Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15:58
In the fifteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians, Paul is making the case for the resurrection of Christ. He begins with the eyewitness testimony of the apostles and moves to the order of the last resurrection. The apostle then points us to the hope of our resurrection and the promise of a new body. He ends the writing with a charge to stay strong and not give up.
Paul gives four commands in verse 58. These imperatives are given as a result of Christ’s resurrection and because of our future hope in Jesus. We would do well to heed these principles as we follow Christ. Let us examine them in brief.
1) Be steadfast. The Greek word here contains the idea of being firm or settled in our convictions. God has revealed His truth, the only truth, and we must remain firm in our beliefs and our dogmas.
2) Be immovable. This Greek word has the following definition—not to be moved from its place. Our hope is in Christ Jesus. Through His death and resurrection our sin is atoned and we are reconciled to God. No one can take this relationship away from us. Therefore, stand firm and do not be moved.
3) Always abound in the work of the Lord. Serving the Lord and ministering in His name should not be drudgery. Instead, we ought to serve from a position of abundance. God has equipped us and is with us in every situation. He will supply what we need and use us for His glory. Child of God, abound in service to the Lord.
4) Know that your work is not in vain. God adds to and multiplies the works that are completed in His name. Our service for Christ is never unnoticed by the Savior and it always accomplishes good for the Kingdom of God. We may not see the full effect of our labors in this life. But, we can rest assured that our toils are never empty and we can abound in the work of the Lord more and more.
I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders.
I am thankful. God has blessed me (and all Believers) with many wonderful blessings. Let us give thanks to the Lord today.
1) Let us give thanks for His provision. The Lord has been faithful to us and has supplied our needs. (Philippians 4:19) He has arranged and ordered the circumstances of our lives to give us what we need when we need. Give thanks to God for His provision.
2) Let us give thanks for His presence. The Spirit of God lives within us and is always with us. (1 Corinthians 6:19) No matter where we go or what we face the Lord is with us and He leads us and guides us along the way. Give thanks to God for His presence.
3) Let us give thanks for His purpose. God directs our steps and will ultimately bring us home to Heaven. (John 14:1-3) He works through all things that come our way in order to shape us and transform us to be more like Jesus. (Romans 8:28) Give thanks for God for His provision.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
God’s people live by the Holy Spirit. We may not always realize that fact, but, it is true nonetheless. The Spirit of God lives within us and leads us each day. (1 Corinthians 6:19)
Paul juxtaposes life in the Spirit and life according to the flesh in these verses. He makes it clear that the Spirit and the flesh cannot coexist in our lives. We either pursue the Spirit or we adhere to the old nature. As we follow the Spirit, the old nature is being put to death. This process will take place for the remainder of our time here upon earth. Living by the Spirit is the command of this text.
We are made children of God through the Holy Spirit. Believers are no longer slaves to sin. Rather, we have been ushered into the family of God through adoption. Where we once were far off and separated from God, Christians now have closeness with God as we cry out to our Father. Upon the cross, Christ was separated from the Father so that we would no longer be estranged from God.
Paul also reminds us that we are not only children, but heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ. God has promised us an inheritance that will include His power, peace, and everlasting presence both in this life and for all of eternity. There may be suffering along the way and life will not always be fair. We have the victory through Jesus nonetheless.
Praise be to the glorious name of Jesus, great things He has done!