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Death Swallowed Up in Victory

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice
The Truth Network Radio
August 10, 2021 8:00 am

Death Swallowed Up in Victory

The Bible Study Hour / James Boice

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August 10, 2021 8:00 am

A church struggles to come to terms with what it means to serve the Lord. But it's not easy. All around are greedy and debauched people. Inevitably some of sinfulness has begun to infiltrate the church. Sound familiar? This scenario is not just our own; the early church of Corinth faced many of the same problems! Dr. Boice's study 1 Corinthians reveals a striking similarity between own battles and the struggles the early church.

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Welcome to the Bible study human Internet ministry of confessing Evangelicals featuring the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce for more information please contact us by calling toll-free one 804 88 18 and now the alliance is pleased to present the Bible study our preparing you to think and act biblically. The 22nd chapter of Matthew, and also in Luke's gospel is a story about the Sadducees coming to test the Lord Jesus Christ on the subject of the resurrection was one of a number of tasks. Everyone was trying to get them somehow I had asked him about the law.

What was the first rightist commandment.

I was told when they better not around a lot and thought wow would see if he had anything new to society did very well in his answer and there was a question about taxes they thought well he might catch him on that. He did very well.

Not to, and then Sadducees came in I had this question about the resurrection. The background for the courses that they didn't believe in the resurrection they were the modernists of the day which there are many in their time and hours and I thought well they would just try one on them that would show how foolish this is to be held to the resurrection.

Well, that show how he wants. So I said that was a certain man who married a wife, and then by an in accordance with Jewish laws of labor right marriage.

It was proper for the man's brother next in line to marry her and try to raise up children in order that the line of inheritance might not fade away. This man died not having any children either is the first one had also died and then the third one married her again in accordance with the law on the fourth and fifth. There were seven brothers like that and they all were married to this woman and then they all died. And then last of all the woman died so they said now could you tell us in the resurrection whose wife is she going to be. Presumably one of them had had children, buyer.

They would say well she's the wife of Batman since every case was equal. I thought they had it just didn't make sense to talk about a resurrection.

You may recall that our Lord responded to them on two levels. Told him that they were making a great error and that was for two reasons. First of all, he said you don't know the Scriptures and then secondly you're ignorant of the power of God, they know the Scriptures because according to our Lord's understanding of the teaching of the Scriptures and have others not to be marriage or giving in marriage, so the whole question having to do with marriage was a moot one when you're talking about life, and then they were ignorant of the power of God because their chief problem was not this matter. Marriage in the next world with the matter of the resurrection itself in our Lord's point was that God from whom all things are possible is certainly able to bring about physical resurrection of human bodies assertive reply comes to mind as we come to this latter portion of first Corinthians 15 the deals with the resurrection, because in the verse that begins the section verse 35 of that chapter.

You have two questions which are more or less parallel to the questions dealing with those areas which are Lord responded. Someone may ask, Paul says, how are the dead raised that has to do with the power, and with what kind of body will they come on an absolute parallel, but it's a close one, and what our Lord said in reference to the Pharisees in a certain way applies this matter. Here, people who are questioning the resurrection do so for one of those two reasons. Either there ignorant of the Scriptures which is to say they're just confused about things there asking questions about things they don't fully understand that if they read the Scriptures would be a perfectly adequate explanation of what they failed understand art which is a more serious question. Late simply doubt the power of God. What Paul is doing in this chapter for the benefit of the Christians at Corinth and of course for ourselves as well as dealing with the problems on each of those levels.

Interestingly, we still have that with us today because modernism is nothing older, nothing new. It's simply a frame of mind which is basically disbelief and just as it was presence in Christ day in the form of the Sadducees.

So we have it today.

It is unfortunate that it sometimes appears in lofty places that you have been following the newspaper reports and perhaps the television reports last week or so you know that a number of the British Evangelicals are up in arms because the Church of England recently ordained and consecrated as a bishop man openly doubted the virgin birth of Christ and the resurrection. He said it just should be taken. A mythological sense of the no sense literally installation and ordination in York Cathedral was protested by Evangelicals outside by one man rejected in the middle of the ceremony at conservative Anglican vicar. They escorted him out shows the degree to which morality is tolerated and that church and that seemed all evidence to be the end of but the reason this made such an interesting bit of news for the television, especially as the three days later. Lightning struck the church and that caught on fire.

The Evangelicals no doubt were seeing a connection between the two events. Church officials were saying the real miracle was that the whole thing didn't burn down.

