The Regeneration of the Soul and the Resurrection of the Body

We dwell in a fallen world of sin and death. Each one of us is conceived in sin. Sin is the inheritance of every human being. Our souls are poisoned by Adam, the first man and federal head of the human race (Rom 5:12–21). The result of this sin is a dead soul (Eph 2:1), in a living body, while yet in the womb (Ps 51:5).

Most people are more familiar with the physical death of the human body. If one escapes the infanticide of the womb, his or her days are still numbered. During those days, man occupies himself with sinning against God in a myriad of ways.

God’s Law warns humanity that the consequences of its lawlessness is death (Rom 3:23; 6:23; 1 Jn 3:4). In Adam, all die (1 Cor 15:22a), and it is appointed for a man to die once, then comes the judgment (Heb 9:27).

The judgment of sinners is executed with perfect justice. Everything done in the body, both good and bad, will be set against the righteousness of God’s standard. God’s standard was only met by one man in human history. He was born of a woman, born under the Law (Gal 4:4). Being made in the likeness of men (Phil 2:7), that is, sinful flesh (Rom 8:3), yet He was without sin (Heb 4:15; 7:26), having been conceived by the Holy Spirit (Mt 1:20), in the womb of the Virgin Mary (Is 7:14; Lk 1:27, 31, 35).

God has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead (Acts 17:31). Jesus Christ, the Son of God, sent from heaven and who took on flesh (Jn 1:14; 3:16), will be the judge of the living and the dead (2 Tim 4:1; 1 Pet 4:5), on the Day of the Lord (1 Thess 4:13–5:11; Rev 19:11–21).

Jesus Christ was crucified, died, was buried, rose again, ascended into heaven, was enthroned at the right hand of majesty, where He rules and reigns over all, having received all authority in heaven and on earth from God the Father (Mt 28:18). On judgment day, as King Jesus comes again and sits on His glorious throne (Mt 19:28; 25:31), all humanity from throughout history will be summoned to be sentenced (Mt 25:32), to each one’s eternal home (Eccl 12:5).

The dead will be raised in the resurrection. Dead bodies will be reunited with souls to be separated (Mt 25:32). Some will be resurrected to judgment while others will be resurrected to life (Jn 5:28–29). It was Jesus Christ who claimed to be the resurrection and the life (Jn 11:25), as He raised His friend Lazarus from the dead, near the end of His earthly ministry.

Resurrection is life from the dead. We have already noted both dead souls and dead bodies, resulting from the inheritance and practice of sin. The wages of sin is death to both body and soul (Rom 6:23). Let us further consider the resurrection of the soul and then the body.

In the Bible, the resurrection of the soul from spiritual deadness (being dead in sin and dead to God) is called, “regeneration.” Regeneration is a work of the Holy Spirit, in the soul (heart and mind) of a person to whom the Spirit is sent by God the Father and God the Son (Jn 14:17, 26; 15:26), in order to give that person spiritual life (Jn 6:63).

God makes the condemned sinner alive (Eph 2:5; Col 2:13), by causing that soul to be born again of God (Jn 3:1–8; 1 Pet 1:3). This happens when the Holy Spirit enters the soul of man (baptism of the Spirit), in order to take up permanent residence (Rom 8:9, 11). The life of God works from within, to sanctify the sinner who has become a saint, having entered this permanent union with Christ, in the Spirit.

With the Spirit of Christ occupying the heart (Gal 2:20) and mind (1 Cor 2:16), grace prevails where sin once reigned (Rom 5:17, 21). This new life is both abundant (Jn 10:10) and eternal (Jn 17:2). The Christian lives, forever, even if he dies (Jn 6:58; 11:25–26). The life he now lives, is a life of faith in Jesus Christ (Gal 2:20). He trusts in the Son of God for the forgiveness of sins (Rom 4:7; Col 1:14; Heb 10:18; Jas 5:15; 1 Jn 1:9; 2:12), resulting from his Savior’s blood shed on the cross at Golgotha some two thousand years ago (Mt 26:28; Eph 1:7; 1 Pet 1:18–19).

The life of the Christian is marked by the Spirit, leading and guiding the adopted child of God into all truth, on the narrow path of righteousness (Mt 7:13–14; Jn 16:13; Rom 8:15, 23). With the wisdom and power of God (1 Cor 1:24), the Christian grows in grace and knowledge of truth, as it is in Jesus (Eph 4:21; 2 Pet 3:18). We serve as His witnesses all of our days and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).

Those who die in Christ, in a state of salvific grace, go to be with the Lord (Phil 1:23), that is, the soul. The dead body returns to the dust from which it was formed (Gen 3:19; Eccl 12:7). Those who die apart from Christ Jesus, in a state of condemnation, go to the torment experienced by the rich man, who lived sumptuously during his days in the land of the living (Lk 16:19–31). This is the pit of darkness where men and angels are reserved for judgment (2 Pet 2:4; 3:7)

Resurrection day is pending for all people. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are all considered to be the cause of the resurrection of the bodies of the dead. The resurrection body of Jesus, the first fruit of His kind (1 Cor 15:20) and first born from the dead (Rev 1:5), is a preview of the glorified bodies promised to those in the resurrection to life (1 Cor 15). The indestructible, immortal, eternal life of the bodily resurrection of the saints will be without sin and without death, from that day forth and forevermore.

What kind of body can endure outer darkness, the lake of fire, unquenchable thirst, eternal punishment, weeping and gnashing of teeth? The body of judgment assigned to the damned will be that kind of body, forever and ever, under the just wrath and punishment of Almighty God (Mt 25:41, 46; Jude 7; Rev 20:14–15).

Friend, these matters should be of the utmost interest to you. To dismiss what I have written to you is not wise, even if it is most telling about you. For the regenerate child of God, the truth of realized regeneration serves as the blessed assurance of the forthcoming bodily resurrection. In your regeneration, rejoice! In your reprobation, repent!…knowing that salvation is entirely a work of God, who raises the dead.

David Norczyk

Spokane Valley, Washington

February 27, 2021

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David Norczyk

Some random theologian out West somewhere, Christian writer, preacher