Rebecca Stark is the author of The Good Portion: God, the second title in The Good Portion series, a series written to encourage women to immerse themselves in the depths of Christian doctrine.

The Good Portion — God explores what Scripture teaches about God in hopes that readers will see his perfection, worth, magnificence, and beauty as they study his triune nature, infinite attributes, and wondrous works. 

Rebecca also blogs at Out of the Ordinary.


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Theological Term of the Week

spiritual body
“The type of body [believers] will receive at our future resurrection, which will not be ‘immaterial’ but rather suited to and responsive to the guidance of the Holy Spirit”1; also called resurrection body.

  • From scripture: 

    35 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” 36 You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. 37 And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. 38 But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body. 39 For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish. 40 There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another. 41 There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

    42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven. (1 Corinthians 15:35-49 ESV)

  • From the Heidelberg Catechism:

    Question 57. What comfort does the “resurrection of the body” afford thee?

    Answer: That not only my soul after this life shall be immediately taken up to Christ its head; (a) but also, that this my body, being raised by the power of Christ, shall be reunited with my soul, and made like unto the glorious body of Christ. (b)

  • From Systematic Theology by Louis Berkhof: 

    There were some in the days of Paul who regarded the resurrection as spiritual, II Tim. 2:18. And there are many in the present day who believe only in a spiritual resurrection. But the Bible is very explicit in teaching the resurrection of the body. Christ is call the “firstfruits” of the resurrection, I Cor. 15:20,23, and “the firstborn of the dead,” Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5. This implies that the resurrection of the people of God will be like that of their heavenly Lord. His resurrection was a bodily resurrection, and theirs will be of the same kind. Moreover, the redemption wrought by Christ is also said to include the body Rom. 8:23; 1 Cor. 6:13-20. In Romans 8:11 we are told explicitly that God through His Spirit will raise up our mortal bodies. And it is clearly the body that is prominently before the mind of the apostle in 1 Cor. 15, cf. especially the verses 35-49. According to Scripture there will be a resurrection of the body, that is, not an entirely new creation, but a body that will be in a fundamental sense identical with the present body. God will not create a new body for every man, but will raise up the very body that was deposited in the earth. This cannot only be inferred from the term “resurrection,” but is clearly stated in Rom. 8:11, I Cor. 15:53, and is further implied in the figure of the seed sown in the earth, which the apostle employs in I Cor. 15:36-38. Moreover, Christ, the firstfruits of the resurrection, conclusively proved the identity of His body to His disciples. 

Learn more:

  1. Blue Letter Bible: What Will the Resurrected Bodies of the Righteous Be Like?
  2. Blue Letter Bible: What Are Some Inadequate Views of He Resurrection of the Body?
  3. Matt Perman: The Great Christian Hope of Glorification
  4. Dustin Shramek: Glorification: The Resurrection of Our Bodies
  5. Jerry Bridges: A Resurrected Body - 1 Corinthians 15:35-58 (mp3)

Related terms:

1From Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem.

Do you have a theological term you’d like to see featured here as a Theological Term of the Week? If you email it to me, I’ll seriously consider using it, giving you credit for the suggestion and linking back to your blog when I do.

Clicking on the Theological Term graphic at the top of this post will take you to a list of all the previous theological terms in alphabetical order.

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