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Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

1 Corinthians 15:58

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

Adam Clarke Commentary

Be ye steadfast - Ἑδραιοι, from ἑδρα, a seat; be settled; confide in the truth of this doctrine of the resurrection, and every thing that pertains to it, as confidently as a man sits down on a Seat, which he knows to be solid, firm, and safe; and on which he has often sat.

Unmovable - Αμετακινητοι, from α, negative, and μετακινεω, to move away; let nothing shake your faith; let nothing move you away from this hope of the Gospel which is given unto you. What I tell you I receive from God; your false teachers cannot say so: in a declaration of God you may unshakingly confide.

Always abounding in the work of the Lord - The work of the Lord is obedience to his holy word; every believer in Christ is a workman of God. He that works not, to bring glory to God and good to man, is not acknowledged as a servant of Christ; and if he be not a servant, he is not a son; and if not a son, then not an heir. And he must not only work, but abound in that work; ever exceeding his former self; and this, not for a time, but always; beginning, continuing, and ending every act of life to God's glory and the good of his fellows.

Your labor is not in vain - Your labor in the Lord is not in vain; you must not only work, but you must labor - put forth all your strength; and you must work and labor in the Lord - under his direction, and by his influence; for without him ye can do nothing. And this labor cannot be in vain; you shall have a resurrection unto eternal life: not because you have labored, but because Christ died and gave you grace to be faithful.

  1. The chapter through which the reader has passed is a chapter of great importance and difficulty; and on its difficulties much has been written in the preceding notes. Though I have used all the helps in my power to guide me in explaining it, I have, upon the whole, been obliged to think for myself, and claim only the praise of severe labor, ever directed by honest intention and an earnest desire to find out the truth.
  • There are many questions connected with the doctrine of the resurrection which I could not introduce here without writing a book instead of short notes on a very long chapter. On such subjects, I again beg leave to direct the reader to Mr. Samuel Drew's Essay on that subject.
  • One remark I cannot help making; the doctrine of the resurrection appears to have been thought of much more consequence among the primitive Christians than it is now! How is this? The apostles were continually insisting on it, and exciting the followers of God to diligence, obedience, and cheerfulness through it. And their successors in the present day seldom mention it! So apostles preached, and so primitive Christians believed; so we preach, and so our hearers believe. There is not a doctrine in the Gospel on which more stress is laid; and there is not a doctrine in the present system of preaching which is treated with more neglect!
  • Though all men shall rise again, yet it will be in widely different circumstances: some will rise to glory and honor; others to shame and everlasting contempt. Those alone who here received the salvation of God, and continued faithful unto death, shall have a resurrection to everlasting glory; not every believer, but every loving obedient believer, shall enter into the paradise of God, and have a body fashioned like unto his Lord's glorious body.
  • All glorified spirits will not have the same degree of glory. Two things will necessarily cause great difference:
  • The quantum of mind; and
  • The quantum of grace.
  • (1.) It is idle to suppose that God has made all human souls with the same capacities: he has not. There is an infinite diversity; he who has the greatest mind can know most, do most, suffer most, and enjoy most.

    (2.) The quantum of grace will be another great cause of diversity and glory. He who received most of Christ here, and was most devoted to his service, shall have the nearest approach to him in his own kingdom. But all equally holy and equally faithful souls shall not have equal degrees of glory; for the glory will be according to the capacity of the mind, as well as the degree of grace and improvement. The greater the capacity, provided it be properly influenced by the grace of Christ, the greater will be the enjoyment.

    1. That there will be great diversity in the states of glorified saints is the apostle's doctrine; and he illustrates it by the different degrees of splendor between the sun, moon, planets, and stars. This needs little application. There are some of the heavenly bodies that give heat, light, and splendor, as the Sun; and are of the utmost service to the world: some that give light, and comparative splendor, without heat, as the Moon; and yet are of very great use to mankind: others, again, which give a steady but not a splendid light, at the Planets; and are serviceable in their particular spheres: and lastly, others which twinkle in their respective systems, as the stars of different magnitudes.
    2. One star, says the apostle, differs from another in glory, i.e. in splendor, according to what is called their different magnitudes. I will state a remarkable fact: The northern and southern hemispheres of the heavens have been divided into 102 constellations, and in these constellations Professor Bode has set down the places of 17, 240 stars; simple, nebulous, conglobate, and double. The stars have been distinguished by their apparent magnitudes or rather splendor, into stars of the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, etc., magnitudes: of these 17, 240, only sixteen are, by astronomers in general, agreed to be of the first magnitude, all of which are set down in the following catalogue, with some of those that are remarkable in the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth magnitudes. The reader will observe that the name of the constellation or star is first mentioned; the Greek letters, etc., are those by which they are distinguished on maps and globes; and they are, by astronomers, referred to by these letters and numbers. My inferences follow the table.


    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.

    Bibliography
    Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/1-corinthians-15.html. 1832.

    Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

    Therefore, my beloved brethren - In view of the great and glorious truths which have been revealed to us respecting the resurrection, Paul closes the whole of this important discussion with an exhortation to that firmness in the faith which ought to result from truths so glorious, and from hopes so elevated as these truths are suited to impart. The exhortation is so plain, that it needs little explanation; it so obviously follows from the argument which Paul had pursued, that there is little need to attempt to enforce it.

    Be ye steadfast - ἑδραῖοι hedraioifrom ἕδρα . Seated, sedentary (Robinson); perhaps with an allusion to a statue (Bloomfield); or perhaps to wrestling, and to standing one‘s ground (Wolf). Whatever may be the allusion, the sense is clear. Be firm, strong, confident in the faith, in view of the truth that you will be raised up. Be not shaken or agitated with the strifes, the temptations, and the cares of life. Be fixed in the faith, and let not the power of sin, or the sophistry of pretended philosophy, or the arts of the enemy of the soul seduce you from the faith of the gospel.

    Unmovable - Firm, fixed, stable, unmoved. This is probably a stronger expression than the former, though meaning substantially the same thing - that we are to be firm and unshaken in our Christian hopes, and in our faith in the gospel.

    Always abounding in the work of the Lord - Always engaged in doing the will of God; in promoting his glory, and advancing his kingdom. The phrase means not only to be engaged in this, but to be engaged diligently, laboriously; excelling in this. The “work of the Lord” here means that which the Lord requires; all the appropriate duties of Christians. Paul exhorts them to practice every Christian virtue, and to do all that they could do to further the gospel among people.

    Forasmuch as ye know - Greek “Knowing.” You know it by the arguments which have been urged for the truth of the gospel; by your deep conviction that that gospel is true.

    Your labour is not in vain - It will be rewarded. It is not as if you were to die and never live again. There will be a resurrection, and you will be suitably recompensed then What you do for the honor of God will not only be attended with an approving conscience, and with happiness here, but will be met with the glorious and eternal rewards of heaven.

    In the Lord - This probably means, “Your labor or work in the Lord, that is, in the cause of the Lord, will not be in vain.” And the sentiment of the whole verse is, that the hope of the resurrection and of future glory should stimulate us to great and self-denying efforts in honor of Him who has revealed that doctrine, and who purposes graciously to reward us there. Other people are influenced and excited to great efforts by the hope of honor, pleasure, or wealth. Christians should be excited to toil and self-denial by the prospect of immortal glory; and by the assurance that their hopes are not in vain, and will not deceive them.

    Thus, closes this chapter of inimitable beauty, and of unequalled power of argumentation. Such is the prospect which is before the Christian. He shall indeed die like other people. But his death is a sleep - a calm, gentle, undisturbed sleep, in the expectation of being again awaked to a brighter Day, 1 Corinthians 15:6. He has the assurance that his Saviour rose, and that his people shall therefore also rise, 1 Corinthians 15:12-20. He encounters peril, and privation, and persecution he may be ridiculed and despised; he may be subjected to danger, or doomed to fight with wild beasts, or to contend with people who resemble wild beasts; he may be doomed to the pains and terrors of a martyrdom at the stake, but he has the assurance that all these are of short continuance, and that before him there is a world of eternal glory; 1 Corinthians 15:29-32. He may be poor, unhonored, and apparently without an earthly friend or protector; but his Saviour and Redeemer reigns; 1 Corinthians 15:25.

