In the vast landscape of Puritan theology, Andrew Willet (1562-1621) holds a significant place with his interpretations of biblical truths, though little known. Particularly, his understanding of the Resurrection of Christ and its implications for believers offers rich insights into biblical thought. Four works are of note, “Synopsis Papismi”, “Hexapla in Genesis”, “Hexapla in Exodus”, and “Concilia.” Willet’s perspective on the Resurrection and its relevance for true believers is exstensive.

His understanding of the Resurrection can be best described as deeply transformative, both in a personal and communal sense. For him, the Resurrection was not just a historical or theological event, but rather a paradigm shift that altered the very essence of human existence and faith having fulfilled the work set out in the Covenant of Redemption by the Son of God. In his “Synopsis Papismi” (1592), he explained, “The Resurrection is not merely Christ’s triumph over death, but it is also a pledge of our own resurrection and victory over sin” (Willet, 1592, p. 345). This understanding directly speaks to the believer’s hope for eternal life in Christ because of the fulfillment of his covenant work.

In “Hexapla in Genesis” (1593), Willet extrapolated on this theme, linking Christ’s resurrection to the believer’s sanctification process. He says, “In the same way that Christ was raised from the dead, so too the believer is raised from the death of sin to the life of righteousness,” (Willet, 1593, p. 118). This work of sanctification, which is a further application in the life of the believer of the Covenant of Grace, according to Willet, is a continual process powered by the same divine power that resurrected Christ. Here, Willet gives the resurrection a transformative and empowering role in believers’ lives as it relates both to new life, and the continuation of this new life in sanctification.

“Hexapla in Exodus” (1594) demonstrates Willet’s understanding of the resurrection as a driving force for the sincere believer’s ongoing transformation; and subsequently the continued church’s transformation. He says, “Through the resurrection, we, as a body of believers, are called into a new life, a life of obedience and service to our resurrected Lord,” (Willet, 1594, p. 232). In this perspective, the resurrection initiates a social alteration, transforming the community of believers into a living testament of Christ’s victory over death.

In “Concilia” (1616), Willet expounds the eschatological (end-time) implications of Christ’s resurrection. He says, “The resurrected Christ is the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. His resurrection is the surety of our own future resurrection,” (Willet, 1616, p. 408). The resurrection is a promise and assurance of the believers’ resurrection to eternal life, deeply rooting hope in the believer’s heart. The believer does not live on blind faith, but real faith grounded on realities where hope is set on the word of God.

Overall, Willet’s understanding of Christ’s resurrection is transformative, empowering, and hope-inspiring. For him, the resurrection is not a standalone event but an integral part of the believer’s journey towards sanctification, community formation, and assurance of eternal life in the continual work of the Holy Spirit. This perspective offers a profound understanding of the resurrection that has significant implications for believers, both in their personal faith journey and their church-experience.


  1. Willet, A. (1592). Synopsis Papismi. (London: Robert Waldegrave).
  2. Willet, A. (1593). Hexapla in Genesis. (London: Robert Waldegrave).
  3. Willet, A. (1594). Hexapla in Exodus. (London: Robert Waldegrave).
  4. Willet, A. (1616). Concilia. London: (Robert Waldegrave).
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