’ is *not’ the entity(e.g. ‘is not man’). The body is a ‘house’, or ‘covering’ for a ‘creature’. One they need to interact with their intended environment. Adams body was immortal - not ‘perfect’.

If you are suggesting Adam (who is not his body) was perfect, then that needs another question, that is, by suggesting Adams ‘body’ was perfect, you are inferring ‘he’ is/was his body. Man’s body was made of dust, he wasn’t!

  • Some folks, I surmise, just can't bear the idea of giving up that good old physical body.
    – moron
    Mar 14, 2021 at 9:29

It would be good to remember two things:

  1. "heaven" for humans was never a part of God's original purpose but to live "forever" (Genesis 3:22) on the paradise earth God had prepared for mankind. Man was not immortal (because man could die, but to die man had to sin) however man could live eternally (conditioned upon man's obedience to God's command related to the Tree of Life [and new commands to be obeyed to qualify for eternal or immortal life pursuant to being expelled from the Garden and access to that Tree of Life which shows up again {Revelation. 22:2-3} when all things are being restored and renewed reflecting God's original purpose]).

  2. Man was therefore not created with a spiritual body but a mortal one so as the Apostle Paul so adequately explains, "flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable" (1 Corinthians 15:50)

Hopefully, this answers the question posed for this forum as to why physical bodies must ultimately be changed into spiritual/angelic bodies.

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    Feb 21, 2022 at 17:46

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