27th October 2020
“Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours.” 1 Corinthians 3:22
“Life,” says the Apostle, is “yours.” But how can this be? In two ways. Life present and life future, both are the Christian’s, according to the words, “Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.” But life present is natural and spiritual. In three senses, therefore, is life the portion of Christ’s people; life natural, life spiritual, life eternal. Life natural is theirs, for they alone can truly enjoy it. What is natural life if it hang by a thread over an awful eternity? How soon spent and gone, and how soon death and judgment close the scene. But the Christian’s very natural life is his season for faith and prayer, the seedtime of an immortal harvest. Most men are life’s slave, but he is life’s master; to most, life is but an opportunity of evil, but to him an opportunity of good. Spiritual life is peculiarly his, for he alone possesses it. Natural men share with him natural life; but he alone enjoys spiritual life. This life is his because Christ is his. Christ is his life, and because Christ lives, he lives also. And then there is life eternal, which commencing now in life spiritual is transplanted above to bloom in immortality.
And then, more wondrous still, “death,” that last enemy, that king of terrors, who makes the strongest tremble, and the stoutest heart quake; that, too, is yours, if ye are Christ’s. Death is not your enemy if you are Christ’s, but your friend. He may indeed in the dim and distant prospect seem to come in the guise of an enemy; you may dread the thought of his approach, and may even sink down with fear how it may be with you in that solemn hour. But if you are Christ’s, death is yours as well as life, for he has abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light. Death then cannot harm you, because Christ died for you. Death will merely cause your poor body to drop into the ground, whilst it will open to your soul the everlasting doors through which the King of glory, the Lord mighty in battle, entered as your forerunner when he went to prepare a place for you.
J. C. Philpot 1802-1869