Thankful for Christ’s Victory

Dr. Steve Viars April 17, 2022 1 Corinthians 15:50-58
Outline

3 reasons to praise and worship Jesus on Resurrection Sunday

I. Understand the Deficiencies of Your Physical Body

1 Corinthians 6:18-20 - Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

1 Corinthians 10:31 - Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

A. It cannot inherit the kingdom of God

1 Corinthians 15:50 - Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

Ecclesiastes 12:1-8 - Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no delight in them; before the sun and the light, the moon and the stars are darkened, and clouds return after the rain; in the day that the watchmen of the house tremble, and mighty men stoop, the grinding ones stand idle because they are few, and those who look through windows grow dim; and the doors on the street are shut as the sound of the grinding mill is low, and one will arise at the sound of the bird, and all the daughters of song will sing softly. Furthermore, men are afraid of a high place and of terrors on the road; the almond tree blossoms, the grasshopper drags himself along, and the caperberry is ineffective. For man goes to his eternal home while mourners go about in the street. Remember Him before the silver cord is broken and the golden bowl is crushed, the pitcher by the well is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed; then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “all is vanity!”

B. It has to be replaced with something imperishable

1 Corinthians 15:53 - For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.

“[Paul] simply concedes the point that this earthly dress is unfit for heavenly habitation.” (David E. Garland, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, 741)

“In 1 Cor. 15:50-57, Paul continues to address the same problem that has driven the entire discussion: the metaphysical incompatibility between the heavenly order, which is spiritual and imperishable, and the earthly, organic order, which is fleshly and perishable.” (David E. Garland, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, 741)

II. Adopt a Biblical View of Death

“Death has not just become invisible, swept away into the alien world of hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. Death has become unmentionable.” (McCollough, page 45)

A. God will swallow it up

1 Corinthians 15:54 - But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

“Death is not merely destroyed so that it cannot do further harm while all of the harm which it has wrought on God’s children remains. The tornado is not merely checked so that no additional homes are wrecked while those that were wrecked still lie in ruin… Death and all of its apparent victories are undone for God’s children. What looks like a victory for death and like a defeat for us when our bodies die and decay shall be utterly reversed so that death dies in absolute defeat and our bodies live again in absolute victory.” (R.C.H Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Paul’s First and Second Epistles to the Corinthians, Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1963, pp. 744-45)

“Even if your life plays out in precisely the way you imagine for yourself in your wildest dreams, death will steal away everything you have and destroy everything you accomplish. As long as we’re consumed by the quest for more out of this life, Jesus’s promise will always seem otherworldly to us. He doesn’t offer more of what death will only steal from us in the end. He offers us righteousness, adoption, God honoring purpose, eternal life-things that taste sweet to us only when death is a regular companion.” (Matthew McCullough, Remember Death, p. 25)

“The gospel offers a liberating, life-giving alternative to denial and despair. There is no need for denial: death’s implications for who we are provide the crucial backdrop for the work of Christ. And there is no need for despair: union with Christ radically transforms who we are.” (McCollough, page 74)

B. Its sting has been removed

1 Corinthians 15:56 - The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law…

Isaiah 53:6 - All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 - He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart…

Romans 2:14-15 - For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them…

2 Corinthians 5:21 - He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

“You stand before God as if you were Christ, because Christ stood before God as if He were you.” (CH Spurgeon)

III. Celebrate Your Victory in Christ

1 Corinthians 15:57 - …but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Revelation 20:14 - Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire…

A. By being sure that you have accepted the gospel

“If eternal life sounds other worldly to you, you’re the one not paying close enough attention to this world and its concerns. Jesus focuses on eternal life because he is more attuned to what life is like in this world than those who settle for less. In this world everyone loses everything. Eternal life only seems like a distraction from what you really want or need if you pretend like you’re not dying.” (McCollough, 141)

2 Peter 1:10 - Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you…

B. By being sure you are investing yourself in pursuits that will stand the test of time

1 Corinthians 15:58 - Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 3:11-15 - For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

