The Resurrection (Part 1)

THE RESURRECTION I. Physical death and the grave are, to the natural eye, the culmination of the wages of sin. ROM 6:23. A. This is the appointment that Adam made for every man. 1CO 15:21-22 c/w HEB 9:27. B. This is man's home. JOB 17:13; ECC 12:5. C. It is the last enemy that shall be destroyed. 1CO 15:26. II. Mind the consistency of Biblical truth. Death by sin was realized in three distinct stages and the remedial saving calls were accordingly ordered in three stages. A. First, man died spiritually. GEN 2:17; EPH 2:1. 1. This made necessary the first call, the call to spiritual life by the voice of the Son of God. JOH 5:25; 2TI 1:9. 2. This established relationship to the fallen creature, made a new creature in Christ (2CO 5:17), and delivered him from the dominion of sin and the second death. ROM 6:14; EPH 2:10; REV 20:6. B. Secondly, man died from fellowship with God. GEN 3:7-8. 1. For this purpose the gospel or second call goes forth urging men to repentance and faith. ACT 2:38-39. 2. This call is general in nature. ACT 17:30. 3. When obeyed, assurance of the first call is gained. JOH 5:24; ACT 13:48. 4. When obeyed, fellowship with God is realized. 1JO 1:3; 2CO 6:17-18. C. Thirdly, man died physically. GEN 5:5. 1. That body which was originally made in the image of God came to corruption and deteriorated unto the grave's captivity. 2. The bodies of all the physically dead shall hear a third call which will, like the first call, be by the voice of the Son of God. JOH 5:28-29. 3. It is this third call for which the redeemed of God hope. ROM 8:23. 4. The lively benefits of this call include restoration to a spiritual body and it is based solely on the first call, not the second. ROM 8:11, 30; 1CO 15:49; PHIL 3:20-21. III. Death is the great leveller of men which claims all sooner or later until Christ's return. It is a foe which sinful man has never vanquished (JOB 14:5; ECC 8:8) and it does not readily release its prisoners. 2SA 14:14. A. The solution lay in finding someone stronger than the Devil who had the charge of death. LUK 11:21-22; 1JO 3:5, 8. B. Jesus Christ was the Man for the job. JOH 10:18; ACT 2:24. C. Through a clever ploy Christ turned the tables on the Devil. HOS 13:14; HEB 2:14-15; 9:15 c/w 1CO 2:8. D. Having conquered death and the grave, Christ: 1. arose to die no more. ROM 6:9. 2. secured the keys of hell and death. REV 1:18. 3. claimed the spoils of victory. COL 2:15; EPH 4:8-10. 4. abolished the enemy. 2TI 1:10. 5. released the prisoners. COL 1:13; HEB 2:15. E. Christ's bodily resurrection also: 1. won for Him the Messianic throne of David. ACT 2:30-31; 13:32-34. 2. gave Him sovereign dominion over all visible and invisible powers. 1PE 3:22. 3. gave Him sovereign dominion over both dead and living. ROM 14:9. 4. gave Him certain expectation that every man will someday admit His Lordship. PHIL 2:8-11. F. The resurrection of the body is the proof and declaration of the Son(s) of God. ROM 1:3-4; 1JO 3:1-2. G. Christ's resurrection was for our justification (ROM 4:24-25) and ultimately for our glorification. 1CO 15:23. H. He partook of flesh and blood that we might partake of His resurrection. REV 20:6. IV. That the Lord Jesus Christ arose bodily from the grave is evident. LUK 24:37-43. A. As an open testimony of His victory over death, Christ's resurrection was attended by the bodies of other sleeping saints. MAT 27:51-53 c/w COL 2:15. B. Christ arose from the grave bodily and returned bodily unto the Father, having left His disciples with a promise of return to receive them bodily unto Himself. ACT 1:11 c/w JOH 14:1-3; 1TH 4:13-18. C. Some deny that Christ ascended bodily to heaven to accommodate their denial of a bodily resurrection of saints: "We can be in God's image without a fleshly body, and just as complete and functional as was Christ himself before he came into flesh, and AFTER HE LEFT IT to return to where he was before." (The Spirit of Prophecy, Max. R. King, p.226; [caps mine TEB]) 1. This idea is based largely on 1CO 15:50. 