1 Corinthians 15:53-57
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.…
I. OUR BODIES, IN THE PRESENT STATE OF EXISTENCE, ARE CHARACTERISED BY ATTRIBUTES OF DEGRADATION. Our bodies bear many circumstances of dignity and grandeur. We are "fearfully and wonderfully made"; and there is that in every man which may lead us to see that he bears the image of God. But we are —
2. Mortal. We are subject to innumerable diseases and accidents to languor and decline. We wear down by slow degrees, or are snapped asunder in a moment.
3. What is the reason that we are subject to such an allotment? The answer is, sin (Romans 5.). We cannot look on one grave that was not opened by sin, nor on one body that was not laid low by sin.
II. A PERIOD IS ORDAINED WHEN OUR BODIES ARE TO BE INVESTED WITH PRINCIPLES OF RESTORATION. If we could look on no prospect but the tomb, then we might freely admit that human existence, with all its circumstances of joy, would yet be but misery. But by the gospel "life and immortality" are "brought to light." Notice three things in reference to this change.
1. The agency by which it is to be effected. All those events which concern our acceptance and final salvation are committed to Christ. As He has made peace by the blood of atonement, and as He is the medium of all grace and blessing, so by Him is to be the great adjudication which shall fix our destiny. Divine must be His attributes at whose bidding all the graves shall uncharnel, and all their countless inhabitants stand before Him.
2. The attributes of which it is to consist. By connecting the attributes of incorruption and in, mortality with the resurrection, we may be furnished with two ideas respecting our future change. It is to consist —
(1) Of an entire conformation to the image of Christ (ver. 49).
(2) In an introduction to the perpetuity of perfect happiness. Eternal life is only another word for eternal happiness.
3. The certainty with which it is invested. "In Christ shall all be made alive." "This corruptible must put on incorruption."
III. THE ARRIVAL OF THIS PERIOD SHALL BE KNOWN AS ONE OF SPLENDID TRIUMPH. By a fine poetic figure death is set forth as a powerful foe; and all the pains, etc., which death has inflicted are to be regarded as so many victories achieved by him. But there is a counter foe; and there is a victory achieved over this formidable foe. Glorious will be that victory!
(1) A sufficient payment for all the trials of mortality.
(2) A complete and satisfactory explanation of all the dark passages in the moral government of God upon earth. When all the redeemed shall join in one loud melodious song — "Unto Him that loved us," etc.Conclusion: The subject furnishes —
1. A ground of substantial consolation while we contemplate the departure of our Christian friends.
2. A ground for solemn and serious examination as to our state in reference to the arrival of that solemn hour.
Parallel VersesKJV: For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.