1. Occasionally, we face situations that lead us to appreciate the words of the apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:8a -- "We are troubled on every side." a. For several months we have dealt with the virus problem. b. Many of our cities are now being affected by civil unrest. 2. We must use caution because troubles like these can lead to discouragement that can cause a person to fall away from the Lord. 3. The Bible provides information that will help us endure through troubles. 4. In addition to saying, "We are troubled on every side," Paul went on to say, "yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair." 5. While there are many passages that will help us go through troubling times, we are concentrating on "an exhortation for brethren" in 1 Corinthians 15:58. 6. As we study this passage we will: a. consider it in its context b. examine what it teaches us to do. Discussion: 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 covered earlier 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, we might as well live by the philosophy mentioned in vs.32 -- "let us eat and drink; for to morrow we die." D. 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. E. Looking forward to the resurrection should motivate us to do what vs.58 teaches us to do. II. LET US ALSO EXAMINE WHAT THIS PASSAGE 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 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 the Lord has taught 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" (see Galatians 6:9). Conclusion:
1. The resurrection will occur when Jesus returns. 2. While we look forward to this great event, let us persevere, and let us always abound in the Lord's work.