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)

The above is the last verse of 1 Corinthians 15. It concludes Paul’s long discussion of the importance of Jesus’ resurrection. In specific, Paul declared Jesus’ resurrection is important because His resurrection affirms our resurrection. The indication is this: Paul answered their question about the importance of accepting resurrection as a fact.

Paul affirmed belief in resurrection is at the core of placing faith in Jesus. He said if there is no resurrection, Christianity is a sham without integrity. If resurrection is not real, Christianity is based on a lie knowingly promoted by lying men.

The reason for Paul’s challenge in 1 Corinthians 15:58 to be steadfast is the reality of resurrection. Little is more devastating than reaching the end of life, realizing that you have wasted life, and realizing your life cannot be rescued.

Please note that hardship produced by placing faith in Jesus’ resurrection is NOT a modern problem! It is as old as Christianity! Anti-spiritual people always have said, “Dead is dead! Death is the total end of life! Anticipating resurrection is nothing more than foolishly hoping against reality!”

Working for the Lord is just that—work. It is demanding, often challenging work. It can be rightfully defined as toil—just plain hard work.

Note also that though it may be hard work, it is not vain work. It is never wasted effort. Why? Resurrection is real! We work for more than the church’s success, for more than defense of a position, or for more than a name, a mission, or a principle. What is more than all those? The resurrection is more than those!

It is resurrection (a) that gives a never ending reason to be steadfast and immovable when our world declares we are foolishness, and (b) that gives us reason to abound in the work our world calls wasted energy. Does your faith in Jesus’ resurrection make your work for the Lord worth the effort? Do you live in the confidence of your resurrection?

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 5 July 2009

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