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Truth in Palmyra

By Wally Fry

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Devotionals on 1 Corinthians 15

Bogard Press Daily Devotional-We Must Be Changed

by Wally Fry

Sunday, September 22

We Must Be Changed

1 Corinthians 15:51-58

“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord,” 1 Corinthians 15:57, 58.

Someday, we will all be changed; we will all be resurrected, made new and live eternally free from the presence of sin and imperfection that we must live with in our temporal lives. Someday, we will no longer have to struggle with trials or the temptations that seem to pound on us constantly.

Even though the struggle today is real, the time of our release from temptation and sin is also real. How can that be? It can be because God knows the end from the beginning; in fact, He knew the end before there even was a beginning. When we read here that, “God,…giveth us the victory,” we can understand that to mean the victory has already been given! As a well-known cliché tells us, we have read the end of the book, and God wins. God has won.

Our Christian lives are much more than a salvation at the beginning, and a glorious perfecting at the end; most of us have a whole lot of living between these two events. Our Father expects and equips us to take the reality of the gospel and turn it into a reality in our lives for all to see, that they might also share in it. Paul tells us this here. Because the victory is already complete and won, we do not have to fight that fight and can just do the things He desires that we do.

JUST A THOUGHT: Our Christian freedom does not mean we are free to do whatever we want; it means we are free to do what He wants.

 

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-The Final Victory over Sin

by Wally Fry

Friday, August 30

The Final Victory over Sin

1 Corinthians 15:51-58

“But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through 
our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord,” 1 Corinthians 15:57, 58

The struggle with sin is real, as is the penalty for it. It is established clearly in God’s Word that we owe it, and that Jesus paid it. At the moment of salvation, we are released forever from any eternal penalty for our sin, and that will never be revoked or lost to us. We have, at that moment, victory over both sin and death for eternity.

As we move through the days we have left on earth after our salvation, we are also progressively separated from the power of sin over our lives; at least that is the goal of sanctification in the life of all believers. Even though we still sin daily, God is quick to forgive and restore fellowship upon our confession and repentance or turning away from it. We might say we are saved, in three steps. First, at the instant of our acceptance of Jesus’ salvation, we are justified and saved from any eternal penalty for sin past, present and future. Next, as we grow in maturity in our Christian lives, we are saved from the power of sin in our lives. Finally, someday we will be saved from the very presence of sin and death when we receive our glorified bodies and go to live with Jesus forever in the new Heaven and the new earth. What a great hope we have in that! This is the hope that empowers us to concentrate our lives on earth spreading the glorious gospel.

JUST A THOUGHT: God keeps us saved. We do not work to keep it ourselves; we work from our gratitude for what He did for us.

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-The Reason for Death and the Resurrection

by Beverly Barnett

Thursday, May 23

The Reason for Death and the Resurrection

1 Corinthians 15:51-58

“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory,” 1 Corinthians 15:54.

Death, for the believer, is a changing room before we enter into glorious Heaven. Death, for now, is necessary. Its purpose is for change—a moment in time when we drop off this mortal body and take up our immortal one. Death is a place of victory. Death does not conquer us. Death is conquered through Jesus Christ, and we are the benefactors!

We may fear the pain of death, but we can be certain that the pain will be quickly forgotten when we rise with new bodies. We will shout from Heaven’s portals, “O death, where is thy sting?” (verse 55). The face of Jesus we will behold, and death shall be remembered no more.

Thank you Jesus. Through our death, You will raise us to new life, eternally beside You, and forever to love You! Through your love and sacrifice, You have made our resurrection sure.

REFLECTION: On to victory! “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:37).

 

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-The Resurrection Changed Everything

by Wally Fry

The Resurrection Changed Everything

1 Corinthians 15:16-23

“And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins,” 1 Corinthians 15:17.

We have talked at some length about the resurrection as an encouragement to believers, and it surely is; however, it is far more than just encouragement.

Joseph Smith founded the Mormon church. Buddha founded Buddhism. Charles Taze Russell founded the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The prophet Mohammed founded Islam. Other than founding a religion, what do all of those have in common? They are all dead. In fact, they all died just like normal people die from normal things which cause human death. They died normal deaths, and have stayed quite dead. There are a couple of things of additional note. None of these claimed to have died for their followers, and their followers do not claim this. None of these made any claims that they would come back to life, and their followers do not claim that they did.

Only Jesus claimed that His express purpose was to die for those who follow Him. Only Jesus claimed he would overcome that death and rise again to life. Furthermore, Christians are the only people who claim that their Savior actually did all of these things.

The equation here is astoundingly simple, and Paul summed it up well in our verse today. If Christ is not raised, our faith is useless; in fact, it is nonexistent. If Christ stayed dead, then when we die we will as well. In fact, if Jesus stayed dead, then we are already dead in our sins and will stay that way.

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-Jesus’ Appearances After the Resurrection

by Wally Fry

Jesus Appearances After the Resurrection

1 Corinthians 15:4-9

“After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep,” 1 Corinthians 15:6.

The physical, bodily resurrection of Jesus is one of the most fervently assaulted doctrines and beliefs of the Christian faith. Only the creation story is attacked as strongly. Why is this so? That answer is simple; if there is no resurrection, there is no true Christian faith. If we serve a dead Savior, then we serve nothing. The resurrection of Jesus was a history-changing event and it is a life-changing one as well.

Contrary to what the doubters try to tell you, the resurrection of Jesus is one of the most well-documented events in the first century. Here Paul makes an astounding claim. Not only did more than five hundred people see the resurrected Jesus, but most of them were still around at the time Paul wrote this letter to the church at Corinth! In effect, Paul was issuing a challenge to the scoffers here: hey, if you don’t believe me, go ask them; they saw it too! To my knowledge, no one came forth to challenge Paul’s assertion.

A defense of the resurrection is not really the point here today. The point today is that the resurrection of Jesus is one of the greatest encouragements we have in our walks of faith. Because Jesus died, we have also died to sin and our old selves. Because Jesus lives, we also live free from the penalty of our sin and in our new selves. Finally, because Jesus will live into all eternity in glory, so will we!

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Bogard Press Daily Devotional-We Shall All be Changed

by Wally Fry

We Shall All Be Changed

1 Corinthians 15:51-58

“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory,” 1 Corinthians 15:55.

The short answer to the above question is: for the believer death has no pain to offer us, and the grave will never have victory over us. The death rate in this life is one hundred percent. All who live will ultimately die, in the sense that our physical lives will end someday. Death in itself is often painful, and it seems very final. Death divides families and leaves the remaining living in despondency. For many, death represents the end of existence.

Believers certainly are not exempt from the death which will finally claim us all. Back in the Garden of Eden, the actions of Adam and Eve brought sin to creation, and death along with it. When Jesus died on the cross, He paid the penalty for all of the sin of humankind; when He rose from the grave, He defeated both sin and death; however, there is a caveat to this. For those who reject what Jesus did, our sin and the resulting death will claim us forever. Even though Jesus has attained victory over both, those who reject Him will not participate in the victory, and sin and death will win. Is anything sadder than that?

For those who believe, however, physical death does not mark the end! Sin and death, and those who die in them will be cast into the lake of fire. Those who believe will “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” (verse 52) be raised and changed forever. Is anything more joyous than that?

JUST A THOUGHT: For those who believe, death does not mark the end of the best, it is the prelude to the best.

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