1Corinthians 15:54-57 “When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." (55) "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?" (56) The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
In part one of this series we looked into humanities problem because of the first Adam. We also saw that from the very beginning, God’s plan, was to dwell among humanity. He wanted to be loved and praised by mankind from before the foundation of the world (Eph 1:4-6 .) Whenever you see the phrase* from before the foundation of the world* you can understand that it means that, whatever was from before the foundation of the world, was the prime consideration for creation. Paul explains in Ephesians chapter one that God chose us in Christ, that is, he chose to redeem us, from before the foundation of the world, and it was to the praise of his glorious grace! Therefore, God created the earth with redemption as the first purpose of creation and it was to glorify his grace and bring praise to him for it. This is the catalyst for true love for God. God’s plan to gain true love was amazing… it was to be gained through his glorious grace. Glorious grace means a grace that metaphorically shines forth brightly.
The first question to ask is this; what is meant by the clause *the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law?* It is really quite simple when you think about it. The power that sin has on humanity is put forth in the law. The Old Covenant established ones righteousness by obedience to the law (Lev 18:5.) Obedience = life and disobedience = death. Therefore, 1Corinthians 15:56 is equating death with the law. The last enemy death is in fact the law with its ordinances. When Paul speaks of Christ’s enemies being put under his feet what does he mean exactly? Who were Jesus enemies? The answer is first and foremost it was the Sanhedrin, the rulers of the Jews. Where did they get their power? The answer is from the Old Covenant, from Moses, and the Mosaic system. The destruction of the temple was to be the final act of God to show that he accepted Jesus sacrifice and that he was moving forward solely with the New Covenant. When you look at Jesus statements about the destruction of the temple, and the end of the age (*Not World,)* in light of the final transition from Old Covenant to New Covenant… then and *only then* does it begin to make real sense.
The question for this post is this; when does/did the perishable put on the imperishable and the mortal put on immortality? The clear answer is that this was accomplished in Christ. It is not something that awaits accomplishment. It is already a done deal… completely a finished work. If we know that we are immortal in Christ and the scripture promises that we are then, it must be that the perishable (you and I) have already put on the imperishable eternal life. Likewise, it must be that the mortal (again, you and I) have put on immortality or, in other words, we have overcome death and death is swallowed up in victory. What happens at death now? Does one go in the ground awaiting the resurrection? Of course not… most believe Paul when he says that absent from the body is present with the Lord. So then the answer to the above question is that the mortal has already put on immortality… in other words, death *has* been swallowed up in victory. It is a current reality.
We are moving along on this question but still have a lot of ground to cover, but again, the post is getting a little long so we will end it right here. Part III should be following soon.