“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).
Christ’s resurrection secured the future resurrection of his people. Believers have hope and confidence and surety and resolve that their bodies will experience redemption. We will put off the man of dust and put on the man of heaven. We will be remade, renewed, reformed in the image of our resurrected Savior.
Paul wrote of the future resurrection of all the saints in 1 Corinthians 15. He concluded his teaching by saying, “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). Our future resurrection should change our mood today. Because he is risen, we will rise, so we can partake of a specific spirit and attitude today. Let us consider Paul's list of resurrection attitudes.
1 Be steadfast
Our first reaction to our future resurrection is to be steadfast. We are to become firm and fixed and focused because of our future. Life throws a bazillion distractions our way, but the future glorification of our bodies ought to help settle you into a stable position, a firm mind, and a strong heart.
Know that your body isn’t everything. Be unshakeable in your conviction that there is more to life than what you can experience with your five senses. Stay focused on that which truly matters. Know God, and grow in your experience of him. Love your neighbor, and lay out your life for those around you. Be steadfast.
2 Be immovable
Our second reaction to our future resurrection is to be immovable. The word has within it the idea of firm persistence. As when Elisha became unwilling to leave Elijah's side, so are we to persist with our Lord. Elisha said, “As the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you” (2 Kings 2:3). So ought we.
Allow yourself to stick with it. Jesus spoke of the seed cast on the soil where thorns and thistles grew up to choke the grain from bearing fruit. This ground represents the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for others things. Instead, we want to remain, to be immovable from the mission of Christ. Be immovable.
3 Always abound in the work of the Lord
Our third reaction to our future resurrection is to always abound in the work of the Lord. To abound means to exceed, to overflow, or to furnish richly. Jacob’s son, Joseph, lived this kind of life. His endeavors in Egypt led to the blessing of his entire family, both in his generation and in the ones which followed. His father said of Joseph, “his branches run over the wall” (Genesis 49:22). They all ate the fruit of his life.
Wouldn’t you love to become so fruitful your life spills over into the lives of others? Let your future resurrection steel your mind for the work of the Lord. Prayer, building your business in a just way, generosity, using your spiritual gifts, mentoring younger believers, raising a family for God’s glory, serving the underprivileged, reaching into the pockets of pain in your community— let yourself abound in the work of the Lord.
4 Know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain
Our fourth reaction to our future resurrection is to know that in the Lord our labor is not in vain. Paul used a word which included sweat. The labor he spoke of meant intensity, trouble, and toil. It is the hardest of work. The life of faith is troublesome and tiring and difficult at times.
But when we remember what we will become, glorified and free of the encumbrances and limitations placed upon us by our bodies of flesh, we can rejoice that the labor will not always be so ferocious. When we remember who we will become like, remade into the image of Jesus Christ, we can celebrate all the labor which helps us serve him today. When we remember his great reward on that day, that it isn’t in vain, we feel worthiness in the fight.