C. By letting Christ’s victory motivate and empower your growth

- Happy Easter to you…you know, we love getting together every Lord’s Day and there is a sense in which every Sunday is an opportunity to celebrate Chris’s death, burial, and resurrection…

- but there is no doubt that on this day which is set aside to especially think about the historical fact that the tomb is empty, that our worship is even more focused and especially sweet…

- this morning I’d like to begin our time with a question and a series of proposed answers that are purposely outrageous and downright silly…but please bear with me, there’s an important point in all of this…

- first of all, consider something of which you are especially fearful…

- and I realize we may have a few men here who might say – I fear nothing…well, then why did your wife report that you jumped up on a chair at the kitchen table the last time a mouse scampered by?...

- so let’s let down our defenses here in the Lord’s house on the Lord’s Day…

- so something about which you’re especially fearful…

- and now let’s add this…what if someone else in your life had the courage and the power to not only demolish it, but to swallow it up?...

- so suppose what came to your mind first was spiders…you said that you hate spiders, especially big, ugly ones…

- and you’re sitting there having dinner…and a big ole spider comes waltzing across the dinner table…and you let out a shriek and before you know, your spouse smashes it and turns right around and eats it…swallows it whole and it is gone…

- btw, I’m not suggesting that the husband is the hero here…it might be the husband shrieking and the wife swallowing…[I don’t need cards and e-mails about this…]

- the principle here is, someone who has the courage or the power to swallow that object of your fear and make it completely disappear…

- or, suppose it’s a snake…who doesn’t hate those things?…in the Viars house, btw, when that happens, Steve is running for the hills while Kris is running for the shovel…that fact has been proven on multiple occasions…

- but while you’re gripped with fear…someone else in your household has killed it, and is frying it in the frying pan for a tasty snack…they are going to swallow it up and make it disappear…

- now again, I’m being purposely outrageous, but some of you probably already know where this is going…because that is the terminology the Scripture uses to describe what our Savior was both courageous and powerful enough to do to what some have called – the king of terrors…and what is that?...death itself…

- who doesn’t have at least some fear of death?...

- but the Bible teaches us that one of the practical effects of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is that death is…what?...swallowed up in victory…

- with that in mind, please open your Bible this morning to 1 Corinthians chapter 15…page 138 of the back section of the Bible under the chair in front of you…

- our church’s theme this year is Growing in Gospel Gratitude…so far we’ve been focusing primarily on a verse by verse study of the book of Philippians because that book is a thank-you letter, written by the apostle Paul while he was imprisoned in Rome for proclaiming the gospel…to one of his supporting churches…his brothers and sisters at the church in Philippi…

- we’re stepping away from that study for Easter, but Lord willing we’ll be back next Sunday and many of us would say we have found that to be a challenging and helpful and immensely practical study…

- this book is dramatically different than the book of Philippians…Bible students believe it was written 6 years earlier, around 55AD, while Paul was on his 3rd missionary journey and in this case, was writing from the city of Ephesus…

- but what’s especially different is the tone…its true that in Philippians, a few problems had to be discussed and ironed out…but it would appear than in general, the church at Philippi was healthy and headed in the right direction…

- when it comes to the Corinthians, at least at this point in their history, they were proud, spiritually immature, divided, and riddled with problems…you could have called them Hot Mess Baptist and would not have been far off [which would be an interesting name for a church by the way…I’m fairly certain that one hasn’t been taken yet for any church planter looking for something original and unique]…

- but it’s interesting that a book like this--written to a church like that--also contains the most extensive discussion of the resurrection of anywhere in the NT…

- that fact alone should fill us with hope for at least 2 reasons…

1. even people who are spiritually immature can grasp, understand, and believe the doctrine of the empty tomb…

2. apparently this truth, properly understood and appreciated, can have practical and sanctifying effects on the people of God…

- in other words…this isn’t just a sterile doctrine to be stoically believed, but a life-giving truth that can help God’s people change…

- let’s read from selected verses in this chapter, with the goal of becoming more Thankful for Christ’s Victory

- read 1 Cor. 15:1-19, 35-58

- so we’re talking about being Thankful for Christ’s Victory…and now let’s walk especially through verses 50-58, looking for 3 reasons to praise and worship Jesus on Resurrection Sunday

I. Understand the Deficiencies of Your Physical Body

- this passage teaches us principles that can give us a balanced understanding of the topic of death…but please keep in mind that we believe in interpreting God’s Word in its context…

- so whatever we say about the physical body from this text has to be consistent with other passages in God’s Word, especially right here in the same book…

- because if we’re not careful, if this was all we had – we might fall into the trap of becoming Greek dualists…believing that our physical bodies are all bad…

- that could lead to all sorts of errors and misapplications…

- so remember what Paul has already told the Corinthians about their bodies…for example, 1 Corinthians 6:18–20 - Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.

- so there’s a difference between saying that there are deficiencies in our bodies…and saying that our bodies are inherently evil and therefore unable to be redeemed and useful in God’s service…

- that’s why Paul has also already told the Corinthians…1 Corinthians 10:31 - Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

- btw, we saw a delightful example of that last week at the Master’s Golf tournament…after 25 year old Scottie Scheffler took the lead the first day and never relinquished it…

- he had some amazing shots and if you’ve ever tried to play golf you have to admire someone who can do that with his body…

- here’s what he had to say later about a conversation he and his wife Meredith had before he started the final round…

- so there’s no question that having a physical body can be a great blessing…[try playing golf without one…]…it becomes a vehicle through which you glorify God…

- however, Scripture is very clear…

A. It cannot inherit the kingdom of God.

- 1 Corinthians 15:50 - Now I say this, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

- in other words, our bodies have been tainted by sin…and they are decaying…

- is there anyone here who wants to dispute that idea…and my guess is, the older you are, the easier you’d say amen…

- because of the curse of sin, they just fall apart…

- you’ve probably noticed, I have a love/hate relationship with my glasses…

- the trouble is that I always prided myself on having excellent eyesight…close up and far away…I could often read an upcoming road sign before anyone else in the car…and even while so many people were needing to get glasses, I didn’t…

- and then all of a sudden, around age 50, it just started going downhill…

- and so I spoke to my eye-doctor and explained she needed to do something about this…and in my case there was really no surgery that would help…so it was either contacts or glasses…

- I actually went somewhere to try contacts…you should have seen me trying to get them in my eyes…I’m glad no one shot a video…

- so I’m stuck with glasses…and we have another dear woman in our church who used to work fitting people for glasses and she’s horrified when I bang my glasses around…but I just don’t like them…which is shorthand for saying…I don’t like the perishable aspect of this body…

- you know, the Bible even uses picturesque and somewhat humorous language to emphasize this principle…

- Ecclesiastes 12:1–8 - Remember also your Creator in the days of your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw near when you will say, “I have no delight in them; before the sun and the light, the moon and the stars are darkened, and clouds return after the rain; in the day that the watchmen of the house tremble [your arms and hands become weak] , and mighty men stoop [your legs aren’t as strong] , the grinding ones stand idle because they are few [what’s that talking about – your teeth], and those who look through windows grow dim [there’s the need for my glasses]; and the doors on the street are shut [your lips don’t have much to say] as the sound of the grinding mill is low [you lose your appetite], and one will arise at the sound of the bird [you don’t sleep as well], and all the daughters of song will sing softly [your hearing is going]. Furthermore, men are afraid of a high place and of terrors on the road [you’re less confident and certain]; the almond tree blossoms [that one’s obvious, isn’t it?], the grasshopper drags himself along, and the caperberry is ineffective. For man goes to his eternal home while mourners go about in the street. [the funeral is near] Remember Him before the silver cord is broken and the golden bowl is crushed [some believe this is speaking about the spinal cord and the brain], the pitcher by the well is shattered and the wheel at the cistern is crushed; then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it. “Vanity of vanities,” says the Preacher, “all is vanity!”

