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Your Labor is Not in Vain

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This week Pastor Shaun is wrapping up chapter 15 of 1 Corinthians as he preaches the next to the last sermon in the series we have called, “ONE”. This week I want to draw your attention to Paul’s concluding thought in chapter 15 so that we can hear pastor Shaun’s sermon in a hindsight sort of way. In other words, I want to give you the conclusion first.

In 1 Corinthians 15:58, Paul states,

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (ESV)

Paul’s charge to the church of Corinth and to us is to be;

Steadfast- that is to be steady or dutifully firm.

Immovable- that is to be fixed, secure, and stable.

Abounding in the work of the Lord- that is to faithfully Herald the finished work of the resurrection; the gospel.

All the while we should maintain the knowledge that our heralding of the good news is not in vain- that is to say, “the message of the gospel will accomplish God’s purpose for eternity.”

This is Paul’s application to this long discourse regarding the resurrection of Jesus. The resurrection of Jesus seals the gospel work in us that God planned before the foundation of the world. The resurrection of Jesus seals the fact that one day we will be resurrected. The resurrection of Jesus guarantees that our labor to fulfill the Great Commission will absolutely, beyond a shadow of a doubt, 100% be successful according to God’s will which he decreed in eternity past.

So, as you turn on the news, go on social media, or get into conversations that tempt you to believe this world is out of control, REMEMBER that God is in complete control, the gospel is going forth, and God’s plan will be carried out for eternity because of the resurrection of Jesus.

 

Posted by Joey Tomlinson with

Death Is Not Final

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It’s 2017, and we are in no shortage of hearing about crazy things. Despite the news or social media showcasing one horrifying or shocking story after the other, the wildest and most unbelievable thing I’ve ever heard is a man rising from the dead. Death is final, and something we particularly avoid as evidenced by our intake of medications or zealous dietary and fitness habits. However, Jesus is the only one who died, yet death was not final for him. His heart restarted, his lungs filled with air, and he walked the earth once again. All of this was to prove that Jesus was who he said he was. He was a miracle worker, as were his disciples, but only he was powerful enough to heal others as well as restore himself so completely to defeat death. 

“And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.”
1 Corinthians 15:14

“If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.”
1 Corinthians 15:19

“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
1 Corinthians 15:55 (citing Hosea 13:14)

Paul points out that without the resurrection, then their efforts in sharing the gospel is pointless. Without Jesus dying and resurrecting, there would be no need to believe the man who said he had “all authority on heaven and earth”. It is our faith in this God-man, Jesus, who spurs us to follow him and spread his message. Paul recognizes there were other gods in their culture who are also worshipped with the same passion of Christians worshipping Jesus, but he exposes how those gods are limited to the earth. However, as believes of Jesus Christ, we have hope that surpasses life on earth because Jesus is the only one who has defeated death and promises everlasting life with him and the Father in Heaven.

“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”
1 Corinthians 15:22

“Thus it is written, 'The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.'”
1 Corinthians 15:45 (citing Genesis 2:7)

By sin entering the world, the relationship between God and man was fractured. When Adam sinned, he brought the curse of sin upon all humans. By being fully God and fully man, and by defeating death that is a symptom of sin, Jesus brought eternal life to those who believe in him. As Adam’s sin was our demise, Jesus’s sacrificial death and resurrection was our redemption.

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”
1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, Christians, be encouraged by what you know to be true. It is your faith and the Holy Spirit empowering you to believe. Jesus is who he says he is. He does have all authority on heaven and earth. He does have victory over sin and death. He did die. He did resurrect.

Going forward, you must ask yourself how this truth affects you. How will you respond? How does knowing Jesus has victory over death inspire you to share the gospel? Even when it seems no one is listening, your labor for God will always be seen and used.

Posted by Laura Rogers with

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