Summary: I Corinthians 15:58 tells us to keep on striving forward in our work for Christ--yet, verses 1-57 give us the ammo to accomplish this command--read why we should be stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding....
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1. Paul wrote the epistle to the Corinthians to accomplish at least two purposes:
a. Correction—The Corinthian church was full of carnality (chapters 1-6).
b. Instruction—The Corinthian church was full of questions (chapters 7-14).
2. It seems that in chapter 15 Paul begins offering exhortation to be faithful to the Lord and His work and culminates with verse 58—our text verse!
3. "Therefore, be ye..."
a. Steadfast—concerning our salvation—know that you know that you know that you are saved!
b. Unmovable—concerning our stand.
1) Do not water down your convictions and standards for pragmatic reasons!
2) Be like the tree planted by the river of God’s word—rooted, grounded, settled, unshakable, unmovable!
c. Always abounding in the work of the Lord—concerning our service!
1) Do not quit serving God, whatever ills betide!
Don’t quit on Jesus—for you He bled and died!
Don’t quit, don’t quit, don’t quit!
God deserves so much more than that!
Do not compromise, pragmatize, nor formalize,
Don’t give up on God—no matter what!
2) Always keep growing; always stretching—be like the apostle Paul who cried out that his goal was "that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."
4. Keep serving God—it is far more than worth it!
5. "Therefore" points back to verse one!
I. Because the Gospel Still Saves (v. 1-11)
A. We must not water it down by removing part(s) of it!
Death, Burial, Bodily Resurrection, Return to Heaven, and the Testimony of Changed Lives!!
B. We must not substitute method for message!
1. "Pray this simple prayer"—every heathen religion has a book of such prayers!
2. "1-2-3, repeat after me."
3. "Would you like to make a change."
C. We must keep on witnessing (v. 10-11)
1. Hell hot and Heaven high,
2. Sinners as hopeless, helpless, and hell-bound,
3. The Savior meek and lowly, powerful and holy,
4. Salvation full and free.
D. The Gospel still saves!
II. Because the Resurrection Still Provides Hope (v. 12-23)
A. If Christ did not rise:
1. Our preaching and faith is futile, empty (v. 14).
2. We are actually false witnesses (v. 15).
3. We are still in our sin (v. 17).
4. No one will ever rise (v. 13, 16, 18)!
5. We are of all men most miserable (v. 19).
6. We were baptized for a dead man (v. 29).
7. We are wasting our lives (v. 30).
B. But Christ did rise—Hallelujah (v. 20-23)
1. He is the firstfruits of our resurrection (v. 20, 23).
2. Because Adam died, everyone must die.
3. Because Christ lives, we can all live eternally!
4. You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart!
III. Because the Rapture is Still Imminent (v. 23-28, 51-52)
A. The dead in Christ shall rise first (v. 23; I Thessalonians 4).
B. We will be changed and caught up to meet Him in the air (v. 51-52; I Thessalonians 4).
C. Christ will rule and reign physically on earth (v. 24).
D. Christ will put his enemies under his feet (v. 25-28).
IV. Because the Flesh is Still Cantankerous (v. 31-34)
A. We must die daily (v. 31).
1. To self (Luke 9:23)
2. To society (v. 32-33)
B. We must awake to righteousness (v. 34).
1. Live holy—"sin not."
2. Witness boldly—"some have not this knowledge, I speak this to your shame."
V. Because a New Body Still Awaits (v. 35-53)
A. Do not spend so much time worrying about this body—put it in subjection, it is going to die anyway (v. 35-36).
B. Our new body will be wonderful as described by verses 37-53)
VI. Because Death Is Still Defeated (v. 54-57)
A. "Weep not as others which have no hope!"
B. The sting of death is sin—Christ paid our sin debt on the Cross!
C. The strength of sin is the law—Christ fulfilled the law in every way!
1. "Therefore . . . your labour is not in vain in the Lord."
2. That is why we will continue to have Sunday School, Sunday Morning Worship, Sunday Evening Question & Answer, Bible Study, and Wednesday Night Prayer Meetings!