In this sermon, Pastor Babij teaches on the benefits of Christ’s resurrection, beginning with the assertion that the resurrection affects the eternal destiny of all who are born of Adam and Eve. Pastor Babij discusses four marvelous benefits that only believers in the resurrection of Jesus enjoy. Consequently, Pastor pleads with those who do not know to Jesus to come to Him, to repent of their sins, and to be saved from the coming judgment.
This morning we’re going to be looking in our Bibles at 1 Corinthians 15:50-58. In the pew Bible, it’s on page 1153. If you are not used to a Bible and you would like to follow along, that would be very beneficial for you to see that it says these things in the Word of God.
This morning I’m going to be looking at the benefits of the resurrection. But before we look at the Word of God, let’s pray. Lord, this morning, I thank you so much that we’re able to come together today, and not only to hear your Word, but Lord, we are privileged to be able to have a copy that we can read and that we can hear and that we can know Your will. I pray Lord today that that would be the case to all who’ve come, that You give them ears to hear the truths found within the Word of God. I pray as we see those truths, Lord, that they would sink into our heart and to our mind. Lord, that we would ask ourselves the questions that are so important for our own soul: where will we spend eternity? I pray, Lord, that that would become clear today as to where we would spend eternity.I pray, Lord, that You take the Word of God and use it to show us the way. In Christ name. Amen.
This Lord’s day, we meet together to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Whether you realize it or not, the resurrection of Jesus Christ does affect every one of us in some way or another. One reason is because our souls are made of eternal stuff, because we have been created in the image of God. So then we all have eternal life. The difference lies in our destinies. The apostle John writes in his gospel, in John 5 these words:
Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment.
Now, either you will hear and heed the voice of Jesus Christ on this side of eternity or on the next, or for believers on both. Our destiny depends on what a person does with Jesus Christ. If they believe in and receive Jesus Christ alone for salvation, then their destiny will be spent with Jesus Christ and in heaven forever. If a person doesn’t believe, they have not received Jesus Christ alone for their salvation, then their destiny will include separation from God and Jesus Christ and in an eternal lake of fire, the Bible tells us in revelation, for all eternity. Again, the gospel of John sheds light on this sober truth, where he says this:
Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
So, make sure the voice of the Holy Spirit is speaking to you through the Word of God. You listen and obey His voice to believe the true gospel of Jesus Christ. The only one who can make you right, anyone right with God, is Jesus Christ, because of what took place on the cross. The Bible says:
for Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made a live in the spirit.
So Jesus was God’s appointed substitute for His sheep. Jesus died in the place of all who, in every age, trust Him as Lord and Savior. When a sinner trust Jesus Christ for forgiveness of sins, they then possess eternal life. The sins of Christ’s people have been paid for and forgiven. The perfect obedience of Christ positively guarantees their acceptance with God. So the bottom line is this: the only way to be saved is to the turn from your sins and receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
Now, what does that look like? When a person hears the gospel of Jesus Christ and comes under its convicting and regenerating power as the holy spirit illuminates the gospel of Christ to them, as a result of that, they’re able to come to grips realistically about the problem of their own personal sin. And then secondly, they’re able to take seriously into account God’s one and only remedy for that sin, and that’s Jesus Christ and His work on the cross. Then they submit wholeheartedly to that message by turning from their personal sin and their sin of unbelief and idolatry and other things that are included in that, and they receive Jesus by faith.
That doesn’t mean they have all the answers. It means they receive the only sacrifice on their behalf. And then they go on to live for Christ. They exhibit, in their life, evidence of that faith in Christ. In other words, they become genuine, fruit-bearing children of God.
Now because Christ has risen, for those who know him, there are benefits. There are actually four benefits that I want you to see in this passage of Scripture this morning. Four benefits of Christ’s resurrection.
And here’s the first one, found in 1 Corinthians 15:50-53, where the Bible says:
Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet; for the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.
