All Because of the Resurrection

Title: All Because of the Resurrection

Bible Book: 1 Corinthians 15 : 58

Author: Franklin L. Kirksey

Subject: Easter; Resurrection; Relationship with Jesus



All because of the resurrection we have great hope and great help. 1 Corinthians 15:58 reads, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

There are three movements in this verse.

I. First, note Paul establishes these Corinthians had a relationship with the Lord.

“Therefore, my beloved brethren. . .” Someone said, “When you find the word, ‘therefore’ find out what it is there for.” In other words, on the basis of what has been written, think about this. Therefore, therefore serves as a transition word. The fifteen chapter of First Corinthians is known as “the Resurrection Chapter.” The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the capstone of the gospel. 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 reads, “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures.” (Emphasis mine) The believer’s resurrection is the culmination of salvation through Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:50-58 reads, “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; nor does corruption inherit incorruption. Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed— in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ‘O Death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?’ The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” (Emphasis mine)

Dr. Thoralf Gilbrant (1919-2006) and Tor Inge Gilbrant comment, “The word ‘therefore’ brings the matter to the point of conclusion and application. ‘My beloved brethren’ not only showed Paul’s concern for them, it also called on them to prove themselves brothers.”[1]

Throughout the New Testament we find the word Greek word adelphos often translated “brethren” or “brother” and the Greek word adelphē is translated “sister”. These words denote relationship. Paul writes about his encounter with “false brethren” in 2 Corinthians 11:26 and warns those in Galatia about them in the first and second chapter of his epistle to them. This reveals the truth that while we are all brothers and sisters in Creation we are not all brothers and sisters in Christ. Everyone is either in Adam or in Christ. Paul writes in Romans 5:12-21, “Therefore, just as through one man sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned— (For until the law sin was in the world, but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. But the free gift is not like the offense. For if by the one man’s offense many died, much more the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abounded to many. And the gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned. For the judgment which came from one offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift which came from many offenses resulted in justification. For if by the one man’s offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.) Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:22 reads, “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive.”

Do you have a relationship with the Lord?

II. Second, note Paul exhorts these Corinthians to a regimen under the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:58b reads, “. . . be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord . . .”

The word regimen is a way of life or a manner of living. This speaks of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?” (Luke 6:46) Matthew 7:21-23 reads, “‘Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’”

On being “Unmoveably steadfast,” Rev. J. P. (Joseph Parberry) Chown (1821-1886) writes the following: “There is no tautology [repetition, reiteration, redundancy] here. Be ‘steadfast’ when all goes well, and ‘unmoveable’ when it goes otherwise. That is where many fail. They are steadfast so long as all goes pleasantly; but when the slightest cross comes, then they go; they are not unmoveable. Yonder oak is steadfast in the summer sunset, when the western glory rests its blessedness upon its head, and the evening breeze whispers through its branches; it is unmoveable in the black midnight when the howling storm tears through the forest, and every other tree is uprooted and flung to the earth. That rock in the sea is steadfast when the ocean around it is only a broad, bright mirror to catch the glories of heaven and pour them back again on the sky; and it is ‘unmoveable’ when the ocean storm is raging round, and seeks to hurl it from its base or tear it up from its foundations.”[2]

The Corinthians “were urged negatively not to be flighty, movable, or unstable in their Christian beliefs and actions, but steadfast and unmovable. Positively, they were urged to be ‘abounding’ or overflowing in the work of the Lord.

Believers should always be ‘abounding’ in the Lord’s work because their labor is not in vain. Labor ‘in the Lord’ is not illusion, not profitless, but profitable, rewarding, promised success, which should spur those who are Christ’s to greater work.”[3]

