mysterious manner of our resurrection in that it defies all human logic
and the necessity of the change that is to be effected in that there can
be no compatibility with flesh and blood!
AIM: That we
might be emboldened in the work of the Lord while we live in joyous
anticipation of our promised change.
INTR: We come
to the end of this lengthy chapter with a celebration of victory over
those things that remain as the certain end of the unregenerate.
In the preceding verses Paul has made much of the distinction of the
natural body and the that which shall be like Christ’s glorious body.
2. It is important to us that we see that a drastic change has taken
place in regeneration and the finality of that change will come with the
receiving of a body that will enable full harmony with the divine
persons and be absent of the hindrances we face now.
3. A word of
warning is to be noted here in that many are completely fascinated with
the idea of rapture and therefore attempt to romanticize the event while
missing the reason it must occur.
THESIS: The promise of the resurrection is most precious to all
who love His appearing and it is well that we think often upon the
prospect and so we are encouraged in the work of the Lord wherein we
discover the foundation of our hope.
I. The necessity of
transformation (v. 50)
1. Having described in some detail the
distinctions Paul now makes a matter of fact statement which should be
the obvious conclusion of all who read and especially all who know
2. It is here that we would pause to consider the nature of
the Kingdom and especially that it is
1) Eternal even as is He whose
Kingdom it is; and it is thus no home for that which perishes,
it lacks the ability to facilitate a Kingdom life.
3) And so we must
counter the thought of many that heaven is a continuation of our present
state without the problems.
3. Literally, corruption cannot become
II. The necessity of the mystery (vv. 51-53)
is important that all know that this is the physical manifestation of
the Gospel mystery: To whom God would make known what is the riches of
the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you,
the hope of glory: Colossians 1:27
2. In that the first is all of
grace and is a sovereign, mysterious work of the Spirit it follows that
the final transition, though visible should be remote from any human
3. Christ and others spoke of the last trump, which may be
figurative of the announcement of His appearing. In any event two things
1) The dead to be raised incorruptible (all that has been
done to earthly bodies negated)
2) And we shall be changed
instantly – no process invoked here!
4. Nothing perishes in the
economy of the grace of God and so (v. 53)
1) We with a perishable
body must have it changed to the imperishable and
2) This mortal
(subject to death) must put on immortality (full identity with the Lord
as in Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can
approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and
power everlasting. Amen. 1 Timothy 6:16
III. The necessity of
celebration (vv. 54-56)
1. The thought of necessary celebration rests
in two things:
1) The first is the fact that victory over the last
enemy of the Lord’s people and
2) The fact that a prophecy will have
been fulfilled: He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD
will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people
shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.
2. While all here looks to future it is a present
reality to all who believe in that there exists with them a vital union
with Christ who has raised.
3. It is almost as it the Apostle taunts
the adversary who has lost his only hope of destruction.
1) In vv.
55-56 we encounter another quote from an Old Testament prophet: I will
ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death:
O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction:
repentance shall be hid from mine eyes. Hosea 13:14
2) By implication
Paul declares the sting of death taken away in this victory and we
i. The awful prospect of dying in one’s sins: I said
therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe
not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. John 8:24
ii. That the
strength of sin is the Law relates to us the seriousness of being found
outside the grace of God – the Law is not sinful; rather it is holy and
violation of the infinitely holy requires the infinite consequence at
death – debt paid in full!
IV. The necessity of perseverance (vv.
1. These assurances give impetus to the endeavors of the
believers who are assured of the outcome.
1) The victory was given us
at the resurrection of Christ from the dead – the victory over the sting
of death, and all which the world, the flesh and the devil conspire to
2) It is transferred as well into the life of anticipation
of His return.
2. So then we have every reason to:
1) Be steadfast
and stand strong in the faith of God’s elect and the Gospel Promise who
is Christ our Lord.
2) Be unmovable in the confidence we have in Him
and that in the face of the turmoil that surrounds us.
aggressive in the pursuit of the work of the Lord in that all is done in
His Name and
4) Be assured that nothing done in the Lord is in vain!