“So then, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm and steady”.
1 Cor 15:58 GNB
Christianity is not working out a lot of rules and regulations. It is not fathoming out what Christ meant when he said this or that. It is not an academic exercise although many highly intellectual people become good disciples of Jesus. It is a very practical way of life, and all the theological formulations and ideas have to be worked out in practice. After his flights of profound theological ideas about resurrection, Paul inevitably comes down to earth with some simple, straightforward instructions to the believers in the city of Corinth. Granted that they need to understand the whole issue of death and resurrection, they also need to realize that standing firm in their faith is the most important thing they can do. Their fellow-Corinthians are watching them. “How well will they make it in this new-fangled faith?”
Eugene Peterson described Christian discipleship as “a long obedience in the same direction”. It is easy to get carried away in “bubble and squeak” religion – working up to heights of rapture thinking you are glorifying God whilst all the time you are doing it for your own enjoyment of the excitement. After the artificially worked-up euphoria many people feel that the dull routine of the “long obedience in the same direction” is devoid of excitement, not “the real thing” and empty. Some people use the word “Ichabod” which is Hebrew meaning “the glory has departed”.
Paul says “standing firm is vital”. It was needed more than the emotional “highs” that some cherished – and plenty still do. Discipleship means working steadfastly through the troubles, stresses and strains under Christ that come your way – and saying, “Thanks be to God for the victory” in the end.
Lord, help me to stand firm in my situation.