Death vs. Life

1 Corinthians 15:22 In Adam All Die In Christ All Made Alive (brown)

CONTEXT:

Yesterday in our devotional Blame Game we can trace the history of blaming others back to Adam and Eve (Gen 3:12-13). But the consequences of their actions were far greater than that, instead of peace and good health with eternal life in the Garden of Eden they brought about sin, disease, and DEATH. Genesis 3:16-19.

Here in 1st Corinthians Chapter 15 the Apostle Paul begins by laying out the facts of Christ’s resurrection: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. He then proceeds to make the argument that if Christ has resurrected so too shall there be a resurrection of the dead 1 Corinthians 15:12-34. It is in the middle of this I wish to pull our text for today and explore God’s Holy word. 


1 Corinthians 15:19-22 

If in Christ we have hope[a] in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. 20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. (ESV)

Si en esta vida solamente esperamos en Cristo, somos los más dignos de conmiseración de todos los hombres. 20 Mas ahora Cristo ha resucitado de los muertos; primicias de los que durmieron es hecho. 21 Porque por cuanto la muerte entró por un hombre, también por un hombre la resurrección de los muertos. 22 Porque así como en Adán todos mueren, también en Cristo todos serán vivificados. (RVR 1960)


v.19 If in Christ we have hope[a] in this life only, 

There was and still are cults that claim to be “christian” or claim some level of christian faith but deny the full deity and resurrection of Christ. Their desire or better put reason for being associated with Christ is worldly gain. 

The second category and the one Paul is more likely writing about is all those who claim to be Christians, suffer for being so (remember Paul’s hardships) yet have no hope of eternal life.

we are of all people most to be pitied.

If either case is true of man what is left of them but to pity them? In the first man will live out his days and gain nothing for the Kingdom Matthew 6:19–21. In Paul’s case he would have willingly suffered for no reason at all for his hope was a lie. The original Greek here, eleeinoteroi, meaning pitiful or miserable combined with The whole of every kind of man.

v.20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead,

Okay, here are the facts, Christ has risen from the dead Matthew 28:6 so our hope is not in vain not to be pitied.

the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 

Firstfruits were the first of the harvest offered to God by the Jewish people. By using this term Paul insures the reader understand that Christ is the first of many believers to follow in God’s harvest of His chosen.

v.21  For as by a man came death, 

Remember it was Adam who brought sin and death into the world for all mankind. For anyone out there who is a naysayer claiming that’s not fair, why should I pay for something or be held accountable for something some guy did 6000+ years ago? If you look deeply at your true nature (apart from Christ) you know you would have done the same thing. 

by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead

Jesus is the ONLY way, there is no other to eternal life.

v.22  For as in Adam all die,

Adam brought death, despair and helplessness into the world. A man of sorrows to be pitied

so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

Jesus brought comfort, hope and Life to all who believe upon him as Lord and Savior.

CONCLUSION:

Are you to be pitied, is your hope in this life only today? Or are you to be counted among the saints born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven(1 Peter 1:3-4 ESV). 

 

Imperishable, Undefiled, and Unfading

by John MacArthur – Wednesday, June 19, 2019

What would it be like to have endless riches stored up for you—a future reward that could never be taken away, but that could be enjoyed forever? If you are a Christian, that is an accurate description of the inheritance God has stored up for you.

The apostle Peter used three negative terms to describe the positive perfection of our eternal inheritance: “imperishable,” “undefiled,” and “unfading” (1 Peter 1:4, ESV). The Greek word translated “imperishable” (aphthartos) speaks of something that is not corruptible, but permanent. The word evokes the image of a land ravaged by a conquering army; so Peter was saying our eternal inheritance cannot be plundered or spoiled by our spiritual foes.

“Undefiled” (amiantos) means unpolluted or unstained by sin, evil, or decay. Unlike this world, in which nothing escapes the stain of sin (Romans 8:20–23), our inheritance can never be contaminated, defiled, or in any way corrupted. It is unblemished and unstained by the presence or effects of sin (Revelation 21:27).

“Unfading,” comes from a Greek term used of flowers. In the context of 1 Peter it suggests a supernatural beauty that time cannot diminish. Peter used the same word with reference to the unfading crown of glory that faithful elders will receive when the Chief Shepherd appears (1 Peter 5:4).

Those three terms—imperishable, undefiled, and unfading— picture a heavenly inheritance that is impervious to death, sin, and the effects of time. Considering the corrupting, damning influence of sin on the world, it is wonderful to know our inheritance in Christ is timeless and will never diminish.

The believer’s inheritance is “reserved in heaven for you, who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:4–5). We need never fear the loss of our inheritance, since it is under God’s own watchful care.

Not only is God watching over our inheritance, but He also is doing so in the safest of all places: heaven. That’s where “neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal” (Matthew 6:20), and where “nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever [enter], but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life” (Revelation 21:27). “Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying” (Revelation 22:15). No one will ever invade or plunder heaven. Therefore our inheritance is eternally secure.

Many Christians are confident that God is able to guard their inheritance but doubt that He can guard them. They fear they will somehow lose their salvation and forfeit God’s promises. That’s a popular view, but it overlooks the fact that God does pledge to protect us as well! Peter said, “You . . . are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:4–5). The word translated “protected” (phrouroumenous) is a military term that speaks of a guard. Peter used the present tense to indicate that we are continually under guard. Implied is the idea that we need ongoing protection because we’re in a constant battle with Satan and his forces.

It is God’s omnipotent, sovereign power that guards us and guarantees our final victory. God, the ultimate Judge, has justified us in Christ, made us heirs with Him, and has given us His Spirit to ensure that the good work He started in us will be perfected (Philippians 1:6). He is able to keep us from stumbling, and to make us “stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy” (Jude 24). Not even Satan himself can condemn us (Romans 8:33), so rather than fearing the loss of our inheritance we should continually rejoice in God’s great grace and mercy.

Another guarantee of our inheritance is our persevering faith. Peter said we are protected by God’s power through faith (1 Peter 1:5). Faith is God’s gift to us; we don’t generate it on our own (Ephesians 2:8–9; Philippians 1:29). Faith is aroused by grace, upheld by grace, and energized by grace. Grace reaches into the soul of the believer, generating and maintaining faith. By God’s grace alone we trust Christ, and by grace we continue to believe.

Our inheritance is a glorious thing. No earthly thing compares to it. But we can lose sight of it through worldly pursuits and the quest for instant gratification. Dear friends, don’t collect this world’s trash and neglect the treasure of our unspeakable riches in Christ.

No matter what your circumstances might be, consider your eternal inheritance. Meditate on it. Let it fill your heart with praise to the One who has extended such grace to you. Let it motivate you to live to His glory. Don’t pursue the quick fix—some worldly solution to the passing problems of life. This world’s trials aren’t even worthy to be compared with our eternal glory. And always remember that you have Christ, who is all-sufficient in everything now and forever.

(Adapted from Our Sufficiency in Christ)