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The Sting of Death

The Sting of Death

Author: Morris Hunter/Saturday, March 31, 2012/Categories: Judgement Future, Sin vs Obedience, Faith, Twitter Feed, Heaven, Faith vs. Unbelief

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 The Sting of Death

1Co 15:55  O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?  

 

 

One of the great differences between a true follower of Christ Jesus and an unbeliever, or even one whose faith in Christ is weak, is the way each individual views and approaches DEATH. 

 

Death to the true believer is painful but only temporary prick of a pin.  It draws a little blood because we who remain no longer have with us someone that we loved and had relationship in this life.

 

Php 1:23  For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better:

Php 1:24  Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you.

 

The scripture tells us that a person that actually knows God in a real and present relationship has a completely different relationship to physical death as an event and a reality that we all have an appointment with:

 

Php 1:21  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.  

 

Joh 11:26  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? KJV

 

Joh_6:50  [But] this is the Bread that comes down from heaven, so that [any]one may eat of it and never die. AMP

1Co 15:54  And when this perishable puts on the imperishable and this that was capable of dying puts on freedom from death, then shall be fulfilled the Scripture that says, Death is swallowed up (utterly vanquished forever) in and unto victory. [Isa. 25:8.]

1Co 15:55  O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? [Hos. 13:14.]

1Co 15:56  Now sin is the sting of death, and sin exercises its power [upon the soul] through [the abuse of] the Law.

1Co 15:57  But thanks be to God, Who gives us the victory [making us conquerors] through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1Co 15:58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be firm (steadfast), immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord [always being superior, excelling, doing more than enough in the service of the Lord], knowing and being continually aware that your labor in the Lord is not futile [it is never wasted or to no purpose].

I remember many years ago as young man I turned a corner in high school walking down a hallway and ran straight into a BEE.  The bee stung me right on my lip!  That’s the only bee sting I’ve ever had but the memory will stay with me the rest of my life no doubt.

I’ve been stung once by a scorpion and once on the beach by a Jellyfish.  OUCH!  OUCH! OUCH!
There is PAIN in each of those stings and I am a witness.  It is no joking matter when you are in the aftermath of a STING.  In fact some people that are considered ‘allergic’ to certain stings can even die from the sting rather than slowly recover from it as most people.

The apostle Paul in 1Cor 15:55 references the prophet Hosea when he speaks about death having a STING:

Hosea 13:14 "I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death. Where, O death, are your plagues? Where, O grave, is your destruction? "I will have no compassion,

Septuagint renders:

 

“O death, where is thy punishment?

O grave, where is thy sting?”

The word here translated as “sting” (κέντρον  kentron) denotes properly a prick, a point, and then a sting properly, as of scorpions, bees, etc. It denotes here a venomous thing, or weapon, applied to death personified, as if death employed it to destroy life, as the sting of a bee or a scorpion is used. (Albert Barnes commentary)

Death here is personified as a enemy creature with a STING. The sting of the creature is what gives it it’s power, it’s ability to destroy ( a scorpion can kill it’s smaller prey) or cause pain.

Death causes it pain ONLY because of SIN!  That is the revelation of the Holy Spirit via his prophet and apostle here.  Death would have no stinger if there were no sin i.e. no violation of God’s law. 

1Co 15:56  The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

Sin would have no power if there were no law to which the law breaker could be held accountable. 

But there is law.  The laws of man when they are broken bring punishment if the law breaker is caught and of the law executer is not corrupt but is in fact a just and righteous executor of the law.   In man’s case this is not always true, man is often corrupt and many times the lawbreaker escapes the consequences and STING.

God however is just.  The STING cannot be escaped.  Death stings with the pointed edge of SIN which demands that a just God executes justice. 

Thanks to the Lord Jesus Christ, the STINGER has been removed from Death!  He is a scorpion without his stinger!  The Christian is free!

But wait  a minute, why do we still feel the pain of death and suffer its STING in the loss of loved ones throughout our lives?  Christians die just like non-Christians right?  Right?

Wrong. Yes, we die the physical death but we do not die the spiritual death.  We have in fact already passed from a realm of death to a realm of eternal life:

Joh_5:24  Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

BUT, keep in mind the world we exist in is in a TRANSITION!  The sentence has been passed on Death, and Death is indeed a DEAD MAN but the execution date has been set and it is not quite yet.  Only the Father knows the day and hour but we can see the day approaching, the day of Death’s execution:

1Co 15:54  And when this perishable puts on the imperishable and this that was capable of dying puts on freedom from death, then shall be fulfilled the Scripture that says, Death is swallowed up (utterly vanquished forever) in and unto victory. [Isa. 25:8.]

1Co 15:55  O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? [Hos. 13:14.]

So for now my friends that know the truth, that know in fact that God IS and that He IS who he says he IS, the Author and Finisher of those who inherit eternal life, for now we rejoice over death by faith, by TRUSTING the many evidences God has given us that He will deliver on his promise of complete and total victory over the last enemy, DEATH. 

The secular man and woman handle death very much by avoiding the very thought of it for themselves, perhaps laughing at it as though it had no STING at all, because they are ignorant of it’s stinger, they are ignorant of SIN and it’s reality that flows from a just and righteous Creator that will NEVER be mocked without consequence.

So they simply don’t think about death.   The attitude is one of total focus on the here and now and let’s worry about eternity when it get’s here:

1Co 15:32  …what advantageth it me, if the dead rise not? let us eat and drink; for tomorrow we die.

The spiritually lost face death taking the gamble that they may be surprised to find it is not the end and may end up saying as Steve Jobs founder of Apple said on his death bed “Oh wow!, Oh wow!” while passing through the appointment we all have with physical death.

The Christian in relationship with God faces it with an assurance, a ‘blessed assurance’ that the ‘Oh wow’ moment is not one of surprise but one of an expectation that has been met.  It is not a surprise because day after day of life have been spent seeking and finding the Author of Life, the Alpha and the Omega and seeing every day of life that He is indeed true to His promises!

But as it is, he has appeared once at the end of the ages in order to do away with sin through the sacrifice of himself.

Heb 9:27

 

Just as human beings have to die once, but after this comes judgment, (CJB)

Live your life to get that ‘foretaste of glory divine’ each day as you touch the Spirit of God and He touches you in a way that you know and He knows and no one else can fully know.

While you will still deal with the transition period to full victory over death, hat foretaste will shorten and diminish the STING and ultimately even sweeten it so that you and I can understand that truly in Christ Jesus, TO DIE IS GAIN,

Php 1:23

… having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ;

which is far better:

 

 

 

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