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Taunting Death

Taunting Death

Words of Faith 8-7-17

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy © 2017

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

Faith Fellowship Church - Melbourne, FL

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1 Corinthians 15

   [50] I declare to you, brothers, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. [51] Listen, I tell you a mystery: We will not all sleep, but we will all be changed-- [52] in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed. [53] For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality. [54] 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."

     [55] "Where, O death, is your victory?

     Where, O death, is your sting?"

[56] The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. [57] But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

   [58] Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

 

       By now we must realize that Resurrection was not a minor issue for Paul. Not only did he dedicate one entire chapter to the topic, at 58 verses it is the longest chapter in this letter and comprised about 13.3% of the entire letter!

       It was time now to deal with a question so far unexpressed-- What about those who are not dead at Christ's coming? Something had to occur with the natural bodies of those still alive in Christ if the natural body is to give way to the spiritual, and flesh and blood cannot enter the eternal state.

       Paul had already written about this truth in his first letter to the Thessalonians-- "According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever" (1 Thes. 4:15-17).

       The dead in Christ will first be raised, and then the living will be instantaneously transformed. The trumpet, as in the Old Testament, signaled the appearance of God. Like the dead, the living will exchange the temporal and imperfect for the eternal and perfect. For those who belong to Christ, death's power will be removed.

       The apparent victories of Satan, in the Garden of Eden and on Golgotha were reversed on the cross and vindicated in the resurrection of Christ. From the vantage point of the certain resurrection of the saints, Paul voiced his taunt against death and Satan. "Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" Because of the victory of Resurrection, believers are able to join in this very taunt.

         Death came as a result of man's rebellion and disobedience against the command of God. The Law, which epitomized the command of God, was thus the mirror against which human rebellion and disobedience was starkly portrayed. Like the first Adam, all who followed him rebelled. But through the obedience of the last Adam-- our Lord Jesus Christ-- came "victory" and life.

         In response to all this victory, Paul urged the Corinthians to stand firm in the apostles' teaching, unmoved by the denials of false teachers. This certainty, especially concerning the Resurrection, provides hope and energy for a life of perseverance until His coming.

         Standing firm in the victory of Jesus, we rejoice in Life. We are the victors in Christ.

 

       Father, thank You for the victory that You have won for me in Jesus. I will stand in Life. I will rejoice in Life. I will anticipate the final victory at the sounding of the trumpet. In Jesus' Name.

 

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© Jeffrey D. Hoy 2007, 2017

Dr. Jeffrey D. Hoy - Faith Fellowship Church (EFCA)      

2820 Business Center Blvd.

Melbourne, Florida 32940 (321)-259-7200

Jeff.Hoy@faithfellowshipweb.com

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The Words of Faith devotion is published five days a week by E-mail excluding Federal holidays. Please feel free to forward this devotion to a friend who might be blessed by this devotion. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is quoted from the New International Version (R) of The Holy Bible. Copyright (c) 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved. Words of Faith (c) 1997, 2010 Jeffrey D. Hoy. All rights reserved. Permission is granted to forward this copyrighted material or use portions of it with appropriate notation of the source for non-profit purposes.