1 Corinthians 15:35-37, 42-49
We are not yet what we ought to be. We are like an acorn in comparison to a tree. You plant the acorn and a tree grows. If the acorn wondered what sort of acorn it will be when it is a tree, it is missing the point that a tree is not an acorn at all. The acorn will have to be destroyed in order to become an oak tree. So we will have to be destroyed, torn down and built back up, in order to become immortal. God has great plans for us. Step one is our destruction. If God accomplished this without our cooperation, there would be nothing left to save in the end, but if we cooperate in our own destruction, in the tearing down of that selfish, weak, wicked self, then there will be something that remains through the process of growth and change: the part of us that cooperates will last.
How are we going to be destroyed? Jesus says that we are like the ground, and the seed is the Word of God, because when we hear the word, it is still something external to us, like a seed on the ground. Then we accept the word, and embrace it, and allow it to put down roots in our hearts. When the seed has grown and the roots have gone through every bit of soil so that the roots and the soil have become one, and the roots have even gone through every rock and broken it to pieces, when it is no longer clear where we end and the word of God begins, then we are ready for immortality.
We are so conditioned to fight for our own identity, to defend ourself against any attack. If someone says that we are not good enough, our first instinct is to prove that we are. We have to overcome this desire because of a greater desire. More than we want to defend who we are, we want to become who we could be. We accept the word of God even to our own destruction. It feels like giving in, but unlike every other attack on our identity, this comes from someone who loves us, who has great plans for us. It feels like starting over, but everything worth keeping will survive the change. We Christians are not afraid of death, because, if we are doing it right, we have spent our whole lives dying for that moment.