1 Corinthians 15:54 "So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 55 ‘O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?’ 56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ."
54 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption,
The word “corruptible” means that the body is subject to physical death. The physical body of a Christian one day will put on an eternal body, a glorified body.
and this mortal has put on immortality,
God will transplant our mortal body with an immortal body that will not corrode (not be subject to death). “Life” and “immortality” are not synonymous terms (2 Ti 1:10); everyone will have life in eternity but not all will have life with God, immortal life.
then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
Corruption putting on incorruption and mortal putting on immortality fulfills the Scripture Isaiah 25:8. Isaiah 25 refers to the coming of the kingdom of God and the defeat of death. God broke the power of death in Christ’s resurrection.
55 “O Death, where is your sting?
Again, Paul quotes another modified passage from Hosea 13:14. God defeats death at the point when the believer receives his glorified body. Death held sway from Adam to the present, but Christ accomplished the defeat of death already by His resurrection.
O Hades, where is your victory?”
Paul taunts both death and Hades (the grave). Hades or the grave was a place where corruption occurred. Every corpse is death’s victory. Jesus took that victory from death and Hades by His resurrection. Ultimately, God will cast Hades into the Lake of Fire (Re 20).
He 2:14Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, 15and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.
56 The sting of death is sin,
Sin is deadly, lethal, and fatal; it winds us up in the grave. Sin brings death and there is no way to by-pass death except by the Rapture. If there were no sin, there would be no death.
and the strength of sin is the law.
The law makes sin sinful. Jesus fulfilled the law, so Christians are free from the law (Ro 8:1-4). The law makes sin grievous by making God’s standards clearer.
Ro 5:17For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Christians are no longer under the law (Ro 6:14) because Christ fulfilled the law. Victory over mortality comes through the resurrection of Christ and it is not due to our morality or effort. The word “gives” is in the present tense, indicating that the resurrection gives us victory for the current Christian life. We must claim the grace of God every day.
PRINCIPLE: Glorification is more than resurrection
APPLICATION: We fear death because it is an unknown, inevitable destiny. The Bible sets forth the death of death. The human body is a product of the dust of the earth and sustained by elements derived from dust, and ultimately returns to dust. It is death-doomed because of the fall. It is subject to resurrection/translation, so it is eternal. God will glorify the Christian’s future body, which is more than resurrection.
- Our glorified bodies will be in incorruptible, 15:42-43
- The resurrection body will be immortal, 15:54
- The resurrection body will not require rest.
- The resurrection body will be glorious, 15:40; Ph 3:31.
Christians need not fear death because death is the mere handmaiden that leads us to glory.
2 Co 5:8 We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.
1 Pe 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you, 5who are kept by the power of God through faith for salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.