Intro. In the book of Job, death is referred to as the king of terrors. Paul speaks of death as the last enemy to be destroyed.
I. THE CERTAINTY OF DEATH.
A. Thus far the statistics are pretty convincing. One hundred out of every one hundred people die.
1. The Bible tells us that it is appointed unto man, once to die, and after that, the judgment.
a. For many they are appointed twice to die, and I am not referring to those who have been resuscitated, but the scripture tells us that at the judgment throne of God, if a person's name is not found written in the Lamb's book of life that they will be cast into the lake burning with fire, that this is the second death.
b. The Bible tells us also that those who have a part in the first resurrection are blessed for the second death will have no power over them.
c. If you are born twice, you will die once. If you are only born once, you will die twice.
d. We of course talking about the necessity of having a spiritual birth. Jesus said, "If you want to enter the kingdom of heaven, you must be born again." That is you must have a second birth.
2. Jesus spoke of a group that would escape death.
a. He said, "He that liveth and believeth in Me shall never die."
b. He is talking about the 2nd death.
3. Paul spoke of those who were dead, while they were still alive.
a. He is speaking of the natural man who is spiritually dead.
b. "The natural man does not understand the things of the Spirit, neither can he know them for they are spiritually discerned."
c. Have you ever talked to someone about the things of the Lord and they do a "Duh" on you?
d. Their comprehension of spiritual things is zero, zilch.
e. Things that are so clear and plain to you are totally incomprehensible to them.
B. The uncertainty of life.
1. Solomon observed,
[There is] no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither [hath he] power in the day of death: and [there is] no discharge in [that] war;
2. James said,
Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
Whereas ye know not what [shall be] on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
3. None of us have a guarantee on life.
4. We never know when God will say of us, "Your days have been numbered and you are finished."
5. At any time God can say of us, "This night your soul will be required of you."
II. OUR TEXT DECLARES THAT JESUS HAS ABOLISHED DEATH.
A. We are talking about spiritual death.
1. God had warned Adam that the day he ate of the forbidden fruit he would surely die.
2. Adam ate and his spirit died.
3. Rather than a threefold being comprised of body, soul, and spirit, he became a twofold being of body and soul.
a. Adam's consciousness was now absorbed with his bodily needs.
b. His body appetites began to rule his life.
c. He became a slave to his body appetites.
d. On this level he was now living as an animal.
e. He was dead to the things of God.
f. He had lost the spiritual dimension of life.
4. Spiritual death is the consequence of sin.
a. "The soul that sinneth shall die."
b. The wages of sin is death.
5. Spiritual death is to be separated from God.
Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:
But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid [his] face from you, that he will not hear.
a. It is not that He cannot, He will not hear.
b. God desires fellowship with you. This is why He created you. The word fellowship means oneness, He wants to be one with you. He will not be one with sin.
B. Adam's sin brought spiritual death upon mankind. He could not pass on to his children something that he no longer had.
1. So by one man sin entered the world and death by sin so that death passed unto all men for all sinned.
2. We have been born in sin, and shapen in iniquity.
3. Paul spoke of being alienated from the life of God.
C. How did Jesus abolish death?
1. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit, thus He was not tainted by the original sin.
a. The scripture speaks of Him as our sacrifice as a lamb without spot or blemish.
b. Spot was an inherent flaw, whereas blemish was an acquired flaw.
c. Adam was created sinless, but he afterward sinned. So he was without spot, but became blemished.
2. Jesus is often referred to as the second Adam. That is, when He was born, He was born a total person, being conceived by the Spirit, He was complete body, soul, and spirit.
a. He lived in complete fellowship with the Father.
b. "I do always those things that please the Father."
c. "I and the Father are one."
d. He was sinless. He asked one day, "Which of you can prove Me guilty of sin?"
3. Being sinless He could qualify as a sacrifice for sinful man.
a. No sinful man could die for someone else's sin, He could only die for his own sins.
b. The Bible prophesied of the Messiah, that God would lay on Him, the iniquities of us all.
c. The Bible prophesied, "That He would bear the sins of many." That He would be wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities.
4. Paul wrote to the Corinthians,
For he hath made him [to be] sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
5. Listen to the words that Paul wrote to the church in Rome.
If through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, [which is] by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
And not as [it was] by one that sinned, [so is] the gift: for the judgment [was] by one to condemnation, but the free gift [is] of many offences unto justification.
For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.
Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life.
For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
6. Paul wrote to the Corinthians,
For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
And [that] he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
7. Jesus abolished death by cleansing us from that which caused death, that is our sin. "For the blood of Jesus Christ, God's Son, cleanses a man from all sin."
Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality.
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on 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 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.
D. Jesus has fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah,
He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken [it].
III. HE HAS NOT ONLY ABOLISHED DEATH, BUT HAS BROUGHT LIFE, AND IMMORTALITY TO LIGHT THROUGH THE GOSPEL.
A. What the world terms as death for the child of God is only a metamorphosis, as we are changed in a moment a twinkling of an eye, and I exchange this corruptible body for an incorruptible, and this mortal body for my immortal body.
B. This is the gospel that we preach to a dying world. The good news to man who through his life has be subjected to the fear of death.
1. In the face of death he can cry, "Oh death, where is your sting, Oh grave, where is your victory?"