1 Cor. 15:57
The joy of being a Christian comes from the study of the Scriptures to discover what happened when we were saved. We entered into eternal life by the New Birth the moment we were saved. It is a life that will never end and we can begin to enjoy it in this life.
First Corinthians fifteen is the great resurrection chapter of the Bible. This chapter as a whole looks to the future. But there are things also that apply to the present. I want us to take this one verse and look at it in this meditation to see the Christian’s victory in Christ. Notice first:
PAUL CELEBRATES THE POWER OF THE VICTORY IN CHRIST.
He says, “But thanks be to God . . .” The word “thanks” translates “charis” and means, “grace, i.e., that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech.” Paul is saying that our joy over the victory in Christ that we have should be addressed to God.
All these words describe an attitude of heart that is expressed in words toward God because of the victory that we have…the victory in Christ over sin, Satan, the grave, and all that will happen to man as a result of the fall. God is committed to victory in Christ. God has saved us to be with Him and serve Him forever.
He is our protector and will protect us from anything or anyone who would attempt to take us out of His care; Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:” The Lord is committed to our preservation. Paul celebrated this as a VICTORY in Christ.
Christian need to be very careful to give God the sole credit for the victory in Christ that we have. Salvation is God’s plan. The Church is the institution through which the message is spread, but the church is powerless to save anyone. The Church plants the seed but the Lord is the one who brings the New Birth to pass.
The process is of the Lord. It has always amazed me at the power of the new life that comes out of the death of a seed. You can plant a garden and when life springs forth out of the death of the seed, the new plant will come up and push clods of dirt several times it’s size and weight aside to grow to maturity.
One might say, “Well, no one would be so foolish as to give a church credit for saving them.” This is the very problem of a big segment of professing Christianity. Some Churches believe they have the power to remit sins. Others believe that the ordinances of the church are necessary to salvation and, when partaken of, remits sins. This makes man necessary and is a work. This leads to the next truth in our text:
PAUL SAYS VICTORY IN CHRIST IS A GIFT
He says, “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory . . .” The word “giveth” translates “didomi” and means, “to give, to give something to someone, of one’s own accord to give one something, to his advantage, to bestow a gift.” It is a present active participle. The present tense represents action going on continually in the present.
The active voice is where the subject (God) is the Actor in the action. This means that Paul is saying that there is a victory going on at the time of his writing this epistle; it is happening now in the lives of those to whom he is writing. He is saying that they can enjoy this victory before the resurrection or the rapture of the body.
It is not “will give.” That would be future tense. This means that the resurrection which is in the future is already a victory given to believers. The believer experiences a Spiritual resurrection when he is saved. Ephesians 2:1, “And you hath He quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;”
What is given? The word “victory” translates “Nikos” and means, “to utterly vanquish.” What is stated in this context to be what is utterly vanquished?” Verse 55 says, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” Paul is saying that death and the grave are enemies of the human race.
They have been successful in battle against everyone in the human race since Adam sinned. However, there is one exception to this. Jesus is the exception. Paul says because of this one exception, something HAS ALREADY HAPPENED TO THESE ENEMIES. They have already been “utterly vanquished” and Paul names the ones who enter into that victory in the use of the plural personal pronoun “us.”
Someone hold my mules!!! Praise the Lord; it is a victory GIVEN.
PAUL IDENTIFIES THE PERSON IN WHOM THIS VICTORY IS FOUND.
It is “through our Lord Jesus Christ.” The word “through” translates “dia” and means, “the ground or reason by which something is done.” Jesus is the one who obtained the victory for everyone who believes.
Heb. 2:14-15 says, “Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also Himself likewise took part of the same; that through death He might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.”
Jesus had to take on flesh and blood so that He could enter the arena of battle with the devil who had the power of death and put death to death. An unsaved man is in bondage to death. Death is an awful enemy:
Death terminates the joy of this life.
Death seals the opportunity of salvation for the unsaved.
Some teach universal salvation which means they teach that ultimately all will be saved. This is a man-made doctrine and nothing could be further from the truth.