    He may be opposed by wicked people, and his name slandered, and body tortured, and his peace marred, but his enemies shall all be subdued; 1 Corinthians 15:26-27. He will himself die, and sleep in his grave, but he shall live again; 1 Corinthians 15:22-23. He has painful proof that his body is corruptible, but it will be incorruptible; that it is now vile, but it will be glorious; that it is weak, frail, feeble, but it will yet be strong, and no more subject to disease or decay; 1 Corinthians 15:42-43. And he will be brought under the power of death. but death shall be robbed of its honors, and despoiled of its triumph. Its sting from the saint is taken away. and it is changed to a blessing. It is now not the dreaded monster, the king of terrors it is a friend that comes to remove him from a world of toil to a world of rest; from a life of sin to a life of glory. The grave is not to him the gloomy abode, the permanent resting-place of his body; it is a place of rest for a little time; grateful like the bed of down to a wearied frame, where he may lie down and repose after the fatigues of the day, and gently wait for the morning.

    He has nothing to fear in death; nothing to fear in the dying pang, the gloom, the chill, the sweat, the paleness, the fixedness of death; nothing to fear in the chilliness, the darkness, the silence, the corruption of the grave. All this is in the way to immortality, and is closely and indissolubly connected with immortality; 1 Corinthians 15:55-57. And in view of all this, we should be patient, faithful, laborious, self-denying; we should engage with zeal in the work of the Lord; we should calmly wait till our change come; 1 Corinthians 15:58. No other system of religion has any such hopes as this; no other system does anything to dispel the gloom, or drive away the horrors of the grave. How foolish is the man who rejects the gospel - the only system which brings life and immortality to light! How foolish to reject the doctrine of the resurrection, and to lie down in the grave without peace, without hope, without any belief that there will be a world of glory; living without God, and dying like the brute.

    And yet infidelity seeks and claims its chief triumphs in the attempt to convince poor dying man that he has no solid ground of hope; that the universe is “without a Father and without a God;” that the grave terminates the career of man forever; and that in the grave he sinks away to eternal annihilation. Strange that man should seek such degradation! Strange that all people, conscious that they must die, do not at once greet Christianity as their best friend, and hail the doctrine of the future state, and of the resurrection, as that which is adapted to meet the deeply-felt evils of this world; to fill the desponding mind with peace; and to sustain the soul in the temptations and trials of life, and in the gloom and agony of death!


    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.

    Bibliography
    Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "Barnes' Notes on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/1-corinthians-15.html. 1870.

    Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible

    Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

    Beloved brethren ... It is remarkable how frequently Paul used this term of endearment and affection. Not even the gross sins and mistakes of the sensual and carnal Corinthians could diminish his love for them nor his loving persuasion helping them to conform more perfectly to the will of Christ.

    Be ye stedfast ... Paul expected Christians to be able to "take it." He wrote the Ephesians, "Stand therefore" (Ephesians 6:14); and the admonition is the same here. Through the ages, there has been no more necessary virtue than the ability to be steadfast amidst changing scenes and times, despite temptations and sorrows, and without regard to every "wind of doctrine" that creates some little stir among people.

    Unmovable ... The Christian is to be unmovable not in prejudice, but in faith.

    Abounding in the work of the Lord ... Far from advocating an easy way of salvation by merely believing, Paul demanded and encouraged that the redeemed should abound continually in the Lord's work. He commanded the Philippians to "work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 1:12). He established a pillar of truth, both at the beginning of Romans (Romans 1:5) and at the end of it (Romans 16:26), stressing the "obedience of faith." He, like every true Christian, would have been outraged by any notion to the effect that people are "saved by faith alone."

    Your labor is not in vain ... What is done for Christ and his kingdom is work for God; all else is idleness. "Why stand ye here idle all day?" was the question Jesus burned into people's consciences (Matthew 20:6). They were not idle in the sense of doing nothing, but in the sense of not doing the only thing that mattered; and, alas, it must be feared that the same is true of many today.

    In the Lord ... This expression, or its equivalent, appears 169 times in the writings of the apostle Paul; and by that fact, it may be claimed that this is the most important phrase Paul ever wrote, because he repeated it more than any other. Salvation is "in the Lord" and nowhere else. Every man should ask himself the question, "Am I in the Lord?" As to how this relation is established, the sacred Scriptures leave no doubt whatever. People are baptized "into Christ" at a time subsequent to their having believed on the Lord Jesus Christ and having repented and confessed his name (Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3; Galatians 3:27). There is no other way to be "in the Lord."

    The conclusion of this chapter reveals it as a prime motivation of Christian service. It is unfortunate, in a sense, that its marvelous teachings are stressed almost exclusively at funerals.


    Copyright Statement
    James Burton Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.

    Bibliography
    Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "Coffman Commentaries on the Old and New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-corinthians-15.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

    John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

    Therefore my beloved brethren,.... This is the conclusion of the whole, and contains the use the apostle makes of the above doctrine, addressing the saints at Corinth in the most tender and affectionate manner; owning the spiritual relation they stood in to him, and expressing the great love he had for them, which filled him with a concern for them, that they might be both sound in principle, and right in practice, and continue so:

    be ye steadfast, unmoveable; in all the doctrines of the Gospel, and particularly in this of the resurrection of the dead, which he had been labouring throughout the whole chapter:

    always abounding in the work of the Lord; going on in it, being more and more in the practice of it; either in the work of the ministry, which some of them were in, to which the Lord had called them, and for which he had fitted and qualified them, and in which his glory was greatly concerned, and therefore called his work; or any other work, even all good works, which the Lord commands, requires, calls his people to, and strengthens them to perform: which when they do they may be said to abound, and to be fruitful in every good work: and for their encouragement it is added,

    forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord; the labour of such who were in the ministry was not in vain, but was by the Lord made useful for the conversion of sinners, and the edification of saints, who would be their joy, and crown of rejoicing another day; and which must be no small encouragement to labour; and labour in any kind of good work has here its usefulness: it is profitable unto men, and though not meritorious of eternal life, yet the good works of the saints will follow them; Christ will not forget their work and labour of love which they have shown to his name and people, but will take notice of them as fruits of his own grace, and bestow his rewards upon them, though not in a way of debt, but of grace; which the doctrine of the resurrection assures of, and encourages to hope for; and so must he a friend to the practice of good works, as the contrary doctrine must be an obstruction to them.


    Copyright Statement
    The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rightes Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
    A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855

    Bibliography
    Gill, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/1-corinthians-15.html. 1999.

    Geneva Study Bible

    30 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the f Lord.

    (30) An exhortation taken from the profit that ensues, that seeing they understand that the glory of the other life is laid up for faithful workmen, they continue and stand fast in the truth of the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead.

    (f) Through the Lord's help and goodness working in us.


    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain.
    Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.

    Bibliography
    Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/1-corinthians-15.html. 1599-1645.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

    beloved — Sound doctrine kindles Christian love.

    steadfast — not turning aside from the faith of the resurrection of yourselves.

    unmovable — not turned aside by others (1 Corinthians 15:12; Colossians 1:23).

    the work of the Lord — the promotion of Christ‘s kingdom (Philemon 2:30).

    not in vain — as the deniers of the resurrection would make it (1 Corinthians 15:14, 1 Corinthians 15:17).

    in the Lord — applying to the whole sentence and its several clauses: Ye, as being in the Lord by faith, know that your labor in the Lord (that is, labor according to His will) is not to be without its reward in the Lord (through His merits and according to His gracious appointment).


    Copyright Statement
    These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
    This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.

    Bibliography
    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/1-corinthians-15.html. 1871-8.

    Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

    In this verse we have the improvement of the whole argument, in an exhortation, enforced by a motive resulting plainly from it.

