On this basis, if the Thessalonian Christians believe Paul’s message that God saved Jesus from death by raising him to life through the Spirit, then they should also believe that God will bring with Him into His paradise those Christians who have fallen asleep in Jesus (1 Th 4:14b), by the same Spirit they received from Him (1 Th 4:8). In this sense, their hope for the Christian dead in the afterlife lies in their belief that God saves them through Jesus who died and rose for their salvation.
Moreover, in chapter 4, verse 16 of Paul's First Letter to the Thessalonians, he proclaims that this salvation for the dead in Christ will also involve their glorious resurrection. As good and blessed as the afterlife would be for the souls of the dead in Christ, their full salvation in Christ remains incomplete or unfinished in the intermediate state, inasmuch as God did not create them to be spirits or souls, but spiritual, bodily persons. For this reason, salvation in Christ for them will certainly include not only the salvation of their soul in the afterlife through heavenly glorification, but also the salvation of their body through the glory of the resurrection at the general judgment. Thus, he says, "the dead in Christ will rise first" (1 Th 4:16d). As such, in Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians, he teaches them that full salvation for the dead in Christ requires the resurrection of their body (1 Cor 15:1-58). This is the final end or terminus of their glorious salvation in Christ.
Accordingly, the salvation of Christians involves their full conformity to the Crucified and Risen Christ. For this reason, Jesus himself remains the model for their glorification in death and resurrection. As Jesus died and was raised to a life of glory by the Father in the Spirit, the faithful Thessalonians who have died in Christ will also be glorified by the Father in the Spirit. For they will receive from the Father a life of glory in the paradise of heaven and a glorious resurrection. Thus, Paul instructs the Christians of Thessalonica that the basis of their hope for salvation for their deceased brothers and sisters in Christ is their belief that Christ died and rose to save them. Hence, they will be fully conformed to Christ, first of all, in death through the intermediate state, but later in the resurrection. This is Paul's basic message in verses 14 and 16 of chapter 4 of his First Letter to the Thessalonians.