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The Grace of Justification is Completed in the Resurrection of the Body

November 17th, 2010
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Fulgentius of Ruspe, commenting on Revelation 12:10-11: Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. The one who conquers will not be hurt by the second death.

“This then is done in them through grace so that the change brought about by divine gift may begin in them here. The change begins first through justification, in which there is a spiritual resurrection, and afterwards, in the resurrection of the body, in which the change of the justified is brought to completion; the perfected glorification, remaining for eternity, is not changed. To this end, first the grace of justification,  then the grace of glorification changes them so that the glorification itself remains, unchangeable and eternal in them. For here they are changed through the first resurrection by which they are enlightened that they may be converted. That is, they change from death to life by this, from iniquity to justice, from infidelity to faith, and from evil acts to a holy way of life. Therefore, the second death has no power over them. Concerning such people, it is said in the Apocalypse: “Blessed is the one who shares in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them.” Again it is said in the same book: “The victor shall not be harmed by the second death.” Therefore, just as the first resurrection is found in conversion of the heart, so the second death is found in eternal punishment. Let every person who does not wish to be condemned by eternal punishment of the second death hasten here to become a participant of the first resurrection.

— ON THE FORGIVENESS OF SINS 2.12.3–4.35

William C. Weinrich, Revelation, Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture NT 12, 27-28 (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2005).

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Categories: Church Fathers
  1. November 17th, 2010 at 11:01 | #1

    Yeah, even careful preachers occasionally lapse into telling us that when we die we go to be with Jesus in heaven forever. Well yes, but not exactly. Our full hope is the resurrection of our bodies in the unified heaven & earth. So we live forever with Jesus as corporeal beings.

    Of course, the wicked are resurrected bodily as well, although to judgment rather than life. Nonetheless, they exist forever in bodily form as well.

  2. John Mascola
    November 17th, 2010 at 14:02 | #2

    This sounds like theosis, coming from an Eastern Catholic.

  3. Markus
    November 21st, 2010 at 05:19 | #3

    “I believe in the Holy Ghost; the holy catholic* Church, the communion of saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.”

    @John Mascola

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