1 Corinthians 15 is a beautiful chapter written by Paul on the subject of the Resurrection and its implications. He begins by laying out the evidence of the resurrection of Christ, and what it would mean for us if the resurrection never happened. He then explains about the resurrection that we will one day experience. My favorite part, though, is the end of the chapter as Paul shares about the power of the resurrection and its implications on our lives now.
” ‘Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?’ The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (15:54b-57)
Because of the resurrection, we should not be intimidated or scared of death…or sin. Christ has won the victory. We no longer have to be in bondage to sin or our sin nature. But, pay close attention to the final verse of this chapter (v. 58).
“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.”
Think about the words Paul uses in this verse…steadfast…immovable. Those are powerful words and they say something about how our life is to be lived because (therefore) of the resurrection and the resurrection that is to come. First, we are to be steadfast. This word has the implication of purpose. We are to face each day as if it is on purpose. God has a plan for each day, and it is our task to focus on Him so that that purpose will be clear for us as we encounter each day. The word also has the idea of self-control. We are to be disciplined in the way we live. We are to be obedient, and thanks to the power of the resurrection, we are empowered to do so through that victory, along with the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
The second word is even stronger…immovable. We do this once again through the power of the Spirit, but also through the training we recieve through the study of the Word of God and in growing closer to the Lord each day. As I look around, I simply do not see too many Christians that I could label ‘immovable’. When I think of immovable, I think about someone who is unwilling to compromise in striving to live a life that is pure and pleasing to God. I think of someone who is unashamed, no matter what the cost. I think of someone who refuses to shape themselves into the mold of what the world defines as acceptable. Instead, they place being God’s man or woman over everything. This person is so busy serving the Lord and growing in Him, he/she simply does not have time to spend justifying sin or a lifestyle that is contrary to God’s Word.
God has empowered us to live this kind of a life because of His death on the cross and the power of His resurrection. So, sin, where is your power? I’m going to live for something greater, because I know that my labor in the Lord is not in vain!