Victory over Death

1 Corinthians 15:55–57 (ESV) … “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. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”


15:53 For our perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die. Because “flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God” (15:50 nlt), and because Christians are promised eternal life in God’s kingdom, then their present perishable earthly bodies must be transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die. The perishable bodies will not be thrown away or abandoned; instead, they will be “transformed.” Each person will still be recognizable, will still be the person God created him or her to be, but each will be made perfect with a body that will be able to live forever in the kingdom.

15:54–55 When this happens—when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die—then at last the Scriptures will come true: “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The ultimate enemy of every human body is death. It takes every person; it cannot be escaped. For those who have no hope in Christ, death is the end of everything, the ultimate nothingness, the reason for living as one pleases in this life. Christians have been given an entirely different perspective. For believers, death is not the end; it is merely a doorway into eternal life. Most Christians will experience death; some who are alive at the time of Christ’s return will not themselves face death but will have known plenty who did. But when our perishable earthly bodies have been transformed into heavenly bodies that will never die, then the final victory over death will have been accomplished. Death was defeated at the resurrection of Christ, but total victory over death will not be accomplished until human beings—made from the dust of the earth, just like Adam—are given bodies that defy death. When this happens, the Scriptures will come true. Paul quoted from Isaiah 25:8 and Hosea 13:14—God’s promises that one day death itself will no longer carry victory or sting because death will be no more (Revelation 21–22).[1]




[1] Barton, B. B., & Osborne, G. R. (1999). 1 & 2 Corinthians (p. 238). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House.

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