Apostles’ Creed: The Resurrection of the Body

Does the body really matter? Let’s dive into Deeper Waters and find out.

I was at a funeral and hearing the pastor really mess up the eulogy he was giving for the deceased. Unfortunately, I’ve heard this kind of talk before, yet I got some hope as we got to 1 Thess. 4 being mentioned. Surely, this is where the pastor will redeem himself. The pastor started speaking about 1 Thess. 4 and said we have the same hope as the apostle Paul.

Yes! Yes! Go on please!

“We have the hope that we will see our loved ones again in Heaven.”

And there I’m deflated again.

Am I against seeing loved ones in Heaven? Not at all. What am I against? 1 Thess. 4 is not about that. 1 Thess. 4 tells you specifically what it’s about. It’s about the Lord and His return and the resurrection of the dead that will happen then. It’s about how we do not mourn like those who have no hope and that our bodies will one day come out of that grave.

If you skip ahead to Heaven without mentioning the resurrection, then you do not have a completed victory of God.

You see, in overcoming death, Christ shows that nothing has any power over us. Death is the ultimate destroyer ripping our souls from our bodies. Those bodies are good! We often lose sight of that! God did not create us to be angels. He created us to be humans and part of being human is living with a body.

This is why the resurrection of the dead is so important and why I think that anyone who denies the future bodily resurrection has stepped into heresy. Our bodies will be resurrected the same way Christ’s was. He is the first fruits. He is the exemplar of what we have coming. If we are not raised physically, then Christ was not raised physically.

At another funeral I was at once, one preacher spoke about the deceased and said that right now, she was experiencing the resurrection. I had to look and say to myself “Sorry Pastor. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m pretty sure that her body is still in that casket.” We too often think that once someone has died and gone on to be in the presence of Jesus, then that means that things are done with them. No. They are happier than they were of course, but they still await being reunited with their bodies.

When Christ comes to redeem, He does not redeem just us. He redeems all of creation as well. He comes to release it from its bondage. He will not allow the devil to ruin creation so much that it is irredeemable. He will not let the devil have a victory even over the human body. His goal is to bring redemption for all.

Funerals unfortunately are hot beds for these kinds of mistakes, but let us not make them any more. We are not just people who are awaiting life in a Heaven to come. We are people who are waiting an embodied life in a physical creation that God has waiting for us. He did not make a mistake with giving us bodies. He has them for us for a reason. (This is also why we honor God with our bodies including sexually. What you do with your body matters.)

Celebrate and honor your body today and remember that as you live a righteous life, so your body will show that in the future.

In Christ,

Nick Peters


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8 Responses to “Apostles’ Creed: The Resurrection of the Body”

  1. labreuer Says:

    Well said. Scapegoating and buck-passing is a human pastime; it is no better when the physical is scapegoated. It is not particles and fields which are evil. It is closed systems which shut out God which are evil. It is hard hearts which will not be softened by God’s words (e.g. Ps 19:1–4) which are evil. It is worshiping the creature rather than the creator which is evil.

    We really, desperately, need to better understand sarx. As far as I can tell, Calvin got it right with Total Depravity. We don’t want to accept the ‘Total’. No, no, it’s the body that’s Depraved; and so it’s the body from which we’ll be free! Too bad that’s not only not scriptural, but anti-scriptural.

  2. tildeb Says:

    We are people who are waiting an embodied life in a physical creation that God has waiting for us.

    What body? Our own at the moment of death?

  3. jjvors Says:

    tildeb: 1 Corinthians 15 answers your question well: 35 But someone will say, “How are the dead raised up? And with what body do they come?” 36 Foolish one, what you sow is not made alive unless it dies. 37 And what you sow, you do not sow that body that shall be, but mere grain—perhaps wheat or some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as He pleases, and to each seed its own body.

    39 All flesh is not the same flesh, but there is one kind of flesh[c] of men, another flesh of animals, another of fish, and another of birds.

    40 There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.

    42 So also is the resurrection of the dead. The body is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption. 43 It is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body. 45 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.”[d] The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

    46 However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord[e] from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. 49 And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear[f] the image of the heavenly Man.

    • tildeb Says:

      Well, it sure sounds like a spiritual body being raised but Nick tells us it is a physical one that is ‘in the casket’. My question is what physical body is raised?

      • apologianick Says:

        Ever read Gundry’s “Soma in Biblical Greek”?

        Check also Licona’s long section on this passagw in “The Resurrection of Jesus: A New Historiographical Approach.” Both do well arguing the body is indeed physical.

  4. jjvors Says:

    I haven’t read Gundry or Licona, but I have read the Bible. 1 Cor 15:44 says “it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body” This is a paradox: We know the body is physical; yet physical seems opposed to spiritual, how can it be both? Looking at Jesus’ resurrection body, He could be touched and handled by the disciples, eat food, yet holes were in His hands and sides, He could pass through locked doors and disappear at will. Also, He went from Mary to heaven (Daniel 7) and back that morning. So the spiritual body has some aspects of matter and some of spirit. I would not call it physical in the sense that it is composed of matter, atoms, as we understand matter.

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