Together in Christ: 'Victory!' — 1 Corinthians 15:57-58

Wednesday, December 20, 2023

But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.
— 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 NLT

Key Thought

This time of year, many celebrate the advent of God in human flesh, the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, * Who came to earth as Immanuel, God with us. [1] As we remember the sweetness, hardship, and brutality [2] of Jesus' birth, we must not forget what this birth means for Jesus and us:

  • Jesus' birth is the prelude to his life, death, burial, and resurrection. He shared our fragile mortal existence so we can confidently know that He understands our struggles and came to give us hope beyond them.
  • Jesus' death, burial, resurrection, and appearance to His disciples [3] ensured our victory over sin, death, satan, and hell! In other words, Jesus' birth is the beginning of hell's defeat. Jesus' sacrificial death as the Servant of God [4] guarantees our ultimate victory over the things that enslave us to fear, hell, and death.

As we enter into this season of joy, let's do as Paul commanded: "Thank God! He gives us the victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ." Because Jesus is our Savior and Lord, we can be "strong" in our faith, "immovable" in our hope, and enthusiastic in our "work for the Lord" because "nothing" we do for the Lord Jesus and in Christ is wasted or "useless." Jesus' coming to earth as a child of Mary, conceived in her womb by the Holy Spirit, protected in His early life by Joseph the carpenter, promises us victory and life beyond this life.

Let's use this season to rejoice and give thanks to God, share our hope in Jesus, and share the Lord's love with those around us. Jesus is the reason for the season, but even more, He is the reason for our love, hope, peace, and joy!

[1] Matthew uses the prophetic name Immanuel — Matthew 1:23. John 1:1-18 shares the theological meaning of the birth accounts in Matthew 1:18-2:23; Luke 1:26-28, 2:1-20.
[2] The harsh reality of life surrounding Jesus' birth can be seen in the people of His parents' ancestral home, Bethlehem, not giving Joseph and Mary a place to stay when Jesus was born — Luke 2:5-7. This probably has to do with Mary being pregnant before she married Joseph. The brutality of the political world is seen in Herod's "slaughter of the innocents" — Matthew 2:16-18.

Today's Prayer

Almighty God, You sustained Your people and kept Your promises from the call of Abraham through the reign of King David and down through the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. I believe, almighty God, that Jesus fulfilled Your promises for the Messiah, including His role as the Suffering Servant promised by Isaiah the prophet. * Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection opened the door for my salvation and victory over sin and death. So, dear Father, as I celebrate this season of Jesus' birth, ^ I rejoice and give thanks for Your love, plan to save me, and the gift of sharing in Jesus' victory. I pray in the name of the only Savior, Christ Jesus, my Lord. Amen.

* Jesus' birth was likely not in December. Shepherds in the field when Jesus was born certainly indicated against it. There is no solid historical date attested in Scripture for Jesus' birth. But with so many celebrating Jesus' birth this time of year, it has become a season of joy and remembrance, much as the early church remembered Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection through Communion on the first day of the week when they assembled to worship — Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:1-2.
^ The Servant of the Lord Songs of Isaiah appear to be the core prophecies used in the early church to help define the mission of Jesus the Messiah — Isaiah 42:1–9, 49:1–13, 50:4–11, 52:13—53:1.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 1 Corinthians 15:1-58
  • Luke 1:26-28, 2:1-20


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Illustration of 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 NLT — But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.   So, my dear brothers and sisters, be strong and immovable. Always work enthusiastically for the Lord, for you know that nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.