"When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: "Death has been swallowed up in victory." "Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?"The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." I Corinthians 15:54-57
I Corinthians 15 is truly one of the great chapters of the Bible! It is great because it captures the spirit of a great man (Paul) and the essence of a great Truth (the Gospel).
Please allow me to summarize several of the great Truths it expresses:
1) God is stronger than the enemy!
Satan's two biggest weapons were sin and death. Through the grace of God in Jesus sin was defeated on the cross and death defeated when He walked out of the grave on the third day.
2) Salvation is stronger that sin!
Because Jesus became a man and proved that temptation can be resisted and that holiness is possible. As a result of His holy life He was able to assume all of the sins of humanity and become the atoning sacrifice for sin! He became like us that we might become like Him.
3) Life is stronger than death!
Jesus had to die in order to conquer death. We have to die in order to become eternal. The wages of sin is death - spiritual separation from God that can lead to eternal death. But because Jesus surrendered to death and then defeated it through the resurrection, we gain victory over death by living in His life!
4) Eternity is stronger than time!
During life, time is pretty much our enemy. We try to learn to use it to our advantage but as seconds become minutes and minutes turn into hours and hour add up into days and days mount into months which multiply into years - well, you know - time wears us down and we die. BUT, when we die in Christ we get the last laugh on time as we are born into eternity! There are no clocks or calendars in Heaven!
If you notice a victorious tone in I Corinthians 15 - you are right! We ARE victorious because Jesus won the victory for us!
Do you have that victory?