From Resurrection to Work
Andrew Murray in his book Working for God states:
Be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.(1 Corinthians 15:58)
The 15th chapter of 1st Corinthians in it’s divine revelation of the meaning of Christ’s resurrection gives us a living Savior who revealed himself to his disciples on earth and to Paul from heaven. It secures to us the complete deliverance from all sin. It is the pledge of his final victory over every enemy, when he gives up the kingdom to the Father, and God is all in all. It assures us of the resurrection of the body and our entrance on the heavenly life.
Paul had closed his argument with his triumphant appeal to death, sin, and the law. “O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”. (1 Corinthians 15:55-57) And then follows after 57 verses of exultant teaching concerning the mystery and the glory of the resurrection life in our Lord and his people, just one verse of practical application: “Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.”(verse 58)
The faith in a risen, living Christ and in all that his resurrection is to us in time and eternity is to fit us for- to prove itself in- abounding work for our Lord!
It cannot be otherwise. Christ resurrection was his final victory over sin and death and Satan, and his entrance upon his work of giving the Spirit from heaven and extending his kingdom throughout the earth. And those who shared the resurrection joy at once received the commission to make known the joyful news. The resurrection is the beginning and the pledge of Christ victory over all the earth. The faith and the joy of resurrection life are the inspiration and the power for the work of doing it.
What is this work that Paul is speaking about? It is simply making known the resurrected Savior and what He has accomplished for us both now and in eternity. It is the message of hope beyond the grave. It is the joyful news that even death does not have the final say, but that there is life beyond death. It’s the news that the Savior has paid the way and that any who receive Him are now given access to eternal life. Where we work, whether in a building we call the church, or at our workplace, or in our homes, and even in Walmart or a parking lot is up to us. How we tell the news and to whom we tell the news is up to us. The important question is not where or how or to whom. The important question is why. Why will we tell this news? What will motivate us to do do? In the Scripture, Paul tells us that when we fully grasp the revelation of Christ and the resurrection we will be “abounding” in this work. Let me put it this way. We are experiencing the trauma, the fear, the limitations and restrictions from the Coronavirus. At some point, we will be told, the crisis is over and we can eat at a sit down restaurant and we can gather as a congregation in the building to worship. We can return to work and vacation and shopping, and all the other things we enjoy. What will we do when we hear that? Will we keep it to ourselves? Will we enjoy those things but not tell our friends? This is what Paul is saying about the commission of telling the good news. Because it has been made known to us- this resurrection of Jesus and our resurrection- we tell this good news to those who haven’t heard. I’m sure when the governor lifts the restrictions someone will be the first to know. I hope they don’t keep it to themselves. I seriously doubt it. I’m sure it will spread like wildfire through every possible means of communication. I also have no doubt that it will be met by some skepticism. There will be those who won’t believe the crisis is past. They will be waiting for someone to say, “April Fool”. Why? Because it sounds too good to be true. To a world bound by sin, sitting in darkness and despair, the good news seems too good to be true. So how do we convince them that it’s really true? After the crisis, it will take those who believe it’s really over to live as though it’s true. As believers who believe in the resurrection, both Christ’s and ours, let us live as though it’s true. That’s what the apostles did! That’s why the didn’t fear death. That’s why the shared the gospel. That’s why people were convinced. O Christian, go to the tomb and see it empty. Look at the cross and find it vacant. Hear the words of the angels,:
Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
Because we believe, we tell the story.