- Sample Chapter -
“Death is Swallowed Up in Victory”
1 Corinthians 15:54
“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.” 1 Corinthians 15:54
Ultimately “death” will be “swallowed up in victory” when we pass to be with Christ.
Paul said: “Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” (Phil. 1:20-21) To “die” (be separated from our mortal body) and go be with Christ, is “gain.” To die to the dictates of the sinful nature is also “gain.” Spiritual “death” is conquered or “swallowed up” in the victory of Christ in each of these instances. Contrary to much teaching today, without our fleshly nature being “swallowed up” and conquered by the Spirit, and individual overcoming faith of the disciple, there will be no victory (Rom. 6:16; 1 Cor. 9:27; Rev. 3:5; 22:8, 11, 27).
“For we that are in this tabernacle (temporal body) do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.” 2 Corinthians 5:4
Here the Holy Ghost tells us that “mortality” will one day be “swallowed up of life.” Death will be robbed of its power over those who partake of Christ, who is “the resurrection and the life.” (Jn. 11:25) The conquering power of Christ, who is “the life,” is going to overtake and swallow up death like a whale swallowing a minnow (Jn. 14:6).
“Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil; And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.” Hebrews 2:14-15
Jesus was the only One ever qualified to pay the ultimate price to satisfy the claims of the heavenly Father’s justice in redeeming His fallen creation. Christ destroyed “him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” As we are in Him, we need not fear because His “perfect love (in us) casteth out all fear” of not being with Him (Heb. 2:14-15; 1 Jn. 4:16-18).
“For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” 1 John 5:4-5
In order to partake of Christ in eternity, one must be willing to first partake of Him in this life – according to the way He prescribed to us in His word (Matt. 7:21; Heb. 9:27; Rev. 22:11). He told us up-front that only a “few” would be willing to truly know and partake of Him in this life (Matt. 7:13-14; 21-23). It seems that the majority of people would rather deny Christ by migrating to smooth speakers who don’t preach the cross and its heart-circumcising, sin-crucifying reality (1 Tim. 4:1-3; 2 Tim. 4:2-4).
“It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: IF we suffer, we shall also reign with him: IF we deny him, he also will deny us.” 2 Timothy 2:11-12
Christ is denied every time one doesn’t deny self. A God-fearing man once said:
“Either Christ will crucify self out of the life, or self will crucify Christ right out of that life.”
Most people today say they would rather go to Heaven than hell, and serve Christ rather than Satan. Yet regrettably, most people are not willing to “be dead with him” to the things of this world, and will therefore forfeit being able to eternally “live with him.” (Rom. 6; Gal. 2:20; 5:24) They will not be blessed to forever “reign with him” in the life to come because they “deny” His lordship in this brief life (Matt. 7:21; 2 Tim. 3:5). Most people want the heavenly crown and yet are not willing to take up the cross of the heavenly King. This is the test.
Christ-glorifying victory over the sinful nature is granted when our temporary tabernacles in which we currently exist are put under subjection to the Spirit, will, and Word of God (1 Cor. 9:27). This is why Paul could say that he did “glory in tribulations.” (Rom. 5:3)
Though found and saved by Him, we must also obey Him, and our obedience is always the proof that we possess saving faith. Though the gift of eternal life was perfectly purchased by Christ, it is not an un-forfeitable possession (Lk. 8:13; Jn. 6:66; Heb. 3:6, 12-15; 10:26-39). One who has been genuinely saved must continue or endure to the end “through much tribulation” to be saved (Matt. 10:22; 24:13; Acts 14:22; Col. 1:23; Heb. 3:6, 12-15). The message of the LORD and His beloved prophets and apostles was not one of ease like the messages of the wolves of our day.
Concerning Romans 16, Donald Stamps, in the Life In the Spirit Study Bible, writes:
“At the end of his letter, Paul gives a strong warning to the church in Rome to be alert to all those who do damage to the church by corrupting and extorting the ‘doctrine’ (teaching) of Paul and the other apostles. They are to ‘mark’ the proponents of false doctrine and ‘avoid them’ and their ministry. Those marked may have been antinomians (i.e., against the law), who taught that because salvation is by grace, saving faith does not necessarily include obedience to Christ Jesus (cf. 6:1-2; 2 Cor. 4:2; 11:3; Eph. 4:14; Rev. 2:4-5). They believed that a person could live in sin and reject God’s moral law, and yet possess eternal salvation. These false teachers were eloquent orators, speaking with comforting words and flattering speeches (cf. Jude 16), but deceiving simple Christians.” p. 1759
Those “ungodly men” who are in our day “turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness (license for sin)” through their false teachings, do great and eternal damage in their rampage to “destroy souls.” (Isa. 9:16; Ezek. 22:25-27; Jude 3-4). We are commanded to “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered to the saints” against those who assume that all who have truly been saved are in no danger whatsoever of forfeiting their gift of eternal life they once received. Yet, no such assurance, language, or teaching is offered in Scripture (2 Pet. 2:20-22; 3:17; Rev. 2-3).