Rev. A. R. (Andrew Robert) Fausset (1821-1910), explains the following words in our text: “steadfast—not turning aside from the faith of the resurrection of yourselves. unmovable—not turned aside by others (1 Cor 15:12; Col 1:23). the work of the Lord—the promotion of Christ's kingdom (Php 2:30).”[4]
Rev. Charles H. Spurgeon (1834-1892) writes, “Every Christian ought to be engaged ‘in the work of the Lord.’” He also laments, “Some Christians think it is enough to abound on Sundays.”[5] Dr. R. C. H. Lenski (1864-1936) explains, “The Lord’s work is spiritual, and its results are therefore for the greater part invisible to our eyes. We cannot measure the faith, the love, the virtues in the hearts of God’s people. In the case of the most of our earthly work the result is easily measured. A bricklayer lays so many bricks in so many hours and receives so much pay. A merchant sells so much in his store and makes so much profit. But it is not so in this work of the Lord. We cannot count or take inventory. The results are too intangible. The Lord alone sees and knows. We often feel as though our efforts are in vain and are therefore liable to become discouraged, to cease the strong exertion, or to stop altogether. Hence this apostolic assurance: ‘having realized that our labor is not empty in the Lord.’ This deep conviction sustains our spirit to continue to the end with joyful confidence, John 4:36.”[6]

All work is not the Lord’s work anymore than all worship is the Lord’s worship. While idolatry is clearly forbidden by God in Scripture. Remember the encounter of Jesus with a Samaritan woman at a well. John 4:19-24 reads, “The woman said to Him, ‘Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.’” Even before the law was given through Moses, God has made a distinction between acceptable and unacceptable worship. Just ask Cain and Abel if you have any questions. As a Pharisee, Saul of Tarsus, was busy in what he considered the Lord’s work, when in fact, he was working against the Lord, not with Him. Paul shares the following in Philippians 3:2-6, “Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the mutilation! For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh, though I also might have confidence in the flesh. If anyone else thinks he may have confidence in the flesh, I more so: circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; concerning the law, a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church; concerning the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.”

Do you practice a regimen under the Lord?

III. Third, note Paul encourages these Corinthians with a reminder from the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:58c reads, “. . . knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.”

Jesus is Savior and Lord. It is interesting to trace the phrase “in the Lord” through the New Testament. For example, Paul writes, “A wife is bound by law as long as her husband lives; but if her husband dies, she is at liberty to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 7:39). (Emphasis mine)

Dr. Reuen Thomas (1840-1907) shares the following: “Forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.’ Every Christian worker needs, at some time or other, just these words. The apostle himself had been seemingly defeated again and again. Yet he was always confident. A man working along the lines of a true Christian effort can never work in vain. At the end of Christ’s earthly life there was nothing to show but a small band of poor working men and a Cross. Yet that defeat, as we now see it, was the most splendid victory. And there are hundreds of men who, in doing the work of the Lord, have had to bear a heavy cross. I believe that many such cases will, in the judgment of the Master, have been victory. With the New Testament in my hand, I cannot believe in some of our methods of estimating the value of Church work. Arithmetical figures can never express spiritual results. We cannot introduce the spirit of ecclesiastical competition into our Church life without lowering our spiritual tone. When any of us work for the approval and applause of men rather than out of a feeling of service to God we shall have our reward, but it will never satisfy us. But if, seeing the excellency of Christian work as well as its necessity, we are willing to take any place that seems to need us, then we have a right to believe that our labour shall not be in vain in the Lord. God will be glorified; into ourselves there will come a character which shall adapt us to the next stage of life, and our souls will inevitably be influenced.”[7]

Rev. A. R. Fausset explains the following: “not in vain—as the deniers of the resurrection would make it (1 Cor 15:14, 17). in the Lord—applying to the whole sentence and its several clauses: Ye, as being in the Lord by faith, know that your labor in the Lord (that is, labor according to His will) is not to be without its reward in the Lord (through His merits and according to His gracious appointment).”[8]

