The Two Resurrections Of Believers

One of the greatest promises that we, as believers in Christ, have given to us is the promise of the future resurrection and glorification of our bodies.  Just think about it, receiving glorified bodies that are no longer affected by sin nor sin’s affects (sickness, pain, temptation, weakness, death etc etc)!

But did you know that the resurrection and glorification of the believer’s body is preceded by another type of resurrection that every believer experiences? Let’s take a few minutes to look at the “first” resurrection of believers.

THE SCRIPTURES:

John 5:24-29 (KJV)

24) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

25) Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

26) For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

27) And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

28) Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

29) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

THE STUDY:

Here in our text, we find Christ describing the physical resurrection of the believer’s body being described.  This resurrection will take place at the 2nd coming of Christ.  Please notice, not only is the resurrection of the physical body being described, but the Lord is also describing a spiritual resurrection that takes place at the time of the believer’s conversion.

John 5:24-29 (KJV)

24) Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

The first resurrection of the believer is a resurrection of His soul. This resurrection gives to the one who is dead in trespasses and sins spiritual life.   Note that Christ tells us that this resurrection takes place as the result of our hearing His word and then placing our trust in the Lord. This is the essence of the salvation experience for fallen man.  By hearing the gospel message which tells us about Christ and His work, and then placing our faith in the God who gave us the gospel message we will receive everlasting life.  This is the first resurrection.  This resurrection is also explained by the apostle Paul in Ephesians 2:1-7….

Eph 2:1-7  And you [hath he quickened], who were dead in trespasses and sins;… Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised [us] up together, and made [us] sit together in heavenly [places] in Christ Jesus:

To be spiritually dead implies that we are unable to do anything to merit or gain salvation of our own ability.

It is much like a person who has died of asphyxiation.  They can have an oxygen mask hanging next to them, but if they are dead, they can do nothing to bring the mask to their face and receive the life-giving oxygen.  For someone who has died of asphyxiation what must take place?  Another person must take the mask, place it on their face and then proceed to give them CPR if that person has any chance of having life restored to his dead body.  In other words, they cannot save themselves but are totally reliant upon the intervention of another for any hope of life.

It is much like that with our salvation.  We were dead in trespasses and sins, undeserving of salvation and unable to do anything to save ourselves.  Yet, our Lord, by His grace, saw fit to intervene in our lives bringing us to Himself and saving us from our sinful state.  He raised us from the tomb of our sinful, spiritually dead condition and resurrected us to a new life in Him.

What a wonderful gift of grace!  To graciously give those who are dead in sins, spiritual life! How wonderful it is to know that we have been spiritually resurrected.

25) Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

The Lord now helps us to understand that the resurrection for the believer has a present age and future age aspect to it…

In this present age (“the hour now is” ) the spiritually dead individual will hear the voice of the Son of God (His call to salvation) and shall live (receive spiritual life).  (Eph 5:14, Ro 6:4, Col 2:13, Rev 20:3-6)

At the very end of this age (“the hour is coming”) the dead body of the saint that is in the grave will hear the voice of the Son of God (at His second coming).  At that time, the body will be resurrected from the grave, glorified, and meet the spirit of the believer which has been abiding with Christ in heaven. (1 Cor 15:42-54, 1 Thess 4:14-17, Phil 3:21)

26) For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

God the Father, being God, needed no one to give Him life.  He possesses life in, and of, Himself.  The Son, being God, also needed no one to give Him life. This is one of many proofs that we have of the deity of Christ.  Not only does He possess life in Himself, but He is the One who is the source of all life.  He is the Creator of all and it is through Him that we receive both our physical and spiritual life.  (John 14:6, John 1:1-4, John 17:1-3)

27) And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

Not only is Christ the Giver of Life for all mankind, He is also the Supreme Judge over all.  Christ will exercise His authority to give life to the resurrection body and judge mankind at the same moment in future history.

The resurrection of the bodies, and the judgment of the lost, are linked together in many passages of the Scriptures (Matt 16:27, Matt 25:31-46, 2Thes 1:7-10, 2 Tim 4:1)  This principle of the unity of the future resurrection and judgment is addressed by Christ in the last two verses of our text…

28) Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 29) And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

We should not be amazed at the coming future resurrection of our bodies.  After all, which is more miraculous, giving physical life to a dead corpse or giving spiritual life to the spiritually dead who are undeserving of spiritual life?

We are told here by Christ that one of the results of the resurrection of the bodies of all mankind will be their judgment.  Whether lost or saved both must give an account of what they have done with their life on earth.  For the saved, our judgment will involve the receipt (or loss) of rewards based upon faithfulness in opportunities that arose for service (Luke 19:16-26, 1Cor 2:12-15, 2 Tim 4:7-8). For the lost their judgment will be based upon their dead spiritual condition and their lack of faith in Christ (Matt 25:30, Matt 7:21-23, Rom 2:13-16) .

Rom 2:5-10  But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:  (7)  To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:  (8)  But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,  (9)  Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;  (10)  But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

PRACTICAL APPLICATION:

For those who have trusted in Christ.

As Christians we should ALWAYS be thankful for the first resurrection that has taken place in our lives.   By His grace, we have been resurrected from spiritual death to spiritual life.  This first resurrection is one of the proofs we have that our physical bodies will be resurrected from the grave to spend eternity with Him.  Out of a heart of appreciation, let’s be sure we are living a new life in Christ… old things are passed away… behold all things are new.

For those who have never trusted in Christ.

Without the first resurrection taking place in your life, there will be no second resurrection leading to an eternity with the Lord.  Examine your life in the light of the Scriptures.  Recognize you have sinned against Almighty God.  Turn your back on your sin, and turn to the Lord Jesus Christ.  Trust in Him and His work on the cross to pay the penalty for the sin that you have committed.  Trust in Him, submit to His Lordship and you will be saved.

If you have any questions concerning the way of salvation please feel free to visit or call a Bible teaching church in your area.  They will be happy to speak to you about the Lord Jesus and the salvation He graciously gives.

Or, if you would rather, feel welcome to email me at settledinheaven@gmail.com.  I’ll be more than happy to answer any question you may have.

About Rob Barkman

A retired pastor, Bible teacher and author of 20 years, he is currently ministering through Settled In Heaven Ministries. SIH Ministries is an on-line Bible teaching ministry that was founded by Bro Barkman in 2010. Settled In Heaven’s mission is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ by fulfilling two different roles... rendering encouragement and Biblical knowledge to the saints in an effort to enhance their service to Christ; and proclaiming the gospel message to those who are in need of salvation, explaining to them their urgent need to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
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11 Responses to The Two Resurrections Of Believers

  1. Pingback: Are You Blind? | ChristianBlessings

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  3. writinggomer says:

    A resounding YES, thank you Lord for the life You have given me! Great post Pastor Rob! 🙂

    • Rob Barkman says:

      Thank you for the kind words. What a blessing it is to know that we have recieved the first resurrection and someday, will be a part of the second resurrection as well. Lord bless you!

  4. Pingback: He Is Not Here…He Is Risen! | The Watchman – Illuminating lives through the light of His Word

  5. granbee says:

    Pastor Rob, I do believe I have commented on this post about the resurrection of the believer’s body into incorruptible flesh over at your own blog. I will just say here that I rejoice in this careful scriptural analysis and undergirding of this bodily resurrection point of Christian faith.

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  8. ruthshahid says:

    Praise the Lord!
    Amen

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