This passage is part of a larger discussion in the book of 1 Corinthians about the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the hope of resurrection for believers. In this specific passage, the author (Paul) is proclaiming the victory over death that believers have through their faith in Jesus Christ.
The phrase "Death is swallowed up in victory" is a quote from the Old Testament book of Isaiah (25:8) and suggests that death has been defeated and no longer has any power. The following two lines, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" further emphasize this point, indicating that death and the grave have lost their power and sting.
The next two lines, "The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law," explain the reason for the victory over death. The author is saying that sin, which brings about death, is defeated through Jesus Christ, who fulfilled the law and paid the penalty for sin on behalf of believers.
Finally, the passage ends with the statement, "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." Here, the author gives thanks to God for providing victory over death through Jesus Christ. This victory is available to all believers who have faith in Jesus and follow his teachings.
The passage is part of a larger argument that Paul is making about the importance of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the preceding verses, Paul argues that without the resurrection, faith is futile and believers are still in their sins. However, because Christ has been raised from the dead, believers can have hope for their own resurrection and victory over death.
In verse 54, Paul quotes from the book of Isaiah, which speaks of a time when God will "swallow up death forever" and "wipe away tears from all faces" (Isaiah 25:8). Paul sees the resurrection of Jesus Christ as the beginning of this new era, where death has been overcome and believers can have hope for eternal life.
The next two lines, "O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" are rhetorical questions that express the triumph of believers over death. The "sting" of death is sin, which separates humans from God, but because of Christ's sacrifice, believers no longer have to fear the consequences of sin. The grave, which once held power over the dead, has been defeated, and believers can look forward to a future where death has no hold over them.
The last line, "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ," expresses gratitude to God for the victory that believers have over death through their faith in Jesus Christ. It is through Jesus' death and resurrection that believers are able to conquer death and receive the gift of eternal life.
Overall, 1 Corinthians 15:54-57 is a powerful declaration of the victory that believers have over death through their faith in Jesus Christ. It offers hope and comfort to those who have lost loved ones and reminds believers of the power of the resurrection in their lives.
1 Corinthians 15:54-57. When this perishable body will have become imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then what is written will happen: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” “Death, where is your sting? Hades, where is your victory?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.