    I. An exhortation, and this threefold: - 1. That they should be stedfast - hedraioi , firm, fixed in the faith of the gospel, that gospel which he had preached and they had received, namely, That Christ died for our sins, and arose again the third day, according to the scriptures (1 Corinthians 15:3, 1 Corinthians 15:4), and fixed in the faith of the glorious resurrection of the dead, which, as he had shown, had so near and necessary a connection with the former. ldblquote Do not let your belief of these truths be shaken or staggered. They are most certain, and of the last importance. dblquote Note, Christians should be stedfast believers of this great article of the resurrection of the dead. It is evidently founded on the death of Christ. Because he lives, his servants shall live also, John 14:19. And it is of the last importance; a disbelief of a future life will open a way to all manner of licentiousness, and corrupt men's morals to the last degree. It will be easy and natural to infer hence that we may live like beasts, and eat and drink, for tomorrow we die. 2. He exhorts them to be immovable, namely, in their expectation of this great privilege of being raised incorruptible and immortal. Christians should not be moved away from this hope of this gospel (Colossians 1:23), this glorious and blessed hope; they should not renounce nor resign their comfortable expectations. They are not vain, but solid hopes, built upon sure foundations, the purchase and power of their risen Saviour, and the promise of God, to whom it is impossible to lie - hopes that shall be their most powerful supports under all the pressures of life, the most effectual antidotes against the fears of death, and the most quickening motives to diligence and perseverance in Christian duty. Should they part with these hopes? Should they suffer them to be shaken? Note, Christians should live in the most firm expectation of a blessed resurrection. This hope should be an anchor to their souls, firm and sure, Hebrews 6:19. 3. He exhorts them to abound in the work of the Lord, and that always, in the Lord's service, in obeying the Lord's commands. They should be diligent and persevering herein, and going on towards perfection; they should be continually making advances in true piety, and ready and apt for every good work. The most cheerful duty, the greatest diligence, the most constant perseverance, become those who have such glorious hopes. Can we too much abound in zeal and diligence in the Lord's work, when we are assured of such abundant recompences in a future life? What vigour and resolution, what constancy and patience, should those hopes inspire! Note, Christians should not stint themselves as to their growth in holiness, but be always improving in sound religion, and abounding in the work of the Lord.

    II. The motive resulting from the former discourse is that their labour shall not be in vain in the Lord; nay, they know it shall not. They have the best grounds in the world to build upon: they have all the assurance that can rationally be expected: as surely as Christ is risen, they shall rise; and Christ is as surely risen as the scriptures are true, and the word of God. The apostles saw him after his death, testified this truth to the world in the face of a thousand deaths and dangers, and confirmed it by miraculous powers received from him. Is there any room to doubt a fact so well attested? Note, True Christians have undoubted evidence that their labour will not be in vain in the Lord; not their most diligent services, nor their most painful sufferings; they will not be in vain, not be vain and unprofitable. Note, The labour of Christians will not be lost labour; they may lose for God, but they will lose nothing by him; nay, there is more implied than is expressed in this phrase: it means that they shall be abundantly rewarded. He will never be found unjust to forget their labour of love, Hebrews 6:10. Nay, he will do exceedingly abundantly above what they can now ask or think. Neither the services they do for him, nor the sufferings they endure for him here, are worthy to be compared with the joy hereafter to be revealed in them, Romans 8:18. Note, Those who serve God have good wages; they cannot do too much nor suffer too much for so good a Master. If they serve him now, they shall see him hereafter; if they suffer for him on earth, they shall reign with him in heaven; if they die for his sake, they shall rise again from the dead, be crowned with glory, honour, and immortality, and inherit eternal life


    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

    Bibliography
    Henry, Matthew. "Complete Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "Matthew Henry Complete Commentary on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mhm/1-corinthians-15.html. 1706.

    Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

    Be ye steadfast, unmovable (εδραιοι γινεστε αμετακινητοιhedraioi ginestheεργονametakinētoi). “Keep on becoming steadfast, unshaken.” Let the sceptics howl and rage. Paul has given rational grounds for faith and hope in Christ the Risen Lord and Saviour. Note practical turn to this great doctrinal argument.

    Work (κοποςergon), labour (kopos toil). The best answer to doubt is work.


    Copyright Statement
    The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)

    Bibliography
    Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/1-corinthians-15.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

    Vincent's Word Studies

    Steadfast, unmovable

    The former refers to their firm establishment in the faith; the latter to that establishment as related to assault from temptation or persecution. Fixedness is a condition of abounding in work. All activity has its center in rest.


    Copyright Statement
    The text of this work is public domain.

    Bibliography
    Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/1-corinthians-15.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

    Wesley's Explanatory Notes

    Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

    Be ye steadfast — In yourselves.

    Unmovable — By others; continually increasing in the work of faith and labour of love.

    Knowing your labour is not in vain in the Lord — Whatever ye do for his sake shall have its full reward in that day. Let us also endeavour, by cultivating holiness in all its branches, to maintain this hope in its full energy; longing for that glorious day, when, in the utmost extent of the expression, death shall be swallowed up for ever, and millions of voices, after the long silence of the grave, shall burst out at once into that triumphant song, O death, where is thy sting? O hades, where is thy victory?


    Copyright Statement
    These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.

    Bibliography
    Wesley, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/1-corinthians-15.html. 1765.

    Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

    58.Wherefore, my brethren Having satisfied himself that he had sufficiently proved the doctrine of the resurrection, he now closes his discussion with an exhortation; and this has much more force, than if he had made use of a simple conclusion with an affirmation. Since your labor, says he, is not in vain in the Lord, be steadfast, and abound in good works Now he says that their labor is not in vain, for this reason, that there is a reward laid up for them with God. This is that exclusive hope which, in the first instance, encourages believers, and afterwards sustains them, so that they do not stop short in the race. Hence he exhorts them to remain steadfast, because they rest on a firm foundation, as they know that a better life is prepared for them in heaven.

    He adds — abounding in the work of the Lord; for the hope of a resurrection makes us not be weary in well doing, as he teaches in Colossians 1:10. For amidst so many occasions of offense as constantly present themselves to us, who is there that would not despond, or turn aside from the way, were it not that, by thinking of a better life he is by this means kept in the fear of God? Now, on the other hand, he intimates, that if the hope of a resurrection is taken away, then, the foundation (as it were) being rooted up, the whole structure of piety falls to the ground. (147) Unquestionably, if the hope of reward is taken away and extinguished, alacrity in running will not merely grow cold, but will be altogether destroyed.


    Copyright Statement
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    Bibliography
    Calvin, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "Calvin's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cal/1-corinthians-15.html. 1840-57.

    Vv. 58. "Therefore, my beloved brethren, become stedfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord."

    This ὥστε, so that, therefore, is like all those which in the preceding parts served to introduce the practical conclusions to which the doctrines led up; comp. 1 Corinthians 3:21, 1 Corinthians 4:5, 1 Corinthians 7:38, 1 Corinthians 11:33, 1 Corinthians 14:39.

    By the address, so full of tenderness: my beloved brethren, Paul seeks to get near those hearts which he may have repelled by his great severity.

    He does not say: Be stedfast, but: become so; they are not so yet either in faith or in conduct. They must become rooted in Christ to be confirmed.

    The following word immoveable, reminds them of the perils which their faith runs, such as that which he has sought to set aside throughout this whole chapter. If ye hold fast, he had said to them in 1 Corinthians 15:2, and in 1 Corinthians 15:33 : Be not deceived.

    Once confirmed, their spiritual activity will unfold: Abounding in the work of the Lord. The verb περισσεύειν, to abound, strictly signifies: to flow over the edges all round. By the work of the Lord, the apostle understands labour for the spread of salvation and for the development of spiritual life. The word always is added to remind them of the indefatigable perseverance which should characterize such work.

