1. Throughout the New Testament, Christians are instructed to: a. "persevere" (Hebrews 10:23) b. "do the Lord's work" (Ephesians 2:10). 2. While there are many verses that teach Christians to "persevere" and "do the Lord's work," 1 Corinthians 15:58 is probably one of the most familiar. 3. In studying this passage we are: a. considering it in its context b. examining what it teaches us to do.
I. LET US FIRST CONSIDER THIS PASSAGE IN ITS CONTEXT
A. The main subject addressed in 1 Corinthians 15 is "the resurrection." 1. Notice that vs.58 begins with the word "therefore." a. Vs.58 is a concluding statement based on information presented earlier. b. All the information we have covered leads up to this concluding statement. 2. The reason why Paul wrote this information is revealed in vs.12 -- there were some who said that there is no resurrection. B. If there is no resurrection we are in a hopeless condition -- Christ was not raised, our preaching is vain, our faith is vain, those who have obeyed the Gospel are still in their sins, and we have no hope concerning our loved ones who died in the Lord. C. In this hopeless condition, would there be any good reason for "persevering" and "doing the Lord's work?" D. As vs.32 says, if there is no resurrection, "let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die." E. Thanks be unto God that: 1. Christ was raised from the dead 2. Christ serves as our guarantee that we will be resurrected 3. Christ will enable us to enjoy a great victory when He returns. F. Looking forward to the resurrection should motivate us to do what vs.58 teaches us to do.
II. LET US ALSO EXAMINE WHAT VS.58 TEACHES US TO DO
A. Before we do so, notice that this verse is addressed to "my beloved brethren." 1. Whatever this passage teaches, it applies to all Christians. 2. On the basis that the resurrection will occur, what are all Christians instructed to do? B. All Christians are to "persevere." 1. We are to "be steadfast" [to be firmly fixed, settled]. 2. We are to be "unmovable" [persistent, not to be moved from our place by external forces]. 3. To be "steadfast" and "unmovable" we must put on "the whole armor of God" (Ephesians 6:10-18). 4. In addition to "persevering," . . . C. All Christians are to "do the Lord's work." 1. "The work of the Lord" is the work that the Lord has instructed us to do in His Word. 2. We are to "abound" [excel, overflow] in the Lord's work. 3. We are to abound in the Lord's work "always" [at all times]. 4. In other words we are to imitate Christ (John 9:4). 5. We should be encouraged to do the Lord's work when we know that our "labor is not in vain in the Lord" (Galatians 6:9).
1. The resurrection will occur when Jesus returns. 2. While we look forward to this great event,: a. let us persevere b. let us always abound in the Lord's work.