Victory

1Corinthians 15:55-58 O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be you stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. 

‘O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’ Quoted from Hosea 13:14. Death is the power of being ruined that God will deliver from; satan had this power until Christ conquered him (Heb. 2:14-15). God will destroy death (15:24-28).

‘Sting’ [Greek: kentron] a goad or sting (15:55-56; Acts 9:5; 26:14; Rev. 9:10). Death is here personified as having sin as a sting or a goad (15:56), driving people like an ox-driver does until life ends by the final dagger thrust, and until sin causes one to pay the death penalty (Rom. 6:23).

‘Grave’ [Greek: Hades] hell or the unseen world of departed spirits of people where the wicked are kept in a conscious state of torment until the resurrection of the bodies at the end of the Millennium (Rev. 20:11-15). Hades was also the place of confinement of the righteous souls before the resurrection of Christ. At that time Christ reclaimed all these captive souls from the paradise or comfort compartment of hades and took them to heaven when He ascended on high (Eph. 4:8-10; Heb. 2:14-15). Hell was robbed of its victory then, as far as saints are concerned. Death still stings the Christian and will do so until the end of the first resurrection. It will sting sinners until it is destroyed at the end of the Millennium (15:24-28; Rev. 20:11-15; 21:1-7). Hell is personified here as being a victor holding his victims in defeat. He will lose his victims at the end of the Millennium when they will be judged and death and hell themselves will be cast into the lake of fire in utter defeat (Rev. 20:11-15).

‘Sin’ – is the sting that death uses to goad its victims to death (Gen. 2:17; Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 6:23; 8:12-13). In Romans 7:7-25 sin is pictured as a self-acting spirit which at one time controlled Paul and worked in him all manner of concupiscence or sinful lusts. It used the coming of the commandment as an occasion to assert its control over his life not letting him obey the law. Sin was not active before the law came for it had no reason to assert its power until then. But as soon as the commandment came forbidding certain things, sin came to life and by its lusts made him break the law so that he would have to pay the death penalty (Rom. 7:8-9).

‘Victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.’ What the law could not do in giving us power over sin and the eternal death penalty, Jesus Christ has done for the one who wants victory (Rom. 8:2-4; Mat. 1:21; Eph. 1:7; 2:8-9; 2Cor. 5:17-18; Heb. 7:25; 1Jn. 1:7-9; 3:5-10; 5:18). ‘Be you stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.’ Three commands that will bring victory: [1] The Greek word hedraios means to be seated, settled, and firm in the truth of the resurrection and of victory in Christ (15:58; 7:37). [2] The Greek word ametakinetos means unmoveable. Let nothing shake your faith or move you away from the hope of the gospel (15:58). [3] Always abound in the work of the Lord, knowing that what you do will be rewarded (15:58; 3:11; Matt. 10:42).