TOPIC:“A Tune for Thanksgiving”
TEXT:I Corinthians 15:57
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Most of us, I believe, would be of the opinion that the most influential Christian of the first century was the Apostle Paul. Without argument, spiritually speaking he stood head and shoulders above all others.
But the question I am interested in is this: How do we think of Paul? Do we think of him as the persecutor of the Church? Do we think of him as the prisoner of Christ? Do we think of him only as a passionate and powerful follower of the Gospel? If we do, then may God open our eyes to see that there is yet another side of Paul that still needs to be unveiled and revealed. It is this: Paul was first and foremost a man of praise.
Again and again we find an unending hymn of thanks flowing from his lips. Almost instantly he is always ready to break out into a doxology of praise to God. Listen to the tune of his grateful soul. To the Romans he writes: “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all” (Romans 1:8). To the Corinthians he declares: “Now thanks be unto God, who always causeth us to triumph in Christ” (II Corinthians 2:14). To the Ephesians he states: “Giving thanks always for all things unto God” (Ephesians 5:19). To the Philippians he proclaims: “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you” (Philippians 1:3). To the Colossians he says: “We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you” (Colossians 1:3). To the Thessalonians he asserts: “But we are bound to give thanks always to God for you” (II Thessalonians 2:13). To Philemon he declares: “I thank my God, making mention of thee always in my prayers” (Philemon 1:4). This is Paul's path of praise.
But in the message that I have for you today, I want to deal with only one of the many reasons why there flows from Paul's heart a stream of gratitude to God. It is in deep appreciation for the eternal victory that God has given him in Jesus Christ. I desire that we examine and explore together something of the meaning of Paul's words in the text which Moffart translates this way: “Thy victory is ours, thank God! He makes it ours by our Lord Jesus Christ.”