Confession of Faith (1617) - Article XXXI
Of the Death of the body and the Resurrection of the dead, we confess:
That, in the beginning, man was created immortal, but that through the envy
of the devil and the sin of our first parents, death came into the world. And,
as through the sin of Adam all men became sinful in him, so also through him,
all men became subject to; bodily death; so that in consequence thereof it is
appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment;
seeing this sinful, corruptible flesh and blood cannot inherit the eternal, incorruptible kingdom, but must be renewed and glorified through death and the resurrection, by the power of God.
And, even as, when a man falls into a deep sleep, his heart, soul or spirit does not entirely sleep, as the body; so also the spirit or soul of man does not die or fall asleep with the body, but is and remains an immortal spirit. Hence temporal death, in the Scriptures, is called a sleep, and the resurrection of the dead an awakening from this sleep of death.
And as a sleeping man cannot receive and enjoy any good gifts, either according to the soul or the body, much less any punishment, pain and torment, unless he be previously awakened from his sleep; so also, believers cannot receive the perfect heavenly existence, nor unbelievers the eternal death or the pain of hell, either in the soul or in the body, except they have first been awakened from the sleep of death, and have arisen, through the. coming of Christ.
Until this last day of judgment the souls of believers are waiting in the hands of God, under the altar of Christ, to receive then in their souls and bodies, the rewards promised them. So also the souls of unbelievers are reserved to be punished, after the day of judgment, in their souls and bodies.
And as through the sin and transgression of Adam death came upon all men; so also the resurrection of the dead came upon all men through the Savior Jesus Christ; so that, as in the springtime the sun, through his glorious radiance and brightness, draws forth all sweet scented herbs from the earth, as well as thistles and thorns, which are rejected and reserved for the fire; so also, shall Christ Jesus, the true Son of righteousness, in this great last day and hour, through His glorious coming and appearing in the clouds of heaven, draw forth from the earth, and cause to arise all men, the wicked and the pious; so that this great God, through His power and commanding voice, by which He spoke in the beginning: Let heaven and earth be made; and His word was immediately a perfect work; and who created all visible things from that which was invisible, and made man of the dust of the ground; this same God shall, through His unchangeable power and almighty word, in the last day, call all men who have been changed into dust and earth, and have been consumed by fire, birds, and fishes, from the dust, and cause each to arise with his own body, flesh, and bones, with which they have served either their Creator or sin.
And, as a woman in travail, when her hour is come, cannot retain, but makes
haste to deliver the fruit of her womb, so also shall in this last hour, death,
earth, or hell. and sea make haste to deliver up the great number of the dead
which in them have become dust and ashes, and passed away. These shall all
arise, with their own bodies, incorruptible, which shall again be united with
the soul and spirit, which through death had been separated from the. body; and
had remained immortal. At that
time the pious shall be glorified and changed from the mortal and corruptible into the immortal and incorruptible, from the weak and frail, into the strong and glorious, being made like unto the angels, of God, and the glorious body of Christ. Thus shall, also those who shall live and remain at this sudden second coming of Christ from the heaven, be changed and glorified after the image of Christ.
Of the first or temporal death, which came by the first transgression, read: "For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return" (Genesis 3:19; 25:33).
"And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment" (Hebrews 9:27).
"For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead", (1 Corinthians 15:21).
"For God made not death: neither hath he pleasure in the destruction of the living" (Wisdom 1:13).
"Nevertheless, through envy, of the devil came death into the world" (Wisdom 2:24; Romans 5:12).
How at the second coming of Christ, the dead shall rise through Christ, read: "For the Lord himself shall descend. from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first" (1 Thessalonians 4:16).
"Marvel not at this;for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, 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" (John 5:28, 29).
"I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall, stand at the latter day upon the earth: and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold" (Job 19:25-27).
Read also: Isaiah 26:19; Daniel 12:13; Matthew 22:31; Luke 20:35; John 6:40; 11:25; 1 Corinthians 15 throughout; Psalms 90:3.
How in the resurrection of the dead, men's vile bodies shall be glorified, read: "In the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage but are as the angels of God in heaven" (Matthew 22:30).
"For our conversation is in heaven, from whence also, we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ: who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself" (Philippians 3: 20, 21; 1 Corinthians 15:42, 53).
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