2 Timothy 1:10
But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death…
The question is, therefore, in what sense hath death been abolished by Christ. It means that He hath made death of none effect. In order to explain this we lay down three propositions.
I. THAT THE FELT POWER OF DEATH OVER MAN IS ACCORDING TO THE STATE OF HIS SOUL. The power of death over man is not in the unconsciousness which he produces. So far as unconsciousness is concerned there is death in every sleep. Not in the dissolution it produces. For physical dissolution is going on every day in the body. Where then is the power of death? It is in the state of our souls in relation to it. Let us suppose that we had no capacity for forming any idea of death. What power would death have over us? None until it came; like the beast or the bird we should lie down on the green turf, and breathe out our last breath without one regretful or apprehensive thought. Or, let us suppose that we had ideas concerning death, all of which were of a pleasing character. What power would death have over us in this case? None. We should rejoice in it.
II. THAT THE STATE OF A DEPRAVED MAN'S SOUL GIVES DEATH ITS FELT POWER.
1. All the affections of his soul are confined to earthly objects. All men whose natures are unchristianised love the world and the things of the world. All they love, all they plan and toil and hope for, are here.
2. He has terrible forebodings as to the consequence of death to him.
III. THAT CHRIST HATH ABOLISHED THIS DEPRAVED STATE OF SOUL IN HIS DISCIPLES. How does He accomplish this? Not merely by the revelation of a future life, but by the impartation of a new spiritual life — A life of conscious pardon and of spiritual sympathy. This new life —
1. Has a stronger sympathy with the spiritual than the material. The affections are set not on things below, but on things above. Hence, where is the dread of death to the true Christian? This new life.
2. Has a stronger sympathy with the failure than the present. Christ turns the hearts of His people to the future as their heaven. Who, therefore, would dread the dawn of the future into which the heart has gone? This new life —
3. Has a stronger sympathy with the Infinite Father than with any other object. Christ sets the heart of His disciple upon the Infinite Father. Can death or any other event fill him with dread who loves the Infinite supremely? From this subject we learn —
(1) The value of Christianity.
(2) The test of godliness.
(D. Thomas, 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: