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“DEATH IS THE LAST ENEMY” (Outline)

April 21, 2019 - Easter Sunday - 1 CORINTHIANS 15:20-27A

INTRO.: Do you have any enemies? Hmm, could it be possible? Yes. If you are a Christian you
have enemies. There are many who are enemies of God. Enemies of God’s will. Those who op-
pose God and his will also oppose us. Enemies attacking our faith are not mere mortals. They are
dangerous spiritual forces. "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the
authorities, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places”
(EPHESIANS 6:12). The evil driving the wicked people in this world make them our enemies.
“DEATH IS THE LAST ENEMY” I. What Adam did to us. II. Christ undid for us.

I. WHAT ADAM DID TO US – BROUGHT DEATH.

A. Verse 20a. “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead”. Jesus’ resurrection was fact. True.
1. Rumors spread that Jesus did not really die. Seemed to die and recovered in the tomb.
2. Scripture describes how the guards took bribes to say Jesus’ body was stolen. Lies.
B. Verse 20b. “…fallen asleep”. Death was no longer to be scary or frightening.
1. Jesus taught that death was a sleep. The crowd made fun of him. “The girl is dead.”
2. The Christian welcomes death much like one welcomes sleep after faithful labors.
C. Verse 21. The Apostle Paul compared opposites. A man brought death. A man brought life.
1. Verse 22a. “For as in Adam they all die”. Adam was the man who brought death.
2. The sin of Adam and Eve changed God’s perfect creation into an imperfect world.

D. Sin and its effect cannot be ignored. Face it we do not like to hear about sin. Our society tries to
dismiss sin. Deny sin. Outright reject sin. Look around. Our world is far from perfect. We live in
a messy world. Sin infiltrates our lives. Contaminates our souls. The Psalms declare there is no one
who does anything good, not one. Isaiah teaches that all our righteous acts are like filthy rags. Sin,
sin, and more sin stacks up against us. One of the consequences of sin is death. Who really would
want to live on this evil-filled earth forever? Adam and Eve brought death into the world by disobey-
ing God’s command. By sinning. "Indeed, all souls are mine. The soul of the father is mine just like the soul
of the son. The soul who sins is the one who will die" (EZEKIEL 18:4). We all die because we all sin.

E. Sin is soul destroying. That is why Satan makes sin seem so harmless. The devils makes sin
seem appealing. Sin delights our sinful nature. We have an inclination toward sinning. Not toward
pleasing God. Theologians calls this the natural depravity of man. We are wretched sinners. Our
sinful nature is just that – sinful. Exceedingly so. Jesus listed just a few of the sins that lurk in our
hearts. "To be sure, out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, sexual sins, thefts, false testimonies,
and blasphemies” (MATTHEW 15:19). From our hearts come wicked words. Evil actions. Adam
and Eve did this to us by not being satisfied in a perfect world. We are far removed from perfection.

F. We inherited sinfulness from our first parents. This is called original sin. Original sin clings to
our souls at the moment of conception (when life begins). In our lives we are responsible for the sins
that we commit. We call these thoughts, words, and actions of sinning actual sin. We rebel against
the Lord God of Armies whenever we sin. James defines sin as “lawlessness”. Breaking the law is
sin. Actual sin that we commit. Sins of commission. We also sin when we do not do the good that
we ought to do. "So, for the one who knows the right thing to do and doesn’t do it, this is a sin" (JAMES
4:17). This type of sin is becoming easier and easier to do in our society today. Do we stop to help
someone along the side of the road? Or do we pass by expecting our cell phone call to take the place
of being the “Good Samaritan”? At times we judge others in need by their appearance. We may be
reluctant to be friendly or helpful to those with tattoos…funny hair…weight problems, etc.

“DEATH IS THE LAST ENEMY” Adam and Eve did bring sin and death into the world, our lives.
II. CHRIST UNDID FOR US – CONQUERED DEATH.
A. Verse 22. “For as in Adam they all die, so also in Christ they all will be made alive.”
1. These Christ-followers are the first generation of believers following Jesus’ resurrection.
2. The sin/death and salvation/life comparison is God’s simple, easy to understand truth.
3. Man / Adam brought sin and death. Man / Christ brought forgiveness and life.
B. Verse 23. Christ was the first to live, die, and rise again from the dead by his own doing and will.
1. “Firstfruits” was the offering that Israel brought to the Lord at the beginning of harvest.
2. Following Jesus’ offering of his life God’s people would follow from death into life.
C. Verse 24. “Every other ruler and every other authority and power” included Satan, sin, and death.
1. Verse 25. Christ put every enemy under his feet. Completely conquered and powerless.
2. Verses 26, 27a. Death is the last enemy that Christ certainly defeated, “put under his feet”.

D. Adam was only a man. The name Adam means man. Sin made him mortal. Christ took on
flesh and blood. He became the Son of man in order to face death. Christ was also the Son of God.
As the Son of God Jesus rose again from the dead. The death of Jesus conquered death. Our Savior
Jesus Christ undid what Adam did to us. Jesus replaced death with life. “Therefore, since the children
share flesh and blood, he also shared the same flesh and blood, so that through death he could destroy the one
who had the power of death (that is, the Devil)” (HEBR 2:24). Jesus shared our flesh and blood. Jesus
experienced the same temptations that we face. He was without sin. Jesus obeyed perfectly.

E. The believers in the day of the Apostle Paul were learning the depth of God’s love for them in
the resurrection of Jesus from the tomb. They were learning how the sacrifice of Christ was the only
sacrifice ever needed for their sins. And the sins of the world. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is
exactly what we need to pay for our sins. Provide forgiveness. Guarantee eternal life. Rejoice in
the easily understandable example. Adam = sin, death. Christ = sinlessness, life. “So then, just as
one trespass led to a verdict of condemnation for all people, so also one righteous verdict led to life-giving justifica-
tion for all people" (ROMANS 5:18). Jesus’ is the perfect Lamb of God. One Sacrifice once for all.

F. The central message of “the Holy Christian Church, the communion of saints” is Christ crucified.
“We preach Christ crucified.” Only by the death of Jesus on the cross can the lifeless body be buried.
Only after death and burial of Jesus’ body can the tomb be empty. “Why do you seek the living among
the dead?” The tomb was empty that first Easter Sunday of Jesus’ resurrection. The tomb is still
empty today. Jesus gave up everything in heaven to become poor here on earth. Through his
earthly poverty we became rich. All this that God planned…all this that Jesus did…was for us. Our
sins. The sins of the world. "…and it (God’s grace) has now been revealed through the appearance of our
Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 TIM-
OTHY 1:10). Truly God’s amazing grace. Death is abolished. Ended. We have immortality!

CONC.: We face many enemies in this world because we are followers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
These enemies are spiritual. Powerful. Our loving, heavenly Father is far more powerful than any
enemy that opposes him. Or us. Adam brought sin and death into this world. Christ undid what
Adam did by conquering death. "The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to
God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!" (1 CORINTHIANS 15:56, 57).
“THE LAST ENEMY IS DEATH.” “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus
Christ!” Amen. Pastor Timm O. Meyer

EASTER SUNDAY rdgs.: EXODUS 15:1-11; 1 CORIN. 15:1-11; LUKE 24:1--11; (PSA. 118)
SERVICES: NCF 1:00 Min. (Sat) & 12:00 Med. (Sun) / 7:45am @ McCook (Sun) / 10:00am @ Redeemer (Sun)
BIBLE STUDIES: 11:15am @ Redeemer (SUN) / 5:45pm (Med) + 7:30pm (Min) @ NCF (TUES.)
/ Sunday radio broadcast @ 9:00am on KQNK 106.7FM or 1530AM