    The apostle closes by indicating the motive which should always stimulate believers anew in the fulfilment of this task. They know that their labour in this domain is not in vain in the Lord. As the apostle uses the term κενός, empty, and not μάταιος (see on 1 Corinthians 15:14; 1 Corinthians 15:17), we must conclude that he is thinking less of the fruits of the labour than of its nature: this is not an activity of external demonstration, wrought in vacuity, as earthly labour so often is, but serious toil wrought in the sphere of eternal reality. This is why Paul also uses the present is, and not the future will be. These last words sum up the whole chapter, and at the same time form the transition to the following verses, which directly remind the Corinthians of one of the works to be done for the Lord. This connection with what follows is evident; but yet it is not a sufficient reason for joining this verse, as some commentators have done, to the following chapter.


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    Godet, Frédéric Louis. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "Frédéric Louis Godet - Commentary on Selected Books". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsc/1-corinthians-15.html.

    James Nisbet's Church Pulpit Commentary

    ‘NOT IN VAIN’

    ‘Grace … not in vain;’ ‘Labour … not in vain.’

    1 Corinthians 15:10; 1 Corinthians 15:58

    St. Paul, of all men, was ever keen on Christian men and women not only enjoying their privileges, but also discharging their responsibilities consistently.

    I. Because if we do not, God’s grace has been bestowed upon us in vain.—An ample supply of that grace comes to every child of God: on every penitent soul the Divine bounty descends in the form of virtue and power to lead a new life. Judging by Apostolic language we each have more than enough (see 2 Corinthians 9:14 and 1 Peter 4:10). That grace is given for the distinct purpose of service; and if it is not thus received, or thus employed, it is vain, it is rendered void, it becomes an empty thing! Bad enough to be unmoved by human kindness; a far greater sin not to be affected by the grace of God; not to be stirred to sacrifice and service (vide 2 Corinthians 6:1).

    II. Because if we do, He will see that such labour is not in vain.—This follows our first thought admirably: ‘God gives His grace, do you give your labour,’ for if you see that His grace is not lost, He will see that your labour is not lost. But if men will not hear, is not our labour necessarily in vain? So we sometimes think; but the Apostle reminds us of the Resurrection, when the Master will assuredly give the increase, produce some fruit for all our labours, for the work of grace cannot be lost. There may be few signs of harvest to-day; but they will appear to-morrow when He cometh, ‘Whose reward is with Him.’

    Rev. A. B. G. Lillingston.


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    Nisbet, James. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". Church Pulpit Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cpc/1-corinthians-15.html. 1876.

    John Trapp Complete Commentary

    58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

    Ver. 58. Always abounding, &c.] This will strengthen faith, as the often knocking upon a stake fastens it. When faith bears fruit upward, it will take root downward.

    Forasmuch as ye know] Bestir you therefore. It troubled a martyr at the stake that he should then go to a place where he should ever be receiving wages and do no more work. It will repent us (if it were possible to repent in heaven) that we began no sooner, wrought no harder.


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    Trapp, John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/1-corinthians-15.html. 1865-1868.

    Sermon Bible Commentary

    1 Corinthians 15:58

    I. The duty which is connected with our being steadfast and unmovable in the faith of the resurrection, and of the resurrection life, is (1) to be about the work of the Lord; (2) to abound in it; (3) to abound in it always.

    II. The motive—your labour is not in vain. It is in the Lord that your labour is not in vain—empty, or void of result and issue. You enter into the work of the Lord as the Lord Himself entered into the work given Him to do. It belongs to Him to see that your labour in His work shall not be in vain. His labour is not in vain, (1) because He has gone, in that very body, the same man precisely that He was on earth, the same man complete, to present Himself before the Father whose will He has done and whose work He has finished, saying, "Behold, I and the children whom Thou hast given Me." He asks sentence to be passed on Himself in that body, and on what He has done and suffered in that body. He asks for a judicial award. The mere bettering of His condition, as a natural consequence and gracious owning of His past and forgotten history, will not suffice. He asks for a verdict on that history, as a history not buried in oblivion's indulgent tomb, but raised for righteous judgment. (2) And then, secondly, His labour is not in vain, since not only in His risen body does He challenge judgment on Himself and His work, but, with that same risen body, He takes the work up and follows it out. He carries on in heaven the work which He had on hand on earth. He resumes it that He may carry it out to its endless issues of blessedness and glory in the new heavens and the new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. And as the Lord's own labour in the work is thus not in vain, so yours is not in vain in Him; and that for the same twofold reason.

    R. S. Candlish, Life in a Risen Saviour, p. 346.


    The truth concerning the resurrection is of vital moment. It touches the very essence and heart's core of the gospel of Christ. The view which you take of it, whatever that may be, must colour the whole of your Christianity—your whole Christian faith and your whole Christian life. So the Apostle teaches.

    I. Thus, in the first place, it touches the credibility of those on whose testimony your faith rests. "We are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not." This of itself is surely a very serious consideration.

    II. Not only is the Lord's authority, or Divine authority, thus involved in the question of the resurrection; the reality also of His great work of propitiation is at stake. If there is, and can be, no such thing as a resurrection of the body; if the very notion of it is to be contumeliously dismissed with a sneer, as a resurrection of relics, a resurrection of corruption—then Christ is not risen. What took place on the third day after His crucifixion may have been some mysterious removal or annihilation of that which was buried. It follows, either, on the one hand, that death is not to men the penalty of sin, and, on the other, that Christ has not redeemed men from the penalty of sin.

    III. Our standing as believers, our justification, our peace, is intimately connected with that doctrine of the resurrection, in the faith of which you are exhorted to be steadfast and unmovable. It is a doctrine as essential to your completeness in Christ as it is to His completeness for you.

    IV. Lastly, for its bearing upon your holiness of character and your diligence in duty, you do well to be steadfast and unmovable in your belief of the doctrine of the resurrection.

    R. S. Candlish, Life in a Risen Saviour, p. 325.


    References: 1 Corinthians 15:58.—Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xix., No. 1111; T. T. Munger, The Freedom of Faith, p. 193; Christian World Pulpit, vol. vi., p. 198; J. B. Heard, Ibid., vol. xiii., p. 216; D. Burns, Ibid., vol. xxiii., p. 88; Dean Bradley, Ibid., vol. xxix., p. 225; Homiletic Quarterly, vol. iii., p. 412. 1 Corinthians 16:1-4.—E. Bersier, Sermons, 1st series, p. 91. 1 Corinthians 16:1-9.—F. W. Robertson, Lectures on Corinthians, p. 247. 1 Corinthians 16:2.—E. M. Goulburn, Thoughts on Personal Religion, 1 Corinthians 16:3.—Preacher's Monthly, vol. ii., p. 249. 1 Corinthians 16:6.—W. Morison, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxi., p. 24. 1 Corinthians 16:7-9.—H. P. Liddon, Church Sermons, vol. ii., p. 225.




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    Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sbc/1-corinthians-15.html.

    Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

    Here our apostle concludes this chapter, and closes his discourse on this great subject, the doctrine of the body's resurrection, with an exhortation to duty. Be ye steadfast; that is, in the faith of the gospel in general, and in the belief of this particular article of our Christian faith, the resurrection of the dead.

    Unmoveable; that is, be not moved by any temptations or tribulations, either from the faith and hope of the gospel, or, from obedience to the gospel. Let no fear of the cross of Christ make you weary of the yoke of Christ.

    Always abounding in the work of the Lord.

    Here note, That the more steady and stedfast any man is in the belief of a blessed resurrection, the more forward and zealous, the more active and industrious, will he be in the service of the work of God.

    Forasmuch as your labour shall not be in vain in the Lord; that is, your painfulness in the service of God shall be plentifully recompensed by him at the resurrection of the just.

    Where note, 1. The nature and quality of that service, or work of God declared, it is a labour; the vast circumference of a Christian's duty makes it so; the curious and exact manner in and after which every duty must be performed, makes it so; the great opposition that he meets with in his duty, makes it so. But the greater their labour is on earth, the sweeter will their rest be in heaven.

