Summary: Jesus reigns to redeem. He reigns for a limited time. He reigns by the power of His death and resurrection.
Reigning With King Jesus I Cor. 15:25
Scripture reading I Cor. 15:19-28
INTRO.: Being part of the Kingdom of God is a great adventure if we go at it wholeheartedly. We should be challenged by the claims of the Gospel. Being a Christian is not something we do just for enjoyment or something we can take or leave according to how we feel at the moment.
Christians must remember, and the Church must challenge us to remember, we are involved in a great cosmic conflict over the souls of men. Our own souls and those of our loved ones are at risk.
Wherever Jesus rules in the hearts of men, there the Kingdom of God is. He is always striving to expand His rule and depends on us to help.
We need to see ourselves engaged in a great adventure, as part of the biggest enterprise the world has ever seen. A process of worldwide conquest is going on and we have the honor of participating in it. This calls for truly heroic service for Christ and for genuine sacrifice.
Let’s think about the reign of Christ in this light.
I. He reigns to redeem: We are engaged in a process of redeeming men from sin.
A. He is determined to defeat sin: I John 3:5, 8
1. Sin is rebellion of the human will against God’s will and law.
2. It is His highest creation gone amuck.
3. The whole creation groans waiting for redemption. Rom. 8:22
B. He is determined to eliminate death from the human equation.
1. He came to reverse the effects of Adam’s sin. I Cor. 15:21, 22
2. Death is man’s last enemy and against it we are all helpless.
3. All humans die, but all Christians will live again. That’s the whole point of I Cor. 15.
C. He is determined to liberate mankind from fear:
1. The fear that enslaves us is the fear of death. A man will do almost anything to avoid death. This makes slavery possible.
2. He came to free from this fear and slavery. Heb. 2:14, 15
3. This is the slavery Jesus spoke of in John 8:32-34.
4. Knowing Jesus frees us from the fear of death. Sin cannot enslave us and neither can any man.
II. He reigns for a limited time: I Cor. 15:25
A. He must put down all destructive forces named in 24:
1. "Dominions" - the core of willfulness, cunning and hate that drives evil men.
2. "Authority" - evil men in high places. Executives in Satan’s empire.
3. "Power" - the rank and file of Satan’s armies.
4. These are the forces with which we do battle. Eph. 6:11, 12
B. When He has put down all His enemies, there will be a higher subjection. The surrender of the Kingdom to the Father.
1. He will subject Himself and His Kingdom to the Father. V. 28
2. Unlike earthly rulers, His reign will end, not begin with conquest.
3. Like Israel, He is given a Kingdom but He must conquer it.
4. All the horrific clash and violence of the Book of Revelation ends with Christ giving up the Kingdom to the Father.
C. There is great encouragement for us:
1. Christ will one day rule a kingdom entirely subject to the Father.
2. Sin and death will finally be defeated.
3. Despair will turn to joy and peace.
III. He reigns in the power of His death and resurrection:
A. He is called first fruits from the dead in verse 20:
1. Jews couldn’t harvest or sell barley until the first part of the harvest had been offered in the temple. So, no one else could be raised to eternal life until Christ had been.
2. First fruits were a sign of more to come. So is Christ’s ressur.
3. Through death He defeated death and in His resurrection, He secured eternal life for all.
B. Resurrection of Jesus shows us where the power really is:
1. It proves truth stronger than falsehood.
2. Good stronger than evil.
3. Love stronger than hate.
4. Life stronger than death.
C. In his death, resurrection there is power for us:
1. Paul yearns to know Christ and the power of His resurrection. Phil. 3:10
2. Resurrection gives power to the Christian message.
3. It gives powerful hope for the future.
4. There is power in the living Presence of Christ.
5. The power of the Holy Spirit, which raised Him from the dead, will also raise us.
CONC.: we are part of a great and wonderful adventure, the reign of Christ. It is a reign whose goal is to redeem and liberate men and conquer every enemy of God and man. This reign will end when everything is completely subjected to God.
To enable us to participate in this great adventure, God has given, first to Christ then to us through Him, the great power of His death and resurrection.