That may well be true. My wife told me there was one thing I was. Not to say tonight and so I won't say about tell you what it was that I was going to say I was thinking. It's not nice to fool mother nature by problem I'm saying is still with us and the aura jump in sonnet were back in Jesus day and time of Paul as well deals primarily with this matter. The resurrection body that is the nature of the kind of body never going to have in the resurrection, because presumably I was the chief question in the minds of the Greek people here, to whom he was writing already spoken about that at some length saying how this difficulty with the resurrection grew naturally out of Greek philosophical thought, every culture has its own way of thinking about all the things not always articulately. Sometimes people in the culture simply absorbed a certain set of values and assumptions and without thinking at a very careful way about it. Nevertheless, what for whatever degree this existed, the Greeks basically and their philosophy. Had a great difference between mind and matter in the sense that in Greek thought everything that was of the spirit of the mind was good and that which is matter is evil. They would've said the problem with this is not that we are sinful human beings, which is to say our our mind and our spirits are corrupt, which is what Christianity teaches in the Old Testament as well. I would say the problem with this is that we have bodies in our bodies tend to drag us down is within us that which aspires to go upward to God. And that's the mind and the spirit at work, held down in this body of our flesh and evil desires.

All those bad things that we do dispositions we have come about because there's anything wrong with our minds and spirits, but because we are mind, body beings and our bodies are prone to evil. So the Greek thought, well, they waited be saved was to escape the body in this life you can't do that except by philosophy. So salvation became a mental thing became something that happened by way in which you thought the Stoics in particular said, regardless of what happens to matter how you suffer.

You simply have to rise above it you have to say well what's important to me is the mind of the spirit. And so even if I'm in chains even if I'm suffering even if very horrible things happen to me physically. This really doesn't tie me down because salvation is what I think and I want to experience in the physical way and follow from that. As you can well understand the you couldn't have anything like the incarnation, which is the essence of Christianity, namely, that God through his spirit became man taking abundance of human body because I would be the equivalent of saying that God became sinful so you couldn't have Latin this particular kind of philosophy, introduced one of the first heresies in the church which said that Jesus wasn't really human being, but he only appeared to be that the divine spirit of Christ came upon a human being and according to some teaching left just before the crucifixion. That was one particular heresy. The other course had to do with the resurrection as you see, if if salvation is basically escaping from the body well and why would you ever want to resurrection. That resurrection would say well we would just be bringing our sinful bodies with us in the habit what you wanted to do was get rid of them. If anything, so when the Christians came preaching the resurrection of the body that was natural tendency in the thinking and conscience of the Greek people to disagree with it. Now in the first half of this letter, Paul is answered that in terms of history all wants to teach about the actual nature of the resurrection and its importance, and he's done that he's explained that this is in the nature of the gospel is not something that somebody thought something that the apostles invented something that grows out of history, whether you like it or not, whether it fits your philosophy or not. Jesus came, Jesus died and Jesus rose again, you can dismiss it all you can say it didn't happen.

I don't believe that. But if you're willing to accept the testimony of the eyewitnesses and by the grace of God, within the framework of the Christian worldview after acknowledge that that happened. And then regardless of what your cultural background is that something has to change because it has, to be informed. Eventually, to the reality of the facts which have to do with the resurrection spells that all out in the first half of this chapter. Just this point he might still be speaking to people who, because of what he said because of the witness of the Holy Spirit in their own hearts acknowledge that is true.

Indeed, there has to be a resurrection because Jesus rose from the dead were united to Jesus, and if he rose we must rise also but nevertheless still had a question about this resurrection body because this poses a little later. How possible Greek would argue that the switches material can inherit material. Everybody acknowledges that God is Spirit and that the realm of heaven has to be a realm of spirituality, not materiality me you talk about resurrection but wouldn't it be the case that if our bodies just as we have them work were suddenly raised again from the dead and taken into heaven that all you would have would be a heaven that was actually just heard somewhere else and I would hardly be heaven very legitimate kind of question to be asking, especially by someone who is not deeply informed with the teaching of Scripture is what Paul is answering here and what he says essentially is, while it is true that there is a genuine resurrection and that our bodies are raised, it is nevertheless also true that our bodies are change so that the bodies we have now are not the bodies were going to have the resurrection there's continuity is not the same thing and prefer that he begins to distinguish between different kinds bodies is a number of examples here he talks about sowing the seed in the ground. I would grows up to be something quite different from what you put in the ground. There's continuity there flower comes from the seed week comes from the seed that you planted so on what comes up is different is a chain is that example, many thoughts of her kinds of flesh flesh of animals and birds and fish.

