Vigilance and Victory
1 Cor. 15:58
Intro: This is one of the great doctrinal chapters of the Bible. In it, Paul discusses the doctrine of the Resurrection in much detail, proving it to be true on the basis of Christ’s resurrection and illustrating it by analogies from the natural and the spiritual world.
Paul describes the great Victory that lies ahead for every child of God. Paul states that Jesus died for our sins, was buried and rose again to everlasting life. Then Paul reminds us that since Jesus rose from the dead, we will also be raised from the dead. Since Jesus lives forever we too will live forever. Our hope is not just in this earthly life; we would be of all men most miserable! Our hope is in the Lord and in the promise of the resurrection.
Behold, I show you a mystery we shall not all sleep (die) but we shall all be changed, in a moment in the twinkling of an eye for the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised and we shall be changed. This corruption will put on incorruption and this mortality will put on immortality.
The Child of God has a Glorious Promise of Victory even in Death. Death is the end of physical life as we know it, but it is not the end of abundant life, and it is the beginning of eternal life.
Paul then exhorts us that in order for us to have Victory in death, we must have Vigilance in life.
It’s sad but true, not everyone who starts on this narrow way makes it all the way to the end.
Not everyone who comes to Jesus for salvation stays in the race to heaven.
If we would have victory in death, we must have vigilance in life. There are three instructions for us all in this one powerful verse.
I. Be Dependable. (Be ye steadfast...)
“Not serving the Lord in spurts or spells”
“Not turning aside from the truth presented”
Positively stated- BE FAITHFUL- Dependable- Constant
Faithful to God- not devoted today and a deserter tomorrow- not loyal today and a traitor tomorrow.
Dependable in Prayer- Dependable in Bible Study- Dependable in Obedience- Dependable in Church Attendance- Dependable in Christian Character.
Every Christian goes through “Valleys”- low spots in Christian life. You Want God to be Faithful in the Valley as well as on the Mountain! Right? Well, God wants you to be Dependable in the Valley as well as on the Mountain too!
Be steadfast! Be Constant- Be Faithful- Be Dependable.
II. Be Determined. (Be unmoveable)
This is the only time this Greek word is used in Bible and it is a negative form of moved; as one that is moved from his place. So Paul Says, Hold your Ground! Stay in your Place! Don’t let anyone or anything Move you away.
Col 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard...
The devil will do everything is his power to Move you away from your Commitment to God. He will use every weapon in his arsenal- every trick in his bag- every tool in his box. He will use people, circumstances, situations, genuine offenses & imagined offenses, criticism. He will use sickness, affliction, financial pressure, family pressures, emotional distress...
Some evidently have the motto: when the going gets tough even the tough give up.
COME ON! Don’t be easily offended. Don’t be easily discouraged. Don’t be easily detoured. Don’t be easily defeated.
Acts 20:22 And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall befall me there: 23 Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me. 24 But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
Phil. 3:13 but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
III. Be Diligent. (Always abounding in the work of the Lord)
Every child of God is called to do work for the Lord. You may not be called to full time ministry (Pastor, evangelist, missionary); You may be Lay preacher, Youth pastor, SS teacher, supt., board member, Children’s church teacher. You may not have title. You may sing, play your music, testify, push a vacuum, empty a trash can, PRAY faithfully & fervently, attend church and “get in” when your there.
Some people are “workaholics” when it comes to physical work and making money, But shirkaholics when it comes to doing anything for the kingdom of God, for the church, for the reaching of souls.
[I am only one, but I am One. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. What I can do, I ought to do, & what I ought to do, by God’s grace I will do.]
Take your spiritual work seriously. Put your hand to the plow and don’t look back. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with might.
Col 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Ps 71:18 Now also when I am old and grayheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.
IV. Be Delighted. (forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord)
We should be living for God and working for God with delight, not complaint. There should be an overflowing JOY in our hearts, knowing that we have Great blessings NOW and that we will have even Greater blessings in the life to come if we remain faithful in our work for the Lord.
Ps. 40:8- I delight to do thy will O my God.
Paul told us that God loves a Cheerful Giver and I think it is also true that God loves a cheerful Christian: a cheerful preacher, a cheerful singer, a cheerful teacher, a cheerful church member .....
I know that the Christian life consists of Duties that are commanded by the Bible and expected by the Lord, but our duty should be not a drudgery but a delight.
D L Moody- “I am so tired of the misuse of that word ‘duty.’ A man will often get up in the prayer meeting and say he doesn’t really have much to say. but he feels it is his ‘duty’ to say something for the Lord just to fill up the time. What a nuisance!” When a minister took issue with him he said, “Suppose tomorrow was your wife’s birthday and you were to go buy her a present. When you gave it to her you said, ‘Today’s your birthday so here is a present for you. It’s not much but I felt it was my duty to get you some thing.’ Do you think she would be happy with that?”
Be filled with Delight]
Be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. If you would be Victorious even in Death, you must be Vigilant now in Life.
Bro. Dwain Galiher
Pastor of JHPC