2 Timothy 1:10
But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death…
I. OUR LORD HATH GIVEN US A CLEARER KNOWLEDGE THAN WITHOUT HIM WE COULD EVER HAVE ACQUIRED OF OUR STATE AFTER DEATH. For, first, the best arguments which human reason suggests for the immortality of the soul are founded upon right notions of God and of morality. But before the gospel was revealed the common people among the Gentiles had low and imperfect notions of these important truths, and consequently they were not persuaded upon good grounds of their future existence. The proofs of the soul's immortality, which are taken from its own nature, from its simplicity, spirituality, and inward activity, are by no means to be despised, they have much probability, and they never were or will be confuted. The moral arguments, as they are called, in behalf of the soul's immortality, as they are more familiar and intelligible, so are they more satisfactory. Now, it cannot be supposed that God, who is perfectly wise, would endue the soul of man with a capacity of well-doing, and of perpetual improvement, unless He intended it for other purposes than to live here for a very short space, and then perish for ever. He did not create the sun to shine for one day, and the moon to shine for one night, and then to be turned out of being. These sort of arguments, obvious and persuasive as they are, yet were usually overlooked in the Pagan world; polytheism, vice, and ignorance lind made men insensible of their force; these arguments shone forth along with Christianity, and were in a great measure owing to the gospel. They who argued justly enough to conclude from the nature of God and of man that it was reasonable to believe the immortality of the soul, and to hope that a future state of happiness should be the reward of a well-spent life, yet could not hence fairly draw any conclusions to their own full satisfaction. Many who believed the immortality of souls believed also a continual and successive removal of souls from one body to another, and no fixed state of permanent happiness. Our Lord hath opened to us a better prospect than this, promising us an incorruptible body, a life that shall not be taken from us, an unchangeable state, and a house eternal in the heavens. Some who in words acknowledged the immortality of the soul seem in reality to have taken it away, by imagining that the human soul was a part of the great soul of the world, of the Deity, and that upon its separation from the body it was reunited to it.
1. The gospel assures us that we shall rise again.
2. We are assured that the happiness of the good shall be complete, unchangeable, and endless.
3. We have also reason, from some places of Scripture, to suppose that the souls of the good are not deprived of thought, but are in a place of peace and contentment during their separation from the body.
II. THE SECOND THING WHICH WE PROPOSED TO PROVE IS, THAT CHRIST, BY HIS RESURRECTION, HATH FULLY ASSURED US THAT HE CAN AND WILL RAISE UP HIS SERVANTS TO ETERNAL LIFE. If it be certain that Christ arose from the dead, the consequence is plain and unavoidable that the religion taught by Him is true. I have only a few inferences to lay before you.
1. Our Lord hath taught us that our souls are immortal.
2. Our Lord hath taught us that death is only the death or sleep of the body, that the souls of the good live to God, and that at the last day, when He shall appear, they shall be clothed with immortal and glorified bodies, and dwell for ever with Him. And to confirm these truths, He arose Himself in power and splendour, and became the first fruits of them that sleep.
3. The resurrection of Christ contains in it the strongest motives to cast off our sins, and to prepare ourselves for the glories which shall be revealed, and to take off our affections from this world, and to set them on things above.
(J. Jortin, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: