The resurrection of the flesh.
The Holy Spirit not only sanctifies the church with regard to its soul,
but by its power our bodies will arise: “[to those believing in him] who
raised up Jesus Christ Our Lord from the dead” and so forth (Rom. [4:24]).
And “[Because just as through a human being death came about, so] through
a human being the resurrection from the dead” (1 Cor. [15:21]). Therefore
we believe according to our faith in the future resurrection of the dead.
About this [resurrection] there are four thoughts that should be considered:
(1) the usefulness that comes from faith in the resurrection; (2) the quality
[of life] of those who arise with regard to everyone in general; (3) with
regard to good men and women in particular, and (4) with regard to evil
men and women in particular.
(1) About the first, we should know that faith and hope in the resurrection
is helpful to us for four reasons: (1.1) It takes away the sadness which
we bear for those who died. It is impossible that someone not grieve over
the death of a friend; yet, insofar as they hope their friend will arise,
the sorrow of death is much assuaged: “We do not wish you to be ignorant
of” and so forth (Mac.).
(1.2) [The resurrection of the flesh] takes away the fear of death.
If a human being were not to hope in another and better life after death,
without doubt death would be excessively feared. One would rather have
to do any evil deed than to incur death. But, because we believe there
is another and better life to which we shall attain after death, it stands
that no one ought to fear death, nor commit any sin on account of the fear
of death: “that through death he might destroy him who had [the empire
of death, that is, the devil]” and so forth (Heb. [2:14]).
(1.3) [The resurrection of the flesh] renders us solicitous and studious
for behaving well. If the life of a human being were only what we now experience,
there would not be any great effort among humankind for behaving well.
Whatever a human being would do might seem trivial, since it would be a
determinate good measured in time, rather than in eternity. However,
since we believe that through this [resurrection of the flesh] we will
receive eternal goods in the resurrection for what we do here and now,
we will strive to lead a good life: “If in only this life we are people
hoping [in Christ, we are more pitiable than everybody else]” and so forth
(1 Cor. [15:19]).
(1.4) The [resurrection of the flesh] draws us away from evil. Just
as the hope of a reward entices [us] to live well, so fear of pain that
we believe is reserved for the wicked, draws us away from evil: These will
rise up, “[and those who accomplished good things will enter into] the
resurrection of life; [those who worked evil into the resurrection of judgment]”
and so forth (Mt. [John 5:29]).
(2) We should know that with regard to everyone [in general] a fourfold
condition in the resurrection can be noted.
(2.1) With regard to the identity of the bodies of those who arise.
The same body that now exists, both in its flesh and in its bones, will
rise, although some will say that not this body which is now corrupted
will rise. This is false, because sacred Scripture says that by the power
of God the same body will rise to life: ‘And once my skin has been undone,
[I will see my God once more in my flesh]” and so forth (Job [19:26]).
(2.2) With regard to the condition [of those who rise]. The risen bodies
will be in another condition than they now are. With regard to good men
and women [in particular] and evil men and women [in particular] their
bodies will be incorruptible, because the good will always be in glory,
but the evil [will be] always in pain: “This corruptible nature must [clothe
itself with incorruption, and this mortal nature clothe itself with immortality]”
and so forth (1 Cor. [15:53]). And because the body will be immortal and
incorruptible, there will be no use for food or sex after the resurrection:
“In the resurrection they will neither marry [nor be married; but they
will be as the angels of God in heaven]” and so forth (Mt. [22:30]). The
Saracens [Muslims] and the Jews hold to the contrary. But we read in Job:
“He will no longer go back into his home, [nor will his place know him
any further]” and so forth [7:10].
(2.3) With regard to the integrity [of those who rise in the flesh].
All the good people and all the evil people will rise in all their integrity
which belongs to the perfection of humankind. There will be no deafness
nor blindness, nor anyone defective: “[In a moment, in the blink of an
eye, in the last sounds of the trumpet; the trumpet will sing, and] the
dead will rise up incorruptible, [and we will be changed]” (Thess. [1 Cor.
(2.4) With regard to age [of those who rise in the flesh.] Everyone
will rise in a perfect state, i.e., thirty-two or thirty-three years of
The reason is because those who have not yet come to this [age] have
not achieved a perfect state, and older people already have lost it. Therefore
to children and to youth [age] is added, but to old folks it is restored:
“Until we all attain [to the unity of faith, and the recognition of the
Son of God, to perfect manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness
of Christ]” and so forth (Cor. [Eph. 4:13]).
(3) We should know that with regard to good people, there will be a
special glory, because the saints will have glorified bodies in which a
fourfold condition will obtain.
(3.1) Clarity: "[Then] the just will shine [like the sun in the kingdom
of their Father]” and so forth (Mt. [13:43]).
(3.2) Invulnerability: “What is sown in deterioration, [will rise up
in glory. What is sown in weakness, will rise up in strength]” and so forth
(1 Cor. [15:43]). And, “God will dry [every tear from their eyes, and death
will be no more, nor mourning, nor weeping, nor will there be any more
sorrow, because the former things have passed away]” and so forth (Apoc.
(3.3) Agility: “The just will shine forth, [and they will leap forth
like sparks in tinder]” and so forth (Wis. [3.7]).
(3.4) Soulfulness: “An animal body is sown, [a spiritual body will rise
up]" (1 Cor. [15:44]). The body will not be altogether spirit, but it will
be totally subject to the spirit.
(4) We should know that the condition of the damned will be the opposite
of the condition of the blessed, because eternal pain will be theirs. A
fourfold condition will obtain.
(4.1) [Their] bodies will be darkened: “[Pangs and sorrows will grasp
them, just as a woman suffers in labor; everyone will be astonished at
their neighbor;] burnt faces their looks” (Is. [13:8]).
(4.2) [Their bodies] will be vulnerable, because always on fire: “[And
they will go forth and look upon the body of those men who plotted against
me;] their worm will not die, [and their fire will not be extinguished;
and they will be so unto the satiation of the sight of all flesh]” and
so forth (Is. [66:24]).
(4.3) [Their bodies] will be weighed down. The soul will be as if chained
in the torpor of bodies: “For binding their kings [in foot chains, and
their nobles in iron manacles]” and so forth (Ps. [149:8]).
(4.4) They will be carnal, both in body and in soul: “The barn animals
rot [in their own dung; the barns are torn down; the storehouses are wasted,
because the grain is not viable]” and so forth (Joel [1:17]).
Let us pray to the Lord, and so forth.