He says you acknowledging your own common experience that all flesh is not the same as a step further and the contrast heavenly bodies with earthly bodies to acknowledge a difference there.

Of course that is true in any talks about the sun, moon and the stars and he says they differ from one another as argument you say is simply what is so incredible that and thinking about resurrection body that differs substantially from the bodies we have now. At that point somebody had said Paul, yes, but we we still don't understand it, we don't see any resurrection bodies in and we don't really know what were talking about when we talk about a resurrection body is much we don't understand Paul what undoubtedly you suggest as much that I don't understand so we know there is resurrection body because Jesus rose from the dead.

We know that it wasn't like the body that he had before the resurrection, because apparently it could come and go well and would seem. On one occasion at least the past through closed doors again. It was a physical body. Jesus offered to have Thomas Jim and see that it was really him put his fingers in the holes in his hands and pressed his hand into the wound in Christ's side and so forth a real bonding at different yet Paul would be the first to say, didn't fully understand and it's at that point that that the first matter of those two issues that Jesus Christ brought up come in late didn't understand because I didn't understand the Scriptures of the Scriptures involve the kind of teaching the Paul is given herein, if at that point you still don't understand it.

Paul says well it's simply because we know so little about the power of God might not understand how God does it, but we know from history and the example of Jesus Christ and God does and therefore it's not an irrational thing for Christians simply to take their stand upon that and say what I like in understanding now gone in his own time will certainly provide somewhere along the line in this last portion of first Corinthians 15 Paul passes from what is essentially an argument about the nature of the resurrection body was statement of the victory that is ours because of the resurrection I say somewhere along the line because difficult to make clear distinction. I suppose it's mostly between verses 49 and 50 but those sections overlap really is doing here is saying that this is not an irrelevant matter to talk about the fact of the resurrection and the importance of the resurrection and the nature of the resurrection body not irrelevant in the sense that while it refers to theology refers to something that happened in the case of Jesus Christ has no bearing with us, at least not now, and certainly not until the time around resurrection.

Assuming there even is one all the same all know see the fact that we are to be racists means that we are to be victorious and not enemy over which were to be Tory us is the greatest of all enemies on the last enemy that shall be destroyed, namely that I once did a study of what Paul had to say about death. In this chapter, and I find it interesting that he mentions death even more than he mentions the resurrection were death dying. Dad occurs 25 times in the chapter and the word resurrection or raise, or anything related that occurs 24 times just about equal but actually the words for death occur more in a course or other terms that are related to it.

That increase those totals even more interestingly because when you talk about a victory the greatness of your victory depends upon the greatness of your enemy. You have a great Armada somebody with an army of 53 people comes against you and you crush the 53 people. It's not a very great victory. Why question should be able to do that but if you have a great enemy comes against you when there's a victory well then that's a great victory. That's what Paul is saying here. Death is really an enemy and a great enemy of that sometimes been tendency in religious thinking to minimize that evil sin, and other unpleasant things. There's a section of Christianity which really isn't Christianity all Christian science that makes a major point of that simply denying the reality of anything bad all a figment of our imagination. According to Christian science.

What do you think of death for evil and suffering hunger anything bad you can think of just all in your mind of the court.

You have to get rid of that thing in your thinking is what Christian science talks about the same kind of thing in a different way and in some branches of evangelical church there's there's a tendency in some branches of the church either. Not to talk about bad things are and assertive, super pietistic kind of way to assume that it's always transcended with the blessings of the gospel is a certain sense in which evil is transcended by the blessings of the gospel.

Christians of been able to go through very difficult things and be triumphant because of their faith in Christ with the biker they were victorious and those things didn't make the things themselves any less evil really gain anything by denying the reality of evil. Some people think well it it preserves the honor of God. Because if you admit evil and you have to admit that God somehow that he will get in the world and that tarnishes his reputation.

While God doesn't seem too bothered by that himself. Even a verse in Isaiah where he says I am the Lord.

I create good and I create evil has to be taken in a certain sense of God is not a Braidwood knowledge that he says these things, and I know what. Not only do I permit them.

I even bring them into the lives of my people to accomplish certain things about his and embarrassed by. Neither should we be seated Christian way is not to deny the reality of the evil, but to point to the victory, which we have over the evil through Jesus Christ certain sense in which the flow of this chapter is seen between verse 26 about the middle of the chapter and verse 54 toward the end. Verse 26 says the last enemy to be destroyed is death acknowledges that death is an enemy in a real enemy of that then verse it comes at the end says death has been swallowed up in victory. This of course is through the work of Jesus Christ. It's through Christ we have the victory.

