Sunday, July 24, 2016 - Abounding In the Lord’s Work!
Pastor Roger Marcos
July 24, 2016
"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
Each of us who are Christians must abound in the Lord's work. There is "labor" to be done for the Lord. "Labor" has to do with hard work. We know that "our labor is not in vain in the Lord."
I’m here once again, to encourage you brethren to abound in faithful work and service to the cause of Christ. A Christian’s life must be a life of abounding work. He must be a faithful follower of the Master, a "steadfast, unmovable, always-abounding" servant who is firmly grounded in the Bible’s revealed truths. Yet, some brethren are not "steadfast and unmoveable;" rather, they are like "children tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness." (Ephesians 4:14) They lack the qualities associated with "always abounding in the work of the Lord.
Abundance in I Cor. 15:58 Vine Expository Dictionary
Exceeding a Certain Number.
Something, Above the Ordinary.
W. E. Vine defined the Greek word rendered "abounding" (perisseuo, Ok) in this passage as: "to be abundantly furnished, to abound in a thing...the work of the Lord."
Hence, one who abounds has an overflowing abundance. Consider the account (Luke 4:5-10) of Jesus' instructions to Simon Peter. The Lord said, "Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught." When Peter obeyed and let down the nets as Christ directed, they caught such a vast number of fishes that their nets broke, and the ship began to sink. Now, that's ABUNDANCE!
The phrase "in the work of the Lord" applies to all things God commanded man to do. Of this phrase, commentator Albert E. Barnes said, "Always engaged in doing the will of God; in promoting His glory, and advancing His kingdom. This phrase means not only to be engaged in this, but to be engaged diligently, 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 they could do to further the gospel among men." (Barnes Notes, Vol. 8, p. 324)
Having read these definitions and comments, let us consider the Bible passages that teach us how we are to abound "in the work of the Lord."
To abound in the Lord's work We Must:
1. Abound in faithful Service. Each of us who are Christians must abound in the Lord's work. There is "labor" to be done for the Lord. "Labor" has to do with hard work. We know that "our labor is not in vain in the Lord." Society is filled with many who wish to live without working and laboring. Sadly this attitude of trying to do the minimum is also seen in the church.
Paul wrote, "For though I be absent in the flesh, yet am I with you in the spirit, joy and beholding your order, and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ. As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in Him: Rooted and built up in Him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving." (Colossians 2:5-7)
The work that is to be done is to be done by all faithful brethren.
Our Text: "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)
2. Abound in Suffering for the Cause of Christ. Paul wrote, "For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is steadfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation." (2 Corinthians 1:5-7)
Notice that Paul mentioned steadfastness. As workers for the Lord, we must be steadfast, even though severe persecutions may arise. Christ warned His disciples that they would have to endure persecutions, and that they would come to those who do the Lord’s work (Matthew 10:16-28). Paul, himself, suffered persecutions and warned in his writings of persecutions that would come to the faithful (2 Corinthians 11:24-28; 12:10; 2 Timothy 3:11,12). Thus, we must be willing to suffer and should not think it strange when we are called upon to suffer persecutions for righteousness sake (Matthew 5:10-12; 1 Peter 4:12-16; Revelation 2:10).
3. Abound in Hope. Paul wrote to the Roman brethren, "Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another." (Romans 15:13,14) Basically, hope is desire with expectation. The Christian should hope to receive an "inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away." 1 Peter 1:4; 5:4
In his letter to young Timothy, Paul expressed confidence that he, based on his own steadfastness in the faith, would receive the eternal crown: "For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing." (2 Timothy 4:6-8)
4. Abound in Giving As We have been Prospered. Paul commanded, "Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come." (1 Corinthians 16:1,2)
The Macedonians mentioned by Paul in 2 Corinthians 8:1-5 are examples of abundant givers. Paul said they "first gave their own selves to the Lord, and to us by the will of God." (vs. 5). Those who find it difficult to give on the "first day of the week" (which means every week) have not first given themselves to the Lord. They are not willing givers. Paul exhorted the Corinthians to be of such a mind as the Macedonians, to abound in giving, to sow bountifully. He wrote: "Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always, having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work." (2 Corinthians 9:6-8) Note the repeated use of the word abound in these verses.
5. Abound in Every Good Work. As we have noted, the phrase, "the work of the Lord," includes all works God has commanded men to do. Jesus, during His personal ministry, did his Father’s work. He said, "I must work the works of Him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." (John 9:4)
Conclusion: Let us strive to walk as Paul exhorted the Corinthians to walk--in a steadfast manner, abundantly serving the Lord without wavering. We seldom find it difficult to abound in our own interests, but may we remember also to abound in God’s work, "that your (our) labor is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:58
Abounding in the work of the Lord means happiness here and heaven hereafter.
A. We need to examine our Christian service and ask ourselves individually, "Am I abounding in the Lord's work?"
Remember, the question isn't, "Am I occasionally doing the Lord's work" but, "Am I abounding in it?"