- all of this telling us important truths about our bodies…

- they are a gift, we should care for them and steward them well…but even the person here in the best of health knows this to be true…it is cursed by sin and it is perishing…that is why Scripture affirms…

B. It has to be replaced with something imperishable.

- 1 Corinthians 15:53 - For this perishable must put on the imperishable, and this mortal must put on immortality.

- in other words, you can’t get to heaven with your body…

- because it is cursed by sin, it is not welcome in God’s heaven…

- “[Paul] simply concedes the point that this earthly dress is unfit for heavenly habitation.” – David E. Garland, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, 741.

- “In 1 Cor. 15:50-57, Paul continues to address the same problem that has driven the entire discussion: the metaphysical incompatibility between the heavenly order, which is spiritual and imperishable, and the earthly, organic order, which is fleshly and perishable.” David E. Garland, Baker Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament, 741.

- this is why it is so important for people like me and you to…

II. Adopt a Biblical View of Death

- Christianity both offers and requires an entirely different way of thinking about death…

- there is a very real sense in which if you believe what these verses of Scripture just affirmed, that death becomes your friend…

- I realize, that even in raising such a notion, there will be many, many people here who are fresh off of the death of a loved one or a friend…we’ve never had as many funerals in my entire time at Faith as we’ve had the last couple of years…so I have prayed that none of this sound glib or uncompassionate…

- but I know this – ignoring the subject is not loving or helpful…

- and that’s where we are as a culture…

- Matthew McCollough has written a very helpful book entitled Remember Death…

- One statement he made was -- “Death has not just become invisible, swept away into the alien world of hospitals, nursing homes, and assisted living facilities. Death has become unmentionable.” (McCollough, page 45)

- so no, we shouldn’t be trite about this…but nor should we ignore the topic and fail to benefit from it spiritually in as many ways possible…

- that’s the point of McCollough’s title – Remember Death…don’t minimize it or improperly fear it…

- Part of Pastor Goode, our former senior pastor’s training of us, was that he did not want us to overuse euphemisms for death like “passed away”, or “passed on”, etc.…

- he instructed us to use the words dying and death because it was a natural part of life…

- honestly, I didn’t like, and I don’t like using those words, and you may not like hearing them…but Pastor Goode was right…and so is this author…if you want to go to heaven, and I have to believe that everyone in this room does…we have to face the fact that you can’t take this body with you…

- so, what does it look like to have a biblical view of death…rejoice, because…

A. God will swallow it up.

1 Corinthians 15:54 - But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory.

- as outrageous as my spider or snake illustrations might have been…imagine a Savior who is so courageous, and so compassionate, and so powerful that His work on the cross of Calvary swallows up death in victory

- Commentator RCH Lenski said, Death is not merely destroyed so that it cannot do further harm while all of the harm which it has wrought on God’s children remains. The tornado is not merely checked so that no additional homes are wrecked while those that were wrecked still lie in ruin.… Death and all of its apparent victories are undone for God’s children. What looks like a victory for death and like a defeat for us when our bodies die and decay shall be utterly reversed so that death dies in absolute defeat and our bodies live again in absolute victory (R.C.H Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Paul’s First and Second Epistles to the Corinthians [Minneapolis: Augsburg, 1963], pp. 744–45).

- this is why Christians don’t have to ignore this subject…or sanitize/domesticate it…

- when you have a superior solution to a difficult challenge, you can face it with confidence and strength…

- and McCollough’s argument is – doing so will help us avoid spending our lives on goals and pursuits that won’t stand the test of time…

- why devote your life to acquiring material things when you know all of that is temporal and perishing?...