In other words, these old bodies are not going to work well in heaven. In fact, they can’t get into heaven. Heaven will not have residents of these bodies that we now live in. They work well enough for the earth, at least for a few years. Yet they are not suited for heaven. As our passage says:
I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;
The kingdom of God is used here to refer to the eternal state of believers, the state in which believers are in the eternal presence of God. Now right now, our bodies are perishable and we can’t put on the imperishable on by ourselves. God has to do that for us. So then to go into the kingdom of God, our bodies must be changed. It must be different. We must be different. Look how God will change the earthly body to a spiritual body, in verses 42-44 in chapter 15.
There are four things, actually the Bible says, that needs to happen. First, there’s a contrast made between our old bodies and our new bodies. The first one pertains to our durability, the durability of our body, found in this passage right here.
the bodies that we now have, every nerve every blood vessel tells us that we must die. It is subject to decay and eventual death. We’re all full of sufferings. We’re full of aches. We’re full of pains. As you get older, you realize that more and more, which reminds us that we can only remain here for a limited, period of time. The Bible tells us in our text, so also the resurrection of the dead it is sown a perishable body, but it is raised an imperishable body. It’s talking about durability. Our bodies now perish, but someday we’re going to have a durable body.
In fact, the Bible also tells us that in this passage of Scripture found in Psalm 39. It says:
Lord, make me to know my end and what is the extent of my days; let me know how transient I am. Behold, You have made my days as handbreadths, and my lifetime as nothing in Your sight. Surely every man at his best is a mere breath.
Every man is it just a mere breath. Our life is short. Job tells us:
Like a flower he comes forth and withers. He also flees like a shadow and does not remain.
Our lives are very short. And so we’re going to have to drop off these decaying, diseased bodies, prone to death, and take on an imperishable body which God will give us.
A second contrast in the text that I just read is that of value and potential. That it is sown in dishonor, but then it is raised in glory.
Brethren, time and gravity and the effects of sin, these are not kind to the human body. The body goes to the grave in somewhat of an embarrassing condition. However, in the resurrection, the new body has this potential to have a dignity and a brilliance about it unlike our natural state. It is sown in dishonor. It is raised in glory.
The third contrast would be that of ability, that it is sown in weakness. We are so fragile. Each of us should really bear the label: handle with care. How weak we become when we get close to death, how fragile we become. Think of it, a person must be carried by his family and friends, carried to the grave. They can’t even lay down themselves in the last resting place.
But this powerless body will be raised. It will be raised, the Bible says, in power. Believers will have superhuman bodies. It will get up, never to fall again.
And then a fourth contrast in the passage is that of sphere: where it will be. It says it’s sown a natural body; it’s raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. So this body is only suited for this natural world. Someday, we will have a spiritual body perfectly suited for the heavenly realm.
When you, the believer, dies, your spirit will dwell in heaven for a little while without a body. But afterwards, you are to enter into a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. You and I, all those who know Christ, will be fit for the kingdom of God with new bodies. These bodies cannot go into the presence of God, because of the glory of God.
In fact, there are three important facts surrounding this new body. And if you notice again in our text 1 Corinthians 15:51, the first one is this: our bodies will be changed to an altered state. It says in verse 51:
Behold, I tell you a mystery; we will not all sleep, but we will all be changed.
So the term “we will be changed” is really a term that means to be altered or to be transformed. That believers’ bodies who sleep, (the Bible uses the word death equal to the word sleep) their bodies sleep. Their bodies will be altered to live in the domain of heaven with no decay, corruption, or sin. This passage also indicates the end of human history. Not all will experience physical death, but all will experience the resurrection. Those who are still living when Christ comes will be changed.
We will not sleep, it says, but we will be changed. We will have this new body that’s able to go into the presence of God. It says in 1 Thessalonians 4:17:
Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.
So our bodies are going to be altered.