    Note, 2. The reward that sweetens this labour: It shall not be in vain, there is the transcendency of the reward Forasmuch as ye know; there is the certainty of it. The Christian's services for Christ shall be certainly and transcendently rewarded by Christ in another world. His labour is finite, his reward is infinite. There is no more proportion between a Christian's labour and reward, that betwixt time and eternity. O infinite glory, the reward of our poor labour.


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    Burkitt, William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/1-corinthians-15.html. 1700-1703.

    Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary

    58.] Conclusion of the whole by an earnest exhortation.

    ὥστε] ‘quæ cum ita sint,’—seeing that the victory is sure.

    ἑδρ., ἀμετακίν.] a climax (Mey.);—in reference, viz. to the doubt which is attempted to be raised among you on this matter.

    ἐν τῷ ἔργῳ τοῦ κυρ.] The work of the Lord is the Christian life, with its active and passive duties and graces,—the bringing forth the fruits of the Spirit.

    εἰδότες] Knowing (as you do—being convinced by what has been said), that your labour (bestowed on the ἔργ. τοῦ κυρ.) is not vain (which it would be, were there no resurrection: see reff.) in the Lord. These last words cannot belong to ὁ κόπος ὑμ., nor very well to οὐκ ἔστι κενός (as Meyer), but are best taken with the whole sentence, your labour is not in vain: so ch. 1 Corinthians 9:1.


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    Alford, Henry. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". Greek Testament Critical Exegetical Commentary. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hac/1-corinthians-15.html. 1863-1878.

    Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

    REFLECTIONS

    On! thou that art the resurrection and the life! Hail! thou glorious Almighty Lord Jesus! Thou hast indeed declared thyself to be the Son of God, with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by thy resurrection from the dead. And thou hast thereby shewn to the fullest demonstration, that in thy life thy people live, and by thy resurrection theirs also is secured, thyself becoming the first fruits of them that slept. Praises to thy great and glorious name! Sin is now pardoned. Justice is now satisfied. Law is now fulfilled. Satan conquered. Hell subdued, and heaven open to all believers!

    Oh! ye faithful in Christ! rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Death hath no longer a sting; the passage through the grave is but the valley of the shadow of death, for the substance is done away. Christ hath perfumed the grave with his holy body. It is no longer the territories of the devil, but the chamber of rest to the Lord's people. From thence, clear views are now seen of the city of the living God. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us unto this lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead! Blessed be God the Son, who is the resurrection and life of his people. And blessed be God the Holy Ghost, who by the washing of regeneration, which he hath shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Savior, hath made us partakers of the divine nature, that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life! Amen and Amen.


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    Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/1-corinthians-15.html. 1828.

    Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

    1 Corinthians 15:58. Closing admonition, drawn in the way of inference by ὥστε from τῷ διδόντι ἡμῖν τὸ νῖκος διὰ κ. τ. λ. “Therefore—because you are sure of the victory—be stedfast,” etc. The εἰδότες κ. τ. λ., which glances back upon that sure νῖκος, testifies in favour of this reference of ὥστε; hence we have no adequate ground for referring ὥστε to the whole section (de Wette, van Hengel, al.), nay, even for making it extend to the whole Epistle (Hofmann).

    ἑδραῖοι, ἀμετακίν.] Comp. Colossians 1:23. To conceive of the readers as ethical athletes (Beza), is not suggested by the context. What is expressed is Christian perseverance in general, under the figure of standing firm, comp. 1 Corinthians 7:37 (opposite: σαλεύεσθαι, comp. Theodoret), in connection with which, again, ἀμετακίν. presents the perseverance more precisely as unseduceableness, both being in opposition to the possible seductions through the deniers of the resurrection. Comp. on ἀμετακίν., Plato, Ep. vii. p. 343 A Dion. Hal. i. p. 520; and on both words, Arist. Eth. ii. 4. 3.

    περισσεύοντες ἐν τῷ ἔργῳ τ. κ. πάντ.] abounding in the work of the Lord, i.e. exceedingly active and energetic therein, always. This more precise definition of περισσ. is confirmed by the correlative κόπος ὑμῶν (your pains and labour); ἐν, again, denotes the definite sphere, wherein, etc. Comp. 2 Corinthians 8:7; Philippians 1:26; Colossians 2:7; Romans 15:13. The ἔργον τοῦ κυρίου is the work which is carried on in the service of Christ. Comp. 1 Corinthians 16:10. His is the work, in which His people labour. And they labour therein, each according to his different calling, by the active fulfilment of His will as servants of the Lord (1 Corinthians 12:5). The three points, ἑδραῖοι, ἀμετακ., περισσ. κ. τ. λ., form a climax.

    εἰδότες] since ye know (comp. Romans 5:3; 2 Corinthians 1:7; 2 Corinthians 4:14); it introduces the motive, so significant in this connection, to follow the περισσ. ἐν τ. . τ. κ.; κόπος ὑμῶν, your painstaking labour, which is devoted to the ἔργον τ. κυρίου.

    κενός] in vain, i.e. without result. Comp. 1 Corinthians 15:10; 1 Thessalonians 3:5. So would the labour be, if there were no resurrection and no victorious consummation of eternal life, because then the blessed reward of the labour would remain unattained, namely, the salvation of the Messianic kingdom which is destined for the labourer. Romans 2:7; 2 Timothy 2:12; James 1:12, al.

    ἐν κυρίῳ] is not to be connected with κόπος ὑμ., but with οὐκ ἔστι κενός. It depends upon Christ, that your labour is not fruitless; for in Him the resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:22) and the Messianic σωτηρία have their causal basis, 1 Corinthians 15:17-19; Acts 4:12; Romans 5:9 f., Romans 6:22-23, Romans 10:9, al.


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    Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/1-corinthians-15.html. 1832.

    Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

    1 Corinthians 15:58.(152) ἀγαπητοὶ, beloved) The true consideration of the things, the last of all, kindles his love towards the brethren.— ἑδραῖοι, [steadfast] stable) do not ye yourselves turn aside from the faith of the resurrection.— ἀμετακίνητοι, immoveable) be not led away by others, 1 Corinthians 15:12. So Colossians 1:23.— ἐν τῷ ἔργῳ τοῦ κυρίου, in the work of the Lord) Christ, Philippians 2:30. It is called generally, the work which is carried on for the sake of the Lord. Its more particular definition depends on the circumstances of each particular text.— εἰδότες, knowing) He is now sure of the assent of the Corinthians.— οὐκ ἔστι κενὸς, is not vain) i.e., is most profitable. They were trying to make it in vain, who denied the resurrection. Paul mildly refutes these men even in the conclusion [as well as before].


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    Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/1-corinthians-15.html. 1897.

    Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

    The apostle concludeth his discourse, proving the resurrection of the body from the dead, founding upon it an exhortation to holiness, which is here called

    the work of the Lord, because it is made up of works done by us at the command of Christ, and with direct respect to his glory in obedience to his will. He mindeth them not only to do these things, but to do them

    stedfastly, not by fits, but never turning aside from them either one way or another; and unmovably, so as no temptations, either from dangers, or rewards, or false teachers, should shake their faith, as to the principles that lead unto such a holy life, this especially of the resurrection from the dead.

    For as much as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord; because they knew, that through the grace of God, and the merits of Christ, such works as these should not want their reward; for though the work of God be wages to itself, and Christians should not serve God merely for wages, yet it is lawful for them (as for Moses) to have an eye to the recompence of reward; and a greater reward than this of the resurrection of the body to eternal life, and that in a state of immortality and incorruption, in a spiritual and honourable estate, could not be.


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    Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/1-corinthians-15.html. 1685.

    Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

    Steadfast; in the faith and practice of the gospel, in habitual lively confidence of the resurrection, the day of judgment, and the retributions of eternity.

    Unmovable; not discouraged by opposition or difficulties; not led even to doubt about the complete fulfilment of all which God has declared.

    In the work of the Lord; in labors to honor him and do good.

    Your labor is not in vain in the Lord; what you do to honor Christ shall receive a glorious and an eternal reward. The certainty of the resurrection, of the day of judgment, and the retributions of eternity, should lead all to make it their great object to learn and do the will of God; hearkening daily to his voice, believing heartily his declarations, and obeying cheerfully and perseveringly his commands.


