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May 28 – LD 22, Day 1: Resurrection of the Body - Introduction

Read: Psalm 16, Acts 2:29-33

There are one or two comments that ought to be made about this lesson from our Heidelberg Catechism. The first is that this Lord’s Day is remarkably short; especially when we consider how important it is for the Christian faith and how much time Scripture devotes to this subject.

There is, however, a good reason for this.

God has so determined that the truth of the Scriptures is developed in the church along the lines of the six main topics in dogmatics: theology (the doctrine of God), anthropology (the doctrine of man), Christology (the doctrine of Christ), soteriology (the doctrine of salvation), ecclesiology (the doctrine of the church) and eschatology (the doctrine of the last things).

In the early church, at the time the three creeds were formulated (The Nicene Creed, The Chalcedonian Creed, and the Athanasian Creed (all three can be found here on the PRC website), the doctrine of God was first developed and then the doctrine of Christ. At the time of Augustine who died in 430 AD, the doctrine of man and the doctrine of salvation were developed.

Then followed a long period of a millennium in which the Roman Catholic Church ruled the world, and no doctrine was developed.

At the time of the Reformation the doctrine of the church was especially developed, but almost nothing was said about the doctrine of the last things.

And so, you see, the development of the truth followed the six main topics in dogmatics. The Heidelberg Catechism was written in 1563 when the doctrine of the last things was not yet developed. And the resurrection of the body belongs to the doctrine of the last things.

It was especially in the last century that the doctrine of the last things is being developed.

Nevertheless, the essential ideas that belong to the doctrine of the resurrection of our bodies are all mentioned here.

The second point that needs to be made is the claim of some commentaries that the doctrine of the resurrection of the body was not an object of faith in the Old Testament. This is a flat-out denial of clear Scriptural evidence that the Old Testament saints did indeed believe in the resurrection of the body.

Job, who was a contemporary of Abraham, spoke of the resurrection of the body in Job 19:26, 27: “And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another;…”

Heb 11:19 tells us that when God spared Isaac at the moment Abraham was ready to plunge his knife into Isaac’s heart, that Abraham received his son back as a figure of the resurrection of Christ and of our bodies.

Psalm 16:10 tells us that David believed in the resurrection of the body: “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.” This was quoted, in fact, by Peter in his great Pentecostal sermon (Acts 2:31) as fulfilled in Christ.

The resurrection of the body has always been the faith of the church.

Last modified on 28 May 2015

Additional Info

  • Date: 28-May
Hanko, Herman

Prof. Herman Hanko (Wife: Wilma)

Ordained: October 1955

Pastorates: Hope, Walker, MI - 1955; Doon, IA - 1963; Professor to the Protestant Reformed Seminary - 1965

Emeritus: 2001


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