The church at Corinth was fraught with problems. There were divisions in the church; sin was being tolerated, false doctrine abounded, and strange worldly practices dominated the worship services. Paul wrote the book of Corinthians to address these problems and to bring the Corinthian believers back in line with orthodox faith and practices. According to verse 12, some believers in Corinth denied the reality of the resurrection. Paul spends the remainder of this great chapter declaring the awesome doctrine of the resurrection and laying a solid foundation for our hope as believers.

Looking around at the world today, we might conclude that there is not much room for hope. Wars, crime, sin, depravity, and the rest of the horrors of modern life can leave us feeling as if there is no hope for the future. I want to show you that we do have a reason to walk in absolute hope.


Who are the people that possess this great hope? Paul calls them “my beloved brethren,” and he is referring to the children of God—not just the believers in Corinth but the saints of all the ages. He is talking to you and me! We—those who are born again—are the people of hope!

A. They are a people delivered by grace. Verses 1 and 11 reveal the fact of their conversion experience. They were a people saved by God’s amazing grace from the depravity and death of sin (Eph. 2:1-10). They have been brought into a personal faith relationship with Jesus Christ. 

B. They are a people destined for glory. As you read 1 Corinthians 15, you begin to understand that God has some big things waiting for His people. We are a people who possess the powerful hope of a bright and better future (1 Cor. 15:49-57). Do you have that hope today (1 Cor. 2:9; John 14:1-3; Rev. 21:4, 27)?


In verse 58 of our scripture, the word “therefore” draws our minds back to all that Paul has said earlier in this chapter. He is telling us that the hope we possess is a motivator to spiritual action for God’s glory. Being saved means we are to get to work for the glory of God! Knowing the truth about God and salvation is a powerful motivator for service. You see, belief always affects behavior! Believing the right things about Jesus and about the future will cause us to get busy for His glory.

A. Hope causes us to be stable. The word steadfast means “to be seated; settled and firmly situated.” It reminds us that we are to be rooted and grounded in what we believe. We are to be firm in our personal convictions. The bottom line is this: If we have no hope, we might waver in our faith and be drawn to enticements of the world. When our hope is real, we are stable in our faith. 

B. Hope counsels us to be stubborn. The word unmovable means “cannot be moved from a place; firmly persistent; motionless.” There are many times when stubbornness is not appropriate, but in the Lord’s work, a good dose of determination is perfectly in order! We must allow nothing to distract us from our firm determination to serve the Lord!

C. Hope challenges us to abundant service. The word abounding suggests “exceeding a fixed amount; overflowing.” When we consider what we have and who we are by grace, we will be motivated to go all out for the Lord. He lavishes His grace on us when He saves us (Eph. 1:7-8). The least we can do is let our service for Him be exceedingly abundant. 


If this life is all there is, if there is no hope for eternity and no possibility of a resurrection, if all we have to look forward to is the grave, then we have real reason to despair. This is what Paul says in verses 13-19. But Paul sets forth the blessed truth that there is a resurrection! Jesus Christ did rise from the grave! There is hope for those who have faith in Christ!

A. Our hope gives us confidence. Paul tells us that “we know” that our work for Jesus matters. There is no sacrifice, no struggle, no self-denial too great. No work for Him goes unnoticed. So keep praying, keep serving, and keep living for Jesus. What you do for Him in His name is “not in vain.” That is, it is not a waste of time. It is not an exercise in futility. One day He will reward His faithful ones (Rev. 22:12). 

B. Our hope gives us consolation. Sometimes the road we walk is hard. Sometimes the burdens we bear are heavy. Sometimes the work we are called to do seems endless and unrewarding. Paul offers us the assurance that we work “in the Lord.”


Are you a person of hope? Are you walking in the power of hope and doing all you can to serve the Lord? Are you resting in the promise of your hope, knowing that one day Jesus will reward you for the things you are doing for Him?

If He has spoken to you about something you are doing, something you are not doing, or something you need to be doing, the altar is the place to be. I thank God for hope, but hope is not the end of the matter. Hope is merely the catalyst that should cause us to get busy in the Lord’s work.

General Conference Ministerial Association