Q38: What benefits do believers receive from Christ at the resurrection?
A: At the resurrection, believers being raised up in glory (1 Cor. 15:43), shall be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the
Day of Judgment (Matt. 10:32), and made perfectly blessed in the full enjoying of God (1 Jn. 3:2) to all eternity (1 Thess.
I. The resurrection in general: its factuality, subjects, and Author.
A. Fact: there shall be a resurrection from the dead (1 Cor. 15:13-14).
1. God has promised that He will raise the dead (Jn. 5:28-29).
2. God is able to raise the dead body dissolved into particles: the omniscient God knows where they are and omnipotence can join them, and join the soul again to the body (Lk. 1:37).
a. Disbelief caused by ignorance of Scripture and power of God (Matt. 22:29).
B. Subjects: all who have ever lived shall be raised (Acts 24:15; Rev. 20:12).
1. Those alive at Second Coming shall suddenly be changed (1 Cor. 15:51-52).
a. Same bodies in substance, with different qualities and powers (1 Cor. 15:53; cf. Job 19:26): a renewed body out of the old.
C. Author: the Triune God alone: Father (1 Cor. 6:14), Son (Jn. 5:28), Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:11).
II. The resurrection of believers is better and glorious: inherently and in its consequents.
A. Inherently: its certainty due to the covenant being with the body (temple) as well as the soul (Matt. 22:32); it’s the design of Christ’s death to destroy death (1 Cor. 15:25-26); Christ’s resurrection is the first-fruits of the harvest (1 Cor. 15:22-23); union with Christ (Rom. 8:23); the manner of the resurrection will be joyous (Isa. 26:19) and glorious (Phil. 3:21); quality of the body will be incorruptible (1 Cor. 15:42), glorious (v. 43), and spiritual (v. 44).
B. Consequents: before, at, and after judgment.
1. Before: believers shall be gathered by angels (Matt. 13:47-50; 24:31), and caught up in the air (1 Thess. 4:17).
2. At: Christ will sit on His throne and judge the wicked as well as the godly.
a. Christ shall separate the believer to the place of honor (Matt. 25:32-33).
b. Christ shall openly acknowledge believers before the world (Matt. 25:34), and His Father (Rev. 3:5).
c. Christ shall openly acquit believes with a favorable sentence (Matt. 25:34) from the guilt of their sins (Acts 3:19).
(1). Believers are acquitted: now (Rom. 8:1); every time blood freshly applied (1 Jn. 1:9); at death (Heb. 9:27).
(2). Believers receive rewards of grace for confessing Him and cleaving to His way amidst a crooked generation (Dan. 12:2-3; Matt. 19:21, 29; Lk. 6:23; 19:11-27; 1 Cor. 3:12-15; 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:10).
(a). Judged according “to works” (Rev. 20:13), for works are evidence of faith (Ja. 2:26): works do not save (Ga. 2:16).
(3). Believers will judge with Christ (1 Cor. 6:1-2; cf. Matt. 19:28; Rev. 3:21).
3. After: believers shall be made perfectly blessed.
a. Free from all sin (Eph. 5:27; Rev. 21:4).
b. Pure and full enjoyment of God: His glorious presence (Rev. 21:3); see Him as He is (1 Jn. 3:2; 1 Cor. 13:12), as He is our exceedingly great reward (Gen. 15:1).
c. Eternally (Ps. 16:11; 1 Thess. 4:17): then man reaches his chief end.
A. Use, of knowledge.
1. The resurrection is a fact. Faith in such sustains one (Heb. 11:17-19, 40). The wicked will be miserable, while the godly will be blessed.
B. Use, of testing.
1. The resurrection is essential doctrine (1 Cor. 15:13-19), proving that justice was satisfied and the Devil’s power of death conquered (Rom. 4:25; 8:34; Heb. 2:14).
a. Christ is declared (constituted) to be the Son of God (Rom. 1:4); the Father vindicated Him, proving that all He said and did was true.
b. Active obedience is negated if believer remains in the grave, and death not conquered.
c. Tied historically to the gospel message.
C. Use, of exhortation: sinners and saints.
1. Sinners. Miserable will be the day of judgment, flee to Christ now and partake of acquittal and blessedness now and for all eternity.
2. Saints. Be encouraged to suffer for Christ (Phil. 3:10); be not ashamed to confess Christ and His truths now, remembering the day will come when He will confess those who confess Him, and deny those who deny Him. Judgment-day is a happy day for believers who will be openly acquitted and rewarded. Let us lay up treasure in heaven and serve the Lord acceptably with fear.