Linking Regeneration and Resurrection

The promise of God to Adam and Eve was that if they ate the fruit from the forbidden tree, they would surely die (Gen 2:17). Having never seen or known death, they could not have imagined the loss they would endure. In addition, death would come to all their posterity.

Death is applicable to both body and soul. At conception, when a soul and body are conjoined, the soul is dead because of original sin (Ps 51:5; 1 Cor 15:20). As the federal head of humanity, Adam’s sin passed to all of his biological progeny (Rom 5:12–21). In the same way Adam and Eve were estranged from God, when they were cast out of the Garden, so every soul is spiritually dead to God from conception (Eph 2:1).

The natural man is dead in his trespasses and sins (1 Cor 2:14; Eph 2:1). He is spiritually dead in sin, and his body is subject to death, after a vaporous life (Jas 4:14). Death is the evidence of sin in each person’s life (Rom 6:23). There is no one good (Rom 3:12), and no one has right standing before God (Rom 3:10). It is appointed once for a man to die, and then comes the judgment (Heb 9:27).

Man’s sin nature is the source of his hatred toward God (Rom 1:30) and Christ Jesus (Jn 7:7; 15:18–25). Sin in practice, originates with sin as man’s guiding principle. Men love darkness (Jn 3:19), so sin is the most natural action for sinners (Rom 3:23). Spiritually dead men die from their bodies of sin. Their dead bodies return to the dust, while their dead souls await the resurrection to judgment (Jn 5:25–29, on the Day of Judgment (Mt 11:24; 12:36; Rom 2:5; 2 Pet 2:9; 3:7).

The great mass of humanity waits for this day in the holding cell of hell. At the resurrection of the body to judgment, the souls of those without Christ will be conjoined with their eternal body of death to be thrown into the lake of fire (Rev 20:14–15).

In the eternal good pleasure of God, and by His eternal council, salvation was decreed. According to the will of God, a chosen people were predestined to adoption (Rom 8:15, 23; 11:5; Eph 1:5; 1 Pet 2:9). These people, whose names were written in the Lamb’s book of life (Rev 13:8; 17:8; 21:27) and who were given to Christ (Jn 6:37), were to be shown mercy after the fall of humanity (Rom 9:15, 23), and in the days appointed for them.

These elect souls were conceived as children of Adam, with dead souls and vaporous dying bodies. The difference for these, in contrast with the non-elect, is the will and work of God to save them from the second death in hell and the lake of fire — the just punishment for sinners.

The elect in every generation and from every nation have a Redeemer in our Lord Jesus Christ (Is 43:14; 47:4). He was known in ethnic Israel, long before His first advent, as the Lamb of God who would take away sins, in a far more extensive enterprise than just the small nation of Jews (1 Jn 2:2).

God’s salvation would reach the uttermost part of the earth (Acts 1:8), and every soul predestined to be in His presence for eternity would be found and secured. Jesus came to save His people from their sins (Mt 1:21), and His promise was to lose not even one of those the Father had given Him.

The work of gathering God’s elect, redeemed people was given to the Holy Spirit, who was sent into the world by the Father and the Son (Jn 14:26; 15:26). The method of God the Spirit, gathering the elect into the church is foolishness to the unbeliever (1 Cor 1:18). This was by God’s design. It is the preaching of the Bible, God’ s Word, with Jesus Christ and Him crucified, as the centerpiece of the message (1 Cor 2:2).

It is the Spirit who calls and fills men of God to proclaim the Word of the cross. Many hear the Gospel call of God, for all men everywhere to repent (Acts 17:30), but few are chosen to receive it (Mt 22:14). It is the Spirit of Christ who opens the ears of those deafened to the voice of Christ by sin. When the elect hear the same Word, the same voice as the non-elect, their response is to follow their Good Shepherd (Jn 10). What is the difference in the response?

The Holy Spirit has baptized and filled those appointed to believe (Mt 3:11; Acts 13:48) and receive Christ by the will of God (Jn 1:12–13). The Spirit makes a permanent abode in the soul, causing it to come alive to God (Eph 2:5; Col 2:13). The recipient of God’s gift of the Holy Spirit is thus the recipient of God’s gift of faith, granted to him or her (Eph 2:8; Phil 1:29). He makes the believer in Jesus believe (Gal 3:22) because He is the Author of their faith (Heb 12:2).

When the Holy Spirit causes the new birth to occur (Jn 3:1–8; 1 Pet 1:3), we say, “Bob has been born again of God.” This principle of new life in the soul (mind + heart) is the same principle that will bring new life to the body of the resurrected elect, on the day of Christ’s return to earth in glory. The life of God in the soul of man will also be the life of God in the body of those who died in Christ.

The resurrection body will be the fulfillment of the token and promise, already experienced in the regeneration of the soul. The mortal will have put on immortality (1 Cor 15:53–54). The indestructible life of God will occupy the body and soul of the elect, redeemed, regenerate, sanctified, resurrected, and glorified saint (Heb 7:16).

Thus, we see from Scripture how the principle of new life is first applied to the elect soul, in regeneration by the Holy Spirit. Next, we see the same principle of new life applied to the dead body, raised to resurrection life on the last day. Jesus is the first fruits of the resurrection, and it is His Spirit living in the believer that gives this hope of resurrection life to the regenerate elect. Do you have this hope? Do you have this life? This principle is so profound that those who are being transformed by it cannot stop talking (or writing) about it.

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

November 22, 2022

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher