Sermons

Summary: Week 2 in the series of This is Love. How the resurrection helps us overcome death.

Title: This is Love – Overcoming Death

Theme: To show that we don’t have to fear death.

Text: Hebrews 2:14 – 15

Opening Scripture

Hebrews 2:14-15 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, (15) and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

1 Corinthians 15:51-58 Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed-- (52) in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (53) For this corruptible (perishing) must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (54) So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory." (55) "O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?" (56) The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. (57) But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (58) Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

So last week we opened up an exploration of the power of the resurrection. Last week we learned that the resurrection means forgiveness of sins. Jesus whom died on the cross as a penalty for sin was risen from the dead as an affirmation that forgiveness is true.

The concept of sin has to be dealt with. There is wage for sin.

Resurrection and the Easter season also brings up brings up another well known fact of life that no one wants to talk about. That is death. Death is usually listed as #1 or #2 as people greatest fears.

Hebrews 2:14-15 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, (15) and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

Why is death so fearful?

The mystery of death – There just seems to be so much we don’t know.

The uncertainty of death – direction

Heaven or Hell

Heaven is a place prepared for God’s people.

Hell is a place prepared for those who are not God’s people. (designed for those who do not want to be with God)

The finality of death

Yet, The resurrection is the greatest answer to the problem of death.

But some Christians in Corinth weren’t sure. They wondered if all of this was really necessary to believe. Couldn’t they just say that Jesus was a good teacher and was still here spiritually? Why did it matter if He had actually been raised from the dead?

These questions brought out some of Paul’s clearest teaching on the resurrection. I want us to take a closer look at what he said. I’ll make three big observations from it.

“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits (some would say Jesus was not the first to be risen from the dead, they refer to Lazarus. Yet everyone else who had risen was to die again.) of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death.” 1 Corinthians 15:20-26 (ESV)

The last part of that verse: The last enemy to be destroyed is death. Brings us to our next point. Because of the resurrection of Christ death has been defeated.

Paul is saying at least three things to us.

The first is this: Resurrection is the defeat of death.

Because of the Resurrection Jesus conquers death

Hebrews 2:14-15 Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, (15) and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

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