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1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 31: Of the State of Man after Death and Of the Resurrection of the Dead - Commentary

...an, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

It seems as if Paul is intentionally stressing the obviousness and loudness of this glorious event. There can be here no idea of the Rapture being secret or people wondering what just happened and the world then going on for at least 1007 years. In 1 Corinthians 15 Paul addresses the Rapture again, but in more detail, therefore, let us turn there.

1 Corinthians 15

Let us begin in 1 Corinthians 15:22-28. Paul explains that as Adam was a covenantal head and when he disobeyed God all who were represented by him died, so in the same way, as Christ is head of the New Covenant, all the elect of God will be made alive in Him (see here). As all Christians will be made alive in Christ, yet there is an order of how this will be done. First was the resurrection of Christ, then the resurrection of all Christians. This resurrection takes place “at his coming [ἐν τῇ παρουσίᾳ, en te parousia]” as Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 (also using the word parousia), but as this takes place, Paul says, “then comes the end” (1 Cor. 15:24). This is a very different paradigm of the last things than what Dispensationalists tell us. After the Rapture, according to Dispensational eschatology, there will be the time of Tribulation, which will last for the seven years which correspond to Daniel’s seventieth week, and the Millennium, which is a literal thousand year earthly kingdom in which Christ will rule from Jerusalem. Yet Paul says that after the Parousia of Christ and the resurrection, “Then comes the end”. The “end” will come when Christ has destroyed all His enemies, including the last enemy and when He delivers His Kingdom to God the Father (1 Cor. 15:24-28). This is likewise contrary to the Dispensational idea of the Rapture and of the Second Coming of Christ. The end is described to happen at the Parousia of Christ, before which time He was ruling in the midst of His enemies (Ps. 110:2) and at His coming, He had fully destroyed them and put them under His holy feet. But Dispensationalists argue that Christ will really rule as King in the Millennium and then He will subdue His enemies, and only at the end of the Millennium Death will be destroyed. But as we move further in the passage, particularly from v. 35, Paul will give more detail about the resurrection body which Christians will receive at Christ’s Parousia. This is also the time for the resurrection of unbelievers, but their resurrection is to dishonor and judgment. We will come to that point below.

The resurrection body which Christians will receive at the Parousia of Christ will be as follows (1 Cor. 15:42-46):

What we had What we will have
Perishable body Imperishable body
Dishonorable body Glorious body
Weak body Powerful body
Natural body Spiritual body

By speaking of a spiritual body, Paul is not saying that the resurrection is non-physical, but rather that the body will be led and controlled by the Holy Spirit, and not by the corrupt and sinful nature. Whether he is speaking of natural or spiritual, Paul is speaking of a body. At the resurrection, we will bear the complete and perfect image of “the man of heaven” (1 Cor. 15:49), even our Lord Jesus Christ. The perfect image of God will be restored and renewed in the redeemed humanity. Thus far Paul spoke of believers who were dead and who will come back with Christ (1 ...


1689 Baptist Confession Chapter 8: Of Christ the Mediator - Commentary

...ll humanity, which was represented by him in the Garden, died (Rom. 5:12ff). But in Christ, all shall be made alive. There is not a single reason to believe that Paul had here in mind any other than the elect. This is seen from those who will be resurrected. First of all, Christ was raised, but when He comes, at His Parousia, those who belong to Him will also be raised. Not everyone who has ever lived. But specifically, those who belong to Him, who have His Spirit in them (Rom. 8:9), i.e., the elect, the Christians. They are the “all” who “shall be made alive” of v. 22. See 1 Corinthians 15:22-23, ‘in Christ shall all be made alive.

