Summary: A study of 1 Corinthians 15: 54-57 examining our victory over the law, sin, and death
Has anyone heard or read this statement anywhere? “Helping people discover their victory and true identity through Jesus.” Anyone know the organization that has this as their mission statement? I hope that you have realized that this is our mission statement. It is on the front of the bulletin every week.
Close to 20 years ago, God gave me a vision for a ministry based on Revelation 2:17. “Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches. To everyone who is victorious I will give some of the manna that has been hidden away in heaven. And I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it.”
This ministry is threefold. First, to lead others to victory over their sins. Then to feed them the Word of God that comes from heaven. And finally to help them discover their true identity in Christ. It was from this vision that whitestone ministry was born. So, over the next five weeks we will revisit the original call on the life of this church and how each of us can be more involved in the fulfillment of that calling.
Let’s begin with 1 Corinthians 15:54-55. “Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’”
Paul tells us that the day would come when we would have immortal bodies. Bodies that will never die. He tells us that it would be in fulfillment of Isaiah 25:8 where God says he will swallow up death forever.
Let’s understand something about death. Death is not a messenger of God. Death is an enemy of God. Death was created by the actions of man when they sinned. Death is an ally of Satan. If possible, death would have taken us all at the moment of birth. Deaths final destination is the lake of fire.
On the 18th of June in 1815, the Duke of Wellington’s army marched to face Napoleon Bonaparte, the Emperor of the French, at Waterloo. The future of England was at stake.
Since telegrams and telephones had not been invented yet, the news of the battle was spread from hillside to hillside by semaphores, which were coded flags. The main news was coming from a ship. As the ship neared land, the flag spelt W E L L I N G T O N --- D E F E A T E D and then the fog rolled in blocking the view of the ship. “Wellington defeated” went across England and the citizens were in despair.
But when the fog lifted the next day, the entire message was seen. “Wellington defeated the enemy.” Despair was replaced with rejoicing.
So it was with Jesus. When He was placed in the tomb, it seemed that death had claimed him. All of his followers were in despair. But on the third day, He rose from the dead, defeating the enemy, and giving us victory. That is why we can rejoice.
But what exactly do we have victory over? Revelation 2:17 states that those who are victorious receive the Word of God and their ministry. It is important therefore to understand what it means to be victorious.