- unless you hope to be like George…

- Gary Larson had a way of making important points through humor…

- or why invest your life in attempting to make a name for yourself, especially if you have to compromise your testimony in order to do so…if few if anyone will remember your name long after you die?…

- Even if your life plays out in precisely the way you imagine for yourself in your wildest dreams, death will steal away everything you have and destroy everything you accomplish. As long as we’re consumed by the quest for more out of this life, Jesus’s promise will always seem otherworldly to us. He doesn’t offer more of what death will only steal from us in the end. He offers us righteousness, adoption, God honoring purpose, eternal life—things that taste sweet to us only when death is a regular companion” (Matthew McCullough, Remember Death, p. 25)

- see, you don’t have to ignore it if your Savior stands ready to swallow it up…

- you know, pastors spend a significant amount of time with persons who are dying, or families who are grieving someone’s death…

- one aspect of that process I did not anticipate when I first went in the ministry is that while it’s assumed that a pastor will share truth from Scripture and pray with the person and family and hopefully strengthen their faith…what I didn’t expect was how often church members face such a time with so much dignity and grace that the pastor’s faith is strengthened as well…

- in fact, if you talk to most pastors, they’ll tell you – I often go to try to encourage someone and walk away more encouraged by them in the process…which speaks to the very power of the Holy Spirit we’re studying here…

- of the many, many examples I could give, 2 that come to mind are a pair of men that we affectionally began calling the two Jeff’s…Jeff Baker and Jeff Griggs…

- these men were both facing terminal cancer…

- in both cases, especially Jeff Baker’s, there was a significant amount of time between their diagnosis and when they died…

- there was also a fair amount of pain and discomfort that came with the disease…

- I appreciate that they weren’t glib or inauthentic about what was occurring…there was much about what was transpiring that was hard…and it’s hard for their widows even to this day…

- but this picture was of them spending their final days faithfully and joyfully serving at our Northend Community Center…[develop – saving grace/living grace/dying grace]

- do you know what we were observing?...death was being swallowed up in victory….

- McCollough said - The gospel offers a liberating, life-giving alternative to denial and despair. There is no need for denial: death’s implications for who we are provide the crucial backdrop for the work of Christ. And there is no need for despair: union with Christ radically transforms who we are. (McCollough, page 74)

- why is that?...the passage couldn’t be clearer…

B. Its sting has been removed

- 1 Corinthians 15:56 - The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law;

- I’ve spent time this week, and I hope you have too – reviewing some of the horrible details regarding the physical crucifixion of Jesus on the cross…the torture and multiple beatings are hideous and hard to even contemplate…

- but it’s very important to remember that by far the worst aspect of Christ’s death was what was taking place spiritually…

- His death was substitutionary…

- even the OT prophets predicted as much…

- Isaiah 53:6 - All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.

- the Bible makes it clear that humans know they will spend eternity somewhere…as much as they may want to suppress that knowledge…Solomon explained in Ecclesiastes 3:11 - He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also set eternity in their heart…

- many people also have at least some knowledge of the ten commandments, the law of God along with other principles it contains…

- and even for those who don’t…God has given everyone a conscience…that was Paul’s point in Romans 2:14–15 - For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,

- that raises a crucially important point about guilt…its not first and foremost a feeling…it’s first and foremost a state…a condition before a Holy God…

- and unless a person has completely seared their God-given conscience…we know we’re not ready to dies…because we’re not ready to meet God…

- that’s why the substitutionary death of Christ is such a delicious and liberating doctrine…

- 2 Corinthians 5:21 - He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

- I mentioned this quote from CH Spurgeon at our Good Friday service but it bears repeating… CH SpurgeonYou stand before God as if you were Christ, because Christ stood before God as if He were you.

- we should be profoundly thankful people this morning because in Christ, the sting of death has been removed…

- that’s why you can…

III. Celebrate Your Victory in Christ

- 1 Corinthians 15:57 - but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

- friends, Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life, and the empty tomb is the final and ultimate proof that death has been swallowed up in victory…

- that’s why it’s so delightful to read in the book of Revelation that the day is coming when…Revelation 20:14 - Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire…

- for believers in Jesus Christ, that will be a delightful event for sure…

- so what does this celebration look like?...

