New American Standard Bible
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;
King James Bible
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
Darby Bible Translation
Now the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin the law;
World English Bible
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
Young's Literal Translation
and the sting of the death is the sin, and the power of the sin the law;
1 Corinthians 15:56 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
The sting of death - The sting which death bears; that with which he effects his purpose; that which is made use of to inflict death; or that which is the cause of death. There would be no death without sin. The apostle here personifies death, as if it were a living being, and as making use of sin to inflict death, or as being the sting, or envenomed instrument, with which he inflicts the mortal agony. The idea is, that sin is the cause of death. It introduced it; it makes it certain; it is the cause of the pain, distress, agony, and horror which attends it. If there had been no sin, people would not have died. If there were no sin, death would not be attended with horror or alarm. For why should innocence be afraid to die? What has innocence to fear anywhere in the universe of a just God? The fact, therefore, that people die, is proof that they are sinners; the fact that they feel horror and alarm, is proof that they feel themselves to be guilty, and that they are afraid to go into the presence of a holy God. If this be taken away, if sin be removed, of course the horror, and remorse, and alarm which it is suited to produce will be removed also.
Is sin - Sin is the cause of it; see the note at Romans 5:12.
The strength of sin - Its power over the mind; its terrific and dreadful energy; and especially its power to produce alarm in the hour of death.
Is the law - The pure and holy law of God. This idea Paul has illustrated at length in Romans 7:9-13; see the notes on that passage. He probably made the statement here in order to meet the Jews, and to show that the law of God had no power to take away the fear of death; and that, therefore, there was need of the gospel, and that this alone could do it. The Jews maintained that a man might be justified and saved by obedience to the law. Paul here shows that it is the law which gives its chief vigor to sin, and that it does not tend to subdue or destroy it; and that power is seen most strikingly in the pangs and horrors of a guilty conscience on the bed of death. There was need, therefore, of the gospel, which alone could remove the cause of these horrors, by taking away sin, and thus leaving the pardoned man to die in peace; compare the note on Romans 4:15.
LibraryFourth Sunday after Easter
Text: First Corinthians 15, 35-50. 35 But some one will say, How are the dead raised? and with what manner of body do they come? 36 Thou foolish one, that which thou thyself sowest is not quickened except it die: 37 and that which thou sowest, thou sowest not the body that shall be, but a bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other kind; 38 but God giveth it a body even as it pleased him, and to each seed a body of its own. 39 All flesh is not the same flesh; but there is one flesh of men, …
Martin Luther—Epistle Sermons, Vol. II
Small Duties and the Great Hope
The Death of Death
The Power of the Resurrection
because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin.
for the Law brings about wrath, but where there is no law, there also is no violation.
Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned--
But sin, taking opportunity through the commandment, produced in me coveting of every kind; for apart from the Law sin is dead.
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