Secondly our bodies will be changed quickly. It says in our text in verse 52: in a moment. in a moment. It is actually not going to be a long time process type of thing. In our text, it says in a moment. Actually the Greek word here is atomos. We get the word atom from it. So we can say we are going to be changed in the atom of time.
Also, an atom is something too small to be cut. The smallest measure of time, in a moment, in an instant. Then it adds here another word which means rapid throwing movement. The jerk of the body, the the twinkling of an eye, the blinking of an eye, that we are going to be changed quickly. It’s going to be as fast as you blink your eye. Lord’s going to do that and our bodies will be changed quickly.
Then our bodies will be changed at a specific time. Verse 52 and 53, it says “at the last trumpet”. A specific time will be at reveille. The trumpet is an instrument often used in a military context. If anybody has anything to do with the military or knows anything about the military, reveille is the trump that is sounded in the morning. It’s probably the one hated by the troops the most. It’s sounded in the morning and it wakes the troops up. It gets them out of the rack and ready for the day before them.
The Bible is saying here that this last trumpet is not the last in the Scripture in the scriptural sense, but it’s the last for believers. It is a time when God’s trumpet will summon all of God’s chosen. All believers will come forth when that trumpet blows. They will hear it. They will rise. They will get new bodies. They will be changed. Changed so that they will be able to live in the presence of God. For it says:
the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.
So our decaying bodies must put on non-decaying bodies that will allow us to live with God in heaven forever. For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.
One day an assistant from a famous chemist named Michael Faraday accidentally knocked a little silver cup into a beaker of very strong acid. In almost no time, he noticed the silver object disappeared. The great chemist was summoned. That’s Michael Faraday. He quickly put a certain chemical into the jar, and in a moment every particle of silver came together on the bottom of the beaker. Removing this shapeless mass of silver, he sent it to the silversmith who created a cup that shone as bright as ever.
What Michael Faraday did in this laboratory is but a small picture of our mighty God, what He will do at the resurrection of all the saints. He will miraculously restore the bodies of all who died in Christ, both living and dead. They will be raised with incorruptible bodies. That is a benefit, the first benefit that we receive as believers, because we have trusted Christ as our Lord and Savior.
There is a second benefit and that is the benefit of our defeated foe. What is our defeated foe? What is that great foe against us? Well, you probably could guess it. It’s death. Who can escape death? Who can elude death? Who can bypass death? Nobody could do that. Where it says in our passage in verse 54:
Death is swallowed up in victory.
There’s going to be such a fantastic change that takes place. What the Lord has accomplished on the cross: death will be abolished. In fact, the prophet Isaiah said in 25:8:
He will swallow up death for all time, and the Lord God will wipe tears away from all faces, and He will remove the reproach of His people from all the earth; for the Lord has spoken.
Right here in our passage, it says:
But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.”
Swallowed up is in a certain Greek tense of a verb, that means someone will drink down death so that it exists no more. Death, our greatest enemy, will be permanently and successfully rid of forever. All its power, all its horror, all its fear will be gone. Why? Because Christ is the one who drank down death for us. He’s the one who is defeated it for us on the cross. Something else in this passage of Scripture that’s very interesting that we sung about but maybe you have missed it, and it’s this: the sting of death will be abolished. It says:
O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;
Sting represents death as a venomous creature, a scorpion, maybe a hornet which has a deadly stinger in it. This dangerous stinger is rendered harmless. Christ bore the whole death sting. He, in a sense, assumed the death sting in order that we would not have to bear it any longer.
For a believer, the sting of death is no longer there. But the sting of death still remains for all those who have not believed, because they are still in their sin. As long as they remain in that condition, the law condemns them. The sting of death remains.
So what is the problem in the first place that causes people to die? That we would even need a resurrection. Why do people die? If God is life and living, and He made us living souls, why would we die? The only reason why we die is because of sin. We can die a thousand different ways, a million different ways. But the reason why we die, the Bible says, it’s because of sin. Adam disobeyed God. Because he disobeyed God, his sin was passed to us, and sin brought death.
