There are many laws governing my motorcycling activities. Of course there are those that apply to all motor vehicles but there are a few extras, such as wearing a helmet, though I’d imagine one would also be breaking the law by wearing just a helmet. While the law requiring use of a helmet may be annoying to a few of my motorcycling friends who see it as an infringement on their freedom, to me it is just natural. No law is needed for me, I’d do it anyway. Though admittedly for me it is not so much for fear of falling off, but of my great disdain for bugs in my face and hair. Because of this, it just follows that I like to wear a helmet while riding the motorcycle. And clothes. No need to go making rules for such things for me. Such things are just normal.
Here is a verse that speaks of what just follows as normal:
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (1st Corinthians 15:58 NIV)
With our inclination towards chopping the Bible into small bits, we may run into two dangers when we read 1st Corinthians 15, the chapter from which this verse is taken. First, we might forget this verse altogether. We might read verses 1-57 and think that thanksgiving is the only consequence, the only thing that follows from grasping the truth of the resurrection: “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1st Corinthians 15:57 NIV) And so we might be grateful, but not changed. Paul wants us to go far beyond gratitude, to giving ourselves “fully to to the work of the Lord”. Commitment to learning and serving is what follows naturally from grasping such wonderful truth.
The second danger is that we might read verse 58 without having explored the teaching of the 57 verses that precede it. When we do this, we run the danger of creating a new rule, namely giving ourselves fully to the work of the Lord. But this is not a rule for Paul, again it is a natural consequence of grasping the wonderful truth of the resurrection and all that it means. Just like I don’t need a law telling me to wear a motorcycle helmet, my experience of bugs giving me a natural inclination that way (though I should point out that things always turned out better for me than for the bugs), the Christian does not need a rule telling her or him to serve the Lord. It just follows. The resurrection gives us a confidence in God and in our work for Him that impels us to worship and serve Him. It just follows . . . and so do we.
As we launch into the fall season with all its routines and opportunities, may we “give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord”. Not because this is a rule we must obey, but because He is risen, and that changes everything.