Verse 57 develops that theme. Thanks be to God.

He gives us the victory through the Lord Jesus Christ and how so rather victory through the Lord Jesus Christ, because by grace we are united to him. So when he roasts, we rise in him just as when he died. We dine in him is that toning or are said never noticed this but when Hollywood makes movies that have to do with the life of Christ are often very good up to the point of the resurrection when they show mom crying out before Pilate's judgment hall crucified inclusive. I am not always carries conviction. You can see that happening today and when the time for the execution itself calms and they begin to drive the nails through the hands of Christ.

Well that's convincing. I saw a film and television.

Not long ago was very real indeed.

It was so real it was hurting the watch on their all right in terms of the mob rule in the trial of the crucifixion, the final cry like God, my God, of the life hands I commend my spirit. Up to that point everything is all right. And then there comes the burial followed by the resurrection, and it's often the case in these films that the resurrection calms you barely discover Jesus Christ all I saw one of these films when resurrection came in.

The disciples were there, they began to rush around in the early morning of of what we call Easter Sunday morning and the joy of the resurrection. But where was Jesus. I don't know why they were rushing around and finally toward the end there was sort of mystical cloudy head up there in the sky floating away somewhere. If I had been there that wouldn't convince me and I don't think it would have convinced Thomas or Peter or John or any of the others either. Obviously it was a real one. It was followed by a real resurrection. When Jesus stood before them and he said touch me and see that it's me.

They didn't have any questions whatsoever want to stood before the same one who would die. I find it interesting that sometimes even secular writers are those least of a secular reputation and say this well one of them is John Updike who has pointed out, I think, in memorable language in a poem about Easter called seven stanzas at Easter Updike really says is graphically I want to share it with you. He writes this. Make no mistake if he rose all was as his body. If the cells's dissolution did not reverse molecules remit the church will fall out as the flowers, each soft spring recurrent. It was not as his spirit in the mountains and puddled eyes of the 11 apostles. It was as his flesh hours same hinged palms and toes.

The same valve.

The parts that pierced die, withered, paused, and then regathered out of his father's might new strength when close is not mocked God with metaphor and analogy, sidestepping transcendence, making of the event. A parable sign painted in the fake credulity of earlier ages was walk through the door.

The stoners rolled back not papier-mâché on a stone in the story, but the last rock of materiality that in the slow grinding of time will eclipse for each of us a wide light of day that we will have an angel at the tomb make it a real angel waiting with Max Planck's quantum good with hair open taken the dawn light rope and real linen spun on a definite moon does not seek to make it less monstrous for our own convenience. Our own sense of beauty. Last awakened and one on thinkable hour.

We are embarrassed by the miracle and crushed by remonstrance is what Paul is talking about in first Corinthians 15 always saying this doctrine of the resurrection which we preach is not pathology. This doctrine of the resurrection is not a story somebody made up to illustrate some profound but hard to grasp spiritual truth is something that happened in the fact that it happened makes all the difference in the world.

Christians who are confronted with Christ are therefore confronted not simply with the Christ idea but with a living Lord of history 10 at a definite point in history came to this earth to die for our salvation and did die and then the same body in which he died and rose again from the dead and appeared to his disciples and ascended to heaven, and in which one day in his own time. He will come again to judge the quick and the dead will get to the end of this chapter is a great conclusion and the conclusion has weight only if the resurrection is as real as last August in the end he says.

Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in the there's no real resurrection are labor in the Lord might well be in vain. That which endures for a moment, but then passes it is forgotten forever.

Jesus rose in the same Jesus who rose will return to reward those who trust in him and he will raise them from the dead to be with him forever more. And so what we have done for Christ really will last. We sing in one of our hymns. These words is all is covenant his blood to support me in the whelming flood when all around my servant gives way, he that is all my hope and stay on Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand pauses, my dear brothers and sisters. Therefore, because of the resurrection. Make sure you stand right our father, we thank you for the teaching of the Scripture clearly on such a great topic.

We can fast because we hear so often with in the fellowship teaching of the church are times in which we take it almost does not something to really be thought about in to make a difference in our lives. Forgive us for that and grant our father that is. We believe these things we might also by your grace begin to live them in such a way that it will be evident to those about us.

We really have our eye on a life to come in the hope which goes beyond the grave. So our father doing us that which will last. Not only for this life, but also for all eternity.

We pray in Jesus blessed name your listening to Bible study hour with the Bible teaching of Dr. James Boyce listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance exists to promote a biblical understanding and worldview. Drawing upon the insight and wisdom of reformed theologians from decades and even centuries gone by.

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