Day of Jesus Christ

Jesus will arrive on the Day of the Lord when the dead are raised, the wicked are judged, and death will cease forevermoreThe coming of Jesus is not a major topic in Paul's letters to the Corinthians. But he does touch on several aspects of it, including its identification with the “Day of the Lord,” the consummation of God’s kingdom, the resurrection, the judgment, and the cessation of death.

He begins his first letter by thanking God for His grace to the Corinthians, and he puts the proper perspective on spiritual gifts by referring to the expectation of Christ’s return.

  • (1 Corinthians 1:4-9) - “I give thanks unto my God at all times concerning you… That you come short in no gift of grace, ardently awaiting the revelation of our Lord Jesus Christ: Who will also confirm you unto the end, unimpeachable in the DAY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST. Faithful is God through whom you have been called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Rather than overvalue spiritual gifts, believers must remember that they are still waiting for the much fuller glories that will be dispensed at his “revelation” on the “day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

DAY OF JESUS CHRIST


The term rendered “revelation” translates the Greek noun apokalupsis, and it means “revelation, disclosure, unveiling” - (2 Thessalonians 1:7-10, Luke 17:30, 1 Peter 1:13, 1 Peter 4:13).

Unimpeachable” translates a legal term applied to someone against whom legal charges can no longer be leveled (anegklĂ©tosStrong’s - #G410). Thus, on the “Day of Christ,” no one will bring charges against Christians in God’s court because He has “confirmed” them.

In Paul’s writings, the “day of our Lord Jesus Christ” is synonymous with the “Day of the Lord” in the Hebrew Bible, the day when Yahweh delivers his people and judges His enemies. By adding “Jesus Christ” to the phrase, Paul focuses this ancient hope on him - (Amos 5:18-20, Joel 2:31, Philippians 1:6, 2:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 2 Peter 3:10).

UNTIL THE LORD COMES


Paul deals with inappropriate attitudes in the Corinthian church. Some members are beginning to reject his teachings and apostolic authority. He responds by employing the image of household servants or stewards. As a faithful “steward,” Paul is entrusted with the “mysteries” of God - (1 Corinthians 4:3-5).

And he is a servant of Christ who belongs to the Corinthians. But he is accountable only to the Master of the household, and therefore, their evaluation of him is of no real consequence.

Only the judgment of Jesus matters and his valuation will become evident when he arrives at the end of the age. Christians ought not to judge anyone before the proper time - “when the Lord comes.”

A few verses earlier, Paul speaks of the coming day of evaluation when each Christian’s work will be examined to see whether it was built on the proper foundation. Again, that will occur when Jesus comes on the “Day of the Lord” - (1 Corinthians 3:13-15).

DAY OF THE LORD


Paul must deal with a shameful incident that has brought the church into disrepute. A member is having sexual relations with his stepmother. While fornication is common enough in Greco-Roman society, engaging in sex with one’s stepmother is beyond the pale even for pagans.

Rather than boast of their spirituality, he exhorts the Corinthians to “mourn” that such an egregious sinner was in their midst - (1 Corinthians 5:4-5).

The Apostle admonishes the church to expel this man so that his “spirit may be saved ON THE DAY OF THE LORD.” The “destruction of the flesh” will become part of his remedial process.  And he means the destruction of what is carnal in the man as he is buffeted by the satanic forces that operate outside the believing community.

The result hoped for is the man’s repentance and salvation on the “Day of the Lord.” Once again, Paul associates the “Day of the Lord” with judgment, including that of believers. Final salvation and judgment are only realized on that day.

Paul next mentions the “coming” of Jesus in his discussion on proper behavior during the Lord’s Supper, especially in consideration of his impending arrival in glory - (1 Corinthians 11:24-26).

In his explanation, Paul combines the commemoration of Christ’s death with the promise of his return.

By eating the bread and drinking the wine, the church proclaims his death “until he comes,” linking the two events, and both are essential to his gospel message.

AT HIS COMING


Paul also responds to men who are denying the future resurrection, and he argues for it from the past resurrection of Jesus.  If there is no future resurrection, then “not even Christ has been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, void is our proclamation, void also our faith” - (1 Corinthians 15:22-28).

And he presents the general order of events leading up to the day when Jesus “arrives.” He is the “first fruit of those who have fallen asleep” – the first participant in the larger resurrection, and therefore, his past resurrection is inextricably linked with the future resurrection of believers.

Since death came into existence through a man, Adam, so “through a man,” Christ, comes the raising of the dead. Just as “in Adam, all die,” so in Christ, all will be made alive. His followers are waiting to be raised at his arrival on the “Day of Christ” - (1 Thessalonians 1: 2:19, 3:13, 4:15, 5:23, 2 Thessalonians 2:1, 2:8).

Paul provides the key to when the resurrection will occur. First, he correlates it with the “arrival” or parousia of Jesus. Second, he specifies that it will mean nothing less than the end of death.

All this will occur after Jesus “delivers up the kingdom to his God and Father, whenever he brings to nothing all rule and all authority and power,” including the “last enemy” – Death.

Paul’s purpose in this chapter is not to provide all the details relating to the coming of Jesus, but to substantiate his argument for the future resurrection of believers. At issue is not the return of Jesus, but the bodily resurrection of believers.

Thus, in his Corinthian correspondence, Paul refers several times to the “day of the Lord Jesus,” whereas, the Old Testament speaks of the “Day of Yahweh,” the time of deliverance for the people of God, and the day of destruction for His enemies – (1 Corinthians 1:8, 5:5, Philippians 1:6, 1:10, 2:16, 1 Thessalonians 5:2, 2 Thessalonians 2:1).

And he describes key aspects of that event. First, he expects only one future coming of Jesus. Second, his “arrival” will occur on the “day of our Lord Jesus Christ,” the “Day of the Lord.” Third, it will include the examination and judgment of the righteous. Fourth, he will “arrive” after he subjugates all God’s enemies. And fifth, his coming will include the bodily resurrection of the dead and the cessation of death itself, the “last enemy.” All this will occur on the “day of our Lord Jesus Christ.”


POPULAR POSTS

His Superior Word

The Mission