And so we die. But there’s three kinds of death. There’s not only physical death that we know of, we are born spiritually dead. We have no reference to God. We don’t willingly obey the Lord because of our sin, because we’re driven by our passions and by our lusts. So we have to understand the problem. The problem is sin.
There are two ingredients we need to understand that we don’t normally understand our own. The first thing is sin. Even in our society, people don’t even talk about sin anymore. It’s a word that’s not even in the vocabulary of our society anymore. People don’t really sin anymore. They’re basically pretty good. Everybody’s pretty good, right? I’m good. You’re good. Everybody is good.
So what’s the problem? we don’t need Christ. We don’t need anybody to die in our place. We don’t need anybody to take the wrath of God in our place. But why all the violence? After all, aren’t we really basically good or isn’t it true that there is no such thing as a bad person, man or woman boy or girl?
The media tells us to get the very best because we deserve it. But we really deserve what sin brings. Sin brings us to the place where we deserve. Because of our disobedience and our own personal sin, we deserve to be separated from God. The Scriptures make it plain that all of us are sinners. Nothing could be stated more clearly in the Bible. It says in Romans 3:10:
as it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, not even one.”
The wisdom book of Ecclesiastes says this:
Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins.
So if you want to be honest and look at the matter clearly, every single one of us when we were born into this world, we’re already on death row. We are already under God’s condemnation and wrath. For the Bible says:
He who believes in Him is not judged; he would does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
We are condemned to die for the wages of sin that the Bible says is death. The problem is sin. It is a huge problem. It is a big problem because of the results of that problem. The results of sin is death. It’s not only spiritual death and physical death, but the worst kind of death – the second death. That’s the death where someone who does not believe in Christ dies, and now they have a resurrected body too, but not to spend eternity with God, to spend eternity in torment where they will never die. They will be in torment forever.
So the problem is sin. The Scripture makes it very plain. If you offend in one point, you are guilty of it all. People say: well, hey, I’m a good person. I’ve kept the commandments. The only problem is that the Bible says that if you break one of them one time, then you bear its results. For it says whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles in one point has become guilty of it all. So you don’t have to break all the commandments.
It’s amazing to me how many people think that their good works are going to outweigh their bad works, and that’s how God looks at things. The attitude of many people is that they are really quite good. They are certainly sufficiently good and better than some people they know, but no person is good enough. That’s what the Bible teaches.
The whole world is a fallen race of rebels and stands condemned in the sight of God. See, the Lord cannot help people in the flesh. Either it set a standard too high for human attainment and too dangerous by promoting pride when human beings did manage to achieve success in keeping some of the commandments. Both accounts, as the work of self-help reading type of merit-based religious systems, give people grounds for boasting to God, saying: I think I’ve been good enough.
But the problem is the law turns against us as an enemy. So we sin. The law actually teaches us that we are sinners, but it cannot save us, the law. The law has to bring us to the One who can save us, which is Christ.
But there’s a second ingredient that’s connected to this problem, why we need salvation and the death and resurrection of Christ. The second ingredient that is needed to understand the need for the resurrection is the justice of God.
The Bible teaches us that God is absolutely just. He is holy. He is of pure eyes, then even to look upon iniquity. And thus no sin could ever enter into heaven, because God is just. He must punish every and all sin.
Now, did you ever hear anybody brought into court and charged with murder or grand larceny or bank robbery? Whatever it may be, and take the witness stand and say: well, yes your honor. But you need to understand – I was a boy scout. I was on the honor roll in school. In fact, I helped a number of old ladies cross the street. I even have the merit badges to prove it. I did this and I did that and I did the other thing.
Now, a righteous judge has to uphold the justice of the matter. God is a just judge. So a just judge is bound to uphold justice. In fact, God can do no other than to uphold justice. The judge must say: you are here, sir, to answer the charge of murder. Nothing else.
