“Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 15:58
The Corinthian church in Paul’s day was quite dysfunctional. They were very active in the gifts of the Spirit, yet they were allowing sin and false teaching to go unchecked. Paul’s letter was one of instruction and reproof. In 1 Cor. 15:58 Paul gives us a great truth: “knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” What awesome motivation this is for us to continue in our faith. The word, “Therefore,” takes us back to what Paul wrote in the chapter:
- Jesus has risen from the dead. (v20) Therefore, our labor is not in vain because everything He said and taught is true, and He is coming again.
- We are going to heaven. (v51) Therefore, our labor is not in vain because this life is not all there is to our existence, and we are citizens of heaven.
- I am going to get a glorified body. (v53-55) Therefore, our labor is not in vain because we can use these bodies, “tents,” until they are all used up.
- We have victory in Jesus, both presently and in the future. (v57) Therefore, we can continue to be steadfast and immovable, knowing our labor is not in vain because we win!
- We are going to be rewarded. (Col. 3:23-24) Therefore, our labor is not in vain because it will be rewarded.
Success in ministry boils down to faithfulness. Have I been faithful with what He has given me? Why am I doing what I am doing? God’s value system is so different from our own, so let us seek Him that His desires would become our own; that He alone would be our motivation.
Is our labor in vain? Should we continue? “We shall see His face, and His Name shall be on [our] foreheads… And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.” (Rev. 22:1-4, 12)