Resurrection To Work
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 fifteenth chapter of 1 Corinthians, in its Divine revelation of the meaning of Christ’s resurrection, giving 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 closed his argument with his triumphant appeal to Death and 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 give the us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”( verses 55-57). And then follows, after fifty-seven 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, unloveable, 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’s 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’s victory over all the earth. The faith and joy of the resurrection life are the inspiration and the power for the work of doing it.
Can you imagine how excited Mary was to run and tell the news of the resurrection to the disciples? What must have been the joy of receiving that news. There can be no question concerning the overwhelming joy and enthusiasm with which the 120 from the upper room was telling of the resurrected Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit. As a matter of fact, they were filled with such joy that there was an accusation of being drunk. It was such a moving moment of incredible joy and enthusiasm that Peter had to explain that the people were not intoxicated with wine but were filled with the Holy Spirit. Such was the power of their message that three thousand responded to the message of salvation.
Further there is no question that we ourselves have received the gospel from someone who so believed in the resurrection and the promises of God that they felt compelled to share their faith with us. All of us are the recipients of the message of the gospel from someone who was passionate and joyful about their faith. There are some small comparisons we may make for nothing compares with the gift of the knowledge of salvation that was provided through the death and the resurrection of Christ.
As I write this we are waiting for the coming of our new baby grandson. We have known about this for sometime as my son and daughter-in-law rushed to tell us as soon as they found out they were pregnant. How that news filled our hearts with joy and delight and since then we have lived in anticipation of that coming event.
Forty seven years ago, an enthusiastic evangelist preached the gospel to a seventeen year old kid. Coupled with the joy of that preacher and the working of the Holy Spirit, that kid experienced the resurrection power of Christ. Sin, death and Satan were conquered and that kid was given a new life. I can still remember going home that night and though I didn’t understand what had happened, I knew I was going home different than I had left home earlier in the day. That blessing was so great that all these years I have been compelled to tell everyone I have the opportunity to about this amazing Savior.
We might feel that we ought to keep such good news to ourselves and apparently many Christians do. My son might have kept the news of our new grandson and never shared it with us, but I’m glad he didn’t keep it and instead shared it. That evangelist might have kept the gospel to himself but I’m glad he didn’t.
So I ask you, do you have a friend, or a relative, or a neighbor, or a co-worker who doesn’t know the joy of hope in the resurrection? Don’t you think you’re being a little selfish keeping such good news secret? If there was good news from your test results, wouldn’t you want your doctor to share? If there was good news about your investments, wouldn’t you want your broker to let you know? Of course you would.
Since we have heard the good news of the gospel, and we have the hope of the resurrection can we be so selfish and self-centered to withhold such news from those around us?
The power of the resurrection and all the benefits that Christ provides now and in eternity is worth the effort and the passion of telling it to everyone everywhere.
As we celebrate the birthday of the church, Pentecost Sunday, let us pray for new filling by the Holy Spirit to empower us to tell the story of the resurrection to those who have lost their way and those who have lost hope.
Dr. John Thompson