C. S. Lewis once said, “Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important.” And here's where we begin to conclude our study of sanctification. If God's grace is true, and holiness is essential, isn't it worth more than our half-hearted attempts to “be good”?

The apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:29-58, set forth two life strategies, one distinctly sanctified and one distinctly secular. The Christian strategy aims at receiving an eternal reward; the pagan simply aspires to an epicurean pursuit of pleasure (v. 32). Paul's argument counters what some Christians have offered as a familiar defense of their faith to nonbelievers. Even if there is no heaven and no God, at least I'll know I've lived a life of greater love and kindness here on earth; I'll lose nothing if I'm wrong. Paul insists that this sentiment is entirely false. Verses 29 through 34 demonstrate that if there is no resurrection from the dead, if we have no eternal hope, we are fools to deny self for the service of others and of Christ. We would be much better off to seize the momentary pleasures of today, denying ourselves nothing for the sake of tomorrow.

But the resurrection is true! Because we “eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed” (1 Cor. 1:7), we are called to persevere in today's key verse. Even when we cannot measure the results and impact of our service, we know that we have an eternal hope and reward in Christ. We will one day be fully like Him (v. 49). Our weak and mortal bodies will one day be clothed with the imperishable (vv. 42-43). Even death and sin cannot defeat us to whom is given “the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (v. 57). These are the reasons we have for willingly enduring the sacrifices and self-denial that service requires of us today for the hope of reward awaiting us in the future.

From: Today In The Word


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