Thursday, December 27, 2018

2018.12.27 Hopewell @Home ▫ 1 Corinthians 15:50-58

Questions for Littles: What does Paul call them in v50? What cannot inherit the kingdom of God? What kind of flesh cannot inherit an incorruptible creation? What hidden truth does the apostle now reveal (v51)? What shall we not all do? But what shall we all do? How long does this change take (v52)? When? What must corruptible flesh put on instead (v53)? What must mortal flesh put on instead? What will this transformation bring to pass (v54)? What does death no longer have (v55)? What does Hades, the grave, no longer have? What is the sting of death (v56)? What especially empowers sin to hurt us in death? Who has done something about this (v57)? What does God give us? Through whom? What work is a display of this victory in our lives (v58)? What does the apostle call them now? What does he command them to be? What do we know that our labor is not? In Whom is our labor not vain?
In this week’s Epistle reading, we learn a strong connection between our hope at being raised bodily from the dead and our daily lives now in this world.

First, this hope is for every believer. It is something that we are so united in that not only will each of us surely be raised physically from the dead, but we will all be transformed at the same time. And we will all be raised and transformed in the very same moment, in the very same twinkle of an eye!

Second, this hope is a great hope. It robs death of its sting. It robs Hades of its victory.

Third, this hope is a merciful hope. The entire reason that death is so horrible, and that sin is so culpable, is that we deserve death for having broken God’s law.

Fourth, this hope is righteous hope. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, God has given us victory over sin, without violating but rather by keeping the righteous requirement of the law (that we be punished for breaking it!)

Fifth, this hope is an effective hope. Sin can longer have us. Death can no longer keep us. Now, we belong to the Lord. And, so, the point of the work that we do now is not so much that it lasts forever, but rather that it is in the Lord Himself, that it is a display of His victory. Your labor is not in vain in the Lord!

Whatever it is that we do as believers, let us do it always as those who do not belong to ourselves, those over whom sin is no longer master, those who no longer operate in fear of death—let us live every moment as those who belong to the Lord!
What part of your life feels most like it is “in vain”? How does this passage help?
Suggested songs: ARP1 “How Blessed the Man” or TPH338 “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”

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