So likewise, in 2 Corinthians 5, Paul uses the same language. He does not mean every single human being, but all who are under the federal headship of Christ the Lord. When He died, we died with Him, united to Him so that we may share in His resurrection and life (Gal. 2:20: Rom. 6:3, 8; Col. 2:20; 3:3; 2 Tim. 2:11). Verse 15 gives us the purpose of His death. This is seen from the use of the ἵνα (hina) purpose clause. The ἵνα gives us the purpose and goal for a thing. Do not think that the rendering of ἵνα as “might” or “may” gives conditionality or uncertainty about a thing. The ἵνα (hina, G2443) may be translated as “that, in order that, so that.”[11] It shows the purpose of the thing done. The purpose of Christ’s death was that the group for which He died, the “all”, may no longer live for themselves, i.e., in sin, but live for and in Him who for their sake died and was raised. Unless we want to say that God is frustrated in His purposes, which is impossible (Job 23:13; 42:2; Prov. 19:21; Isa. 14:27; 46:10; Dan. 4:35; Eph. 1:11), we must accept that the group for which Christ died were the elect, i.e., the believers united with Him on the cross. Many are the texts which speak of Christ’s specific and atoning death for the believers and that we will discuss when I try to present my case for Limited Atonement. But v. 15 says that not only did our Lord die for us, but He was raised for us. As He died for us and we were united with Him in His atoning death, so likewise we will share with Him in a resurrection body like His (Rom. 6:5). See above for Romans 4:25. As we were united with Christ in His death, so likewise we are united with Him in His resurrection, which is the guarantee for ours.

In v. 17, Paul concludes based on what was said in vv. 14-15 that if we indeed are in Christ, i.e., in the group of the “all”, therefore we are a new creation. Each of us. We have been made new by the death of Christ. Our old stony heart was destroyed and replaced by a heart of flesh, which loves God and His Law. Verse 18: This blessing which we have received is from God, and therefore not from man. It is He that has reconciled us to Himself. It is not we who have approached God and were reconciled to Him. He, the offended party, has come to us thanks to the death of Christ and forgiven us and brought us into a loving relationship with Him, our Redeemer. It is He who has received us into His favor. It is a thing done by Him based on Christ’s death on our behalf. God imputed our sin to Him and His righteousness to us. Not only has God reconciled us to Christ, but He has given the ministry of reconciliation to the believers, that through them God may reconcile the world to Himself.

Verse 19: Paul speaks of Christ’s reconciliation of the world to Himself as a past action. God was reconciling the world to Himself. ...


2 Corinthians 5:14-15, 'he died for all'

...uo;all's” because they are self-explanatory. What Paul is saying is clear. What he says is that in Adam all humanity which was represented by him in the Garden died (Rom 5:12ff). But in Christ all shall be made alive. There is not a single reason to believe that Paul had here in mind any other than the elect. This is seen from the those who will be resurrected. First of all, Christ was raised, but when He comes, at His Parousia, those who belong to Him. Not everyone who has ever lived. But specifically those who belong to Him, who have His Spirit in them (Rom 8:9), i.e. the elect, the Christians. They are the “all” who “shall be made alive” of verse 22. See 1 Corinthians 15:22-23, 'in Christ shall all be made alive'

So likewise in 2 Corinthians 5 Paul uses the same language. He does not mean every single human being, but all who are under the federal headship of Christ the Lord.

When He died, we died with Him, united to Him so that we may share in His resurrection and life (Gal 2:20: Rom 6:3, 8; Col 2:20; 3:3; 2Tim 2:11).

Verse 15 gives us the purpose of His death. This is seen from the use of the ἵνα purpose clause. The ἵνα gives us the purpose and goal for a thing. Do not think that the rendering of ἵνα as “might” or “may” gives conditionality or uncertainty about a thing. The ἵνα may be translated as “that, in order that, so that.” It shows the purpose for the thing done.

The purpose of Christ's death was that the group for which He died, the “all”, may no longer live for themselves, i.e. in sin, but live for and in Him who for their sake died and was raised. Unless we want to say that God is frustrated in His purposes, which is impossible (Job 23:13; 42:2; Prov 19:21; Isa 14:27; Isa 46:10; Dan 4:35; Eph 1:11) we must accept that the group  for which Christ died were the elect, i.e. the believers united with Him on the cross.

