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Westminster Shorter Catechism Project

An Exposition of the Assembly's
Shorter Catechism

by John Flavel

Of the Resurrection.

Q. 1. Is the resurrection a credible doctrine?
A. Yes, it is; Acts 26:8. Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?

Q. 2. Why then doth it seem incredible to man?
A. Because they err, not knowing the scriptures and the power of God; Mark 13:24. Do ye not therefore err, because ye know riot the scriptures, nor the power of God? The power of God assures us it may be so, and the word of God tells it must be so.

Q. 3. Is it sinful to doubt of the doctrine of the resurrection?
A. It is not only a sin to doubt it, but an heresy to deny it, it being a fundamental article; Hebrews 6:2. And of the resurrection of the dead. 1 Corinthians 15:13-14. But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen; and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain.

Q. 4. Who must rise again at the resurrection?
A. All men, good and bad, must rise again; Acts 24:15. And have hope towards God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall he a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and the unjust, Revelation 20:12-14. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, &c.

Q. 5. What is the first difference betwixt the resurrection of the just and unjust?
A. Saints rise by virtue of their union with Christ; Romans 8:11. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead, dwell in you; he that raised up Christ from the dead, shall also quicken your mortal bodies, by his Spirit that dwelleth in you: But the wicked by his power.

Q. 6. What is the second difference?
A. The second and main difference will be in the contrary ends to which they rise; some to life, and some to condemnation; Daniel 12:2. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame, and everlasting contempt.

Q. 7. What is the glory to which saints bodies shall be raised?
A. In the likeness of Christís glorious body; Philippians 3:21. Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like to his glorious body.

Q. 8. What is the first inference from hence?
A. That every man should strive to the uttermost to attain to the resurrection of the just; Philippians 3:10-11. That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death, if by any means I might attain to the resurrection of the dead.

Q. 9. What is the second inference?
A. Comfort to them that now groan under manifold distemper; and deformities of body; they being made equal to angels; Mark 12:25. For when they shall rise from the dead, they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels which are in heaven.

Q. 10. What is the third inference?
A. Get union with Christ by faith, as you expect a joyful resurrection; John 11:25. Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.

Q. 11. What is the fourth inference?
A. Saints should not fear death; Genesis 46:3. Fear not to go down into Egypt.

Q. 12. What is the last inference?
A. Employ your bodies for good now.

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