A. By being sure that you have accepted the gospel

- again, McCollough - If eternal life sounds other worldly to you, you’re the one not paying close enough attention to this world and its concerns. Jesus focuses on eternal life because he is more attuned to what life is like in this world than those who settle for less. In this world everyone loses everything. Eternal life only seems like a distraction from what you really want or need if you pretend like you’re not dying. (McCollough, 141)

- friend, the question we all have to answer is – have you allowed the sting of death to be removed?...

- [illustration when you were playing on a wooden fence as a boy and had a long splinter stuck in your leg]….

- Peter told his readers - 2 Peter 1:10 - Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you…

B. By being sure you are investing yourself in pursuits that will stand the test of time

- 1 Corinthians 15:58 - Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

- the reality of death helps us consider where we’re investing our time and our talents and our treasure…

- I want to be abounding…in the work of the Lord…don’t you?...

- this is why Paul previously told the Corinthians to live in light of their pending judgement…

- thankfully they would not face the Great White Throne judgment…which is the eternal destiny of all who do not know Christ…and the haunting penalty at that event is described in Scripture as “the second death…”

- remember, death in the Bible is always separation…

- physical death is the separation of the soul from the body…

- spiritual death is the separation of the person from God…

- but the second death is the separation of the person from God forever…it is the worst kind of death imaginable…

- thankfully followers of Jesus Christ will never have to face that because we’ve been clothed in the righteousness of God’s Son…

- but Paul makes it clear – we will face an event known as the Judgement Seat of Christ…1 Corinthians 3:11–15 - For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. If any man’s work which he has built on it remains, he will receive a reward. If any man’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

- please let this reminder of the temporary nature of our physical bodies motivate you to invest your time and talents and treasures on matters that can stand the test of time…

C. By letting Christ’s victory motivate and empower your growth

- as I mentioned at the beginning, the Corinthian church at this point in their history was proud, immature, divided, and riddled with sin in their midst…

- Easter gives each one of us an opportunity to consider whether we are living in light of the victory that has been secured for us at the cross…

- and if not, what a great day to adjust our path while we still have the opportunity to do so…

- a couple of weeks ago several of us traveled to the Island of Guam to provide a biblical counseling training conference for the people on the island…

- in the providence of God…it turned out to be a week where the weather back here was cold and rainy…while we were experiencing 85 degrees and sunny everyday…

- and while I’m sure while many of you were eating mush and gruel for your daily meals…your pastors were enjoying fresh fish by the seashore…

- including this moment –

- that was a freshly caught parrot fish that has just been fried to perfection…

- is there any question in your mind what Pastor Birk was about to do to that little beast?...he was going to swallow him up…

- that’s what our Savior did to the terror of death on our behalf…may we ever be thankful for Christ’s victory…

Authors

Dr. Steve Viars

Roles

Senior Pastor - Faith Church

Director - Faith Legacy Foundation

Bio

B.S.: Pre-Seminary & Bible, Baptist Bible College (Now Clarks Summit University)
M.Div.: Grace Theological Seminary
D.Min.: Biblical Counseling, Westminster Theological Seminary

Dr. Steve Viars has served at Faith Church in Lafayette, IN since 1987. Pastor Viars leads and equips Faith Church as Senior Pastor with a focus on preaching and teaching God’s Word and using his organizational skills in guiding the implementation of the Faith Church mission and vision. He oversees the staff, deacons, and all Faith Church ministries. Dr. Viars serves on the boards of the Association of Certified Biblical Counselors, Biblical Counseling Coalition, Vision of Hope, and the Faith Community Development Corporation. Steve is the author, co-author, or contributor to six books and numerous booklets. He and his wife, Kris, were married in 1982 and have two married daughters, a son, and four grandchildren.

Read Steve Viars’ Journey to Faith for the full account of how the Lord led Pastor Viars to Faith Church.

View Pastor Viars' Salvation Testimony Video