As we shall see, when a believer in Christ dies, he/she does not receive a new body at that time. Instead, their “spirit” departs from their “body” until the day of resurrection. At that time their body with be raised from the dead and changed into a new, glorified body.

In James 2:26 we read, “The body without the spirit is dead” (NKJV).  At the very moment of death the spirit is separated (the word “death” actually means “separation”) from the body.  We see this truth illustrated in the death of Stephen in Acts 7:59-60, “And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, ‘Lord Jesus, RECEIVE MY SPIRIT.’ Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not charge them with this sin.’ And when he had said this, he FELL ASLEEP.” We read nothing about Stephen, the first Christian martyr, receiving a new body at that time; in fact, we read that “devout men carried Stephen TO HIS BURIAL, and made great lamentation over him.”

This truth is brought out doctrinally by the Apostle Paul in 2nd Corinthians 5:6-8, “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are AT HOME IN THE BODY WE ARE ABSENT FROM THE LORD. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be ABSENT FROM THE BODY AND TO BE PRESENT WITH THE LORD.” Paul is teaching us here that when we die our SPIRIT is “absent from the body” and “present with the Lord.” Stephen had asked the Lord Jesus to receive his spirit and the very moment he died his spirit was “with the Lord.” Yet his body, and the body of every believer who dies, is buried until the day of resurrection, for only then will they receive a new, glorified body. When does the “day of resurrection” and the “receiving of the believer’s new body” take place? We have the answer in Philippians 3:20-21, “For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will TRANSFORM OUR LOWLY BODY THAT IT MAY BE CONFORMED TO HIS GLORIOUS BODY.” It is at “the Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ for His saints” that our bodies will be raised and changed into new, glorified bodies. I would encourage you to read 1st Corinthians chapter 15 which speaks at length about this wonderful truth. I will close by quoting a portion from this chapter and may it be a blessing to all:

“But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so IN CHRIST SHALL ALL BE MADE ALIVE. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, AFTERWARD THOSE WHO ARE CHRIST’S AT HIS COMING….Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but WE SHALL ALL BE CHANGED—in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and THE DEAD WILL BE RAISED INCORRUPTIBLE, AND WE SHALL BE CHANGED. For THIS CORRUPTIBLE MUST PUT ON INCORRUPTION, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory’” (1st Corinthians 15:20-23 and 50-54).  (440.5)  (DO)