1 Corinthians 15:53-57
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.…
Paul uses this language in relation to the body, but it may be useful to apply it to the mental and moral part of human nature. To —
I. SYSTEMS OF THOUGHT. All errors of judgment are mortal and must perish. And what system of human thought is not intermixed with ideas not true? Look at systems —
1. Of philosophy. Many have already died out because of their errors; and existing systems because they are often contradictory reveal their errability, and consequently must die. The sensational, idealistic, mystic, and eclectic schools are all shifting as the clouds. It will not be always so; the true must take the place of the false in the realm of thought.
2. Of theology. How contradictory are most of them to each other and to some of the most vital things embodied in the life and teachings of Jesus. Many have died; some are dying; and all will sooner or later die. Human souls will one day have the "truth as it is in Jesus." "Our little systems have their day. They have their day and cease to be."
II. ELEMENTS OF HUMAN CHARACTER. Analyse the character of unrenewed men, and you will find moral principles that must die out if there be a God of justice and benevolence in the universe — e.g., avarice, envy, pride, malice, ambition, and selfishness. The human mind was never formed to be influenced by these. The fact that they are antagonistic to the moral constitution of the human soul, to the character of God, and to the order and well-being of all, show that they must sooner or later die. Human souls will one day put off this mortal and "put on" the immortal; "Righteousness, joy, and peace in the Holy Ghost," etc.
III. INSTITUTIONS OF HUMAN LIFE.
1. Our political institutions are mortal. Human governments are constantly dying. The unwisdom in their method of management, the unrighteousness of some of their laws, the haughtiness of those in power, and their constant fattening upon the overtaxed millions give mortality to governments. Man will one day put off these and put on the government of common sense, common justice, common benevolence. Men are craving not for the aristocratic or democratic, but for the theocratic, the reign of God, which is the reign of honesty and love.
2. Our ecclesiastical institutions are mortal. Whether they are Papal, Episcopal, Wesleyan, or Congregational, they are more or less mixed with error and must die.
IV. TYPES OF HUMAN GREATNESS. Some see the highest greatness in the millionaire, some in the triumphant conqueror, some in a monarch, some in ancestry and high-sounding titles. But such types of greatness agree neither with the reason nor the conscience of humanity. Because they are false they are mortal, and they will have to be exchanged for the immortal. The time will come when men will regard Christ as the only true type of greatness. Conclusion: What a glorious change awaits humanity! St. Paul speaks of the resurrection of the body. But there is a more glorious resurrection — a resurrection of the soul from the false, the unrighteous, the impure, to the true, the right, and the holy.
(D. Thomas, D.D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.