2. However, Enoch and Elijah were both translated bodily into heaven. 2KI 2:11; HEB 11:5. 3. That CORRUPTIBLE flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven is true but that NO flesh shall enter is heresy. It is evident that a change is necessary. 1CO 15:51-53. 4. There is no reason that God could not have given Enoch and Elijah an early demonstration as a preview and incentive to Old Testament saints. 5. Scripture is plain in that the fleshly, NEVER CORRUPTED OR CORRUPTIBLE body of Christ is exactly what presently occupies David's heavenly throne. ACT 2:29-35. 6. Those who maintain that there is no bodily resurrection of the saints suppose that God has no interest in physical bodies: His redemptive work was only concerned with spirit and/or soul. a. Why then does Paul pray for the blameless preservation of the body? 1TH 5:23. b. Why was Michael the archangel disputing about the body of Moses if God had no interest in it anyway? JUDE 1:9. c. The shed blood of Christ purchased more than spirit. (1) God has a vested interest in the bodies of His saints. 1CO 6:13-20. (2) The completion of salvation comes only when that legally redeemed body is vitally changed. ROM 8:23; 2CO 5:2-4; 1JO 3:2. 7. The denial of the bodily resurrection of saints is faith-destroying heresy. 2TI 2:16-18 c/w 1CO 15:12-19. V. The resurrection or "raising up" of the saints is understood sectionally. A. In the new birth we partake inwardly of Christ's resurrection. 1PE 1:3; EPH 1:19-20; REV 20:6. B. The soul of the righteous, upon physical death, is "raised up" to be with the Lord. LUK 16:22; 20:27-38; PHIL 1:23; REV 6:9. C. The elect are all "raised up" positionally in the resurrected, ascended body of Christ. EPH 2:6; COL 3:1-2. D. Believers are "raised" testimonially and practically in baptism and conversion. 1PE 3:21; ROM 6:1-4. E. The bodies of sleeping saints at the last trump will be raised from the graves and changed; the surviving saints raised up to meet them & changed . 1TH 4:16-17; 1CO 15:52. 1. Notice the importance of the word "also" in ROM 8:11, which counters the notion that the quickening of the body there is inward spiritual regeneration. What applies to one applies to the other. 2. Did Christ need to be regenerated as "also" sinful men or, rather, will the Spirit which raised up His body "also" raise up the bodies of redeemed sinners which have the earnest of the Spirit? 3. That the new spiritual body of the saint will be dramatically different is true but it will nonetheless be formed of the material of the former. 1CO 15:35-44; JOB 19:25-27; PSA 17:15; 1CO 15:49; PHIL 3:21. VI. Scripture declares that the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ at His second coming; the resurrection of the righteous dead with the living elect and the wicked dead; the destruction of the Devil and his followers; the destruction of the present heavens and earth; and the ushering in of the new heavens and earth to be roughly simultaneous. These will happen at the last day. A. Contrary to the dispensational position which places the resurrection of the saints years prior to the resurrection of the wicked dead, Scripture speaks of a general resurrection of both at once. JOH 5:28-29; ACT 24:15. B. The godly are resurrected at the last day when the last trump sounds. 1CO 15:52; JOH 6:39-40, 54. C. The godly and ungodly abide together until the end of the world. 1. The godly are delivered and the ungodly judged at the same time. LUK 17:26-30; MAT 24:37-41; 13:24-30, 37-43, 47-51. 2. This refutes both Dispensationalism and Preterism, which suppose that the godly would be delivered (1007 and 3-1/2 years respectively) prior to the overthrow of the ungodly. D. Christians are exhorted to be looking for a day when Christ shall appear, deliver them, judge the wicked, and destroy the world. 2TH 1:7-10; HEB 9:28; 2PE 3:10-14. E. When the heavens be no more, our change comes (JOB 14:10-15) and death dies. 1CO 15:53-58. F. "He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus" (REV 22:20).
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