Rev. Matthew Henry (1662-1714) writes, “The motive resulting from the former discourse is that their labour shall not be in vain in the Lord; nay, they know it shall not. They have the best grounds in the world to build upon: they have all the assurance that can rationally be expected: as surely as Christ is risen, they shall rise; and Christ is as surely risen as the scriptures are true, and the word of God. The apostles saw him after his death, testified this truth to the world in the face of a thousand deaths and dangers, and confirmed it by miraculous powers received from him. Is there any room to doubt a fact so well attested? Note, True Christians have undoubted evidence that their labour will not be in vain in the Lord; not their most diligent services, nor their most painful sufferings; they will not be in vain, not be vain and unprofitable. Note, The labour of Christians will not be lost labour; they may lose for God, but they will lose nothing by him; nay, there is more implied than is expressed in this phrase: it means that they shall be abundantly rewarded. He will never be found unjust to forget their labour of love, Hebrews 6:10. Nay, he will do exceedingly abundantly above what they can now ask or think. Neither the services they do for him, nor the sufferings they endure for him here, are worthy to be compared with the joy hereafter to be revealed in them, Romans 8:18. Note, Those who serve God have good wages; they cannot do too much nor suffer too much for so good a Master. If they serve him now, they shall see him hereafter; if they suffer for him on earth, they shall reign with him in heaven; if they die for his sake, they shall rise again from the dead, be crowned with glory, honour, and immortality, and inherit eternal life.”[9]
Dr. John Phillips (1927-2010) writes, “We are to work, moreover, with an eye on the reward: ‘Forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord’ (15:58b). Some think that working for reward is an unworthy motive. Paul does not think so. He himself was eager to receive the crowns God offers for commitment to the cause of Christ. There’s work enough for everyone.”[10]

Remember Moses as we read in Hebrews 11:25-26, “[Who chose] rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward.”

Do you need a reminder from the Lord?


Do you have a relationship with the Lord?

Do you practice a regimen under the Lord?

Do you need a reminder from the Lord?

Proverbs 14:23a reads, “In all labor there is profit. . .” While there is a general value of labor, there can be an eternal value of labor. 1 Corinthians 15:58 reads, “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” Therefore, we conclude, our labor in the Lord will be remembered by the Lord. Jesus Christ will evaluate our labor. He regards it; He remembers it; and He rewards it— all because of the resurrection.

[1]Thoralf Gilbrant and Tor Inge Gilbrant, The Complete Biblical Library Commentary, Ex. Ed., Ralph W. Harris, Ed., Stanley M. Horton, Man. Ed., Gayle Garrity Seaver, Romans-Corinthians, (Springfield, MO: World Library Press, Inc., 1986), 481. Database © 2009 WORDsearch Corp.

[2]The Biblical Illustrator, ed. Joseph S. Exell, “Unmovably Steadfast,” J. P. Chown, Database © 2012 WORDsearch Corp.

[3]Gilbrant, Commentary, 483. Database © 2009 WORDsearch Corp.

[4]Rev. Robert Jamieson, D.D.., Rev. A.R. Fausset, A.M, & Rev. David Brown, D.D., The Portable Commentary: Critical and Explanatory on the Old and New Testaments, 1 Corinthians-Revelation, A. R. Fausset (Glasgow: William Collins, 1863), 2:312.

[5]Charles H. Spurgeon, “Motives for Steadfastness” Sermon Notes (1 Corinthians 15:58).

[6]Lenski, Interpretation, 753. Database © 2008 WORDsearch Corp. R. C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Paul's First and Second Epistles to the Corinthians, (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 1961), 753. Database © 2008 WORDsearch Corp.

[7]Illustrator, Exell, “Confidence,” Reuen Thomas, Database © 2012 WORDsearch Corp.

[8]Jamieson, Commentary, 2:312.

[9]Matthew Henry, Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible, (1706), 597. Database WORDsearch Corp.

[10]John Phillips, Exploring 1 Corinthians: An Expository Commentary, (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publications, 1988), 390. Database © 2009 WORDsearch Corp.

Dr. Franklin L. Kirksey, pastor First Baptist Church of Spanish Fort 30775 Jay Drive Spanish Fort, Alabama 36527

Author of Don’t Miss the Revival! Messages for Revival and Spiritual Awakening from Isaiah and

Sound Biblical Preaching: Giving the Bible a Voice [Both available on in hardcover, paperback and eBook] & / [email protected] / (251) 626-6210

© April 5, 2015 All Rights Reserved

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