The resurrection of Jesus Christ guarantees believers not only eternal life, but also glorified resurrection bodies. The glorified body of a believer will be like that of Christ’s. For those Church Age believers who die before the Rapture occurs, their soul and spirit go into the presence of the Lord in an interim body. At the Rapture, the soul and spirit are returned to the body (now glorified). (I Corinthians 15:51-57; II Corinthians 5:1-8; Philippians 3:21; I Thessalonians 4:13-18; I John 3:2)
We can get a glimpse of what our glorified body will be like by looking at Christ’s glorified body. First, we will be recognizable like Christ was after His resurrection. (Luke 24; John 20:26-29) Christ’s body could be touched (as Thomas did) because His body had flesh and bones. (Luke 24:39-40) Christ’s body retained the scars of crucifixion. (John 20:25-27) He breathed and carried on conversations with a recognizable voice (for the most part) in His resurrection body. (Luke 24; John 20:26) Jesus ate food while in His resurrection body. (Luke 24:30,43) However, His body was unique in that He could walk through closed doors, He was able to disappear and appear and He could move vertically and horizontally. (Psalms 22:16; Zechariah 12:10; Matthew 28:9-10; Luke 24:17-40; John 20:16-29; Acts 1:9-10)
The resurrection of Jesus Christ coincided with the Jewish Feast of the First Fruits, where a portion of the harvest was gathered first and given to the priest for the blessing of the entire harvest. This feast pointed to the resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus Christ, and was celebrated three days after the Passover. Paul writes about “the first fruits” in I Corinthians 15:20-25. Jesus explained a parable when He described Himself as “the grain of wheat that fell to the ground, and died that it might spring to life and bring forth much fruit.” (John 12:23-24) Jesus Christ is the representative of the harvest and is a living testimony to God’s sovereignty, which says, “Because I live, you shall live also.”
Christ’s humanity was resurrected, because it was His humanity that died. (Luke 24:39) It was evidenced by an empty tomb, which was witnessed by His friends, family and followers. (Matthew 28) Religious leaders attempted to suppress information regarding the resurrection, which gives evidence that they believed He had risen. (Matthew 27:62-66) Jesus Christ is the only Person in history to be resurrected (some were resuscitated - arose and later died). Because of Christ’s resurrection, believers will also be resurrected. (II Corinthians 4:14; Philippians 3:21; I John 3:1-2)
At death, Christ’s body went into the grave (John 19:40-42), His soul went into Hades (Luke 23:43; Acts 2:27) and His Spirit went into the presence of the Father (Luke 23:46). It was Christ’s body that resurrected. His soul came out of Hades returning to the body, His Spirit came from the presence of the Father returning to the body and He rose bodily from the grave. He is now at the right hand of the Father. (Hebrews 1:3; I Peter 3:18-22; Romans 1:4, I Thessalonians 1:10)
There are doctrinal significances that we should note regarding the Resurrection. Christ’s resurrection indicates the completion of justification. (Romans 4:25) Jesus Christ became our Mediator as a result of the Resurrection (equal with God and equal with man). (Hebrews 7:25, 9:15; I Timothy 2:5) It is the “risen Christ” Who became our High Priest and established the priesthood of the believer. (Hebrews 10:5,10-14, 7:28; I Peter 2:5-9) The resurrection of Christ fulfills part of the Davidic Covenant. (Psalms 89:36-37; II Samuel 7:8-16) Without the Resurrection, Christ could not have been glorified and the Holy Spirit could not have been given. (John 7:39) The Resurrection is the guarantee of Ultimate Sanctification. (I Corinthians 15:20-23; I John 3:1-2; Philippians 3:21)
We still reside in this body while here on earth, but our true home is Heaven. We are just passing though this life, but our real citizenship is in Heaven. When Christ returns for us at the Rapture, we will realize Ultimate Sanctification.
For the believer, there is going to be a change. Each of us is going to receive a glorified body fashioned after Christ’s body. This will be an instantaneous change as we are being “caught up” to meet Christ in the air.
Ultimate Sanctification will be a reality for all believers, regardless of the stage of spiritual growth. Mature and immature believers will receive a glorified body and will spend all of eternity in perfect happiness. There will, however, be a loss of magnificent rewards and blessings for those who fail to execute the Christian Way of Life.
