Verse of the Day Devotion 1 Corinthians 15:57
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 15:57
Through this week we will be looking at verses in the scriptures that speak of thankfulness to our God that is due to Him. And our focus verse today is, “but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Paul here in this chapter describes the greatest thing we have to be thankful for. Paul starts here with the truth regarding the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. “but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures,” 1 Corinthians 15:3-4. He died for us because we could not save ourselves. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” Romans 5:8-10.
Now this resurrection has proof through the many who saw Christ after His death on the cross and His ultimate burial. Paul states He first appeared to Peter, then to the other disciples. Afterwards, He appeared to five hundred other brethren. And finally, after His ascension He appeared to Paul and his companions on the road to Damascus. And at this time, only to Paul for those with Paul only heard Him. Then Paul asks a very important question, for there were many who did not believe in a resurrection. “Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain.” 1Corinthians 15:12-14. Paul is saying here that if there is no resurrection, as some preach, then Jesus Himself has not been raised. Thus, our faith along with the words we preach, would be worthless. But he adds to this, “Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we witnessed against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised.” 1 Corinthians 15:15. He tells them anyone who preaches the resurrection would be considered false witnesses of the truth of the Christ. And what is the ultimate ending if there is no resurrection? “Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.” 1 Corinthians 15:18-19.
But there is a resurrection. “But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all shall be made alive.” 1 Corinthians 15:20-22. And what is incredible is, eventually all of us who believe Christ and are true Christians and have died, will experience a resurrection as well. What God has for us will be amazing and bring us unimaginable joy. “Behold, I tell 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 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. 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. “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.” 1 Corinthians 15:51-56.
What he is saying here is that not all of us, true Christians, will die and experience the resurrection, but we all will be changed from perishable to an imperishable people. And when this happens, we will see the saying that is found in Isaiah “And the LORD of hosts will prepare a lavish banquet for all peoples on this mountain; A banquet of aged wine, choice pieces with marrow, And refined, aged wine. And on this mountain He will swallow up the covering, which is over all peoples, Even the veil which is stretched over all nations. 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. And it will be said in that day, “Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” Isaiah 25:6-9. The basic idea written here in Isaiah is that when He comes back, He will have a time of celebration with His people by way of a lavish banquet. He will remove the coverings which is expressive of, as said by Theologian Albert Barnes and others, “the ignorance, superstition, crime, and wretchedness that covered the earth.” He will swallow up death eternally and will wipe tears away from all the faces of His people, as well as the reproach of His people from all the earth. And note what the people say. “Behold, this is our God for whom we have waited that He might save us. This is the LORD for whom we have waited; Let us rejoice and be glad in His salvation.” Isaiah 25:9.
This is what is denoted as the victory of the saints in our focus verse. “but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57. All true Christians will rejoice when this day comes. The victory is over sin, death, and the grave. God alone is the author of this victory. He formed the plan; he executed it in the gift of his Son; and he gives it to us personally when we come to die. We should now give thanks to God for this victory which we did not earn but is a free gift from God who provided it to us who believe in Jesus and what His death, burial, and resurrection provided. Christ died for us, to pay the penalty for ‘our’ sins, and thus be as one who did not sin. This is definitely a reason to give Him all our thanks and adoration we can. So, let us give Him, during this time of Thanksgiving, all the thanks and glory for His love for us. “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.