Paul Declares God’s Destruction of our Last Enemy Death through Christ Resurrection
1 Corinthians 15:21-28 For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For He has put all things in subjection under His feet. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all. NKJV
Paul now expounds or explains the Divine reason that our Lord Jesus Christ had to die and that is ironically, to put human death to death once and for all. The fact that humanity suffers the ever looming reality of physical death has caused all human beings since the fall to fear the one inevitable fact that no one can escape because of Adam’s sin and disobedience. As we documented at the end of the last study, the writer of Hebrews documents for us this same concept Paul writes here to these Corinthian believers in this manner, “But we do see Him who was made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, so that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings. For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, saying, ‘I will proclaim Your name to My brethren, In the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise.’ And again, ‘I will put My trust in Him.’ And again, ‘Behold, I and the children whom God has given Me.’ Therefore, since the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and might free those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives” (Hebrews 2:9-15). Paul is likewise reinforcing this same point for us by declaring that although Adam plunged humanity into physical death and spiritual death by his sin and rebellion, in the same manner our Lord Jesus Christ who was fully Man and died for man’s sin has by His Resurrection from the dead destroyed the curse of death both physically and spiritually for every person that comes to Him in repentance and faith and receives His Resurrection Life within them (Romans 8:11).
In the Counsel of the Heavenly Halls there stood the eternal truth that also was before the foundation of the worlds were lain and that is that man’s redemption and restoration from sin could only be done by a Man like them in order not only to satisfy Divine Justice but also Divine Order. Since it was man that fell into the quick sand of sin and death, then by Divine Order only another Man could pull man out of that quick sand. For before Jesus Christ, every single man that died physically due to the curse of death wrought by Adam’s sin stayed there in the earth never to come back in their body again, but Jesus Christ was not left by God the Father to the corruption of His Physical Body (Psalms 16:10), but instead His Body was raised a New Body by the Power of God’s Spirit and transformed into an Eternal Body never to die again. Listen to the words written by Alexander MacLaren back in the mid to late 1800’s, “That one Man risen from the grave was like the solitary sheaf of paschal first-fruits, prophesying of many more, a gathered harvest that will fill the great Husbandman’s barns. The Resurrection of Jesus is not only a prophecy, showing, as it and it alone does, that death is not the end of man, but that life persists through death and emerges from it, like a buried river coming again flashing into the light of day, but it is the source or cause of the Christian’s resurrection. The oneness of the race necessitated the diffusion through all its members of sin and of its consequence-physical death. If the fountain is poisoned, all the stream will be tainted. If men are to be redeemed from the power of the grave, there must be a new personal centre of life; and union with Him, which can only be effected by faith, is the condition of receiving life from Him, which gradually conquers the death of sin now, and will triumph over bodily death in the final resurrection. It is the resurrection of Christians that Paul is dealing with. Others are to be raised, but on a different principle, and to sadly different issues. Since Christ’s Resurrection assures us of the future waking, it changes death into ‘sleep,’ and that sleep does not mean unconsciousness any more than natural sleep does, but only rest from toil, and cessation of intercourse with the external world.”
Every human being is going to be raised from the dead, the saved and the lost alike but Paul is here strictly referring to those of us who belong to Christ Jesus our Lord as coming after Him being the first fruit, for the lost will be raised to eternal punishment (Revelation 20:11-15). When all are resurrected from death, then comes the end of this world as it has been allowed by God to go on for so many millenniums and God the Father will put all other rulers and enemies down forever (Psalms 110:1) and the last enemy that will be destroyed is death because the first two enemies satan and sin have already been defeated and destroyed by our Lord Jesus Christ on the Cross and His Resurrection from the dead destroyed death. This is how John Wesley put it so concisely but yet so precisely when he said, “In the same order they prevailed. Satan brought in sin, and sin brought forth death. And Christ, when He of old engaged with these enemies, first conquered Satan, then sin, in His death; and, lastly, death, in His resurrection. In the same order He delivers all the faithful from them, yea, and destroys these enemies themselves. Death He so destroys that it shall be no more; sin and Satan, so that they shall no more hurt His people.” For the Divine Order has our Lord Jesus Christ reigning until all things are under His feet as the Psalmist writes in this manner, “You make Him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under His feet” (Psalms 8:6). At the end of it all when death will be no more, the Divine Order will then be restored as our Lord Jesus Christ will subject Himself to God the Father and the Holy Trinity will be as it has always been before time was and that is all in all One God in Three Persons Blessed Trinity.
“God has reserved to Himself the right to determine the end of life, because He alone knows the goal to which it is His will to lead it. It is for Him alone to justify a life or to cast it away.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer
“It is grace at the beginning, and grace at the end. So that when you and I come to lie upon our death beds, the one thing that should comfort and help and strengthen us there is the thing that helped us in the beginning. Not what we have been, not what we have done, but the Grace of God in Jesus Christ our Lord. The Christian life starts with grace, it must continue with grace, it ends with grace. Grace wondrous grace. By the grace of God I am what I am. Yet not I, but the Grace of God which was with me.” Martin-Lloyd Jones
“Death is the last and best physician, which cures all diseases and sins - the aching head and the unbelieving heart. Sin was the midwife which brought death into the world; and death shall be the grave to bury sin! O the privilege of a believer!” Thomas Watson
“Death is the great equalizer of all men for all die whether they be young or old or rich or poor or black or white, but through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord death has been defeated, defused, and destroyed forever for all who put their faith and trust completely in Him.” Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
If you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ and His amazing healing power, pray this from your heart to the Lord Jesus Christ (you speaking directly to Him), Dear Lord Jesus, I confess to You that I am a sinner and I need Your forgiveness. I believe You shed Your Blood and died for my sins. I believe that You rose from the dead proving that You alone are God. I repent of my sins. I want to turn from my sins. I ask You Dear Lord Jesus to come into my heart and take control of my life. I want You to be my Lord, Savior, and my God. Amen...
Sincerely in Christ,
Clifford D. Tate, Sr.
Author of “Silent Assassins of the Soul - Are you Broken by Pornography and Masturbation? You can be Restored by the Lord Jesus Christ and brought into Deliverance, Freedom, and Victory! A Guide for Men and Women in the Enemy’s Crosshairs” e-book available now @ Amazon Kindle, @ Apple I Bookstore for IPod, Barnes and Noble for Nook, Reader Store for Sony Reade, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker and Taylor, and eBookPie…