The Dominion of Guilt Has Been Broken

By raising Christ from death, God as the supreme Judge set his seal to the absolute perfection and completeness of his atoning work. The resurrection is a public announcement to the world that the penalty of death has been borne by Christ to its bitter end and that in consequence the dominion of guilt has been broken, the curse annihilated forevermore.


Geerhardus Vos, The Joy of Resurrection Life, Grace and Glory

The Beginning of the General Resurrection of the Saints

As for Paul, his attitude in regard to this matter was from the outset determined by the fact, that he views the resurrection of Christ as the beginning of the general resurrection of the saints. The general resurrection of the saints being an eschatological event, indeed constituting together with the judgment the main content of the eschatological program, it follows that to Paul in this one point at least the eschatological course of events had already been set in motion, an integral piece of “the last things” has become an accomplished fact.


Geerhardus Vos, Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation: The Shorter Writings of Geerhardus Vos, ed. Richard B. Gaffin Jr. (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2001), 92-93.

Life-Giving Spirit

...being thus closely and subjectively identified with the Risen Christ, the Spirit imparts to Christ the life-giving power which is peculiarly the Spirit’s own: the Second Adam became not only Πνεῦμα but πνεῦμα ζωοποιοῦν. This is of great importance for determining the relation to eschatology of the Christ-worked life in believers.19

The question why Paul, after having up to 1 Cor 15:43 (incl.) conducted his whole argument on the basis of a comparison between the body of sin and the body of the resurrection, substitutes from 1 Cor 15:44 on for the body of sin the normal body of creation is an interesting one, though very difficult to answer. The answer should not be sought in the direction of ascribing to him the view that the creation-body and the body of sin are qualitatively identical, in other words that the evil predicates of φθορά, ἀτιμία, ἀσθενεία, enumerated in 1 Cor 15:22 belong to the body in virtue of creation. Paul teaches too plainly elsewhere that these things came into the world through sin. The proper solution seems to be as follows: the Apostle was intent upon showing that in the plan of God from the outset provision was made for a higher kind of body (as pertaining to a higher state of existence generally). From the abnormal body of sin no inference could be drawn as to that effect. The abnormal and the eschatological are not so logically correlated that the one can be postulated from the other. But the world of creation and the world to come are thus correlated, the one pointing forward to the other; on the principle of typology the first Adam prefigures the last Adam, the psychical body the pneumatic body (cp. Rom. 5:14). The statement of 1 Cor 15:44b is not meant as an apodictic assertion, but as an argument: if there exists one kind of body, there exists the other kind also. This explains why the quotation (Gen. 2:7), which relates proximately to the psychical state only, is yet treated by Paul as proving both, and as therefore warranting the subjoined proposition: “the last Adam became a life-giving Spirit.” The quotation proves this, because the “psychical” as such is typical of the pneumatic, the first creation of the second, the world that now is (if conceived without sin) of the aeon to come. This exegesis also disposes of the view that Paul meant to include vs. 1 Cor 15:45c in the quotation, the latter being taken from Gen. 1:27 (man’s creation in the image of God). On such a supposition Paul’s manner of handling the record would have to rest on the Philonic (and older) speculation of a two-fold creation, first of the ideal, then of the empirical man. According to this speculation the ideal man is created first, the empirical man afterwards, since Gen. 1 comes before Gen. 2. But Paul affirms the very opposite: not the pneumatic is first, the psychical is first. If there is reference at all in 1 Cor 15:46 to this Philonic philosophoumenon, it must be by way of pointed correction. Paul would mean to substitute for the sequence of the idealistic philosophy the sequence of historic unfolding; the categories of his thought are Jewish, not Hellenic: he reasons in forms of time, not of space.

What Is Eschatology?

Eschatology is “the doctrine of the last things.” It deals with the teaching or belief, that the world-movement, religiously considered, tends towards a definite final goal, beyond which a new order of affairs will be established, frequently with the further implication, that this new order of affairs will not be subject to any further change, but will partake of the static character of the eternal.



Legalism lacks the supreme sense of worship.


Geerhardus Vos, Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation: The Shorter Writings of Geerhardus Vos, ed. Richard B. Gaffin Jr. (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2001), 231.

Priority of Union

By faith he is a member of the covenant, and that faith has a wide outlook, a comprehensive character, which not only points to justification but also to all the benefits which are his in Christ. Whereas the Lutheran tends to view faith one-sidedly—only in its connection with justification—for the Reformed Christian it is saving faith in all the magnitude of the word. According to the Lutheran, the Holy Spirit first generates faith in the sinner who temporarily still remains outside of union with Christ; then justification follows faith and only then, in turn, does the mystical union with the Mediator take place. Everything depends on this justification, which is losable, so that the believer only gets to see a little of the glory of grace and lives for the day, so to speak. The covenantal outlook is the reverse. One is first united to Christ, the Mediator of the covenant, by a mystical union, which finds its conscious recognition in faith. By this union with Christ all that is in Christ is simultaneously given. Faith embraces all this too; it not only grasps the instantaneous justification, but lays hold of Christ as Prophet, Priest, and King, as his rich and full Messiah.


Geerhardus Vos, Redemptive History and Biblical Interpretation: The Shorter Writings of Geerhardus Vos, ed. Richard B. Gaffin Jr. (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2001), 256.

Eschatology Precedes Soteriology

...second to none in its importance for the Pauline system of thought, the eschatological appears as predeterminative both the substance and form of the soteriological.

What has been found is important not merely by reason of the light it throws upon the genesis of Paul’s teaching on its intellectual side, it likewise helps to answer the charge of the absence of systematic coherence brought particularly against the eschatological teaching. It were far more accurate to say that the eschatological strand is the most systematic in the entire fabric of the Pauline thought-world. For it now appears that the closely interwoven soteric tissue derives its pattern from the eschatological scheme, which bears all the marks of having had precedence in his mind.


Types and AntiTypes

The bond that holds type and antitype together must be a bond of vital continuity in the progress of redemption. Where this is ignored, and in the place of this bond are put accidental resemblances, void of inherent spiritual significance, all sorts of absurdities will result, such as must bring the whole subject of typology into disrepute. Examples of this are : the scarlet cord of Rahab prefigures the blood of Christ; the four lepers at Samaria, the four Evangelists.


Geergardus Vos, Biblical Theology, p. 146