From Robert Farrar Capon, in a discussion on the scandal of the Gospel:
One of the most iniquitous ways of expounding the Gospel is to say that while we will no doubt have to put up with physical or financial failure for Jesus’ sake, we are nonetheless entitled to expect moral and spiritual success. But that is itself a snare and a skandalon. Is says that we are only half fallen — that even though the ratty old cocoon of our physical being may fail us, there is hidden within a spiritual butterfly of a soul that is capable of beauty, competence, and success.
It is not that we aren’t promised incredible spiritual potential in Christ. The interesting thing to think on in this quote is that the Gospel also holds before us realization of our physical potential — we are, after all, going to be bodily resurrected! So if we are promised a perfect, sinless body in resurrection, and yet experience decay on this earth, so that our faith and hope remain in Christ’s promise… why do we not also maintain that faith and hope about spiritual things?
Capon’s focus on death-then-life is a refreshing reminder that all we have, everything, is grounded in and through the reality of our union with Jesus Christ, and our trust in what he has done and will do.