The three readings for the Easter Sunrise worship service on April 8, 2007 are Job 19:23-27 (I know my Redeemer lives); 1 Corinthians 15:51-57 (Victory over death) and John 20:1-10 (The empty tomb). Selected to apply is 1 Corinthians 15:56 which reads, “The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law.”
If you were to ask most people what separates human beings from God, the answer 95% of the time would be “sin”. However, then one would have to conclude that even Christians are still separated from God because we continue to sin! While it is true that every other religion in the world assumes sin is the problem, they then attempt their followers either to stop sinning or somehow to make up for their sin.
Christianity teaches that because God demands PERFECTION, it is impossible for any human being either to stop sinning or to make up for sin even with all the help of the Holy Spirit. The gift of sinless good works will never be given while we are here on earth. That is a gift which will only find fulfillment after the Day of Judgment when this mortal puts on immortality.
So what does separate us from God? Verse 56 of the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians reveals that though sin is the sting of death, the real power of sin is the law. Think of the difference between a mosquito and a scorpion. Both sting but normally the mosquito bite is harmless in contrast to the scorpion. It is not the bite that causes the damage but the poison that enters the blood.
So also with sin which is disobedience against God’s will. While a tree was not created to fall on a house during a storm, even if that happens there is no sending of the tree to hell. Only two elements in creation receive the curse of the law; namely, angels and human beings. What separates us from God is death, not in the sense of temporal death but spiritual death which is God forsaking us.
The reason that sin no longer has any power is because of what Jesus Christ accomplished on the accursed cross on Good Friday which demonstrated victory on Easter Sunday. “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” He took upon Himself the curse you and I should have received. He became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. Through His sacrfice and resurrection, we need not be concerned any longer about sin because it no longer has the power of the curse of the Law.
To conclude, therefore, that we ought to continue to sin is not logical. The proper conclusion is that good works are necessary but not to become saved or stay saved. Rather good works, motivated by the Holy Spirit, are fruit of the Spirit that are proper responses to what God in Christ has done for you. So while we no longer look to our good works to save us or keep us saved, the resurrection of Jesus Christ indeed motivates us properly to give Him thanks and praise, serve and obey, not because we HAVE to but because we WANT to!