The Resurrection of the Dead

But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God? Mt.22:31

We need to know the truth about the resurrection of the dead. There are many reasons for this, the primary one being the one that the apostle Paul emphasizes in his letter to the Corinthians. There, he argues that if there is no resurrection from the dead, then Christ is not risen, and if Christ is not risen, then we are dead in our sins and have no hope (1 Cor. 15:12-19). It is only because Christ is risen from the dead that we have “the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 15:57). In other words, all the Christian faith depends upon this doctrine. Eliminate it, and there is no Christianity left.

But there are other reasons this doctrine is important, reasons that are often overlooked. One obvious implication is that our physical body is really important. Our Lord didn’t just die so that your sins could be forgiven and you could live an eternal incorporeal existence in heaven forever. He died so that one day your spirit and body would be reunited in perfect harmony, without sin, forever. Remember what Paul said to the Philippians: “For our conversation [citizenship] is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself” (Phil. 3:20-21). That is the hope of the Christian.

What that means is that how you treat your body now is important. The Bible makes it clear that there is continuity between this present body and the future resurrection body (cf. 1 Cor. 15:42-44). If you are a Christian, then Christ redeemed your body. It is a temple of the Holy Spirit: “therefore glorify God in your body . . . which is God’s” (1 Cor. 6:19-20). People talk all the time about “my body.” Well, if you are a Christian, you cannot say that. It is God’s body and it belongs to him and you will give an account of how you treated it.

Now I’m saying this because one of the ways in which our culture has gone off the rails is in the area of sexuality. We are told, both young and old, to do whatever you want with your body. But if you call yourself a Christian you cannot do that. Back to Paul’s words in 1 Cor. 6, he was dealing with the issue of fornication: “Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body” (1 Cor. 6:18). And then comes the reason: “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Cor. 6:19). That is the very opposite of what the culture is telling you. We all need to hear Paul’s words anew. God cares about your body. And by the way, you should dispel the lie that the world and the devil will tell you – that doing what you want with your body will make you truly happy. It won’t. Listen, the devil does not care about your body. He wants to destroy it. God loves you, and he really does care about your body. So when he tells you, “Flee fornication!” this is not some repressive mumbo-jumbo. It is for your present flourishing and eternal good. Don’t be like Samson. Look where it got him. Be like Joseph and flee!

The resurrection of the dead is the ultimate reason why you should care about your body now. Because Jesus died for it. One day he will raise it from the dead without its sin and frailties.

So may it never be said of us: “Ye do greatly err.” May we all have a heart to love and to learn the Scriptures and the power of God and to know the incredible importance that the resurrection has for our future hope and our present responsibilities. In doing so, may we all be enabled to look to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the message of the Scriptures, the proof of God’s power, and the guarantee of our future resurrection.

By: Jeremiah Bass