1 Corinthians 15:40
There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one…
The apostle appears to be referring to the differences between the organisms - the spiritual bodies - of the inhabitants of heaven and the bodies of human beings on earth. But in a wider sense we may understand his statement that "the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another." The glory of things belonging to a fallen world is one; the glory belonging to things of an unfallen world is another. The things of man fallen contrasted with the things of the God Man unfallen. The natural as opposed to the spiritual.
I. THE GLORY OF THINGS TERRESTRIAL.
1. Slight. Showy, but delusive. Money, human learning, earthly power, worldly pleasures, - these are attractive, but the glory of the best of them is small. Innumerable testimonies have been borne to this fact, difficult for those to credit who are captivated by the gaudiness which they mistake for glory.
2. Marred. When we speak of earthly things we think of them in their highest perfection; our conception is apt to be ideal. Experimentally we find that the natural glory is greatly marred.
3. Uncertain. The flame flickers and darkness is threatened. Much depends upon our health, surroundings, position, as to whether things terrestrial have glory in relation to ourselves. Changes are often sudden and complete, and that which erewhile we pronounced glorious becomes simply detestable. That which pleases us today may disgust us tomorrow. Alas! with things terrestrial there is no improvement upon intimate acquaintance.
4. Brief. At best the glory is short lived. The sun soon goes down. When most needed the glory often disappears.
5. Unsatisying. Something more glorious is ever craved for. The more glorious may be expected from that which is of the earth, and when not found in it, the disappointment is often bitter. Earthly things have a firework glory.
II. THE GLORY OF THINGS CELESTIAL.
1. Great. Solid and substantial, not flash),. This is natural, for they are of God. In their glory there is more of substance than of shadow.
2. Not fluctuating. They are fixed stars, not meteors. There is in them certainty, They are stable.
3. Increasing. In our experience. We discover fresh glory ever. In things terrestrial we soon come to the end of the tether; in things celestial we never do. We ever find more to excite our wonder and to cause us delight.
4. Eternal. The glory abides undimmed, and shall blaze forth forever. We are immortal, and as long as we endure shall the glory of those celestial truths which Christ reveals to us.
5. Satisfying. The cry of the soul is responded to. There is no disappointment. The feeling of unsupplied want vanishes. At last the soul is at rest.
III. THINGS CELESTIAL MAY BE SECURED IN THE LIFE TERRESTRIAL. Christ brings them to us here. The "strait gate" admits us to them. The Holy Spirit reveals them. In Christian worship and work we begin to enjoy them.
IV. THE RELATIVE GLORY SHOULD INFLUENCE OUR CHOICE. When we may have the better, it is folly to choose the worse. We may have both if we will not be absorbed unduly by the inferior. But amidst the glory of the terrestrial we have to choose the glory of the celestial, and to place it first. This is the better part. Moses is a splendid example of wise choice, and Abraham, and Paul, who counted all terrestrial things but loss that he might secure the celestial. - H.
Parallel VersesKJV: There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another.