Your Faith and Your Word for the Lord Is Not in Vain
St. Paul wrote at the end of 1 Corinthians 15, “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (I Corinthians 15:58). This is a pretty powerful statement. Stand firm. Let nothing move you. Give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord. Your labor in the Lord is not in vain. This powerful sentence summarizes fully the Christian life. No matter what challenges or difficulties confront you in life, stand firm. No matter how catastrophic or traumatic don’t let anything move you from where you are. Just keep your eyes focused on the work of the Lord and keep pushing forward. Be certain that no matter how many setbacks you face or problems you encounter, the work you do for the Lord is never in vain. How can Paul say this?
This verse is the last verse of chapter 15 where Paul has spent the entire chapter talking about the resurrection of Jesus. He talked about how useless our faith would be and how miserable we would be if Christ has not risen from the dead. He made the point of how worthless our preaching would be along with the work we do in the name of Christ if he had not been risen from the dead. If Christ hadn’t risen from the dead, he would be no different from you and me. We would be worshipping and serving a dead Savior. Worse, we would be worshipping one who died for his own sins instead of yours and mine.
But here’s the truth: Christ has risen from the dead. This is the foundation of our entire faith. This is the truth that gives us full confidence not only in our faith but in the work we do in the name of our Savior. Death could not conquer Christ. The grave could not hold him. He not only offered his perfect life on Calvary’s cross as the sacrifice needed to pay for our sin, but God accepted His sacrifice on our behalf. We don’t worship a dead Savior. We worship a living Savior. We worship the Lord who has power over all things including death and the devil. If he can conquer death, he can conquer anything! There isn’t anything that can stand up to him.
This is the foundation upon which we stand in our faith. This is the foundation upon which we carry out the work God has given us to do in his name. With that foundation, we can stand firm and let nothing move us. That’s such a strong statement. No matter the challenges we face, they can’t separate us from God’s love for us in Jesus. No matter the opposition we encounter, it can’t move us from the certainty of sins forgiven and eternal life that God so graciously gives to us. No matter the roadblocks that stand in our way, they can’t stop us from fully giving ourselves to the work of the Lord. No matter the set backs, we can move forward confidently that the work we do in the name of the Lord of serving people with his word is never in vain. God who has the power to move mountains and conquer death won’t be stopped by any earthly obstacles which come our way.
There are plenty of things which might seek to move us from where we stand in our faith. Stand firm. Christ is indeed risen from the death. He is not dead but is alive. We serve and worship a living Lord Jesus. Our faith is not useless and neither is our preaching. So keep pressing forward. Give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord confident that because of his resurrection, your faith in the Lord is not in vain.
Pastor Martin Spaude
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