Many are the texts which speak of Christ specific and atonening death for the believers and that we will discusses when I try to present my case for Limited Atonement. But that verse 15 says that not only died the Lord Christ died for us, but He was raised for us. As He died for us and we were united with Him in His atonening death, so likewise we will share with in Him in a resurrection body like His (Rom 6:5). See above for Romans 4:25.

In verse 17 Paul concludes based on what was said in verses 14-15 that if we indeed are in Christ, i.e. in the group of the “all”, therefore we a new creation. Each of us. We have been made new by the death of Christ. Our old stony heart was destroyed and replaced by a heart of flesh which loves God and His Law.

Verse 18: All this blessing that we have received is from God, and therefore not from man. It is He that has reconciled us to Himself. It is not we who have approached God and were reconciled to Him. He, the offended party has come to us thanks to the death of Christ and forgiven us and brought us into a loving relationship with Him, our Redeemer. It is He who has received us into His favor. It is a thing done by Him based on Christ's death in our behalf. God imputed our sin to Him and His righteousness to us.

Not only has God reconciled us to Christ, but He has given the ministry of reconciliation to the believers, that through them God may reconcile the world to to Himself.

Verse 19: Paul speaks of Christ's reconciliation of the world to Himself as a pa......


1 Corinthians 15:22-23, 'in Christ shall all be made alive'

...

For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:22-23 (ESV)

Yes, in Adam all humanity spiritually died, through the inheritance of sin from our forefather Adam. He was the representative of humanity in the Garden. The phrase “in Christ” is used in Rom 8:1 (c.f. Rom 6:11; 12:5; 16:7; 1 Cor 1:2), which states “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus”, the believers are the ones who are not condemned (Jn 3:18) thus those who “in Christ shall all be made alive” are those who are “in Christ.”

In v. 23 we see who will be made alive and it is clear from 1 Cor 6:14 (And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power, c.f. 15:52) that the believers are the ones whom God will raise up, not the reprobate.

The ESV Study Bible explains: [1]

1 Cor. 15:22 in Adam all die. See Rom. 5:12, 14–15, 17; Eph. 2:1, 5. in Christ shall all be made alive. See Rom. 5:17, 21; 6:4; Eph. 2:5–6. By divine appointment, Adam represented the whole human race that would follow him, and his sin therefore affected all human beings. Similarly, Christ represented all who would belong to him, and his obedience therefore affected all believers (see note on 1 Cor. 15:23).

1 Cor. 15:23 at his coming. When Christ returns, all his people from all time will receive resurrection bodies, never again subject to weakness, illness, aging, or death. Until that time, those who have died exist in heaven as spirits without bodies (see 2 Cor. 5:8; Heb. 12:23; Rev. 6:9). Those who belong to Christ demonstrates that the “all” in relation to Christ in 1 Cor. 15:22 does not imply universalism.

The ESV MacArthur Study Bible sheds some light: [2]

1 Cor. 15:22 all . . . all. The two “alls” are alike only in the sense that they both apply to descendants. The second “all” applies only to believers (see Gal. 3:26, 29; 4:7; Eph. 3:6; cf. Acts 20:32; Titus 3:7) and does not imply universalism (the salvation of everyone without faith). Countless other passages clearly teach the eternal punishment of the unbelieving (e.g., Matt. 5:29; 10:28; 25:41, 46; Luke 16:23; 2 Thess. 1:9; Rev. 20:15).

The HCSB Study Bible: [3]

15:21-22 Paul presents a parallel of necessary effects. Through one man, Adam, death came to humanity. If this is ever to be reversed, it must be done so through like kind: a man. God has appointed just such a man: Jesus Christ, who is fully divine and fully human. Through His resurrection the promise of resurrection comes to a new humanity "in Christ." The second occurrence of the word all refers to all those who are joined to Christ through faith.

15:23 Jesus' resurrection precedes and makes certain the resurrection of those who belong to Christ at His coming.

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