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    Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "Family Bible New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/1-corinthians-15.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

    Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges

    58. ὥστε, ἀδελφοί μου ἀγαπητοί. The aim of St Paul is always practical. Even this magnificent passage comes to what from a merely oratorical point of view is a somewhat tame conclusion, a conclusion however which, regarded from the point of view of Christian edification, is full of beauty. ‘Be not weary in welldoing,’ the Apostle would say. ‘Labour on in faith and courage till life comes to an end. For your life is hid with Christ in God; and therefore your efforts and struggles here are not thrown away. Not one of them shall be lost sight of before the Eternal Throne.’ We may compare the ending of the magnificent Psalms 90, which is ascribed, and as far as internal evidence goes, not without reason, to Moses.


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    "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cgt/1-corinthians-15.html. 1896.

    William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament

    58. So, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” Oh! blessed and glorious consolation! “He that giveth a saint a cup of cold water in the name of the Lord shall not fail to receive his reward.” Earth is the field of toil, peril and battle. Heaven is the mount of victory, where every pilgrim will receive a glorious reward for all our labors of love in this life.


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    Godbey, William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "William Godbey's Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ges/1-corinthians-15.html.

    Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

    'Wherefore, my beloved brothers, be you steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as you know that your labour is not vain in the Lord.'

    What then does this mean for us? Does it mean that we can sin freely because all our sin is laid on Christ? We can surely hear Paul say quite clearly, ‘God forbid!’ Indeed it is because of this, he says, that you must be ‘steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord’. Having received so great a deliverance they must concentrate every effort on being Christlike, on letting Christ do His work through them. On showing the love of 1 Corinthians 13, on revealing the true spiritual gifts in ministry to God’s people, on true and united worship, and on holy and righteous living. And last but not least, on reaching out to the lost in order to bring in God’s harvest. (Compare 1 Corinthians 16:10). Our lives must mirror the perfection and purpose of His life.

    ‘Steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding.’ This represents full commitment, firm faith, and continual activity in Christ in all spheres. There is no place for sin, no room for selfishness. All that Christ would do on earth we must do. That is what the promise of the future demands of us. We are to reveal the heavenly nature (1 Corinthians 15:49) and the heavenly power.

    ‘Forasmuch as you know that your labour is not vain in the Lord.' And this is why we must do so. Because we know that the Lord has triumphed. Because we know that He will raise us up. For from now on we know that in the light of His resurrection the purpose of our labour is meaningful, and the reward for our labour is certain. Because of this our service can never be in vain. Difficulties may arise. The way may be hard. But the final triumph is assured. How then can we fail to play our full part in it?

    We should note here how Paul chose to end this passage. It is with an exhortation to righteous living and holiness. The doctrine was important in order that we might know the truth about the resurrection, but equally important is our response to that doctrine. Without the latter the former is but empty words. Paul has no room for great theoreticians whose lives do not reveal the truth of what they teach. Like James he would say, ‘faith without works is dead’.


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    Pett, Peter. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/1-corinthians-15.html. 2013.

    Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

    58. Therefore—The Christian doctrine is a great motive force for the Christian life. All the terrors and glories of death, resurrection, judgment, and eternity, are startling admonitions to steadfast, solemn duty-doing.

    My beloved brethren—St. Paul’s heart hovers in full affection, in passing from those fearful scenes, over his brethren, as if he would provide for their safety.

    Steadfast, unmovable—In your faith in the resurrection which the some of 1 Corinthians 15:12 are endeavouring to overthrow. Steadfast, unmovable, and abounding, form a climax. Steadfast means positive, intrinsic firmness; unmovable implies resistance to the mightiest outward pressures and fiercest onsets; abounding means energetic action. Some Christians appear to do nothing; some to do a little; others abound in every good word and work.

    Work of the Lord—The conversion of sinners, the upbuilding of the Church, and all the countless forms of Christian activity.

    Not in vain—As it would be (1 Corinthians 15:29-34) were there no resurrection. But there being a resurrection, every deed in faith shall brighten the lustre of the resurrection body. “One star differeth from another star in glory.” This maxim is not, indeed, uttered by the apostle of the differences of personal glory in heaven; but it is, no doubt, applicable. The brighter our earthly Christian character, the more transcendent our heavenly glory.

    In the Lord—Our labours shall attain their highest reward in Christ, who is all riches.


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    Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/1-corinthians-15.html. 1874-1909.

    Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

    Paul concluded his discussion of the resurrection with an exhortation to be faithful in the present (cf. 1 Corinthians 4:16-17; 1 Corinthians 5:13; 1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Corinthians 7:40; 1 Corinthians 10:31-33; 1 Corinthians 11:33-34; 1 Corinthians 12:31; 1 Corinthians 14:39-40).

    "Despite the magnificent crescendo with which Paul brings the argument of chap15 to its climax, the last word is not the sure word of future hope and triumph of 1 Corinthians 15:50-57; rather, in light of such realities, the last word is an exhortation to Christian living ( 1 Corinthians 15:58). Thus, eschatological salvation, the great concern of the epistle, includes proper behavior or it simply is not the gospel Paul preaches." [Note: Fee, "Toward a . . .," p58.]

    "Eschatology has moral implications ( 1 Corinthians 6:13-14; 1 Corinthians 15:30-32; 1 Corinthians 15:58)." [Note: Keener, 1-2Corinthians, p135.]

    Specifically, Paul"s exhortation does not just call for ethical behavior (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:33-34) but for continued involvement in fulfilling the Great Commission, which is the work of the gospel.

    This chapter began with a review of the gospel message from which some in the Corinthian church were in danger of departing by denying the resurrection. The charge to remain steadfast ( 1 Corinthians 15:58) therefore probably means to remain steadfast in the gospel as the Lord and the apostles had handed it down. Paul"s readers should not move away from it but should remain immovable in it. They should also increase their efforts to serve the Lord even as Paul had done ( 1 Corinthians 15:10). Rather than living for the present ( 1 Corinthians 15:32) believers should live in the present with the future clearly in view (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:9; 1 Corinthians 9:26). One day we will have to give an account of our stewardship ( 1 Corinthians 3:12-15).

    No one except Jesus Christ has come back from the dead to tell us what is on the other side. However, His testimony through His apostles is sufficient to give us confidence that there is life and bodily resurrection after death. We will live that life in a changed body that will be incapable of perishing. It is therefore imperative that we make sure that we and all around us enter that phase of our existence with our sins covered by the sacrifice of Christ. [Note: See also Gary Habermas and Anthony Flew, Did Jesus Rise From the Dead?; John Wenham, The Easter Enigma: Are the Resurrection Accounts in Conflict?; Josh McDowell, More Than A Carpenter; Stephen T. Davis, Risen Indeed: Making Sense of the Resurrection; and Frank Morison, Who Moved the Stone?]


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    Bibliography
    Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/1-corinthians-15.html. 2012.

    Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

    Inference from the whole subject, 58.

    1 Corinthians 15:58. Wherefore, my beloved brethren—in view of all that has been held forth to you on this subject—be ye stedfast, unmoveable—not moved either by the specious reasonings or by the lax life of “men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth” (1 Timothy 6:5),—always abounding in the work of the Lord. The way not to go back is to go forward, the way to be “unmoveable” is to be “always abounding.” The secret of stability is progress. The progressive principle is the grand conservative principle. Not to advance is to recede,forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. Woefully “in vain” would their “labour” be if there were no resurrection. But holding this for a settled point, the apostle says, “ye know” it is “not vain;” and “the Lord,” he says, is pledged that it shall not be so.

    Thus, with beautiful calmness and ease, does the apostle come down, in this closing verse, from the height to which he had risen in the verses immediately preceding, to the everyday work and warfare of life. Nor is this wonderful; for the spring of all Christian activity, energy, and progress Ties in such soul-stirring themes as are handled in this chapter, whose practical outcome is expressed in the closing verse.


