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Works of Jonathan Edwards, Volume Two
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CHRIST EXALTED:

OR

JESUS CHRIST GLORIOUSLY EXALTED ABOVE ALL EVIL IN THE WORK OF REDEMPTION. 195195    Lecture, August, 1738

1 corinthians xv. 25, 26.

For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed, is death.

The apostle in this chapter particularly opposes some among the Christian Corinthians, who denied the resurrection of the dead, and infested the church with their doctrine. There were two sorts of persons in that age, who were especially great opposers of the doctrine of the resurrection: one among the Jews, and the other among the heathen. Among the Jews were the Sadducees, of whom we read, Acts xxiii. 8. For the Sadducees say, that there is no resurrection, either angel or spirit; and we have the same account in other places. Among the heathen, that were the chief opposers of this doctrine, were their philosophers. The doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, was not consistent with their philosophy, by the principles of which, it was impossible that one who was deprived of the habit of life, should ever receive it again. And therefore they ridiculed the doctrine when the apostle preached it among them at Athens.196196    Acts xvii. Probably the church at Corinth received this corruption from the philosophers, and not the Sadducees. For Corinth was near to Athens, the place of the chief resort of the philosophers of Greece.

The apostle, in opposing this error, first insists on Christ’s resurrection from the dead; and next on the resurrection of all the saints at the end of the world. And, in the verses next before the text, shows how both are connected, or that one arises or follows from the other. And then adds, “then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority, and power. For he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 197197    1 Cor. xv. 24. ”—Observe,

1. Here is one thing wherein appears the glory of that exaltation and dominion, that Christ has as our redeemer, viz. that it issues in the subjection of all enemies under his feet. It is not said all his enemies; possibly, because those that shall be put under his feet, are not only his enemies, but also the enemies of his Father, and of his people. Their being under his feet, denotes their being perfectly subdued, and his being gloriously exalted over them. It shall be thus with respect to God’s and his, and his people’s enemies universally, not one excepted; which universality is signified here two ways; all enemies—and the very last enemy: when there shall be but one enemy left, that shall also be put under his feet.

2. We may learn what is here meant by enemies, by the particular instance here given as the last that shall be destroyed, viz. death. Which shows, that by enemies, is not meant persons only, that set themselves in opposition to God and his people, but evils; whatever is against God and his people, and opposes Christ or his saints, whether they be persons or things.


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