1 Corinthians 15:25
For he must reign, till he has put all enemies under his feet.
This world is a vast stage erected for the display consummation of a mighty design by the power of the Lord Jesus. Scripture has distinctly affirmed that "all things were created by Him and for Him." The world was made for Jesus; and man, the most distinguished of its tenants, was called into existence chiefly that he might add to the Mediator's glory. In His glory the eternal blessedness of millions is involved; and the consummation of His mighty work will be the seal and fulness of the felicity of the redeemed. Now in the management of this stupendous design, the Mediator is pursuing His way to the glory which awaits Him through the midst of foes. There are foes in whose destruction we may not be able to trace any of that consolation which it is the apostle's object to afford. The priests and Scribes of Israel constituted themselves His personal enemies, and "the stone which the builders rejected" has fallen upon them and crushed them to powder; but our comfort or advantage appears to be this, that the enemies rather of the Saviour's cause than of His person are spoken of; and with that cause Jesus has so entirely identified Himself, that He reckons hostility to it as hostility against Himself. There is —
I. SATAN, who from the first has evinced himself the foe of the cause of Jesus. But his power is day by day contracting; and one by one are his strongholds wrested out of his hands. His most formidable opposition was his personal struggle with the Saviour, in which he enjoyed a momentary triumph; but it was a triumph which placed a lever underneath the foundations of his throne. The gospel of which that day's achievement forms both the power and the theme, has gone forth under the sanction of the Redeemer's command, over those tracts and territories where "the god of this world" had long held unbroken sway. And the means by which the Saviour has enlarged His kingdom are marvellous. Satan, as he was upon the day of the world's redemption, is defeated with his own weapons. Though covetousness may have sent ships to far distant shores, and rapine may have subjugated one country to another, and injustice may have torn the slave from kindred and from home — still see we not, that in more territories being laid open to the inroads of the gospel, and other influences being brought to bear upon benighted lands, that Satan has been foiled by superior wisdom, and the empire of the Mediator increased by his defeated policy!
II. CORRUPTION IN THE HEARTS OF GOD'S BELIEVING PEOPLE. The Mediator's most glorious title is "the King of Saints"; and that which chiefly prevents Him from being so now, in the fulness and majesty of the expression, is the existence of that secret and unholy principle in the hearts of Christians. But this corruption under the laws of the Mediator's reign is destined at length to be totally dethroned. The work of subduing it is one of mystery and time, and for the subduing of it Jesus has a train of instrumentalities at His disposal. By troubles, trials, disappointments, the hand of illness and bereavements. In every child of God it is daily waxing more feeble, which shows that, ultimately, it must be utterly extinguished, for "Jesus must reign," etc.
III. THE UNGODLY. These may not all take Paine for their text-book, or Voltaire for their leader; but yet from the circumstance of their being unconverted; they must be reckoned among His enemies. "The carnal mind is enmity against God" — "They that are in the flesh cannot please God." Now such the Mediator will put under His feet. Contrary to the usual course of His government, He will do little towards effecting this object here. But, while an enemy remains unpunished, the throne of the Mediator must stand.
IV. DEATH. The trophy and the triumph of the Satanic hosts. It was among the firstfruits of their victory. But in the arrangements of the Mediator's rule this enemy is destined for destruction! Even now is his power abridged, and his strength much departed from him; for Jesus has gone down into death's domains, and, in the dark seclusion of the tomb, passed through a conflict with him, from which He has returned a conqueror! And this victory He perpetuates in the persons of the members of His kingdom; for there is not one of them who feels not that death, though he may awe, can no longer terrify. Even upon this world, death to them has ceased to be an enemy; but oh! if we would see him, not simply shorn of his strength, but stripped of his existence, we must throw forward our glance to the resurrection morning. That hour shall see all enemies subdued.
Parallel VersesKJV: For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.