Bury or Burn?

By Brother Gene Breed

Grace Baptist Church
10452 Fitzgerald Rd.,
Jonesboro, Ga. 30238


I was asked this past Lord's Day concerning the cremation of the body that is becoming so popular in our nation. Here is but a feeble attempt to show the importance of the Christian's body and how we are to esteem it.

Christian Burial

1. The body both houses the soul and matures with it. Genesis 2:7; Luke 2:52.

2. The Christian’s body is the very temple of the Holy Spirit. 1 Cor. 6:19, "What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?"

3. That which the Christian does with his body of God’s temple is most important. 1Cor. 6:18, "Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body."

4. The body as well as the spirit and soul are therefore to be kept pure. 1 Cor. 6:20, "For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s." 1 Cor. 9:27, "But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway."

5. The Christian’s dead body is like a seed planted in the earth with the hope of a glorious harvest. 1 Cor. 15:35-44, "But some man will say, How are the dead raised up? and with what body do they come? Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other grain: But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body. All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory. So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body."

6. The body of Jesus Christ is the seed planted in the earth to bring forth the church into life! John 12:23-24, "And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit." Compare 1 Peter 1:23.

7. The resurrection of the body is at the very heart of the Christian faith! Romans 4:25, 6:3-11; 1 Cor. 15:13-22; 1 Thess. 4:13-18.

8. God warns against defiling the body. 1 Cor. 3:17, "If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."

9. God buried Moses’ body! Deut. 34:5, "So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD. 6 And he buried him in a valley in the land of Moab, over against Bethpeor: but no man knoweth of his sepulchre unto this day."

10. Burning of the body profits one nothing spiritually! 1 Cor. 13:3, "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."