If you knew you were going to win the game would you still want to play? Why or why not?
At the end of his first letter to the Corinthian Christians Paul says these words that sum up our whole lives:
1 Corinthians 15:56-58. 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
What were we like before Jesus? We were dead in sin – “the sting of death is sin.” Everyone sins. You sin. I sin. Mom and dad sin. And because of sin we deserve death. We don’t deserve to live with God in his presence forever. Why? Because we have broken his law – “the power of sin is the law.” God’s law is for us to love him and love each other all of the time. But none of us can obey that law perfectly all the time. I know I can’t. And so we all sin, and we all die.
But with Jesus we have victory – “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Jesus kept all of God’s laws for us. He loved God and loved others in our place when we couldn’t do it. Jesus achieved victory over God’s law and then still took the punishment we deserve anyway on the cross. By dying on the cross he felt what Paul calls the “sting of death.” He felt our sin even though he never sinned. He carried our guilt to the cross and paid the price for our forgiveness.
Jesus shared our defeat so that now when we trust in him we share his victory.
What this means is that we know that in the end we win! We go to God. We live with him forever without sin and without the law and without death.
How did you answer the “Think Together” question? Would you want to play the game if you knew you would win? I hope so, because that is what the Christian life is – playing the game of life knowing that we will win in the end. And that is what gives us all our courage. Courage that makes us “steadfast, immovable, and always abounding in the work of Jesus.”
Because of Jesus we win in the end!
With Jesus we can live courageous lives for God.
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Here’s a good scripture memory song for 1 Corinthians 15:57-58.
You defeated the law, sin, and death in my place. Now help me live steadfast, immovable, and abounding in your kindness.
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