Monday, March 19, 2012

The Resurrection of the Body - A.C. #8

THE APOSTLE'S CREED (updated language)

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth;

I believe in Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Lord.  He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary.  He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.  He descended to the dead.  On the third day He rose again.  He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.  He will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  AMEN


Definition:  the physical body.....
a) Raised - from the grave, death, corruption
b) Restored - to a form/semblance of its original!
c) Revised - more than improved.  It is glorified
d)  Reunited - with the soul
Physical continuity but with great change!!!

This belief/doctrine:
(1)  Preceded Christ - not fully developed in the Old Testament but it is there.  Job, Hosea, Isaiah, Daniel
more importantly - 
(2)  Confirmed by Christ - John 5:24-29
(3)  Taught by the Apostles - example:  Phil. 3:20-21
(4)  Accepted by the Church - (examples:  creeds, councils, confessions)
(5)  Ridiculed by non-believers - then:  Jesus and the Sadducees, Paul and the Greeks
                                                - now - philosophers of religion
And, unfortunately,
(6)  Largely ignored by many Christians today.   Many people have been in church all their lives and have never heard teaching on the resurrection of the believer's body.
IF the Bible is God's Word, and IF Jesus is who He said He was, and IF the Apostles taught and recorded it right, then there is a bodily resurrection.


#1. The Resurrection occurs at Christ's Return.  1 Thess. 4:16 - examples:  Paul - "absent from the body = present with the Lord";  thief on the cross; Book of Revelation
Meanwhile, Christians are alive, awake, aware - after death.

#2.  The Resurrection includes all people.
Some see 1,000 years between resurrection 1 and resurrection 2.   Others see symbolic imagery.  Either way ALL are resurrected.   Rev. 20:13-15

Question?  With what body??  form?  appearance?  age?  ability?
Answer:  don't know ... BUT  1 Cor. 15:42-44, 49-55 - talking of a spiritual body.  Spiritual is an adjective.  Body is the noun - it is material, but not natural material.

Question?  How can this be?
Answer - don't know - "mystery" - BUT .... Matt. 22:29

Question?  Why do this?  isn't heaven enough?
Answer:  don't know ... BUT...Rom. 8:19-21 - Christ did not die just to save your soul.  He died to redeem ALL of creation.

"This doctrine is largely ignored by many Christians today".  Not so in the past .... many headstones from old cemeteries testify to the hope of the bodily resurrection.
Examples from Jamestown, VA - original cemetery site - William Sherwood -"A great sinner waiting for a joyful resurrection";  Mrs. Mary Knight -  "waiting for a joyful resurrection";  John Clough -  "departed this life January 15 1684 and waits in hopes of a joyful resurrection"

A.  this s Biblical language - not just sentiment
B.  this is an INTEGRAL  part of the Christian hope - (integral meaning essential to completeness)
Resurrection of the body is part of your spiritual heritage and spiritual inheritance.
C.  These passages are to instruct, encourage, comfort, prepare us... for this life and the next.
D.  We do ourselves and loved ones a great dis-service when we ignore this doctrine.

Final Point:  The Resurrection finds it's source, possibility, promise in Christ!!!
Apart from Christ there is NO HOPE of Resurrection!!!  (Restoration, reunion)
BUT in Him there is Hope for ALL.  John 11:21-27 - Jesus said, "I am the resurrection...."

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