Ongoing personal participation is required of the individual recipient of eternal life or all will be lost (Matt. 26:41; Lk. 21:34-36; Col. 1:23; 2:8; Heb. 3:6,12-14; 10:26-39; 1 Pet. 4:17-18; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
Salvation requires more than just the initial prayer. Jesus warned that we must “watch and pray” continually that we might enter His kingdom and not “enter into temptation.” (Matt. 26:41; Lk. 21:34-36).
The life of prayer is the tangible demonstration that we are preferring Christ above self. As a result, we are granted victory over sin as His holy life teems in. As we “watch and pray,” our lamps or vessels are continually filled with the holy oil of His Spirit, and we are thereby kept ready to meet Him (Matt. 25:1-13; 26:41).
As His life in us is allowed to flourish through communion, “the deeds of the body” will be mortified.
“For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.” Romans 8:13
In speaking with a dear brother recently, we talked about Romans 6-8 and what the LORD has to say about the futile quest to salvage or build upon the cursed foundation of the sinful nature. The old man is "by nature" prone to "disobedience." (Eph. 2:1-2) The sinful nature is under the power of Satan, and we – yes even His children – can become his prey if we walk in disobedience (Eph. 2:1-2). Concerning the sinful nature’s propensity to be wicked when not swallowed up by Christ’s consuming life, the Bible says that it is “only evil continually.” (Gen. 6:5) Speaking of men outside of the present, relational grace of Christ, the Bible tells us that “every imagination of the thoughts of his heart” is “only evil continually.” (Gen. 6:5) Note the finality of this statement on the spiritual state of men outside of Christ – “only evil continually.” Pure evil – perpetually. This is why the rebellious nature that dwells in us must be sentenced to death (1 Cor. 1:9). Genesis 6:5 is the declaration of divine and just judgment upon those who live in the flesh and not in the Holy Spirit with the Savior. In those days, leading up to the flood of His judgment, sin was epidemic. Only 8 souls qualified to be lifted up upon the waters of salvation, riding safely in the refuge of Christ their ark.
Those who allow the flood of God’s presence and power to conquer the sins that defile them in His holy sight, will be blessed to ride the ark of His safety into eternity (Mk. 7:20; Rev. 21:27).
“Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy. He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” Revelation 3:4-5
Jesus told us plainly that sin defiles or makes one unclean in the sight of God who is “holy, holy, holy.” (Isa. 6:3; Mk. 7:20; Heb. 12:14-15; Rev. 4:8) That person who was in the past saved, and then sinned and yet has not repented and been blessed to be forgiven, is simply unprepared to meet the LORD, no matter what his past relationship with God may have been (Ezek. 33:12-13; Rev. 21:8, 11, 27).
How did Jesus tell us that the displeasing sins of self-serving worldliness can be overcome?
“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41
Andrew Murray said:
“As I pray, let me be willing to accept my place with Him, crucified to the world, to sin, and to self.”
Why did He that is “holy, holy, holy” (Isa. 6:3; Rev. 4:8) judge (in His flood of Noah’s day) all those who chose to live outside of Him?
“And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5
If we lack the vital understanding of the sinful nature or unalterable bent (iniquities) of our hearts outside of Christ, we won’t rightly comprehend the reason for the cross of Christ and how it eternally and daily applies to us individually. With Paul, we must understand that in us, that is in our flesh, “dwelleth no good thing.” (Rom. 7:18) It is only when swallowed up in the life of Christ that the sinful nature within is whelmed over and subdued by the power of the grace of God (Rom. 6:14; 8:1-4). It must die and be buried that He might raise us up to bring Him glory.
“But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken (resurrect; make alive) your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Romans 8:11
By reason of its nature and enmity, He demands that it be put to death. We died and were buried positionally in Christ, and yet the “continually” nature seen in Genesis 6:5 requires the ongoing task of keeping it under subjection to the power of God by regular fasting, prayer, study, and daily obedience (Rom. 6; 1 Cor. 9:27).
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” Jeremiah 17:9
Let’s gain the insight revealed in the first verses of Ephesians 2:
“And you hath he quickened (made alive), who were dead (separated from God) in trespasses and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh (is at work) in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” Ephesians 2:1-3
Here Paul the apostle speaks of who we were, and also who we become again, if we live apart from vital union with Christ (Rom. 8:5-8, 13; James 1:21-25; 2 Pet. 1:9; 2:20-22).
Instead of preaching the original message of the original Gospel of Christ – that we must deny the self-life, daily putting it to death on the cross – most preaching today seeks to build upon the divinely cursed premise of the old man. This message of the apostate church is man-centered instead of Christ-centered. In God’s economy all begins and ends with Him – “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth … I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” (Gen. 1:1; Rev. 1:8) The message that begins and ends with man – the created instead of the Creator – is “another gospel” in that it does not simply convey divine truth in its pure form – “If they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them … speak with my words unto them … preach the word … speak thou the things that become sound doctrine … if any man speak, let him speak as of the oracles of God.” (Isa. 8:20; Ezek. 3:4; 2 Tim. 4:2; Tit. 2:1; 1 Pet. 4:11) In this truth alone, most preaching today is weighed in the balance and found wanting (lacking). It is clearly a misrepresentation because men today have become so very arrogant that they are deluded into believing the notion that they are wiser than the Almighty.
