The book of 1 Corinthians is written to address many issues in the church of Corinth. An important topic in the book is the resurrection of the body. Even though it was only about twenty years after the resurrection of Jesus, people were beginning to believe that there was no such thing as the resurrection of the body. Paul is very emphatic in his arguments concerning resurrection. From a Biblical point of view, if there is no resurrection of the body, we have no faith. There is just nothing to our teaching; it is a waste of time. If there is no resurrection of the body we have no basis for ethics, because there really is no tomorrow. This is why Paul’s concluding statement is so powerful and fully wonderful. “Therefore, my beloved brothers, 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 ESV)
In the context of the reality of the bodily resurrection, and in the context of our loving church relationships, we are to be highly motivated people. We are to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord.
My house is not very old. It was built in about 1970. I was working in one of our closets, painting and refreshing it, and I noticed that the pole was sagging some in the middle. As I analyzed the situation, I realized that the original builders did not bother to attach the pole support to the stud inside the wall. They had just quickly screwed it to the drywall.
Over the years we have found many ways in which the original builders had done a shoddy job. They built as if there was no future, as if the house was just to look good for a few years, and then, “Who cares?” We have had to make several repairs because of this, and some were quite expensive. Walking away from the closet I thought about this lazy builder. He was all alone finishing up details in this corner of the house. I’m sure he thought no one would ever notice his sloppy workmanship. But I found it. As far as he is concerned, he did get away with his poor work, but one day there will be an evaluation. (See 2 Cor. 5:10.)
This is the complete opposite to the way we should live our lives. The Bible clearly teaches that there is a bodily resurrection for everyone, and that all we do will be judged by Jesus Christ. So, those who know the Lord, ought to live their lives persistently, unwaveringly, and super productively for Him. We need to keep reminding ourselves that our labor truly counts for something. Our work is never in vain. There is a future. We are working for the Lord, even if it is in a little corner where it seems no one knows what we are doing. The Lord will be pleased by our faithful work for him. We know that in the Lord our labor is not in vain.
“Only one life, twill soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last.” C. T. Studd