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    Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/1-corinthians-15.html. 1879-90.

    The Expositor's Greek Testament

    1 Corinthians 15:58 briefly directs the previous teaching against the unsettlement caused by Cor(2587) doubts. This unbelief was taxed in 1 Corinthians 15:32 ff. with sensualism and ignorance of God; its enervating effect on Christian work is here indicated. For ὥστε with impv(2588), cf. 1 Corinthians 3:21, 1 Corinthians 4:5, etc.— ἑδραῖοι γίνεσθε, “show yourselves steadfast”: see note on 1 Corinthians 7:23, also 1 Corinthians 10:32, 1 Corinthians 11:1; for the adj(2589), see parls. In Colossians 1:23 the combination ἑδραῖοι, ἀμετακίνητοι (“not-to-be-moved”) is almost identically repeated; similarly in Aristotle, Nic. Eth., ii., iv., 3, τὸ βεβαίως καὶ ἀμετακινήτως ἔχειν is specified as a condition of all right and virtuous doing.— περισσεύοντες κ. τ. λ. adds the positive to the foregoing negative side of the injunction: “abounding (overflowing: see parls.) in the work of the Lord always”. τ. ἔργον τ. κυρίου (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:1; Colossians 3:23 f., Matthew 21:28, Mark 13:34) is “the work” which “the Lord” prescribes, while “the work of God” (Romans 14:20 : cf. Romans 3:9 above) is “the work” which “God” does: contrast 1 Corinthians 12:5-6 above.—“Knowing (as you do) that your toil is not empty in the Lord.” εἰδότες implies assured knowledge, such as springs from the confirmation of faith given in this chap. On κόπος, see note to 1 Corinthians 3:8; and on κενός, 1 Corinthians 15:14 : the “toil” is “empty” which is spent on illusion; “ce n’est pas là une activité d’apparat, accomplie dans le néant, comme si souvent le travail terrestre, mais un sérieux labeur, accompli dans la sphère de l’éternelle réalité” (Gd(2590)); hence the pr(2591) ἐστὶν rather than ἔσται.— ἐν κυρίῳ: in the sphere of Christ’s authority, wrought under His headship, which supplies the basis of all Christian relations and duties; cf. 1 Corinthians 15:36, 1 Corinthians 4:17, 1 Corinthians 7:22, etc.


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    Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/1-corinthians-15.html. 1897-1910.

    Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

    1 Corinthians 15:58 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not vain in the Lord.

    "Wherefore"-the conclusion.

    "be ye stedfast"-1476. hedraios {hed-rah"-yos}; from a derivative of hezomai (to sit); sedentary, i.e. (by implication) immovable: -settled, stedfast.

    -"continue to be firm, incapable of being moved" (Wms); "hold your ground" (Mof); "Stand firm...and let nothing move you" (Beck) "Keep on becoming stedfast, unshaken. Let the skeptics howl and rage." (Robertson p. 199) From the context, stedfast and unmoveable in the gospel which Paul preached to them. ()

    "unmoveable"-"Be not shifted from your position" (Lenski p. 753) (Ephesians 4:14) An open mind is only useful, if it is open to truth. (Colossians 1:23; 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12)

    "always abounding in the work of the Lord"-"work for the Lord always, work without limit" (NEB) "What a word for the thousands who work, pray, give, suffer AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE!" (Lenski p. 754)

    "The attitude of doing as little as we can get by with doing is foreign to the spirit of Christianity. We are to have this attitude ALWAYS and not (just) for a few weeks after we are baptized" (Willis p. 592)

    "forasmuch as ye know"-do you "know" this? Here is the motive for such diligence.

    "that your labor is not vain in the Lord"-"because you know that your labor in the service of the Lord is never thrown away" (Wms); "you know that NOTHING you do for the Lord IS EVER WASTED.."(Tay)

    Since death ends nothing for the Christian, since Jesus was victorious over death, what we do in this life for God MEANS EVERYTHING! No we are not men to be pitied, WE ARE PEOPLE WITH AN ETERNAL PURPOSE!


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    Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/1-corinthians-15.html. 1999-2014.

    E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

    Therefore = So then.

    beloved. App-135.

    stedfast. Greek. hedraios. See 1 Corinthians 7:37.

    unmoveable. Greek. ametakinetos. Only here.

    forasmuch as ye know = knowing. App-132.

    Lord. App-98.


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    Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/1-corinthians-15.html. 1909-1922.

    Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

    Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.

    Beloved. Sound doctrine kindles Christian love. Doubters of the resurrection have no motive to zeal in the Lord's work.

    Steadfast - not turning aside from the faith of yourselves.

    Unmoveable - not turned aside by others (1 Corinthians 15:12; Colossians 1:23).

    The work of the Lord - the promotion of Christ's kingdom (Philippians 2:30).

    Not in vain - as deniers of the resurrection would make it (1 Corinthians 15:14; 1 Corinthians 15:17).

    In the Lord - applying to the whole sentence and its clauses Ye, being in the Lord by faith, know that your labour in the Lord (i:e., according to His will) is not to be without its reward in the Lord (through His merits and according to His gracious appointment).


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    Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/1-corinthians-15.html. 1871-8.

    Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

    (58) Therefore.—Because all this is so—because there is a life hereafter—let this life here be worthy of it. You might grow weak and faint-hearted if you could think that all your work for God and truth here might be wasted; but it is not so. It cannot be “in vain if it be “in the Lord.” It is very striking and very expressive of the real spirit of the gospel that a chapter which leads us step by step through the calm process of logic, and through glowing passages of resistless eloquence to the sublimest thoughts of immortality, should at last thus close with words of plain and practical duty. Christianity never separates, in precept or in promise, “the life that now is” and “that which is to come.”


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    Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/1-corinthians-15.html. 1905.

    Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

    Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
    Therefore
    2 Corinthians 7:1; 2 Peter 1:4-9; 3:14
    be ye
    Ruth 1:18; Psalms 55:22; 78:8,37; 112:6; Colossians 1:23; 2:5; 1 Thessalonians 3:3; Hebrews 3:14; 2 Peter 3:17,18
    abounding
    Philippians 1:9; 4:17; Colossians 2:7; 1 Thessalonians 3:12; 4:1; 2 Thessalonians 1:3
    the work
    16:10; John 6:28,29; Philippians 2:30; 1 Thessalonians 1:3; Titus 2:14; Hebrews 13:21
    ye know
    3:8; 2 Chronicles 15:7; Psalms 19:11; Galatians 6:9; Hebrews 6:10
    is not
    Psalms 73:13; Galatians 4:11; Philippians 2:16; 1 Thessalonians 3:5
    in the
    Matthew 10:40-42; 25:31-40; Philippians 1:11; Hebrews 13:15,16

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    Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/1-corinthians-15.html.

    Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians

    Therefore, my beloved brethren, 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.

    Such being the truth and importance of the doctrine of the resurrection, Christians should be firm in their adherence to it, not suffering themselves to be moved by the specious objections of philosophy falsely so called. They should remember that if the dead rise not, then is Christ not risen; and if Christ be not risen, their faith is vain, and they are yet in the power of sin. But as Christ has risen, and as his resurrection illustrates and renders certain that of his people, what more natural and proper than that they should abound in the work of the Lord. The work of the Lord is either that work in which the Lord is engaged, the destruction of death by destroying sin; or, it is the work which the Lord has given us to do, as parents and children, as husbands and wives, as ministers and Christians. In this work we should abound, i.e. be abundant. As Paul says, 2 Corinthians 11:23, "In labors more abundant." Forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. This with Paul was more than faith; it was knowledge. He knew that labor in the work of the Lord would not be in vain. The reward secured for it by the grace of God and merit of Christ is participation of the glories of a blessed resurrection.


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    Hodge, Charles. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". Hodge's Commentary on Romans, Ephesians and First Corintians. https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hdg/1-corinthians-15.html.

