1 Corinthians 15:51-58
1 Cor 15:51 (KJV)
Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

Now the Apostle Paul is about to reveal a mystery to the Corinthians. Probably many Christians in Corinth were wondering if they had to die first before they were changed. Paul now explains that there is going to come a time when many Christians will be alive when the Lord returns and these Christians will be changed into their spiritual bodies without having to face physical death. Since the Lord will be returning in contemporary times, we can know for a fact that there will be billions alive when He returns.

1 Cor 15:52 (KJV)
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.

Paul now gives the time frame in which the change will take place. Many years ago General Electric did an experiment concerning how long the twinkling of an eye was. The length of time was 11/100 of a second. All of this will take place on the last day of Earth’s present age. The last trump signifies the last day and that without any golden age following, last is last. At that time, all the dead will be raised, and some will go to eternal damnation but the believers will be raised incorruptible in their glorified spiritual bodies. Those Christians that are alive at the return of Christ will be changed into their glorified spiritual bodies and will enter into the New Heaven and the New Earth.

1 Cor 15:53 (KJV)
For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

Paul is now reaffirming that before any entrance into Heaven is made, there must be that transformation from the earthly to the Heavenly. The natural body cannot enter into the Kingdom of God but only the spiritual body will be able to live in the New Heaven and earth. For no corruption or sin can ever enter into God’s Kingdom and must be wiped out and that is why the new spiritual body is necessary.

1 Cor 15:54 (KJV)
So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

On that great day when mortality and corruption will be no more, then we will understand more fully the fact that death has been swallowed up in victory.
(1 Cor 15:26 KJV) The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. Death will be destroyed on the last day which means no Christian will ever have to face that again and it will never again hang over us as it does in this life. (Isa 25:8 KJV) He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall he take away from off all the earth: for the LORD hath spoken it.

1 Cor 15:55 (KJV)
O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

(Hosea 13:14 KJV) I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction: repentance shall be hid from mine eyes. The Apostle Paul and Hosea had much in common when they both wrote jubilantly about the abolition of death. The sting of death has disappeared because of the resurrection of Christ and the future resurrection of His followers. The grave may have a temporary victory on this side because it holds the people we love and it stops many ministries from continuing but in the light of the resurrection, where does the grave hold any victory? The grave had no power over Christ and it will have no power over the Believers.

1 Cor 15:56 (KJV)
The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

Sin is the cause of death and as long as there is but one sin in this world, there will be death. Sin is strengthened by the law, not to mean that the law is sinful, but the law being the guideline for man shows how incapable man is in keeping the law of God. Man breaks every law God has written multiple times. This gives sin a strength and a hold in the life of a person but when that person becomes saved, Christ has fulfilled the law and now gives that child of God the strength through the power of the Holy Spirit to resist sin and the wiles of the devil. No longer is sin strengthened in the life of a believer, rather the grace of God now saturates the believer into a life of sanctification.

1 Cor 15:57 (KJV)
But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Victory comes in only one way and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ. If a person thinks they can become saved by keeping the law, they are only strengthening sin in their life. Paul finalizes this section by thanking God that He gives us the victory over sin and death only through the Lord Jesus Christ. The word “victory” in the Greek carries with it the idea of conquest. Christ has conquered sin and death, and has made us victors there also.
(Rom 8:37 KJV) Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

1 Cor 15:58 (KJV)
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.

Knowing everything that Paul has taught us concerning the resurrection we now look at this very popular verse as an encouragement to all Christians to continue to abide in the work of the Lord, even when things look bleak and dangerous. No longer does the threat of death cause us to fear to the point we stop the work. Normally, when things look bleak that is normally when a great blessing ready to manifest itself. This verse is a fitting appendage to this entire chapter which mainly focuses on the return of the Lord Jesus on the last day and how we will all be changed in the twinkling of an eye into our bodies which will be fit for the Kingdom of God. However, until that day, God is giving us encouragement that we are to engage ourselves in three primary requirements for doing the work of the Lord. Even though God gives us great promises of what is to come, He doesn’t want us to sit on a mountain top somewhere and just wait. God wants us to be working till the Kingdom is filled with His Elect.

First of all, we are to remain steadfast in the faith. The word “steadfast” means “to sit firm.” This reveals two aspects of the Gospel. First, we are to sit (not literally) which means we are resting or having full assurance in the Gospel which results in the fact that we are sitting firm and stable on that Gospel. This means that no matter what teaching is thrown at us, we can rebuke the false teaching and it will not hurt us. Remember in Mark when the Lord said, “we would drink any deadly thing it would not hurt us.” If we are sitting firmly on the true Gospel, no false teaching will ever harm us nor affect our salvation.

Next God tells us to be “unmovable.” This means that we are to remain on the Rock of Christ and never come off that rock to investigate false teachings or other religions. When Nehemiah was rebuilding the wall, Satan’s people tried to get him to come down. He was unmovable from the task at hand. This is what God wants us to be. He does not want us to drop the work of the Lord for every worldly thing which comes along. The world will divert the Christian every which way it can but if we remain unmovable, it cannot budge us until the task is complete. We are also to remain unmovable when it comes to our beliefs. There are many teachings in this world which will try to get our eyes off the Scriptures. This is where we must remain unmovable for if we abandon our divine connection to the Scriptures, then we will fail in our life.

Then we are told to always be “abounding in the work of the Lord.” The word “abounding” carries with it the meaning of “be over and above” and “overflowing.” If we remain steadfast and unmovable, then we will be overflowing in our work for the Lord. Our work in the Gospel always suffers whenever we abandon the principles of unwavering dedication. This is why many church leaders fall because they have allowed Satan to chip away at their dedication. That holds true for every Christian. Whenever we allow Satan’s people to throw us off track, we derail, and that flows down to the people we know and can hurt them also. No Christian falls alone, there is always effect on other people, especially younger Christians. This is why God is giving us these principles in this verse. If we sit on a mountain top somewhere and neglect our duties, we will never remain steadfast in the faith. Our guard will be down. Then our labor in the Lord may be vain because it is mixed with the world. Our labor for the Lord must always be ordered according to biblical principles and only then will we abound.