We would like God to lower the bar for us, to go easy on us, but He cannot. He cannot violate His own being, His own holiness, His own justice. God has declared the soul that sins, it will die. The person who has broken the law of a holy God is a person who’s come under His condemnation and who is guilty.
See, we sin every day in thought and in word and in deed. We also sin deliberately. We also sin unintentionally. Matter of fact, we sin so much we can’t remember all the sins that we sin. We cannot do it. Nobody can stand before God and say to God: I have something to offer You, that You can look at my life and be pleased with me and save me. It’ll never happen because of who God is, in his character.
We have all broken the laws of God in one of those ways and therefore are condemned already under God’s holy justice. Where sin has been removed by Christ, death can only interrupt this earthly life and then usher us into heaven. As long as the person is unconverted, without Christ, the sting of death remains forever.
And it will usher in the second death. That is eternal death. Eternal death is the lake of fire. Those who died in Christ, the second death, the Bible says, has no power. But those who die in their sin, the second death has power to keep them. They cannot escape from that, for the Bible says:
Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power,
What this means is that damnation, ie the second death shall have no power over those who rise in this first resurrection. And of course, how is this? Well, saints are no longer guilty of sin because Christ took their guilt. Matter of face, saints, those who believe in Christ, have no sin at all. They have the righteousness of Christ on their account. Christ has nailed their sin to the cross forever, all of it.
Do Christians sin? Yes. They have sinned like everyone else and were by nature children of wrath, but their sins have been lifted from them by the Lord Jesus Christ. Their substitute has carried all their guilt, all their iniquity, and has taken it completely away. It shall never be found against them. Forever. They wear their Savior’s righteousness and have been washed in His blood and have been made clean. They are now at peace with God.
Yes, those who died in Christ, the fiery destruction of the flames of the lake of fire and damnation cannot even singe their clothing or even make them smell like they’ve been walking through the flames and have the sense of smell of smoke on them. Because they are in Christ, nothing can overcome them ever again. They have died in the Lord. It does not matter how you die. What matters is that you die, that your soul has been prepared to meet the Lord.
It matters that you die in the Lord. It matters that you die in Christ. Either you will die in your sins, or you’ll die in the Lord. Those are the only two ways a person can die. One is a death with hope of the resurrection of eternal life. One is a death with no hope, with the future of the resurrection of damnation. Those are the two things.
But there is a third benefit that I must mention and it’s found in verse 57: the benefit of our decisive victory. It says:
but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
We can say amen, that He does give us the victory, for that’s what it says: thanks be to God. Again, notice this military language. Who gives us the victory? To have a victory, you have to win a battle. i say this reverently, that I believe that Jesus is the greatest special warfare operator who fought the greatest battle and won the greatest victory. He’s our Savior.
I can’t stand when people portray Jesus Christ as some wimp. He wasn’t a wimp. He was a warrior. He fought the greatest battle for us. And he did that for what reason? To secure our salvation. To give us the sense that, you can know before you die you’re going to heaven for sure. The Bible says:
These things I have written to you…that you may know that you have eternal life.
Why? Because you believe in the only begotten Son of God, that’s why. God wants us to know that now. After death it’s too late. Now while you’re living, while you’re alive, while you’re breathing, while you’re thinking, while you can interact with things.
I say: don’t ever blow off Christ. Take serious consideration of the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. In him is victory. Without Him is defeat. You don’t want to die in defeat. you want to die in victory. That’s the way you want to die.
But I want you to notice in this passage. So it says there:
but thanks be to God who gives us the victory,
That’s very interesting, because that means that the victory has been given to us. We didn’t earn it. We didn’t deserve it. We didn’t work for it. It was a gift to us by God, in the Scripture. It’s given to us. That means we did nothing to obtain this victory. It was simply handed to us by Christ.
