Of God and His Creatures

That through Christ the Resurrection of our Bodies will take place

AS we have been delivered by Christ from the penalties incurred by the death of the first man; and as by the sin of the first man there has been bequeathed to us not only sin, but also death, which is the punishment of sin; we must by Christ be delivered from both these consequences, both from guilt and from sin (Rom. iv, 12, 17). To show to us both effects in Himself, He chose both to die and to rise again; to die, to deliver us from sin (Heb. ix, 28); to rise again, to deliver us from death (1 Cor. xv, 20) [cf. Rom. iv, 25]. We gather the effect of Christ's death in the Sacraments so far as remission of guilt goes: at the end of the world we shall gain the effect of Christ's resurrection in our deliverance from death.

But some do not believe in the resurrection of the body; and what is said in Scripture on that subject they perversely understand of a spiritual resurrection from the death of sin to grace: which error is reproved by the Apostle in Hymenaeus and Philetus (2 Tim. ii, 16). Moreover the Lord promises both resurrections, when He says: The hour cometh, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the the Son of God, and they that hear shall live: which refers to the resurrection of souls, then beginning by men beginning to adhere to Christ by faith. But presently He makes explicit promise of a bodily resurrection: The hour cometh in which all who are in the tombs shall hear the voice of the Son of God: for manifestly not souls are in the tombs, but bodies.* Cf. Job xix, 25.

Reason too gives evident support to the resurrection of the flesh. -- 1. The souls of men are immortal (B. II, Chap. LXXIX). But the soul is naturally united with the body, being essentially the form of the body (B. II, Chap. LVII). Therefore it is against the nature of the soul to be without the body. But nothing that is against nature can be lasting. Therefore the soul will not be for ever without the body. Thus the immortality of the soul seems to require the resurrection of the body.

2. The natural desire of man tends to happiness, or final perfection (B. III, Chap. XXIV). Whoever is wanting in any point proper to his perfect well-being, has not yet attained to perfect happiness: his desire is not yet perfectly laid to rest. Now the soul separate from the body is in a sense imperfect, as is every part away from its whole, for the soul is part of human nature.

3. Reward and punishment are due to men both in soul and in body. But in this life they cannot attain to the reward of final happiness (B. III, Chap. XLVIII); and sins often go unpunished in this life: nay, here the wicked live and are comforted and set up with riches (Job xxi, 7). There must then be a second union of soul with body, that man may be rewarded and punished in body and in soul.*

4.78 : Of the Sacrament of Matrimony
4.81 : Some Points of Reply to Difficulties on the Resurrection