The Biblical definition of the word “redeemed” is “to be purchased from the slave-market of sin.” There are three Greek words for redemption: “agorazo” meaning “to buy,” “exagorazo” meaning “to buy out of or remove from sale” and “lutroo” meaning “to release on receipt of ransom or payment.” All of these meanings apply to our redemption. Christ has redeemed us from the slave-market of sin and from obedience to the Mosaic Law. (Romans 7:14)
There are several definitions for sin in the Word of God: “falling short of God’s righteousness” (Romans 3:23), “transgression,” which is overstepping God’s law (Psalm 51:1-4), “trespasses,” which is deviation from God’s righteousness (Ephesians 2:1), “disobedience,” which is rebellion against God’s law. (I Timothy 1:9-10) Christ redeemed us from all sin. (I John 2:2)
A believer is also redeemed from obedience to the Mosaic Law, which had been distorted into a system of “pseudo-salvation” by religious Jewish leaders. The Mosaic Law was never designed to provide salvation, but rather it demonstrated the need for a Savior and pointed to Jesus Christ. (Galatians 3:13)
The Old Testament practice of the “kinsman redeemer” is a perfect example of how Christ redeems us from the Law and from sin. Certain requirements had to be met in order for a person to free someone from slavery. The redeemer had to be a relative, he had to be able to redeem by meeting the purchase price and he had to be willing to redeem the person in slavery.
By taking on humanity, Jesus Christ became a “kinsman” to all mankind. (John 1:1-3,14) In order to meet the purchase price, Christ had to be perfect (no sin of His own to pay for). He was born of a virgin, therefore, He had no sin nature and He lived a sinless life, which qualified Him to meet the purchase price for our sin. (Matthew 1:23, I Timothy 3:16; Romans 5:8; II Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 2:9-11, 4:15: I Peter 1:18) Christ was also willing to redeem us. He was obedient to the Father’s plan for salvation and gave His life freely. Christ even restricted the use of the power of His deity (doctrine of Kenosis) and used the power of the Holy Spirit to accomplish all of this for us. (Philippians 2:5-8; Romans 5:19, Luke 22:42, 23:46)
The Christian Way of Life can be lived only by a power greater than ourselves. We need God’s supernatural power in order to be effective in the execution of His plan, purpose and will. This power has been given to each of us in the Person of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus prophesied the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, He said He would send the Comforter. The word in Greek for Comforter is “parakletos” which means someone called to the aid of another, particularly in the legal process. The “parakletos” would have therefore been an advisor, intercessor, mediator or advocate in a courtroom setting. In English we would use the word lawyer.
We can see from the etymology of the word that “comforter” is a poor translation of “parakletos.” The word more correctly connotes ability, aid, and assistance, rather than comfort from pain or distress. God the Holy Spirit was not sent to “pat us on the head” and tell us that all will be okay. The Holy Spirit was given to us to empower us, to guide us and to teach us (mentor). (John 14:26, 15:26) After salvation the Holy Spirit provides the spiritual I.Q. for learning and applying Bible doctrine. (I Corinthians 2:9-14) The Gospel is the power of God unto salvation for the unbeliever and God’s Word (Bible doctrine) is the power of God in the life of the believer when he is learning and applying it. (Romans 1:16; II Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 4:12) John 4:24 tells us to worship God in Spirit (the filling of the Holy Spirit) and in truth (Bible doctrine). Without the power of the Holy Spirit the believer has no spiritual life.
The utilization of the power of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life is a matter of personal volition. The believer must choose to allow the Holy Spirit to “fill” him. “Be filled with the Holy Spirit” is one of the first positive commands after salvation. The Greek word for filling is “pleroo” and has four meanings, all of which apply to the filling ministry of the Holy Spirit. The first is to fill up a deficiency, second is to fill with a certain quality, third is to fully influence and the fourth is fully possess.
The second positive command after salvation is to “walk by means of the Holy Spirit,” which means the Holy Spirit is in control of our lives. By relying on the Holy Spirit to teach us and guide us we are depending on His power to control our lives. The control of the Holy Spirit in your life is limited only by the amount of Bible doctrine resident in your soul and by your personal volition. It is Bible doctrine resident in your soul that the Holy Spirit uses to guide you. The Holy Spirit does not whisper in your ear and your conscience is not the same as the Holy Spirit. However, your conscience can be influenced by God’s Word and by the Holy Spirit. In the Church Age in which we live, God speaks to us only through His Word.
“Stop grieving the Holy Spirit of God” is the first negative command after salvation. Grieving means to bring sorrow, which is against the will of God, takes us out of fellowship with God and we lose the filling of the Holy Spirit. (Ephesians 4:30) The second negative command after salvation is “do not quench the Spirit.” Quenching means to suppress or say “no” to the Holy Spirit, which is also against the will of God and causes us to lose the filling of the Holy Spirit and our fellowship with God. (I Thessalonians 5:19) When you choose to sin, you cut off the divine power source: God the Holy Spirit. Since God’s power system and Satan’s cosmic system are mutually exclusive, you are either in one or the other. If you are not residing in God’s system, you are residing in Satan’s. By continuing to live in Satan’s system, the Holy Spirit is quenched and He is no longer able to function in your life. Returning to God’s power system is a matter of acknowledging your known sins directly to God. As a result, fellowship with God and the filling of the Holy Spirit are restored, and you are able once again to advance in your spiritual life (walk by means of the Spirit). (I John 1:5-10)