What’s the only thing we could do when we realized that it’s a gift What is it say there? Thank you. Thank you Lord. Thank you for opening up my eyes to see the truth on where I’ll spend eternity, and that Christ is the answer. Thank you for for taking care of everything so I can be saved, that I can’t add anything to the cross. Nothing. Not one thing.
All I can bring to God is my sin. That’s it. I have nothing else. I have no righteousness to bring God. I have no good works to bring God. I have nothing to bring God except my filthy sin, my dirty sin.
And Jesus says: you’re the one I came to save. Come, come to me, and I will give you life. The only thing that should happen to us when we realize that message is to be overcome with gratitude.
But there is a last benefit and it’s this: the benefit of our definite motivation. For a believer, what’s the motivation we have, because of all these benefits? It’s this – it says:
Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.
Why is toil of a believer not in vain? It’s because Christ rose from the grave, because we’re victorious. We are on the victory side, right? He’s won the battle and we reap the benefits of that.
All believers have a great motivation to keep on keeping on, so we can press on in this short life, because nothing a believer does is empty. Nothing. And God knows everything we do. Everything we do He knows. Even if we give a cup of cold water to someone in the name of the Lord, He marks it down. So nothing’s in vain. Nothing is empty.
That also means that all people can serve God. You don’t have to have any kind of special things to serve God. Just live your life with the Lord. Live your life for the Lord so all believers can do things for the Lord and it’s worth something, because Christ is risen.
So those are the benefits. But the question I have is for those who have not believed yet. Do you know where you’re going after you die? Is your life flying by without real direction and purpose? Do you have serious doubts about where you will spend eternity? If so, remember these words of Jesus:
All that the father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.
Jesus is basically saying to us: come. Come and confess the Lord as your Savior. Come and repent of your sins to be saved. Come and have your sins washed away by the blood of Christ. Come and receive what God has for you. He promises us He will give us eternal life.
And then we have that hope of the resurrection of our bodies in which we will spend eternity with Christ. If you seek God’s forgiveness, you have sought God’s forgiveness through Christ.
And you know you are forgiven and you will spend eternity in heaven because you understand the Word of God. You know that you will no longer have to fear the grave anymore, because of the future. If you know that and you know where you’re heading, that you’re part of the resurrection of the righteous, then you must remember the judgment seat of Christ. You must and I must live that we may reap a harvest of eternal gain rather than loss. We must immerse ourselves in God’s word to know what He values the most. We must, even now, be concerned about imitating Christ in our attitudes and our actions, in our honoring the Lord.
So all these benefits and all these truths found in the Word of God will either put somebody in a place where they know their destiny will be heaven and they will receive a resurrection body to live with God forever. Or their destiny will be the lake of fire which they will receive the resurrected body to be tormented forever. That’s what the Bible teaches. There’s no in-between place. There’s no purgatory place. The Bible does not teach that. Those are the realities that are found in the Word of God, and thank the Lord He’s risen. We’re on the victory side until Christ. Amen.
Let’s pray. Lord this morning, I thank you. I thank you, Lord, for the Bible. For, Lord, we know in it is contain the Word of God. And I pray, Lord, as we hear the Word, I pray that we will respond to Your voice as I mentioned in the first passage. I pray, Lord, You would give them, your people, your sheep, ears to hear. As they receive the truth, Lord, they would not just blow them off, say they’re for somebody else.
But I pray Lord that they would think themselves: where do I stand? and if the Bible really says that, and it does, I need to trust Christ today. And if I already know those truths, Lord, and we have the hope and the benefits of the resurrection, then I pray the Lord that we would be thankful that we would serve You and that Lord we would consider seriously knowing that Christians will be judged for their works at the judgement seat of Christ, that we will be serious Christians and bear fruit.
That is evident of God’s Spirit. Thank you Lord again for this day. Please use the Word of God in a way that grows your church, grows believers, convicts sinners, and honors You in all things. And I pray this in Christ’s name, amen.