« السابقةمتابعة »
should rise to newness of life. "He died unto sin once";" but he rose, and liveth unto God, conducting and advancing, by his intercession and grace, that spiritual kingdom, which God hath established, and of which he is the ruler and Head; and thus enforcing on 'us, that as his disciples, for whom he both died and rose again, we should count ourselves "dead unto sin, but alive unto God through him";" living a life of holy obedience, from a principle of supreme love to that God, who gave his only Son to die for us, and for us raised him from the dead. He rose, that he might ascend to the throne of dominion, at the right hand of the Father, being "crowned, for the suffering of death, with glory and honour." And he thus teaches us, that if we are risen with him-if we profess to embrace those hopes, and to enjoy those blessings, which his resurrection unfolds, we must "set our affections on things above "," continually aspiring after the holiness and felicity of those heavenly mansions, which our divine Redeemer hath gone before to prepare for us, and where he will dwell for ever.
To inspire us with these hopes, that we might be animated to these duties, was a principal object of Jesus our Lord in rising from the tomb.
Then he evidenced, in fact, what he had before declared, "I am the resurrection and the life "."
Vested, after his resurrection, with the office of Judge of quick and dead, he assures us that he will come to "give to every man according as his work shall be'," and that to his faithful followers he will "appear with salvation"." "They who believe in him," it is his own unfailing declaration, "shall never die." He "the first born from the dead "" they are the brethren whom he will afterwards bring unto glory. He is "the first fruits of them that sleep"-they are the harvest who will afterwards be gathered into the mansions of rest. He is "the forerunner"-they will follow after, "within the vail"," into the holy of holies, eternal in the Heavens. He is the Captain of their salvationthey are the good soldiers of Jesus Christ, who, with the crowns of honour and the palms of triumph, shall evermore ascribe praises unto him, through whom they have conquered'. We are begotten to these lively hopes by the resurrection of Christ from the dead".
Jesus your Lord was crucified. Humble and penitent souls be glad-for by the sacrifice of his cross he hath wrought your redemption-he hath blotted out the sentence of condemnation against you '—he hath purchased your peace.
Jesus your Lord passed into the grave. Descend by faith with him, Christian, and be glad. For
Rev. xxii. 12.
u Col. i. 18.
S Heb. ix. 28.
* 1 Cor. xv. 20.
a 1 Pet. i. 3.
John xi. 26.
y Heb. vi. 19, 20. b Col. ii. 14.
you will see the grave divested of its terrors. There you behold your Saviour blessing, by his presence, the place of the departed, where in hope and felicity your spirit shall abide, till the day when it shall be called forth to assume the garments of immortality and glory, and to ascend to the Heaven of Heavens, where God dwells. For,
Jesus your Lord, Christians, rose from the tomb, and thus affords you the pledge of these glorious hopes-the hopes of bliss unspeakable, and without end-of our "corruptible putting on incorruption, and our mortal immortality"-of being united to "the spirits of the just" of being "for ever with the Lord "." "The Lord hath done great things for us, let us be glad."
c 1 Cor. ix. 25. Heb. xii. 23. 1 Thess. iv. 17.
THE VICTORY THROUGH CHRIST.
1 COR. XV. 56, 57.
The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law; but thanks be to God who giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
THIS is the triumphant declaration with which the Apostle concludes a perspicuous and animated view of the doctrine of the resurrection. That
Christ is risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept," is the exalted truth which in all its important consequences he illustrates and defends with great strength of argument; and finally exhibits, as affording to the Christian, the most exalted consolations-“ For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written-Death is swallowed up in victory. O Death, where is thy sting, O Grave, where is thy victory?" The causes which
give to death its power, and the means of triumph over them, which the Christian enjoys, are then stated in the words of the text "The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ."
My brethren, we are all subject to the law, to sin, and to death. The nature of the dominion which they exercise over us, and the means of victory afforded us by Jesus Christ, are therefore inquiries in which we are all interested. The text suggests the order in which the subject is to be viewed.
I. In what respects is "sin the sting of death?" II. In what respects is "the law the strength of sin ?"
These are the inquiries which will prepare the way for pointing out,
III. The mode by which "God giveth us the victory over them through our Lord Jesus Christ." I. In what respects is sin the sting of death. 1. Because it is the cause of death.
"By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin." Death was the penalty annexed to transgression-" In the day thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die." Alas! the offence was committed, and the penalty followed. Man, made immortal, and placed in the paradise of God, to enjoy his Maker's presence and his Maker's bounties, but for transgression would