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IT'S NOT IN VAIN

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There is no need for the believer to have a "defeatist" attitude about our "work in the Lord"because it is not without purpose or result.

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SERMON TEXT

1 Corinthians 15:54–58 NASB95
But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 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.

DEFEATISM

Defeatism is the acceptance of defeat without struggle, often with negative connotations. It can be linked to pessimism in psychology. The term defeatism commonly is used in politics as a descriptor for an ideological stance that considers co-operation with the opposition party. In the military context, in wartime, and especially at the front, defeatism is synonymous with treason.
A person who expects or is excessively ready to accept failure is called a defeatist. The sad and unfortunate truth is that there are many among the People of God who have parked and camped out at that place today. Someone may be asking the question: “What can cause the POG to become defeatist?”
a person who expects or is excessively ready to accept failure.
The history of man is filled with the desire to do great things but most are defeated in their goal at one time or the other by obstacles that overcome them. We grow weary and a spirit of defeat causes us to fail in our duties toward God.
This seems to be the case in the text today. The Corinthians had come to faith in Jesus and were participating in “the work of the Lord”. As they were endeavoring, they were confronted with a few issues that threatened to disrupt the progress of the program. But, none of those were more daunting and dangerous as the issue that Paul addresses in the this 15th chapter.
The people of God have always had to face opposition. In these conditions faith is necessary in order to accomplish what God demands. When the Israelites were being led out of Egyptian bondage they became discouraged and wished they were back in Egypt. They said, ". . . it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness." (). Their faith in God's' word wasn't strong enough to carry them through. They became weary of the way of the Lord. Other ways seem better.
Some of the people in Corinth were being influenced by individuals who were saying that “there is no resurrection of the dead.” Paul saw that kind of teaching as a detriment that was designed to create a defeatist mentality among this new group of believers. He is adamant in his assertion that the believer’s hope hangs and hinges on that historical event.
See
1 Corinthians 15:12–19 NASB95
Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
1 Corinthians 15:15–19 NASB95
Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified against God that He raised Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.
1 Corinthians 15:1–10 NASB95
Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
The ten spies felt that it was impossible to accomplish the task of taking the land that flowed with milk and honey. Their report was, "... they are stronger than we." () ". . . we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight." () They felt that the commands of the Lord couldn't be carried out in view of the fact that they were in the minority. Their faith in God was weak. A spirit of defeatism overcame them.

SCRIPTURE READING

CENTRAL IDEA

There is no need for the believer to have a "defeatist" attitude about our "work in the Lord"because it is not without purpose or result.

Because Victory is not a matter of “if”, it’s a matter of “when”(v.54)

Because Victory no longer belongs to Death

Because the Victory is our gift from Our Lord Jesus Christ.

CONCLUSION

INVITATION

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