Faithlife Sermons

If a Man Dies, Shall He Live Again?

Notes
Transcript
The twenty-year old imagines death will not be imminent until they turn at least 60. The sixty-year old imagines easily living another twenty years. The eighty-year old knows that few make it to one-hundred, but they imagine themselves being among those few. No one denies the reality of death, but almost everyone lives as if they are immune to it. Our text today shatters that illusion. Turn with me to Job chapter fourth, we begin with verse one.
Job 14:1–14 ESV
“Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble. He comes out like a flower and withers; he flees like a shadow and continues not. And do you open your eyes on such a one and bring me into judgment with you? Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? There is not one. Since his days are determined, and the number of his months is with you, and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass, look away from him and leave him alone, that he may enjoy, like a hired hand, his day. “For there is hope for a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that its shoots will not cease. Though its root grow old in the earth, and its stump die in the soil, yet at the scent of water it will bud and put out branches like a young plant. But a man dies and is laid low; man breathes his last, and where is he? As waters fail from a lake and a river wastes away and dries up, so a man lies down and rises not again; till the heavens are no more he will not awake or be roused out of his sleep. Oh that you would hide me in Sheol, that you would conceal me until your wrath be past, that you would appoint me a set time, and remember me! If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my service I would wait, till my renewal should come.
In verse fourteen, we find one of life’s most important questions: “If a Man Dies, Shall He Live Again?”
To answer this question, we need to look at what the entire chapter says about death and we begin with the first lesson God intended for us to learn today:

When it Comes to Death, the Question is Not If, But When

We see this in the opening verses of this chapter:
Job 14:1–2 ESV
“Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble. He comes out like a flower and withers; he flees like a shadow and continues not.
This warning that our life is like a mere flower is found frequently throughout Scripture. Why is it that Moses, David, Job, the Prophets, Jesus and His Apostles all compare our lives to fleeting flowers or grass? It is because, as I suggested in my introduction, we all have a tendency to deny the reality of our own death. It really doesn’t matter how old we are, we all fail to properly “number our days”.
However, there is One who has numbered our days—God. Job speaks of this in verse five:
Job 14:5 ESV
Since his days are determined, and the number of his months is with you, and you have appointed his limits that he cannot pass,
My friend, the day of your death has been predetermined by God. Nothing your can do can add one single day to it, so on that day—the day on which you die—will you again?
Job wants you to understand something, (it is a very bitter pill to swallow),...

If You are Depending on Yourself, The Answer is No!

In verses seven through twelve, Job compares our lives to tree stumps. If you cut down a healthy tree, the tree is not dead, very quickly you will see new shoots coming out of that stump. I was told once that you have to diligently pick off all new shoots for up to seven years for a stump to finally die!
We are not like that. You are a diseased, unhealthy tree. When that day comes that you will be cut down by death, there will be no hope of life. Because of sin, we are like unhealthy trees that are so diseased that we are already dead, even while we live. You have probably noticed the tree by the side of the manse. It has been dying for the last three years. No amount of pruning can save it. It is a zombie tree. It is a member of the living dead.
In Psalm 51, Scripture teaches that we were infected with the rotting disease of sin from the moment of our conception. Prior to a person coming to faith in Christ, Paul says this about us:
Ephesians 2:1 ESV
And you were dead in the trespasses and sins
You are deluding yourself if you think you can reform yourself and make yourself better. If you could live your life over again, you would not be any better, but worse. Just like a diseased tree, death grows in you every day. Jesus once said:
Matthew 7:17–18 ESV
So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit.
To bear good fruit, something supernatural must happen to us. Only God can free us from the sin that in found in the very roots of our being and this Job teaches us, God is able to do!
The Good New I bring to you today is this:

If You Place Your Faith in Christ, The Answer is Yes!

Both Christ and His Apostles taught that the Old Testament was a type or shadow, pointing to the greater reality to be revealed under the New Covenant. Job lived at the beginning of the Old Covenant and the shadows were long and his vision very dim, but even at this, hope shines through the darkness brightly in this book. For example, let me pick up again at verse 14 and read through verse 17:
Job 14:14–17 ESV
If a man dies, shall he live again? All the days of my service I would wait, till my renewal should come. You would call, and I would answer you; you would long for the work of your hands. For then you would number my steps; you would not keep watch over my sin; my transgression would be sealed up in a bag, and you would cover over my iniquity.
The word “renewal” in verse 14, is from the same root word that is used in verse 7 to speak of a shoot coming from a tree stump. Job had faith that God was able to take his “transgressions” and "iniquities” and “seal them up a bag” and so “cover over” them; in so doing, God would be able to “renew” him and create new life within him! This same hope is expressed even more clearly in Job 19:25-27:
Job 19:25–27 ESV
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!
The Hebrew word our bibles translate “Redeemer,” speaks of a person known as the kinsman redeemer. A kinsman redeemer was a family member who redeemed another family member from bondage, debt or other personal disaster. Job was prophesying that God would send a Kinsman Redeemer who would redeem us from the sin and death.
In the New Covenant, the veil that the Old Testament saints had to look through was lifted and Jesus was revealed to us as that Kinsman Redeemer who would rescue us from sin and death. AS proof that Jesus is able to overcome the power of sin and death, God raised Jesus from the dead. In First Peter, we read these words:
1 Peter 1:3 ESV
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
Because of His Resurrection, Jesus is a “living hope.” If the book of Job teaches us anything—it is this: all other hopes are “dead hopes.” Think about it, Job had everything and in a moment, he had nothing! In a sermon entitled, “The Voice of Job,” George MacDonald began his sermon with these words:

The book of Job seems to me the most daring of poems: from a position of the most vantageless realism, it assaults the very citadel of the ideal! Its hero is a man seated among the ashes, covered with loathsome boils from head to foot, scraping himself with a potsherd. Sore in body, sore in mind, sore in heart, sore in spirit, he is the instance-type of humanity in the depths of its misery—all the waves and billows of a world of adverse circumstance rolling free over its head.

I pray that you will never have to experience the depths of misery Job did, but whatever misery you may find yourself in, I pray that you will hear the voice of Job as he expresses his faith in the Living Hope in the midst of his suffering. Job did not know the name of this Living Hope, but we do, His name is Jesus!
As I close this sermon, I ask you another question: Is Jesus your Living Hope?
Let us pray.
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