4:13asleep. This was a standard metaphor for death among pagans as well as Jews and Christians. The term has no particular reference to the state of the soul or consciousness of the deceased, since it is used freely by groups with widely diverging beliefs on this subject. For the New Testament understanding of a conscious and blessed existence between death and the resurrection, see Luke 16:19–31; 23:42, 43; John 14:1–3; 2 Cor. 5:6–8; Phil. 1:23; Rev. 6:9–11; 7:9–17; 20:4–6. See “Death and the Intermediate State” at Phil. 1:23.
grieve. Christ’s resurrection affords Christians a deeply seated hope and assurance of never-ending fellowship with Him. Therefore their grief over departed brethren is softened, and they are upheld in hope.
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