“The Cross of Christ is the most revolutionary thing ever to appear … It stands high above the opinions of men and to that cross all opinions must come at last for judgment.” A.W. Tozer
The God-fearing servant tends to the need so often expressed in Holy Scripture to “daily” deny the self-life by putting it on the cross and choosing to allow Christ’s will to prevail and not his own (Lk. 9:23-24; 22:42; 2 Cor. 11: 4). In doing such, the LORD Himself sustains that man in the truth – in his personal life and in ministry to others. He stands as a minority among those who hold positions of leadership.
“For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” 2 Corinthians 11:4
The “Jesus” of the modern and apostate church world is one who has made wide provision for many to enter into eternal glory. In contrast, the one true God who reveals Himself in Holy Scripture, has informed us that the way is narrow and only a few will enter therein (Matt. 7:13-14). Beware!
The original Gospel God gave us through His prophets, only begotten Son, and apostles, includes the command to die that He might live (Jn. 12:24). He makes no exception for the slightest alteration in His message, and “any other gospel” is a false gospel.
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.” Galatians 1:6-8
Today, man and his sinful desires are at the center of most “Christian” fad books and pulpit speech in the apostate church world. Wolves have hi-jacked the majority of positions and pulpits and penmanship in today’s self-love church world. The antichrist message of their winds of false doctrines replaces the supremacy of Christ with what does best for man – to meet his immediate, self-serving desires apart from Christ (Col. 2:8, 19-19). To perceive this, it takes little more than reflecting upon the best life now type book titles (which reveal the emphasis of the book’s contents) and how they are purpose-driven instead of Spirit-led, cross-based, and Word-driven.
In God’s economy there is no salvaging the sinful nature we inherited in Adam. There is also no casting it out once and for all like we do with devils, but rather we are commanded to “mortify the deeds of the body” that His grace and life might abound (Rom. 6-8). He told us that the sinful nature must be daily put under. It will never reform but must be silenced by daily communion between the recipient of God's grace and the LORD, by the power of the Holy Ghost (Rom. 6:14; 8:13). The student of Christ, nourished up in His precious precepts and empowered by His Spirit and enabling grace, is given daily victory through the cross. He begins to realize from experiencing the Word that there is no solution except to daily crucify the “deeds of the body.” (Jn. 7:17; Rom. 8:13) When we diligently begin to pursue knowing Him – the whole reason for which He created and redeemed us – we begin to gladly remove anything that hinders that blessed communion, in order that we like Paul “may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death.” (Phil. 3:10)
When the Holy Ghost begins to enlighten us, we will see the will of self as the enemy of Christ, and how it is at “enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Rom. 8:7) He will show us how that “they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Rom. 8:8) For this reason, the disciple who will know and follow Christ on that narrow path that leads to life, must “keep under” that sinful bent and “bring it into subjection” to his own and God’s Spirit (Matt. 7:13-14; Lk. 9:23-24; 14:33; 1 Cor. 9:27). By this grace-enabled cooperation, we will dwell in Him who bled and be ready for His soon coming (Col. 3:1-5). Christ alone must reign supreme in the life of the remnant disciple (1 Cor. 9:27). Attempting to reform the flesh is a losing and futile battle to be won by the flesh without exception. But, But, But ….. “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 15:57)
“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.)” Romans 5:17
The abundant grace or divine enablement is ever present in us through Christ, our Great Intercessor, to conquer all sin and ride above it on the wings of His perfect priesthood and communion with us (Heb. 3:1; 4:14-16; 7:24-26; 1 Jn. 1:3; 5:4-5). Such victory is accomplished “through the Spirit” of God that dwells in us, His temples in which He dwells (Rom. 8:13; 1 Cor. 3:16). As we partake with Him, ever hungering and thirsting for His righteousness, He fills us – His very vessels – and all iniquity is put far from our tabernacles as He glorifies Himself in us in communion and fruitfulness (Job 22:21-13; Matt. 5:6; 2 Cor. 4:7). God be praised forevermore through Jesus Christ our LORD!
Here are the tools He granted His Church, that we might realize that victory (Acts 1:8; 2:4; Rom. 8:26-27; Jude 20).
PRAYER: Father, please propel me by Thy grace and Spirit to the cross – to suffer the death of the self-life, that Christ Himself might reign supreme in this life you have given. Anoint me to the burial of the old man that You alone might be fruitful and victorious in this vessel of Your honor. Bless all Your saints the world over, to know You in the power of Your resurrection and fellowship of Your sufferings. Amen.
1. Discuss 1 Corinthians 15:51-58 and the ultimate victory of Christ over sin. How will this affect all believers?
2. On an index card, write out 2 Timothy 2:11-12 (KJV recommended).
3. What is the mind of Christ revealed in Romans 8:13?
4. Discuss the important subject of deceivers, false prophets, and false teachings from 2 Cor. 11:2-5; 12-15; Gal. 1:6-10; Jude 3-4, etc.