Q&A: Why do Christians still die physically?

Why do Christians still die physically?

Question

How does death still reign and have legitimacy over the state of a justified believers seeing that Christ Jesus payed the penalty and gave the perfect sacrifice needed to atone for original sin?

Answer

Excellent question. While the penalty for the sin of Christians has been paid "in Christ," the Lord has not yet removed the presence and effects of sin from creation. Creation is groaning, waiting for the adoption of God's children, which will be plain to all when our bodies are raised from the grave (Rom. 8:18-23). Though the initial benefits of Calvary for us have begun "in Christ," the full benefits of Christ's atoning work will not be consummated until Christ returns to bring the new heaven and earth (Rev. 21).

Our deaths, as the Heidelberg Catechism (see below) states, do not pay the debt for our sins, but they mark the point at which we enter directly into the presence of Christ (Phil. 1:21-23).

The death of Christians is holy and precious to God. When we die (Heb. 9:27), he receives us into heaven, where we rest before him until the final resurrection.

Q. 42.

Since then Christ died for us, why must we also die?

A.

Our death is not a satisfaction for our sins, (a) but only an abolishing of sin, and a passage into eternal life. (b)

(a) Mark 8:37; Psa. 49:7. (b) John 5:24; Phil. 1:23; Rom. 7:24.

Answer by Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr.

Dr. Joseph R. Nally, Jr., D.D., M.Div. is the Theological Editor at Third Millennium Ministries (Thirdmill).