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Reference: Resurrection Of The Dead


It is the peculiar glory of the New Testament that it makes a full revelation of this great doctrine, which was questioned or derided by the wisest of the heathen, Ac 17:32. In the Old Testament also we find, though less frequently, the doctrine asserted; as for example, Isa 26:19; Da 12:2. When our Saviour appeared in Judea, the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead was received as a principal article of religion by the whole Jewish nation except the Sadducees. Their denial of it rested on the assumption that at death the whole man, soul and body, perishes. "The Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit," Ac 23:8. Hence the refutation of this unscriptural assumption was a complete overthrow of the ground on which their denial of a future resurrection rested; for if the soul can survive the body, it is plain that God can give it another body. In this way our Lord met and effectually refuted them, Mt 22:31-32; Mr 12:26-27.

The resurrection of Christ is everywhere represented in the New Testament as a pledge and an earnest of the resurrection of all the just, who are united to him by faith, 1Co 15:49; 1Th 3:13, in virtue of their union with him as their Head. He is "the resurrection and the life," Joh 11:25; they "sleep in Jesus," and shall be brought to glory "with him," 1Th 4:13-17; 5:10; their "life is hid with Christ in God," Col 3:3; and because he lives, they shall live also, Joh 14:19. The Scriptures also teach that there will be a resurrection of the unjust. But they shall be raised, not to be glorified with Christ, but to be judged by him, and sentenced to eternal punishment, Da 12:2; Joh 5:28-29 compared with Mt 28:20; Ac 24:15.

To cavillers against this doctrine in his own day, Christ replied, "Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God." The work is miraculous; and He who is omniscient and omnipotent will permit nothing to frustrate his designs. He has not revealed to us the precise nature of the spiritual body, nor in what its identity with the earthly body consists; but it will be incorruptible, fashioned like Christ's glorious body, Php 3.21, and a meet companion of the soul made perfect in his likeness.

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will be simultaneous both of the just and the unjust (Da 12:2; Joh 5:28-29; Ro 2:6-16; 2Th 1:6-10). The qualities of the resurrection body will be different from those of the body laid in the grave (1Co 15:53-54; Php 3:21); but its identity will nevertheless be preserved. It will still be the same body (1Co 15:42-44) which rises again.

As to the nature of the resurrection body, (1) it will be spiritual (1Co 15:44), i.e., a body adapted to the use of the soul in its glorified state, and to all the conditions of the heavenly state; (2) glorious, incorruptible, and powerful (54); (3) like unto the glorified body of Christ (Php 3:21); and (4) immortal (Re 21:4).

Christ's resurrection secures and illustrates that of his people. "(1.) Because his resurrection seals and consummates his redemptive power; and the redemption of our persons involves the redemption of our bodies (Ro 8:23). (2.) Because of our federal and vital union with Christ (1Co 15:21-22; 1Th 4:14). (3.) Because of his Spirit which dwells in us making our bodies his members (1Co 6:15; Ro 8:11). (4.) Because Christ by covenant is Lord both of the living and the dead (Ro 14:9). This same federal and vital union of the Christian with Christ likewise causes the resurrection of the believer to be similar to as well as consequent upon that of Christ (1Co 15:49; Php 3:21; 1Jo 3:2)." Hodge's Outlines of Theology.

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