What Do We Have Victory Over 1 Cor. 15: 51-57 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
In the passage for this sermon we are dealing with the rapture of the church which is also detailed in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18. At this event Jesus will descend from heaven in the clouds to resurrect all those who died saved from the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 until this time. Also anyone who is saved and alive at this event will be caught up together with them in the clouds. For those who are resurrected and for those who are caught up this is where they will get their glorified bodies.
In verse 57 we see that we have the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. This is obviously dealing with saved people and we must note a few things from the verse in regards to salvation.
1) The thanks belongs to God.
- We did nothing to achieve this victory on our own.
2) It is given to us.
- This rules out earning it with works. It is the free gift of God.
3) It is through the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Salvation is only found in the Lord Jesus Christ and what he did for us on Calvary.
Let us look at the passage and see some things we have victory over.
What do we have victory over?
1) Corruption (verse 54)
- The corruption of death is what is being spoken of here but in reality we are corrupt now.
- The flesh if left to itself will deteriorate very rapidly. This is why we have to bath regularly, wear deodorant, glasses, makeup etc. (Job 17:1 ; Ephesians 4:22)
- Adam and Eve sinned in Genesis 3 and by Genesis 6:11 the whole earth was corrupt. That is how fast our wicked flesh can degenerate.
- Note also that the fool has said in his heart that there is no God because he is corrupt (Psalm 14:1).
2) Death (verse 54-55)
- This corrupt flesh that we spoke of above will eventually lead to death.
- In Hebrews 9:27 we see that it is appointed unto man once to die. No matter what modern medicine does to make us live longer they cannot make someone live forever. Eternal life is only found in Jesus Christ (1 John 5:11-12).
- This is shown to us also in Ecclesiastes 8:8 where it says that no man has power in the day of death to retain the spirit.
3) Sin (verse 56)
- There are many scientific and medical terms for the cause of death today but the real reason that there is death is sin. We die because of sin (James 1:14-15 ; Romans 3:23)
- We are born with a sin nature and it comes from Adam (Genesis 5:12). This explains why you never have to teach children to do wrong but you do have to teach them to do right.
- Whether we like it or not everyone is a sinner before God and without salvation in Jesus Christ there is no victory of sin.
4) The Law (verse 56)
- It is interesting that the verse says, “the strength of sin is the law”. The reason for this is that the law is what reveals sin to us (Romans 7:7).
- Once we realize we have sinned and it is against God we are accountable to God. The law is not sin but it puts us under a curse because we cannot keep it. The last word in the Old Testament is curse (Malachi 4:6). And in Galatians 3:13 we see that Jesus died and rose again to redeem us from the curse of the Law.
- Even though a baby is born with a sin nature he does not have the knowledge of good and evil until he understands that he has broken God Law and realizes he is a sinner before God. The reason he can go to heaven when he dies is because sin is not imputed where there is no law (Romans 4:8 ; 5:13)
In these points we see a unique progression. First we are corrupt and this leads to death. But the true reason for death is sin. The strength of sin is the law and Jesus Christ died to make us free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). Therefore we must be saved by grace through faith trusting in the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ because trying to work our way to heaven would be the law and this is a curse because we cannot keep it.
One day if we are saved we also have the victory over corruption in Jesus Christ because he is going to return and either raise us from the dead or change our bodies at the rapture.