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(NASB)
The fifteenth chapter of first Corinthians provides the most comprehensive treaties on the resurrection of the body, and life eternal for the believer, in Scripture.. when this corruptible body shall put on incorruption, and this mortal frame will be clothed with immortality.
It is because of the absolute certainty of our resurrection from the dead, when we shall be clothed with a new body, like unto Christ's glorious, resurrected body of flesh and bone, that Paul devoted a whole chapter to the important issue of the resurrection of the dead.
The Corinthian Christians had become sceptical of this teaching, causing Paul to detail the whole counsel of God in this area, together with the good news of the gospel of grace, which promises eternal life to all who believe on the Person and Work of Jesus Christ, for the forgiveness of sins and life everlasting.
The apostle explained that from the beginning, the holy Scriptures were pointing forward to the promised Messiah of God, Who was appointed to die, for the sin of the whole world, according to the Scriptures, and that He would rise again, according to those same Scriptures, so that whosoever believes on Him would not perish, but have everlasting life.
Step by step, Paul opened the truth to these confused Christians, and answered all the questions that had caused these believers to doubt the legitimacy of the bodily resurrection. He used historical evidence, logical arguments, theological grounds, and practical reasoning to show that the resurrection of the dead was a major part of God's amazing plan of salvation, for the redemption of mankind.
He explained that there was an order and structure to the resurrection. Christ was the first fruits of those who are asleep - the first to rise from the dead, and after that, old and new testament saints would be raised at God's appointed time and in His established order. He wanted his readers to understand that as members of Adam's fallen race we are all part of the OLD creation and condemned to die - but through faith in Christ, we become members of a NEW creation, whereby we will all be made alive, and be resurrected from the dead like Jesus.
Paul laid out the moral value of the resurrection, and explained the different types of bodies there are, and the degrees of glory that those who believe in Him will one day reach. He reminded them that they were born into this world in a physical body, but that by faith in Christ, they would receive a new, perfect, heavenly body, like unto His glorious Body.
He wanted these Corinthians Christians to understand that because Christ sacrificial death and glorious resurrection broke the power of sin and death, ALL who believe in Him have the same victory over sin and death and will also be raised to life in a new, incorruptible, resurrected body. Having shed His blood, Christ was raised in an incorruptible body of flesh and bone and because we are in Him, we too will be raised in an incorruptible body of flesh and bone.
Paul's extensive treatise on the resurrection was written to teach the truth to encourage Christians.. and give assurance to ALL who would place their faith in Christ, that the resurrection of the body is an indisputable, biblical truth, which we will all experience at God's appointed time.
Christ's resurrection from the dead is an undeniable fact which should rejoice our heart, and Paul concludes his discourse with the following instructions, "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." Because we KNOW death has been conquered and eternal life with Christ Jesus our Lord is our free gift of grace, we should delight to do His will and never waiver in our faith, for our resurrection means that our work for God will not be ineffective.
Those who believe, have a most glorious assurance and thrilling confidence, that every promise of God will be fulfilled, including the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. It is for that reason we should live in the light of this confident hope. Our trust in God's Word should be steadfast, and our faith in Christ should be immovable - no matter what trials and tribulations we may be called upon to face.
We are encouraged to be fruitful in our earthly toil and to fulfil the good work that God has given us to do, during our sojourn on earth. Let us never doubt God's Word, but rejoice to follow Paul's exhortation, to fulfil our calling enthusiastically, and to remain occupied at all times in the Lord's work, knowing that our toil is not fruitless in the Lord.
The day is fast approaching when we will be clothed in our resurrection bodies, for when we see Him we shall be like Him. Praise God that we DO have a sure hope and an eternal inheritance that was laid up for us in heaven, from the moment that we placed our trust in Christ. No wonder Paul calls each one of us to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that our toil is not in vain in Him.
Heavenly Father, what a glorious future You have purposed and planned for all who trust in Christ, as our God and Saviour. May I never doubt Your Word, but enable me to be steadfast in my daily walk, and strong in my Christian faith. Help me to be productive during my time on earth and enable me to carry out Your work and Your will, knowing that my toil is not fruitless in Christ. Thank You for the truth of the Resurrection and the knowledge that this mortal body will put on immortality, at Your appointed time. Help me to remain occupied in the work that You have prepared for me to do, to Your praise and glory. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.