st-irenaeus-of-lyonSt Paul says “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

“So, when this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying which is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O death, where is thy victory?” (1 Cor. 15:53).

Now these words shall be appropriately said at the time when this mortal and corruptible flesh, which is subject to death, which also is pressed down by a certain dominion of death, rising up into life, shall put on incorruption and immortality.

For then, indeed, shall death be truly vanquished, when that flesh which is held down by it shall go forth from under its dominion.

And again, to the Philippians Paul says: “But our conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus, who shall transfigure the body of our humiliation conformable to the body of His glory, even as He is able according to the working of His own power” (Phil. 3:29f).

[…] While this “body of humiliation” is mortal and corruptible, it becomes immortal and incorruptible, not after its own proper substance, but after the mighty working of the Lord, who is able to invest the mortal with immortality, and the corruptible with incorruption.

And therefore he says “that mortality may be swallowed up of life. He who has perfected us for this very thing is God, who also has given unto us the earnest of the Spirit” (2 Cor. 5:4).

[…] What is mortal shall be swallowed up of life, when the flesh is dead no longer, but remains living and incorruptible, hymning the praises of God, who has perfected us for this very thing.

In order, therefore, that we may be perfected for this, aptly does he say to the Corinthians, “Glorify God in your body” (1 Cor. 6:20).

[…] And again, “Always bearing about in our body the dying of Jesus, that also the life of Jesus Christ might be manifested in our body. For if we who live are delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, it is that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our mortal flesh” (2 Cor. 4:10f).

And that the Spirit lays hold on the flesh, he says in the same Epistle, “That ye are the epistle of Christ, ministered by us, inscribed not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God, not in tables of stone, but in the fleshly tables of the heart” (2 Cor. 3:3).

If, therefore, in the present time, fleshly hearts are made partakers of the Spirit, what is there astonishing if, in the resurrection, they receive that life which is granted by the Spirit?

Irenaeus of Lyons (2nd century AD – c. 202): Adversus Haereses 5,13,3-4.

 

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