What is the Resurrection of Believers?


What are Catechisms? (40 articles)

Shall all men die?1

Death being threatened as the wages of sin, it is appointed unto all men once to die; for that all have sinned.

Death, being the wages of sin, why are not the righteous delivered from death, seeing all their sins are forgiven in Christ?2

The righteous shall be delivered from death itself at the last day, and even in death are delivered from the sting and curse of it; so that, although they die, yet it is out of God’s love, to free them perfectly from sin and misery, and to make them capable of further communion with Christ in glory, which they then enter upon.

How does Christ’s resurrection benefit us?3

First, by his resurrection he has overcome death, so that he could make us share in the righteousness which he had obtained for us by his death (Romans 4:25; 1 Corinthians 15:16-20; 1 Peter 1:3-5). Second, by his power we too are raised up to a new life (Romans 6:5-11; Ephesians 2:4-6; Colossians 3:1-4). Third, Christ’s resurrection is to us a sure pledge of our glorious resurrection Romans 8:11; 1 Corinthians 15:12-23; Philippians 3:20, 21).

What benefits do believers receive from Christ at death?4

The souls of believers are at death made perfect in holiness, and do immediately pass into glory, and their bodies, being still united to Christ, do rest in their graves till the resurrection. (Hebrews 12:23; Philippians 1:23; 2 Corinthians 5:8; Luke 23:43; 1 Thessalonians 4:14; Isaiah 57:2; Job 19:26).

What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the Resurrection?5

At the resurrection, believers become raised up in glory, shall be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgment, and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoyment of God to all eternity (Philippians 3:20-21; 1 Corinthians 15:42-43; Matthew 10:32; 1 John 3:2; 1 Thessalonians 4:17).

What do we mean by the resurrection of the body?6

We mean that God will raise us from death in the fullness of our being, that we may live with Christ in the communion of the saints.

In what order will this resurrection take place?7

Those that were formerly dead will recover their bodies, the same bodies as before, but endued with a new quality, that is, no longer liable to death or corruption (1 Corinthians 15:53). Those who survive God will miraculously rise up by a sudden change.

What comfort does the resurrection of the body offer you?8

Not only shall my soul after this life immediately be taken up to Christ, my Head (Luke 16:22; 23:43; Philippians 1:21-23), but also this my flesh, raised by the power of Christ, shall be reunited with my soul and made like Christ’s glorious body (Job 19:25-26; 1 Corinthians 15:20, 42-46, 54; Philippians 3:21; 1 John 3:2).

Footnotes

  1. Westminster Larger Catechism (1647), Question 84.
  2. Westminster Larger Catechism (1647), Question 85.
  3. Heidelberg Catechism (1563), Question 45.
  4. Baptist Catechism (1677), Question 41.
  5. Baptist Catechism (1677), Question 42.
  6. Episcopal Catechism (1789), Question 119.
  7. Geneva Catachism (1545), Question 108.
  8. Heidelberg Catechism (1563), Question 57.

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