    The Bible Study New Testament

    Stand firm and steady. "Do this because the dead will be raised to life and God's people will be happy beyond any human imagination in that Eternal Kingdom!!!" Keep busy. Compare 1 Corinthians 15:14. Christ did raise from death!!! Therefore their work for the Lord is NOT empty and useless.


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    Bibliography
    Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "The Bible Study New Testament". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/1-corinthians-15.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.

    : Wherefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not vain in the Lord.

    Since both the dead and the living will meet Jesus at the end of time (verses36-57), the Corinthians needed to persist in and with their faith. Paul introduced this conclusion with the word "Wherefore" (the KJV says "Therefore"). "The word ‘therefore' brings the matter to the point of conclusion and application" (CBL, First Corinthians, p483). "My beloved brethren" was an expression of concern as well as a request for these Christians "to prove themselves brothers" (ibid). Gingrich and Danker (p6) defined beloved (agapetos), which is also used in , 17; 10:14 , as "dear friends." Paul wanted his dear friends to "be" (this is a present tense imperative-an ongoing command) "stedfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord."

    The word stedfast (hedraios) meant "settled" or "fixed." Thayer (p168) said this term described "those who are fixed in purpose." Kittel (Abridged Edition, p200) said this word meant "Christians are to be steadfast and immovable in light of the resurrection." Christians should make this choice because "God has overcome death. Hence their life and work, and the earth on which they stand, have a future and are thus of serious import in the present" (Kittel, ).

    This verse reminds us that what really matters is not the day we are born and (or) the day we die, but the years that occur between these two dates. Do we live our lives in a stedfast way? Are we someone who can be counted on by God and others? Are we "stubborn" in our commitment to Christ because we know a resurrection is coming? Do we refuse to be involved with things that will lead us or others astray from the truth (verse12)? If we were to face the kinds of church problems described in this letter, would we remain stedfast in our commitment to Christ? If our relatives, friends and society do not like the Christian faith and refuse to believe the truth, will we persevere? Do we refuse to waver in our commitment to Christ no matter what happens to us? If the answer to these questions is yes, we have chosen to be stedfast. Aside from this verse stedfast is only found in 1 Corinthians 7:37 and Colossians 1:23.

    Paul also wanted the Corinthians to be "unmovable" (ametakinetos), a word found only here in the New Testament. This term is based on a verb (kineo) that meant "move," a preposition (meta) that meant "change," and an "alpha privative" (i.e. an "a" is added to the beginning of this word to change its meaning). Just as we change the word "theist" into "atheist" by adding the letter "a," or we would change "tie" to "untie" by adding "un," so some New Testament words are negated by adding an "a" to them.

    The word unmovable described something that cannot be moved from its position. Thayer (p32) defined unmovable as "firmly persistent." Vincent () said stedfast refers to a "firm establishment in the faith" and unmovable describes "that establishment as related to assault from temptation or persecution." This "fixedness" is "a condition ‘of abounding in work'" (ibid). Paul wanted these Christians to stay faithful to God no matter how many "fiery darts" Satan threw at them ( Ephesians 6:16) and this should be how we live our lives. Too often Christians allow hurt feelings or some negative experience to move them away from God and this is wrong. Satan wants us to have a "changeable and movable faith," but God wants us to have an "unchangeable and unmovable faith."

    Christians not only need to be stedfast and unmovable, they are to be "always abounding" in God's work. Abounding (perisseuo) is a present tense verb that is found two other times in this book (; 14:12. In8:8 this word is translated "better"). Here this term may be understood as a "challenge to excel" (Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament, 3:77). The Beacon Bible Commentary (8:473) described abounding as "going beyond minimum requirements, and gladly doing more than the situation demands." The Corinthians "were urged negatively not to be flighty, movable, or unstable in their Christian beliefs and actions, but steadfast and unmovable. Positively, they were urged to be ‘abounding' or over-flowing in the work of the Lord" (CBL, First Corinthians, p483).

    Today Christians still need to abound in the Lord's work; our goal should be to engage in spiritual "labor" (kopos). The word labor is found earlier in this letter () as well as places like Revelation 14:13. Brown (1:263) noted how this term has a "general sense of to labour or toil in everyday work (cf. Matthew 6:28; Luke 5:5; Romans 16:6; 1 Corinthians 3:8)" and how it "also denotes weariness" (ibid). We may also infer from this word that some of the work done by Christians is effortless, simple and quick and some efforts fall into the category of labor (work that is hard and often slow).

    Lenski (First Corinthians, p754) noted how the description work of the Lord should "correct the Song of Solomon -called ‘church work' of many who busy themselves with worldly tasks in the churches, with mere humanitarian ‘social service' and a hundred other things with which the Lord and the gospel are not concerned." The work of the Lord describes works that are in harmony with God's will (i.e. we do what the New Testament describes). If we want Jesus to be the Lord of our work and we want to abound in the Lord's work, we must do the work He wants us to do and we must do it in the way He has specified. In other words, we must follow the "pattern" found in the Bible ( 2 Timothy 1:13). Part of this pattern involves being in the Lord. Many want to "do the work of the Lord," but they refuse to be "in the Lord."

    The Bible says people are placed "into the Lord" by the act of baptism ( Galatians 3:27). After being properly baptized a person must "abide in the Lord" ( John 15:5-6) and the Bible says this is accomplished through the church ( Ephesians 1:22-23). Those who have not been baptized into Christ ( Romans 6:3) for the forgiveness of sins ( Acts 2:38), or those who have and refuse to abide in Christ through His church, cannot do the work of the Lord because they are not truly "in the Lord." Paul said the Corinthians "knew" (perfect tense) this information, but many today seem to be ignorant of this point. If we do not do things in the way God has described, and this includes getting into the Lord as the Bible specifies, all of our efforts are "vain." If we follow God's will, all our efforts are not vain.

    The word vain (kenos) is also found in verses10,14of this chapter. Here not vain means "that despite obstacles and disappointments their efforts will come to fruition; they will triumph" (Spicq, ). If we are "in the Lord" and we do the right things in the right way, God recognizes and will ultimately reward our acts ( Matthew 25:34-39). If we do not do these two things, there will not be a reward, no matter how hard we work ( Matthew 7:22-23).

    In some cases people will not see, appreciate or recognize our work "in the Lord," but this does not matter. God always sees, appreciates and will at the appropriate time recognize and reward our efforts. Lenski (First Corinthians, p755) noted how a "bricklayer lays so many bricks in so many hours and receives so much pay. A merchant sells so much in his store and makes so much profit. But it is not so in this work of the Lord. We cannot count or take inventory. The results are too intangible. The Lord alone sees and knows. We often feel as though our efforts are in vain and are therefore liable to become discouraged, to cease the strong exertion, or to stop altogether. Hence this apostolic assurance: ‘having realized that our labor is not empty in the Lord.' This deep conviction sustains our spirit to continue to the end with joyful confidence, John 4:36."

    Someone has said there are three kinds of people in the church: (1) Tow boat Christians (these never go unless someone drags them along). (2) Sail boat Christians (these are only found in "fair weather"). (3) Steam boat Christians (these are ready to go all the time). This observation, plus the fact that abounding is expressed with the present tense, reminds us that the Christian life is a life of commitment and activity. God does not want His people to work for a while then grow "faint" or "weary" ( Galatians 6:9). Neither does He want people to "spiritually retire" in their later years and rest on their previous accomplishments. God knows about the pitfalls that face His people so Christians are warned to "stand fast in the faith," "act like men," and "be strong" ( 1 Corinthians 16:13). Even though our physical bodies weaken with age, our inward man can be "renewed day by day" ( 2 Corinthians 4:16) and we can "set our minds on what is above" ( Colossians 3:2). If Christians do seem to become somewhat lax in their service to God, they should be exhorted to again turn to God and serve Him with eagerness (compare 2 Timothy 1:6-7 and Colossians 4:17).


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    Bibliography
    Price, Brad "Commentary on 1 Corinthians 15:58". "Living By Faith: Commentary on Romans". https:https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bpc/1-corinthians-15.html.

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