Sin’s Opposition to God’s Superiority
“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive… that God may be all in all” – 1 Corinthians 15:22, 28c
Last Sunday the focus in 1 Corinthians 15:20-28 helped reveal the true meaning to life. Why am I here? Where are we going? How should I live? Paul ties the answers to those questions intimately to the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus, in His resurrection has made a way for all in Christ to live! More than that, Christ is putting all things under his feet showing the universe that God is number 1.
The reality of the resurrection cannot be fully understood without the truth of sin and our nature “in Adam”. 1 Corinthians 15 attributes death to sin and as a great foe of humanity and consequence of not living under the reality of God’s authority in the universe. It is not often that we view sin in such a deadly and damaging way.
How do I view my sin? Is it seen as simply a personal issue connected to my self-improvement? I would challenge the reader to see sin not as something simply keeping you from your “best life now” but as a nature full of attitudes and actions that directly contradict the reality for which the universe was created.
Sin leads to all death
“As in Adam all die…”
The cost of your sin is death (Romans 6:23). Death is not a state of non-existence but an eternal reality away from God’s presence (1Thessalonians 1:8-9). Combining these two truths (sin leading to death which is separation from God’s presence) we see that sin is terrible and terrifying. You feel the weight of sin right now. Of course there are glimmers of God’s common grace for you. You feel the warm hopefulness of a sunrise. The kindness of a neighbor encourages you. Or, the laws of God’s established governments (see Romans 13) keep disorder in check. However, the weight of sin is revealed from God’s Word. The cost of your sin is death, and your sin is found in merely looking at that man or woman with lust, in the simple desiring of your neighbors new boat and being unthankful for what you have, or in valuing yourself above others. Yes, even your “harmless” self-preservation is a sign that inside of you is the very thing that will remove everything good God has provided for your life forever! No sunrise, no God, no kindness, no mercy, or love forever.
Sin is that for which Christ died for you
“…so also in Christ shall all be made alive”
If that is true about your sin, then how much more crucial and pivotal is the truth that Christ has died to pay for sin. Is Christ merely one who provided moral teachings for the betterment of society? No! Christ died for sin and sinners like you. The life we live in Adam, leading to our death, is transformed in Christ. We shall be made alive, saved from the consequence of our sin.
The view in 1 Corinthians 15:24 is not of Christ the moral teacher but Christ the conqueror who through His death has brought sinners over to His side and is putting any non-God under His feet. If you are in Christ, you are no longer in fear of being conquered and condemned by God, for you have already willingly surrendered yourself to the king of all creation.
Sin is in opposition to your seeing God as all in all
Finally, Christ’s death and resurrection is revealing to the universe that God is over all things. What a marvelous and terrifying reality!
It is marvelous because Christ’s death and resurrection mean so much more than a “get out of hell free card”, and Christ’s life is not merely an example for you to be a moral person. Christ has opened a way by which we can see the ultimate meaning to life—God’s glory and superiority over all things.
Why is this terrifying? Think about sin. Sin is not simply small character flaws that you hope to change. Sin is that opposition to the God of the universe. Sin is anything that takes glory from God by attributing glory to another. Therefore, if you are not in Christ (willingly surrendered to God through Jesus) you are currently that opposition Christ will crush under His feet to show the universe that God is number 1. Without Christ, you are that “power” against God, that “enemy” of Christ as stated in 1 Corinthians 15:24-23. You are not on God’s side now, but one day will see in terror that God is over all including your life.
Why am I here?
Answer: You are here to see God’s superiority over all things and to live willingly under Him.
Where are we going?
Answer: Christ’s death for sin is leading to a final revelation of God’s superiority over all things.
How should I live?
Answer: If Christ has died for the thing in my life that is in opposition to God (my sin), then I am called to live in service to that God because of what Christ has done.
Surrender to Christ!